Many of us around the world can’t leave home due to COVID-19 government directives.
Growing up Caribbean meant hurricanes were a constant probability. As such, we learnt from early to stock up and be prepared whenever possible.
For that reason, my boyfriend and I had been doing so since early February and still don’t have everything we should.
Unfortunately, not everyone has gotten the opportunity to prepare… even a little. And, for those of you who can’t leave to buy ingredients, the fridge and cupboards may be looking a little grim.
So, how do we make quick and filling meals with limited resources?
Taking inventory of all food stuff + thinking outside the box = the results you want.
There are a few food items my mum always said I should have in my home:
I have to admit I didn’t do this for some time. However, in moments where times were rough financially, I saw the value in something as simple as this list.
For example, with those ingredients I could make bakes. This is a traditional breakfast or snack meal in Barbados – imagine a fried, flatter, muffin. Other Caribbean islanders make them too, and have different styles (sweet or savoury).
Pikkler Spatter features a sweet Bajan Fried Bakes recipe (don’t worry about the extra spices if you don’t have them, these will still taste good).
Another idea is if you have rice and canned . . . hrm, carrots and peas for example. It may not sound appetising, but with a little butter, spices, and love – that’ll do for a hungry stomach.
I haven’t mentioned proteins yet, and that’s because in some parts of the world meat is not only more expensive, but might be tougher to come by in large quantities during this pandemic. If you do have meat, consider “one-pot food” – as Caribbean people say.
Just as the name suggests, these are meals that are cooked in one pot and all ingredients are thrown in – so like stews, pelau, soup, etc. Dishes like this can last a whole day or longer (depending on how many are in your household). They are also a good way to get all the food groups in when you don’t have lots to work with.
Try African Bites’ tasty Trinidadian Chicken Pelau recipe (you don’t have to use all the ingredients featured for it to be yummy).
For the vegans and vegetarians out there, you can do the same with limited ingredients. Instead of trying to create the latest “trend meal”, think outside the box and discover something you can enjoy.
You can try my lacto-veg recipe Cheesy Cranberry Mushrooms – a dish that can be whittled down to two ingredients and modified.
These diets aren’t my forte, and I’d love for you to share ideas with me in the comments :).
The Minimalist Baker features Vegan Meatballs that look pretty good.
As a bonus tip – don’t underestimate spreads, condiments, and the usual “fridge/cupboard trash” getting you through tough times. These are the ingredients that go mostly unnoticed, but can make a huge difference to taste, how filling a meal is, and even be the meal depending.
Nope, not telling you to eat mayo from the jar as your three squares. But, consider what you can make with ingredients like these.
With avocado and peanuts for example, you can create a healthy and filling spread – all you gotta do is mash them together. Or, add ketchup to your plain pasta for a memory of marinara – why not?
These are just some ideas on how you can still eat well with fewer ingredients. Stay safe and do what you have to (within the law) to make sure you’re fed.
Quick and easy meal tips to share?
Comment below :).