It’s no fun being cooped up at home, but many people are using this opportunity to brush up on cooking and baking skills and to try out new recipes. If you’re wondering what to make, here are some fun and easy ideas for things to make out of ingredients you probably already have at home.
This versatile food can serve as a base for many different meals, and it’s very simple to make. Combine 3 cups of flour, a teaspoon each of salt and baking powder, a cup of warm water and ⅓ cup of olive oil until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into about 18 balls, you can make or less depending on how big you want your tortillas to be. Cover with a towel and let rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling out into circles. Cook on a dry pan at medium heat until the bottom surface has brown spots and the surface is bubbly, then flip and cook for another 15-20 seconds.
You can use these tortillas for anything you want, including quesadillas, burritos and wraps. To make nachos, chop a few tortillas into rough triangles, brush lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in a 200C/400F oven for about 10 minutes. Then top with your favourite ingredients, and bake again until the cheese has melted.
If you’re craving a treat, these are extremely easy to make. They’re crunchier than the kind you’d buy and they don’t have that deep fried flavour, but they’re very delicious regardless. Bring a cup of water, two tablespoons of oil, a tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt to a boil, then remove from heat and add in a cup of flour. Mix well and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then form into churro shapes. You can use a piping bag if you’re feeling fancy, but a spoon and your fingers work just as well if you don’t mind them being a little misshapen. Bake in a 200C/400F oven for about 12 minutes, then broil for another minute to get a nice golden colour. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter, and roll in cinnamon sugar.
And that’s it! They’re delightful crunchy with a soft chewy centre, and are sure to bring joy to yourself and any of the lucky people living with you who get to try some.
Better Mac n’ Cheese
This classic comfort food is a great place to start experimenting with your cooking. There’s loads of simple recipes for mac n’ cheese out there that can be taken to the next level with a few adjustments, and even boxed mac n’ cheese can be improved.
My favourite secret ingredient is a few tablespoons of mustard. Grainy mustard like dijon works best, but even yellow mustard does wonders for the flavour. You can also play around with the cheeses you add. A combination of extra old cheddar and parmesan is heavenly, but feel free to try adding your favourites. If you’re looking for something a little healthier, broccoli and mushrooms pair very well with cheese sauce, and you can easily use frozen broccoli. Add bacon or cooked chicken to implement some tasty protein to your dish. For something a little different, try adding cooked chicken and a few tablespoons of butter chicken sauce.
Mac n’ cheese is the ultimate blank canvas, so don’t be scared to get creative!
Chickpea Chocolate Mousse
Chickpeas are a pretty common pantry item, and there are many things that can be made from the versatile bean. But did you know you can also use the liquid from it? It’s actually a very popular vegan egg white substitute, and it’s got a lot of health benefits. This very simple recipe is a fun snack to make with something most people throw out. Just keep in mind, when they say you can’t taste the chickpea, they’re lying… (but it still tastes great).
Melt about ¾ cup of chocolate in a splash of milk (you can use any kind). Feel free to adjust the amount of chocolate based on how intense you want the flavour to be; I like putting a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in mine. While the chocolate is cooling, use a hand or stand mixer to whip a can’s worth of chickpea water until completely stiff (you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice or another acid to speed this up a bit). Gently fold the cooled chocolate into the whipped mixture until just combined, then pour into glasses and refrigerate until ready to use. For an extra boost of protein and flavour, I like putting a dollop of peanut butter into each glass before serving.
It’s easy to let this pandemic get us down. Food won’t fix everything, but trying out new recipes is an excellent creative outlet, and having a delicious, handmade meal in front of you will surely make you feel at least a tiny bit better.