I’m normally a huge fan of making fewer trips to the supermarket.
But after going through lockdown, I’ve become an even bigger fan.
Any trip to the supermarket that I can avoid is a win on so many levels – it saves me time, saves me money and means less trips in the car. It also forces me to ‘make do’ which helps avoid food waste and additional packaging.
Here’s some of the things I do to skip a trip:
SWITCH IT UP:
Just because I’ve run out of something or don’t have the ingredient I need, it doesn’t mean I have to rush to the shop.
– Chia seeds in place of eggs
– Rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs or flour
– Yoghurt instead of sour cream
– Baking soda and vinegar can replace baking powder
MAKE DO MEALS:
I love it when my husband opens the fridge and says there’s nothing for dinner, and then I swoop in and manage to plate up a balanced and moderately tasty meal.
A couple of my favourites are:
All of the random bits and pieces that are left in the fridge put together on a platter. Throw in some oven roasted nuts, boiled eggs or roasted chickpeas if you need a bit of extra protein.
If you don’t have bases, make your own, use wraps or even pieces of toasted stale bread will work! Throw on some sauce, top with all of the random bits in the fridge or veggies that are past their best and add cheese. It’s my kid’s favourite meal (not sure what that says about the rest of my cooking).
I’ll cook up some onions, add some stock and herbs and then throw in any leftovers we have. Mince, rice, pasta, veggies, curry – you name it, they’re all invited to the soup party.
Freezers are such a freaken win when it comes to storing food, and I’m continually discovering there are very few things you can’t freeze.
A bit extra:
If there’s regular things that you run out of, think about whether you can grab a few extras next time you’re at the supermarket and throw them in the freezer. I’m not talking about panic buying – just grab a few extra veggies, cut them up and freeze on an oven tray or for things like courgettes, carrots and kumara grate them and freeze in muffin trays.
Cut up bananas and put them in the freezer for smoothies or stew things like apples, pears, and feijoas.
And the question I have been asked the most over the past month – yes you can freeze milk. If you’re freezing in glass just leave a good couple of inches of space at the top of the bottle and leave the lid loose when freezing and defrosting
The freezer challenge;
Another great challenge is to work through all of those random things that you’ve thrown in the freezer over the months (or years!). As long as they are safe to eat, it’s a cool way to get creative and use what you have. Use the power of the interweb and search for things like ‘what can I make with frozen pastry, peas and Tabasco sauce’.
MAKE YOUR OWN:
Lockdown dusted off a lot of baking skills and it’s a habit I’m aiming to keep. To save time, whenever I make something I at least double the recipe so I have something extra to throw in the freezer for later.
Thanks to Chelsea Winter’s super easy (and yeast free) ‘lockdown loaf’, we’re now in the habit of making our own bread.
To mix it up we make different versions like grated apple, sultanas and cinnamon or paprika, sunflower seed and cheese.
I use this simple cracker recipe and just add cheese, seeds or herbs for a different spin. Roll them super thin and they will freeze well. Or if you have a short attention span like me, just roll out what you can be bothered and then throw the rest of the dough in the freezer for another day.
Butchers, bakers, growers…I love supporting local food businesses wherever I can – it’s a win in terms of food miles, and I love the sense of connection and local resilience it creates. It can also be a lot easier to find package free solutions when you go local.
Post lockdown there are a heap of local businesses now doing delivery which can be a massive win on the convenience front. Even better if you can make the most of the delivery by joining forces with your neighbours or getting a couple of extra things to throw in the freezer. #lovelocal