9 Ways to Maximize your Food During the Corona Crisis

9 practical ways to maximize your food rations during a crisis like Corona, when food access is limited. This will help curb food waste and maintain a healthy diet.

These are tough, and scary times. A lot of things are going to change and it will take along time before normal as we all knew it will come. In the meantime, it it best to make do with that we have now. Here are 9 way I am maximizing my food and I know they will be of help to you.

 

Meal Prep – If you are a small family/household, meal planning is going to be a lifesaver so that you don’t spend all your time cooking (unless you want to). It will also help you with portion control.

Cook Once – I find cooking once during the day helps reduce the stress of thinking of what to cook next and also frees up time if you are working from home. This means that when preparing breakfast, make lunch and dinner as well so that when it time to eat the two latter meals, all of have to do is warm them.

Consume Perishables First – If you don’t have a fridge/ freezer, consuming your perishable food first will help curb food waste. If you have potatoes and rice, it is better to consume the potatoes first since they don’t last as long as rice.

Improvise (get creative) – Since we are being very mindful about what we can store, it is important to think outside the box and think of various ways you can create multiple meals from the same ingredients. Use this blog for inspiration and ideas on how to cook some of the common foods in different ways. Also Google is your friend.

 

Take advantage of your Backyard Garden – If you have a backyard garden, this is the time to hunt for all that dodo, yam leaves and pumpkin leaves you have been overlooking. If you can, forage for green vegetables and anything else that is edible. Did you know you can eat banana blossom (empumumpu/embalabala)?

Cook and Eat what You Can – It is time to reduce our portions. After all we are working from home and so less energy is used. There is nothing more wasteful than having to throw away food because it was too much to be finished.

Leftovers are your Best Friend – Yes left overs are going to take you a long way. Make sure that they are kept in appropriate temperatures to avoid food poisoning. You can reheat them the next day and add more ingredients to create a completely new meal.

Stock up on Dried and Smoked Foods – In an attempt to have a balanced diet, sock up on long lasting protein such as groundnut paste, smoked/dried fish and meat and delicacies like malewa. They will take you a long way.

Eat more Vegetables and Fruits – If you can get your hands on fresh vegetables and fruits consume them to boost your immune system.

 

Stay Safe!

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Rich and Spicy Dodo (Green Amaranth) Shakshuka

Rich tomato base shakshuka with nutrient packed Dodo  (amaranth/callaloo) and a bit of heat from scotch bonnets. Perfect for a low-carb meal. This shakshuka uses dodo, a vegetable that is readily available in most Ugandan backyards.
As a person who lives in Jamaica, one recurring question is:  Is the food the same in ‘Africa’. And in response I have to teach a crash course on how Africa is a massive continent and how we East Africans do not know much about West African food and vice versa. To be honest I have learned more about Nigerian and Ghanaian food while here, which makes sense since West Africa shares the Atlantic Ocean with Jamaica  and we all know what happened during the transatlantic slave trade.  Being here has also put into perspective how massive and diverse our continent is and it’s mind boggling to think that each and every ethnicity has its own way of life.
I normally  shy away from foods of other ethnicities because I do not want to do then an injustice  which is why it took me so long to get on the shakshuka bandwagon. Morocco  is a world of its own that I know nothing about aside from the basic geographic location. And it’s not Morocco but each and every African country. With that said, making shakshuka is my attempt to peek inside this vibrant and colorful nation and it’s uniqueness in flavor and texture.
In this dish, I use dodo ( amaranth) because it is a a super vegetable (it inspired the writing of this Vegetarian e-Book ) with its availability, versatility and ability to withstand harsh conditions. So if you have some dodo growing in the backyard, pluck those leave and make this shakshuka. It will change the way you view dodo.
What you will need:
4 Handfuls of Dodo, chopped and washed
6 Medium Tomatoes
1 C. Water
1 Large onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 Large green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 Scotch bonnet (or any hot spice you prefer)
1 Tsp. Cumin, ground
1 Tbsp. Curry powder
1/2 Tsp. Smoked paprika
1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
3 eggs
Salt
2 Tbsp. Oil
Observations
  • Let the pureed tomatoes cook till all the water has reduced and it has a rich and thick consistency.
  • I prefer my eggs fully cooked so I let the shakshuka simmer a little longer.
Method
  1. Roughly dice the tomatoes and place them in the blender along with the scotch bonnet/ spice of choice. Add the 1 cup of water and blend till pureed.  Set aside.
  2. In a clean pot, add the cumin, curry powder, paprika and black pepper. Place pot on high heat for about 5 seconds. Add oil.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and onions. Le them cook till they are translucent. Next add the green pepper and and salt and stir well.
  4. Add the blended tomatoes and let them cook till they have reduced and thickened.
  5. Add the dodo into the tomato mix. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Using a ladle, create three wells in the  shakshuka. Crack each of the eggs in each well.
  7. Cover the pan and let the skakshuka simmer on low fire until the eggs have cooked to your preference.
  8. Remove from fire. Serve hot.

This particular one was served with chapati. You can also eat it on its own, with bread, fried plantain, yam, cassava or any carbohydrate of choice.

Have you made shakshuka before?

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Baked Soft Stove-Top Bread

Soft, fluffy and delicious stove top / frying pan bread. No oven required. 

I recently got an oven after along time of making bread on the stove top and by steaming. It  is so different and exciting leaning this new appliance. Although I have an oven now, its electricity consumption is something that will make me use it less. But bread still needs to be made. Enter the stove top bread making. I have been so accustomed to making baked goods without an oven like this 3-tier Coconut Cinnamon  Cake was made on a sigiri (charcoal stove) and these Carrot Cake Muffins and Breakfast Flatbreads were steamed and made on the stove top respectively. To to pay my respects to all the pans I have abused in the process of making stove top bread, I am sharing this soft fluffy and delicious bread that is oh-so-satisfying. The recipe is for a savory kind  of  bread but you can sweeten it by removing the carrot, onion, green pepper and black pepper. You will find yourself making this over and over again. Just so you know, I had to battle with the people I cook for to take these pictures because it was so good they couldn’t wait!

What you will need: 

3 C. Flour, Sifted

1 C. Flour for dusting

4 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tsp. Salt

1/3 C. Oil

1 C. Milk, Warm

2 Tsp. Yeast

1/4 C. Grated Carrot, onion and green pepper

1/2 Tsp. Black pepper, ground

Oil for cooking

Observations:

  1. You will need a sturdy frying pan (a cast iron one if possible).
  2. You can substitute diary with plant/nut milk if you are vegan.
  3. Use bread/all purpose flour which has more gluten than cake flour and thus produces a chewy bread.
  4. The key to having fluffy bread is to place a frying pan on high fire, add a tablespoon of oil in the pan and let the oil get really hot. Place your bread dough into the pan and immediately reduce the heat to low. The high heat will be enough to cook the bread until it is time to flip it.

Method

  1. Combine 3 cups flour, salt, sugar, yeast, carrot, onion, green pepper and black pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Add oil and mix well.
  2. Gradually add the warm milk into the mixture while mixing. Mix till a dough is formed. The dough should be a bit elastic (not too firm).
  3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  4. Generously flour your surface. After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl and place it on the floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and non-sticky.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Spread each ball with your hands into a palm-sized disk. Make sure the disks are thick ( at least 1/2 inch).
  6. Generously flour your surface and place the disk on it.
  7. Let the bread rise for another 20 minutes.
  8. Place a frying pan on high fire. Add a tablespoon of oil in the pan.
  9. Once the oil is sizzling, gently place the risen bread dough into the hot pan. Immediately reduce the fire/ heat to low and cover pan.
  10. Let the bread cook for 5 minutes on low fire on one side. Remove cover and flip the bread and let the other side cook for another 5 minutes on low fire.
  11. Remove from fire. Repeat the process till all the bread is cooked.
  12. Serve hot with your favorite stew, butter, jam etc

 

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