In a time of lockdown everyone seems to be taking to cooking with gusto; among them us apartment dwellers. But with tiny kitchens (or worse communal kitchens), we often lack storage for essential cooking tools, cooking is a logistics nightmare and the clean up is daunting. That’s why many of us rely on things like takeout, delivered meals and ready made options. But in the last few weeks they haven’t been as available, so in today’s diary I’m going to share some of the meals I’ve been cooking that involve little prep, little clean up and are tiny kitchen friendly. For those beginning to return to work as lockdown restriction ease, these meals are also a quick way to manage cooking while working.
Pita Bread Pizzas
As much as I love real pizza dough, the small kitchen bench I’ve got is not prep work friendly, so I tend towards these pita bread pizzas instead. The reason I choose pita breads is because they’re already cut to size, so there’s no portion distortion and you don’t even need to cut them into slices. Pita breads can also be had fresh with salad, baked into pita crisps and freeze well.
Your favourite toppings (I used cranberry sauce with baby spinach, grated cheese, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
Take fresh pita breads out and place on a tray with a small amount of space between. Cover all pita breads with sauce then follow with your choice of toppings. Cook at 180 C for approximately 10 minutes (until cheese is bubbling and pita bread is toasted). Remaining pita breads and pita bread pizzas can then be frozen.
I am a big fan of the one pot dinner and this is quick to throw on after a long day at work.
1 cup of linguine (or other pasta you already have)
1/2 cup of frozen vegetables (I used peas and beans))
2 tablespoons of Butter
Boil water in a saucepan then put in pasta (for about 10 minutes), when pasta is halfway done add frozen vegetables into the water. Once pasta is al dente and vegetables cooked, drain then place the saucepan back on the element and melt butter. Stir butter in the saucepan until it begins to brown (also known as burnt butter or brown butter), then toss pasta and vegetable back into the saucepan and mix together. Serve and garnish with grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
Using all ready made ingredients, these tortillas are quick to throw together and healthy.
Preprepared salad or coleslaw
Grated cheese (can also be brought preprepared)
Any other ready made toppings (ie cured meats)
Toss the salad and any other filling into the tortilla, mix together then roll or wrap it, depending on your preference.
Macaroni cheese is my go to simple comfort food, but making it in a non stick frying pan (way easier to clean than a saucepan) and not bothering with prep work like grating cheese makes it even easier.
2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of milk (can also use half and half or evaporated milk)
1 cup of cheese (I like to use a mixture of edam, cheddar and parmesan)
Boil water in a non-stick frying pan then cook pasta till al dente. Drain pasta then put the frypan back on the heat and melt butter. Stir in flour, making a roux then slowly stir in milk allowing sauce the thicken. When all the milk has been added add either grated cheese if you have it on hand otherwise just cube your cheese off the block to save time grating it. Stir until all the cheese has dissolved and sauce is thick then pour cooked pasta back into the frypan and mix together. This makes 4 servings, so have some freezable and microwaveable containers on hand for the extra servings.
I am not a chef by any means, but this was some easy food for thought. If you make one of these things or have an easy dish you think I should try, be sure to tag me.