The Lockdown Menu

So, as the world locks down to flatten the curve of COVID-19, closer to home we are trying to flatten the curve of food consumption, create meals using long-life foods and generally just trying to consume solids to mop up all the day drinking. But that doesn’t necessarily mean ALL our meals now consist of stale baguettes, pasta and tinned tomatoes! It has been an opportunity to get a little creative!

The Lockdown Menu

So, as the world locks down to flatten the curve of COVID-19, closer to home we are trying to flatten the curve of food consumption, create meals using long-life foods and generally just trying to consume solids to mop up all the day drinking. But that doesn’t necessarily mean ALL our meals now consist of stale baguettes, pasta and tinned tomatoes! It has been an opportunity to get a little creative!

All these recipes are as basic as they can be, while still being delish. If you don’t have exactly what the recipe calls for, no need for a ‘mercy dash’, chuck something else in there, and hope for the best!

Chickpea Smash

Chickpea Smash on Toasted Baguette

Ingredients

  • 1 jar/can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs lime/lemon juice
  • 1 whole fresh/roasted capsicum (we buy roasted capsicum preserved in a jar, I highly recommend you try get your hands on some!)
  • As many pickles as you’d like
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper — or a good sprinkling if you’re feeling frisky
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bread roll or toast to serve

Method

Add chickpeas, olive oil & citrus juice into a bowl and smash up. I use our stick blender but a potato masher or even a fork will work too! Get your exercise in for the day! Don’t go mental though, its chickpea smash, not hummus. Slice up pickles and chop capsicum, chuck those in there. Add cayenne pepper, salt & pepper. Give it all a good mix up.
Depending on whether our baguette (from our village baguette vending machine) is minutes or hours old we will have this in a fresh baguette as a roll or if the baguette needs ‘warming up a bit’ as an open toasted sandwich. Good either way!

Spaggy & Meat-free Meatballs

Spaggy & Meat-free Meatballs

Ingredients

For the ‘meat’ balls:

  • 1 tin cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup oats or breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • Herbs de Provence/Italian herbs
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying — or you can bake in the oven

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 whole fresh/roasted capsicum
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Herbs de Provence/Italian herbs
  • Pasta of choice

Method

For the ‘meat’ balls:

You’re going to need a food masher/smasher/blender of some description for these ones. Whether it is a food processor, a blender, or your arm, the lentils need mashing. I have a food processor so I use that…

If you are using oats rather than breadcrumbs, add only the oats to the food processor and grind up into a fine(r) powder. Then add everything else and blend into oblivion. Take heaped teaspoon size scoops of mixture and roll into balls.

I have baked and fried these, both were equally effective methods for cooking the balls and making them golden and crispy on the outside, you use which ever method you can be bothered with!

For frying: add about 1cm of oil to a frying pan, heat the oil and then fry the balls in batches until crispy and dark brown.

For the oven: Go back in time and pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Add all the balls to a baking tray, bake for 15 mins and then give them all a swirl around and bake for a further 15–20mins — until dark brown and crispy.

For the sauce:

Chop and dice onion, add to frying pan/pot with olive oil and herbs and brown up. Add all the other goodies, stir lovingly while leaning over your stove, enjoying the aromas. Bring to a bubble then let simmer for 5 mins.

At some point through all of this bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook that.

Add your cooked meatballs to the sauce and gentle stir to coat them all generously. Add sauce and meatballs to bowls of pasta and call all your loved ones away from their various screens to enjoy your efforts!

Nachos

Ingredients

  • Stare into your pantry and find some tinned beans. They’re probably at the back. For what its worth, a mix of at least two kinds is my advice; kidney beans and white beans are good. But I’ve made this with white beans and lentils too. Use what you’ve got! Drain and rinse them.
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 a teaspoon each of dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder — this is the kid friendly spice mix, add some cayenne pepper or chilli flakes after you’ve cooked and removed little kids portions if you’re sick of eating baby food for the past 5 years.
  • 2 Stock cubes
  • Pepper to taste
  • Corn chips

These go really nicely with a drizzle of coconut yogurt, fresh tomato salsa, and/or lemony guac but maybe save these additions for a post-lockdown indulgence! Remember the good old days of buying fresh food on a whim!?

Method

Chop, slice and dice onion, garlic, carrot and sweet potato. Add to pot with olive oil and spices and saute until onions and what-not are soft and browning. Add beans, tomato paste, tinned tomato, and crumble in stock cubes, add a bit of water here for good luck. Bring to bubble and simmer for 30–40mins, until carrots are soft. Don’t burn the crap out of the bottom, please remember to stir occasionally, in between glasses of wine. A good trick is 3 sips of wine, stir…

Serve with corn chippies and more wine.

Chickpea & Peanut Butter Cookies

Chickpea & Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup agave, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips — or just a chopped up chocolate block
  • 1/2 cup roasted & salted peanuts

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line baking tray with baking paper.
Add chickpeas and agave/honey/maple syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Add peanut butter, vanilla & baking powder and blend again.
Stir in chocolate and peanuts, the batter will be sticky, don’t worry, just use your muscles.
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking tray
Bake for 15–20 mins, look for browning on top.
When you take them out of the oven they will be very soft, just leave them on the tray for about 5 mins and then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling, they will harden up, but still remain deliciously soft and fudgy. Mmmmm.
Pat yourself on the back an consider everyone fed until dinner.

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