As much as I don’t want to talk about the virus and use the “Q-word,” being in quarantine for over 21 days has forced me to do something productive with my time, because even though I do love my Netflix, sleep, and ample downtime — let’s face it — it’s getting pretty old and I need to keep myself busy to stay sane! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at cooking, but for some reason, I always thought it just wasn’t my thing. Well, what better time to test this hypothesis than now? I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen every week and honestly, I have to say that even though I’m no professional, my cookery skills aren’t that bad after all! So, if you, like me, are trying to find ways to keep yourself entertained while acquiring a new skill, here are 5 easy recipes to satisfy your boredom and (hopefully) your taste buds!
- Homemade Shakshouka
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved having my usual home-cooked food, but last week, I found myself craving my favorite, Café Landwer’s Shakshouka, and I just had to try to recreate it, or rather, create my version of it! All you need is some tomatoes (canned or fresh), thinly sliced onions and red peppers, cheese of your choice (I used a mix of feta and cheddar), eggs (obviously!) and minced garlic, salt, pepper, and some paprika (if you like it spicy like I do!) Simply sauté the veggies in the pan until the tomato reduces to a thick gravy. Then add paprika, salt, pepper and any other herbs of choice and crack eggs in the gravy. Make sure to use an oven friendly skillet because once the eggs are semi-cooked, you need to toss the pan in the oven at 375 degrees for 3-5 mins, until the eggs are cooked with the yolks runny. It’s easy, quick and delicious!
- Buckwheat Pancakes
I’ve been making these pancakes for a while now, and let me tell you, it’s basically like your favorite guilty-pleasure breakfast made healthy without any compromise on the taste. Buckwheat is full of protein, so it’s a great way to kickstart your day, quarantined or not! Simply whip together some buckwheat flour, baking powder (for the fluffiness), cinnamon powder, an egg, few spoons of milk (I usually use almond milk, but any milk works) and sugar, maple syrup, or mashed banana (if you, like me, don’t like it overly sweet). Once it’s a batter consistency, scoop it onto a greased pan and add chocolate chips (or cacao nibs if you want to be healthy!)
- Vegetable Fried Rice
There’s no real “recipe” to this one, I just like to toss in any veggies that at home, like an assorted variety of mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, and green beans, and sauté them in some garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Szechuan paste for some spice. Once the veggies are cooked, add in the rice (brown or white) and toss it in the flavorful stir fry. Voila! Yummy, flavorful food made easy!
- Veggie Stir Fry in a Sesame Peanut Sauce
Once again, there’s no specific recipe to go by with this one — it’s all about what you like. I usually like to add some baby corn, peppers, and broccoli and sauté it in sesame oil with salt to taste. While that’s cooking, put together a quick spicy peanut sauce with peanut butter, sesame oil, salt and my secret ingredient, Sriracha. Add your concoction to the veggies and toss it to distribute the sauce evenly.
- Energy Bites
This is your best friend if you’re trying to be healthy, yet love everything chocolate and sugar! Mix together rolled oats, mashed dates, a dollop of peanut butter, cacao powder, some cinnamon powder and roasted almonds and walnuts. Once it has a dough-like consistency, roll them into balls and coat it with coconut shavings for taste before refrigerating it for an hour. These are absolutely divine and honestly, work great as a snack at any time of the day, even post or pre-workout!