Meal Ideas for Isolation
We thought that in these unprecedented times, it would be appropriate to share some handy meal ideas to ease the stress of isolation and potentially limited food sources.
Having to self-isolate creates an opportunity to brush up your cooking skills and have some fun experimenting with some flavours you may not have tried before.
Let’s face it, everyone can cook. Have you ever grilled or barbecued something, made a casserole, roast or stir-fry? You can cook.
When some ingredients are in short supply, or the pantry only has beans, lentils, canned tomatoes and fish, rice, pasta, etc. enjoying interesting and different meals every day is not a challenge with a few spices to create variety.
As an example, every week we have this lentil dish:
Curried Red Lentil and Spinach Soup
- 1 tsp Rice Bran oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1½ tsp Mild Curry Powder
- 1 cup (200g) red lentils, rinsed
- 1 x 400ml can chopped tomatoes
- 50g baby or frozen chopped spinach
- 2 Tbsp coriander leaves (optional)
- salt and chilli powder to taste
- Heat oil and cook onion, garlic and ginger for 3-5 minutes over low heat.
- Add curry powder and lentils and stir for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes plus 1½ cans of water (600ml).
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender.
- Stir in spinach and coriander, cook through for 2 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve.
Note how we flavour this with Mild Curry Powder. To make life interesting we will substitute the curry powder with our Mexican Spice Blend, or Ras el Hanout or Kashmiri Curry Masala or Lentil & Dhal Spice, or Aloo Gobi Masala, and the list goes on and on.
With the cooler months ahead, why not make a Tagine (a fancy name for a casserole) using our Tagine Spice Blend, or Baharat, Ras el Hanout Super, Kashmiri Curry Masala, Greek Seasoning, and likewise, the list goes on and on.
Tagine of Lamb with Vegetables
- 1 kg lamb forequarter chops
- 2 tablespoons Tagine Spice Blend
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup good quality beef stock
- 2 medium carrots, scraped and chopped
- 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
- 6 yellow button squash
- 1 can chick peas, drained
- 10 pickling onions, whole
- 8 prunes, pitted
- 1 can tomato pieces
- 1 packet instant couscous
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish or tagine.
- Coat the lamb generously with the Tagine Blend, and seal in the hot oil on all sides.
- Add the stock, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add all the other ingredients and salt to taste, and bring to boiling point, then place the lid on the dish and transfer it to the heated oven.
- Cook slowly for two hours, until the meat falls easily from the bone.
- Prepare the couscous following the directions on the pack, and serve the Tagine over the couscous.
We think you get the point!
When you have spices and spice blends (and remember all Herbie’s Spices are only made from natural ingredients, and 100% of all ingredients are listed on our website, and labels) you have variety at your fingertips. Rice is such a staple, and somewhat boring if you have it plain every day. However, by simply using our Nasi Goreng Spice Mix, Paella Blend or our new Risotto Spice Blend every rice dish can be very different.
Following are some other easy uses for your spices:
- Greek Seasoning: Rub over lamb before cooking, sprinkle over slices of eggplant and zucchini before cooking on the barbecue.
- Mixed Spice: Add to shortbread biscuits and banana sandwiches.
- Mexican Spice Blend: Add to baked beans for a great family friendly flavour.
- Chipotle Chilli Powder: Add a little to pasta sauce, and sprinkle over pizza.
- Baharat and Tagine spice mixes: Use a small amount as a dry marinade on chicken or lamb before pan-frying. Stir through chickpeas or canned beans before using in a salad.
- Ras el Hanout: Use in Vegan Tagine with Chick Peas and Olives (pictured below).
- Sambar Powder: pat on to fillets of white fish before shallow-frying, or add a little to pea soup.
- Roast Vegetable Herb Mix: Add to meat balls, casseroles and chicken dishes. Sprinkle over oven-roasted vegetables before cooking.
- Fish Cake Spice Mix: Use to add flavour to canned tuna or salmon.
- Sydney Spice Mix: Sprinkle over frozen fish fillets after defrosting and before cooking.
- Nasi Goreng Spice Mix: To flavour rice with cooked peas.
To see a selection of over 190 delicious recipes, go to https://www.herbies.com.au/herbies-recipes and checkout https://www.herbies.com.au/general/super-soup-ideas-for-winter/ for amazing winter soup ideas we put on our website last year.
Everything is functioning normally at Herbie’s Spices, and on-line orders are being dispatched daily.
We are ready to hear from you, and should you have any questions about using our spices, please don’t hesitate to contact us by asking a Burning Question here: https://www.herbies.com.au/questions/ask-a-question/
Keep safe and well Herbie & Liz