When go-to ingredients become tricky to get your hands on (yeast, we’re looking at you) and daily fresh food shopping is out of the question, how do you keep your meals varied and interesting? Patricia Hoos, Berlin-based food blogger and full-time vegan, gave us some tips during a (socially distanced) tour of her pantry.
1. I recommend keeping certain staples in stock – not only in times of crisis, but also once ‘normality’ returns. Because a well-stocked pantry means you can bake spontaneously or let your creativity run wild by combining new ingredients. Just be sensible with quantities and think about what food suits your lifestyle.
2. Rice, pasta, flour and yeast are the basics – but it doesn’t end there. It’s also worth having a selection of grains (buckwheat, quinoa, barley and oats) as well as legumes (lentils, chickpeas and beans) and of course, nuts, seeds, natural sweeteners and spices.
3. Fresh food that’ll keep? You’ll want onions, garlic, apples and potatoes. Potatoes go beautifully with those brown lentils in your cupboard. Try this: prepare the potatoes by boiling them in their skins and letting them cool down overnight. Then remove the skins, cut the potatoes into slices and fry them in salt and olive oil until nicely browned. Cook the lentils in vegetable stock, drain them and add to the fried potatoes. If you have a small herb garden at home, I recommend a sprinkle of fresh chives. Super easy, super tasty.
4. Food will keep longer if you store it properly. Rice, pasta, flour, grains, nuts and meat substitutes like soya granules should be kept dry. I use airtight glass containers – the ones with screw caps are my favourite. They prevent humidity from getting to the food, and keep flies away. Never store potatoes in the fridge – put them in a dark, dry place, wrapped inside a linen bag.
5. And lastly, here’s my recipe for a delicious spread, made from ingredients I always have at home. You’ll need 1 can of white beans, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium sized onion, 4 tbsp yeast flakes, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 garlic clove and some pepper. Drain the beans, peel the onion and garlic, and blend all the ingredients in your food processor until you have a paste. Delicious on toast or as a salad topping.
Article written by: Lisa Wenske