Recipes for isolation
Updated: Apr 13
A collection of simple, easy recipes to try during this time of isolation.
3 cups of wholewheat flour
1 cup of oatbran*
1 - 2 cups of seeds (a mix of any you have)
1x7g sachet of instant yeast
330-400ml of warm water
3 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
*just blitz 1 cup of oats until its looks like a rough flour
How to make
Mix all the dry ingredients, excluding the yeast, in a big bowl.
In a jug, mix the honey and olive oil with the warm water.
Pour the yeast into the water and give it a mix with a fork. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it foams.
Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour the water in. Don't pour it all in just yet, you may not need it all.
Mix it all together and test whether you need the rest of the water, the mix should be wet.
Oil a loaf shape tin and pour the mixture in.
Sprinkle the top with more seeds, Sesame seeds are my favourite.
Leave the bread to rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180*C. Once the bread has risen, bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool.
Homemade pizza with a proper tomato sauce
8 pizzas, plus sauce
800g of strong white bread flour (or plain flour if you don't have string white - and I sometimes use half white half wholewheat to make it a bit healthier!)
200g fine ground semolina flour (can substitute with whatever flour you're using above if you haven't got any)
1 level teaspoon fine sea salt
2 x 7g sachets of instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey
I follow a Jamie Oliver recipe to make these - I've got it in his classic Naked Chef cookbook. But if you want to make these and haven't got the book you can find the recipe on his website as well.
A few tips
Make your oven really hot. I doubt many of us have oven pizzas in the agrden, so to get it anything like that I heat the oven to at least 200*C.
Consider baking the bases, without any toppings on, for around 4 - 5 minutes. It help's the dough to cook through without burning your toppings.
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the crusts, after you've put your toppings on, it helps them to go really crispy.
For the proper tomato sauce
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500g box of passata
A few cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
Fresh basil (if you have it)
How to make
Slice the garlic really thinly. On a medium heat, place a pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, cook the garlic in the oil until golden.
Tip in your chopped tomatoes and stir (careful of any oil splashes, they can burn).
Add the mixed herbs and stir.
After 5 minutes, add your passata. Put a lid on your pan and leave to simmer for as log as you can, stirring every so often (an hour is ideal as the sauce will really thicken up).
Once the sauce is as thick as you like it, tear in the basil.
This sauce is really worth making, it's absolutely delicious. Use as your pizza sauce, or on pasta - the possibilities are endless.
1 tin of chickpeas
1/3 cup of tahini (if you haven't got any I've heard peanut butter makes a good substitution)
a few tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
How to make
Drain your chickpeas into a jug, set aside the water in case you need it later (this is a little trick of mine!).
Finely chop the garlic.
Tip the chickpeas into a blender with the garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Blend until smooth.
If your mix is looking too thick add a little of the chickpea water to loosen it (don't add too much or you'll end up with runny hummus!)
Taste the hummus and add more spices or tahini according to taste (I love tahini so always add more, same with cumin).
I like to serve it with a few more chickpeas on top, a little drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper or paprika.
The hummus will keep in an airtight jar or container for a week or so.
Black rice with lentil dhal and roast butternut
This recipe can be a plastic free affair - I used cans, rice and lentils from the refill shop (they're doing orders for collection), and veg that I bought without bags. If you're sceptical about refill shopping then check out my price breakdown below the recipe.
1/2 cup of brown lentils
1 can of coconut milk
2 garlic cloves
1/2 red pepper (optional)
A handful of cherry or vine tomatoes (optional)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 cup black rice
How to make
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Chop the butternut. Lightly oil a baking dish and sprinkle in 1 tsp of the cumin seeds. Add the butternut to the dish and sprinkle over 1 tsp of paprika, and some salt and pepper. Put the butternut in the oven and roast for around an hour, or until crispy and caramelised. Keep an eye on it and remove when it's finished.
2. Warm a large pan with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and add the rest of the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and chilli flakes. If the pan gets too hot the mustard seeds will start to pop so be careful! Whilst the pan is warming, finely chop the onion, garlic and red pepper. Chop the tomatoes.
3. Add the onion to the pan and cook till translucent on a medium heat. After a few minutes add the garlic, pepper and tomatoes and cook until fragrant and soft.
4. Add the lentils and other spices to the pan. Stir continuously for a couple of minutes, then add the coconut milk. Turn down the heat and pop the lid on.
5. While the dhal is simmering, boil enough water for your rice (you need twice as much water as rice, so for this recipe use 2 cups). Once the water has boiled add your rice and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat, put the lid on and let the rice simmer for 30 minutes.
6. While the rice is cooking check your dhal, if it looks dry then you can add another can of coconut milk or some water. You don't want it to stick to the bottom of the pan and it should be close to soup texture. Leave it simmering.
7. When all the water has cooked away, taste the rice. It won't be as soft as basmati rice, it has a more chewy and nutty flavour.
8. Check your dhal, at this point I taste it and add any more spices if I think it needs it. The dhal texture should be soft and still wet, if all your liquid has cooked away just add some water and stir it over the heat for a minute or two.
To serve: I love to serve it with roast veg, some sliced avocado and a dollop of yoghurt. Naan bread or chapatis also go really well.
In total this recipe cost me about £8!
It cost me a lot less than I thought it would, showing that not only is vegetarian cheaper, but that refill and plastic free shopping can be totally affordable.
Black rice: £1.73 (64p/100g)
Lentils: £0.60 (32p/100g)
Coconut milk: £0.75
Tomatoes: £1.85 (but I didn't use them all)
I'll be adding more recipes so keep checking back here!