5 Easy DIY Lockdown Recipes

I was recently invited to list 5 of my favourite recipes as part of our community home chef week where one person is required to post one recipe each day. I was only too happy to share my lockdown creativity with food. I’m neither a chef nor a nutrition expert because most days I chop fruits and veggies and make a meal out of it. My husband even teases me saying I’m always trying to find newer, stealthier ways to get him to eat more fruits and veggies. But I love it this way. 

Just because we can’t dine out, doesn’t mean we should be reduced to eating sad meals on the couch. Instead, I’ve taken this time to develop my culinary skills, decorate my dining area, and make meals a part of the day I look forward to!

Healthy eating always features on top of all my new year resolution lists. This year I wanted to make myself more accountable by having an online food journal that I could look at to see how I’ve fared and help me reduce my junk food eating habits. You can see and follow my food journey on Instagram @TheSkinnyGanesha https://www.instagram.com/theskinnyganesha/

I’m willing to try new things  

How are we supposed to know what makes us feel our best unless we try new things? I’m also a firm believer that all bodies are different and people can thrive on different diets. I may be eating more vegetarian/plant-based meals, but I don’t have a strong opinion on what YOU should be eating. I am happy to share my journey and experience and I do believe that however you define your diet, eating more plants is almost always a good thing.

5 Easy DIY Lockdown Recipes

Read more here : 

Why keep a food diary http://sapnadube.com/why-keep-a-food-diary/ 

Superfoods to make you feel super. http://sapnadube.com/superfoods-to-make-you-feel-super/

5 Easy DIY Lockdown Recipes

1 – Blackbean Burger

Black bean burger done right! It’s really tasty, nutritious, loaded with protein and uses very little oil. Pulse cooked black beans (Rajma) along with onion, garlic, chilly powder, cumin powder and salt without adding water. Make patties out of this mixture by coating patties in bread crumbs. You can replace Blackbeans with any legume like chickpea. Cook and roast both sides of the patty on a pan with a little oil and burger patties are ready. You could also barbecue it.  Link to Instagram post : https://www.instagram.com/p/CAU9sqAH-aJ/?igshid=1t8l0g705a65b

Best Homemade Burger Patty Ideas

2 – Paneer Tikka 

Here is a tikka marinade recipe that I swear by today. It’s the easiest thing to put together. Can go in the oven, pan or on the grill.

Secret Tikka Marinade

3 – Mediterranean Mezze Platter

A Mediterranean Mezze Platter is an easy, fun, and family-friendly dinner. Meze or mezze is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in the Middle East, the Balkans. Greece and North Africa. The Persian word Meze means ‘taste, snack” or “to taste”. The word “meze” is a reference to the meal platters as a whole. 

How To Put A Mezze Platter Together

To me, mezze is the most disarming, unpretentious, and intimate meal. It is designed for long afternoons, lots of laughter, and the deepest of conversations with friends and loved ones. It’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but festive enough to serve special guests. Use the ingredients listed as a starting point with room to swap in other dips, vegetables, or fruits depending on what’s in season and what you have on hand. I make both big platters and small plates depending on what I have in my pantry. I aim for a combination of flavors and textures: creamy, crunchy, fresh, pickled, dried, savory, and sweet. My general rules of thumb, depending on how many people I’m  serving, is to have two to three dips or spreads, one cheese, a few fresh vegetables, crackers, nuts, one to two pickled items, fresh or dried fruit (or both), and bread. I hope you’ll use this as a loose guideline for building your mezze platter. Remember, there really is no right or wrong way to mezze. The one rule: Share!

Smaller Mezze Platters With What You Have On Hand

You can see more Mezze versions I make here : https://www.instagram.com/theskinnyganesha/

4 . Bhutanese Ema Datshi – Chilly Cheese Stew

Ema datshi is Bhutan’s- national dish.

Today, I tip my hat to one of my favourite dishes available at a restaurant just outside where we live. When we first tasted this dish, we thought, ‘wow, this is a souped up version of our humble dal khichdi’. Mixed with rice, it was delicious, creamy, soft, cheesy, spicy and just perfect for when it rains. My purpose in choosing this is dish is also to allow our taste buds to travel while we are homebound, document the recipe and give you a way to recreate it especially now when we all want to eat home-made food. Ive combined them with green chillies, which provide the heat but if =you are not ok with spice, you could use jalapeños, bell peppers, deseed the chillies, reduce the number of them or skip them entirely. Most of all, it takes less than 15 minutes to make. Enjoy!

Ema Datshi – Bhutan’s National Dish

5 – Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

As my last recipe, I’m sharing rice paper rolls which are a delight to the eyes and taste buds alike. To be honest, the rolls are nothing without the accompanying peanut dip. So here’s my irresistible, easy, secret peanut sauce recipe to go with it. Mix 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 4 pods crushed garlic, 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey/sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. In signing off, I want to leave you with this : 

A lot of my friends tell me they can’t be bothered with ‘decoration’ after toiling away in the kitchen, at least not everyday – ‘I just serve myself on a stainless steel plate and start eating’. I won’t lie, I do it too – but just putting that little extra bit of effort into presentation can turn even the simplest meals into something special and appetising. If there is any wisdom or concept that I subscribe to a lot apart from the Indian Ayurvedic way of life, it is the Japanese principles of minimalism, beauty and uniqueness. I’ve learned that visual presentation is an absolutely essential ingredient – it’s as much a part of the dining experience as the actual taste of the food. You’ll never see a Japanese dish overloaded with food and you’ll always find a mix of interesting colours, patterns and texture. It’s true – we eat with our eyes first.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Here are the 6 basic rules of Japanese food presentation that I always keep in mind to turn eating at home into an experience : 

* Colour.

* Asymmetry and balance. 

* Empty space – 30% of the plate is empty

* Seasonality.

* Serving utensils.

* Garnish and decoration.

Thank you for reading – eat well, nourish yourselves and stay safe everyone.