BASICS

To make gliding through this blog easier, I have written you up a Basics page just to clarify my process when it comes to eating and cooking. Listed below are the primary ‘stock cupboard’ ingredients you will need for more-or-less every recipe for this blog. Do not be intimidated by the length of list here as, like I have already promised, they will creep up more than once.

And I am not here to send you anywhere that you do not need to be, even if some of these things aren’t recognisable, I guarantee you they can be found in your most local supermarket.
I have added a ‘Miscellaneous’ section as I feel there are a few ingredients that I know I use regularly and now pick up by default so it may be of use to list them here to make using the blog easier.

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Fresh herbs have more intense notes to their base as they contain more natural oils as opposed to a dry herb and therefore both have the power to bring different taste notes to a meal. This is why I have left out fresh herbs here as I feel I use them as and when – and tend to use the whole pack – making their ‘saviour- like qualities’ best for ad-hoc cooking as opposed to being a staple within your cupboard.

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I pre-plan all of my meals and cannot recommend this enough. Every weekend, I take 5/10 minutes to think about what I am going to cook Monday-Friday. I make a note of each day’s meal in my Notepad on my phone and underneath each meal, write the ingredients I will need to buy to make it.

This helps me figure out which meals can carry over to the next day and I can take into work. This also helps me figure out ingredients I can buy that I can use across the week to ensure I make the most of it. For example if I buy a butternut squash for a meal on a Monday, but won’t be using the whole thing, I’ll try and come up with something to cook with a squash on the Wednesday.

I also eat on a 5:2 basis. It’s not a diet thing, it’s more of way for me to be able to monitor my intake of balanced foods. So five days a week I am vegetarian, I eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) with a nut snack at around 11:00am and a fruit snack around 3pm. I’m a Capricorn and love a routine! This is a routine that works for me – I don’t tend to deviate off of this routine too much because it gives a particular structure to my day, but I figured it was relevant to mention.

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I always try and bake on a weekend. If you see a baking recipe on this blog, 9/10 it came as a result of a weekend bake. I’d love to say I walk in from work of an evening, walk the dog, do household chores, make an evening meal AS WELL AS do a spot of baking. I don’t. I don’t have time for it. So I tend to put an hour to one side on a Saturday or Sunday and bake on thing just to have as a treat throughout the week.

The last basic thing to remind you of is to just have fun. Food doesn’t need to be serious. It may look like it takes a lot of energy and money to put a square meal on the table but it really doesn’t. Like I have said time and time again, I can only assume I have the same life commitments that you do and I only cook this way – not least because it’s a passion – but because it’s so simple.