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.
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.
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.
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.