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Quick, Easy and Healthy Quarantine Recipes

With many of us looking like we will be spending more time at home in the coming weeks, we thought it would be a good idea to give you some quick, easy, and most importantly, healthy recipes to make with the family. With so much doom and gloom in the news, it’s also important to switch it off every now and then and focus on something else that’s fun and engaging. Cooking is the perfect family activity to distract the mind while you are stuck in the house together!

Perfect Homemade Bread

Shoppers have been buying perishables such as bread, fruit, vegetables, and fresh milk in great quantities since the news of the pandemic broke. If you can’t get fresh bread at the store, why not make your own? You can even make fresh bread that’s tastier than most shop-bought varieties with only a few simple ingredients! This simple bread recipe is the perfect starting point if you are an amateur baker.

Recipe

Ingredients:

1 packet of dry active yeast (1/4 oz.), 2 ¼ cups warm water, 3 tbsp. + ½ tsp. sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. canola oil, about 6 ½ cups bread flour.

Method:

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and ½ tsp. sugar in the warm water. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until bubbles start to form. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 tbsp. sugar, salt, and 3 cups of bread flour.
  • Mix the canola oil into the yeast mixture, and then add this to the flour mixture. Slowly add the remaining flour, at about ½ a cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.
  • Flour a flat surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic–here’s a video that explains how to correctly knead the dough if you are unsure. You will need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball and then place it in an oiled bowl and rub a thin layer of oil over the top of the dough ball. Cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm, dry place for about 2 hours.
  • Take off the cling wrap and punch the dough with your fist. Turn it out onto a floured surface and then divide and shape it into two halves. Place each half in a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan, and cover with cling wrap until the dough has risen to twice its size–about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F and bake the bread for about 30 minutes. Do not open the oven before 20 minutes to check on it as this can cause it to collapse. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack before cutting and eating.

Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, iron, and fiber. Both protein and iron are essential for maintaining a strong immune system. What’s more, chickpeas are perfect for storing for long periods of time as they usually come either dried or canned–perfect if you need to stay away from the stores for an extended period.

Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 onion, 2 celery sticks, 2 tsp. cumin, 1-pint vegetable or chicken broth, 1 can plum tomatoes, 1 clove garlic–minced, a pinch of black pepper, 1 can chickpeas or 1 lb. prepared dried chickpeas, 100 g frozen or canned butter beans, zest and juice of ½ a lemon, large handful of parsley, fresh homemade bread to serve.

Method:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Fry the onions and celery until soft, and then tip in the cumin and minced garlic and fry for another minute.
  • Turn up the heat, and add the stock, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Here, add a pinch of black pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the butter beans and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes. Season with salt until well-balanced, and then sprinkle in the lemon zest and chopped parsley before serving.
  • Serve with homemade fresh bread!

Honey Peanut Butter Cookies

If the name of this recipe doesn’t get your mouth watering, maybe we can convince you with some facts about how healthy honey and peanuts are. Honey is a great alternative to sugar, and if you can get your hands on raw honey, it also has some antibiotic properties. Peanuts are great sources of high-quality protein which makes it perfect for keeping the immune system strong. But, even if they weren’t, this recipe would still be a winner! It’s great for children and uses mostly non-perishable or long-lasting goods.

Recipe

Ingredients:

½ cup Crisco, 1 cup of your favorite peanut butter, 1 cup honey (raw is best), 2 large eggs–beaten, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. salt.

Method:

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the shortening, peanut butter, and honey.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, and then add this to the peanut butter mixture.
  • Mix well using your hands to press together the dough as much as possible.
  • Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch-wide balls. Place the balls on ungreased baking sheets and then flatten them with a fork dipped in flour.
  • Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

There are plenty of exciting recipes to choose from if you need to stay at home due to the ongoing pandemic, so why not get started on making them while you have the time? Choosing non-perishable items or long-lasting items at the store is a good way of ensuring you have a reliable source of quality food, reducing your need to make repeated trips to the store. Of course, you should also make sure you are eating a good amount of fresh produce as well. Make sure you head down to NetCost Market to stock up on the items you need for the weeks ahead.

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