25 Aug 2021

Covid-19: Nadia Lim's tips for surviving without takeaways

From Morning Report, 8:49 am on 25 August 2021

Lockdown means no takeaways, no uber eats and often long lines at the supermarket.

But perhaps it also allows - or forces us - to be more creative in the kitchen.

Celebrity chef Nadia Lim gave Morning Report some tips on meal planning through the latest lockdown.

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Photo: 123RF

Lockdown is a good opportunity to go through your freezer and check what you actually have, she says.

"Most people would be surprised to see what's actually lurking in their freezer and what a great opportunity to use it all up.

"I went through our freezer the other day and discovered all this frozen stewed fruit from summer that I'd made and I'd completely forgotten about it, so we're getting through that."

Nadia Lim

Photo: Nadia Lim / Facebook

Also, you should be flexible with ingredient swaps too, she says.

"A lot of the time people follow a recipe and go 'oh damn, I don't have this so I can't make this recipe', but you really can because basically all recipes are just a guide."

Her TV show last year during lockdown, Comfort Kitchen, had recipes with ingredients swap options, she says.

Wholemeal flour, for instance, can be a substitute for just about any other flour, or you can use put some oats in a food processor to get oat flour, she says.

"There's so many other different types of flour, there's gluten free flour mix, you've got buckwheat flour, and even in something like baking I use, believe it or not, canned chickpeas," Lim says.

"If you drain them and blitz them up - like if you added oil and everything, you'd get hummus - but I've got a recipe for chocolate chickpea cookies, it might be on my website.

"Because they're really starchy and go quite floury, you can actually even use dips in some baking recipes."

If you're looking to extend out your next trip to the supermarket, think a lot more resourcefully, Lim suggests.

"Like last night I had 500g of lamb mince and I spread that across two meals for eight people so that turned into eight serves, as opposed to one meal, by adding a can lentils and lots of grated vegetables left in the fridge, carrots, parsnips and everything.

"If you've got a whole chicken, you can turn that into three meals, it doesn't just have to be one meal."

And most importantly, it's better to eat simply and enjoy it than to have a feast, she says.

"When you've got all these ingredients at your fingertips, you often tend to complicate some recipes ... but I've enjoyed eating simply with recipes that have only three or four ingredients in them.

"You know potato gnocchi, tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes and whatever fresh herbs you’ve got."

You can read the recipe for Nadia's gnocchi here.