Unlock 1.0 has begun in full force in India; however, now is the time to exercise caution more than ever before. Research shows that the deadly Spanish flu of 1918-19 attacked in two waves. The initial phase toward the end of World War I was harsh, but things escalated during the second phase in the latter half of the year, when infected troops left Europe and returned to their domiciles around the world. This caused the disease to spread unchecked, wiping out between 20 million and 50 million people globally.
Hence, at present, while some outings are undoubtedly necessary, such as those related to work, checking on family members and buying essential items; everything else can and should be avoided. Eating out or ordering food in may seem tempting after months of being locked in, but it is infinitely more prudent to stay home and stop the spread of this disease.
Cooking is a wonderful habit to nurture during this time. It keeps one out of harm’s way, encourages healthy eating and weight loss, presents an opportunity to hone culinary skills, and aids in saving money.
To get started, take inspiration from these five innovative resources to find new, easy-to-prepare and wholesome recipes:
- PINTEREST SEARCHES
Pinterest is an app where links of websites and online articles can be saved, to be accessed whenever required. Though always a useful tool for the Internet-savvy generation, Pinterest has become tremendously popular since lockdown began, with most people searching for recipes and meal plans. The sky is the limit with Pinterest, where recipes of dishes from around the world can be accessed easily. Further, search terms can be narrowed down keeping dietary preferences and nutritional needs in mind, so one has access to specific options. Pinterest is a great platform to explore gluten-free, paleo or keto lifestyles, in addition to searching for unique recipes.
- ONLINE FOODIE GROUPS AND CHANNELS
Social media is an encyclopaedia of specialised information, if one knows where to look. Each social media platform offers unique food-related content. Facebook has a number of foodie groups where people regularly share recipe ideas. Instagram has scores of enterprising chefs and budding food bloggers posting their recipes and meal plans, on a daily basis. The best free resources, however, are blogs and YouTube channels. A simple Google search of a specific dish presents thousands of relevant results.The process of creating each one is explained in-depth, with step-by-step pictures and video tutorials, making them easy to replicate at home.
- RECIPE EMAIL CHAIN LETTERS
Family and friends are a great resource to tap into for this purpose, as one is most likely to find recipes of comfort food through people who have similar tastes. Initiate a recipe chain email, where everyone shares an easy method of preparing a popular dish, or a new recipe. If done correctly, every participant of the chain will receive a handful of delicious and easy to replicate recipes, in a variety of methods.
- COOKERY BOOKS AND FAMILY EXPERTISE
The cookery books gifted on momentous occasions are often relegated to the back of one’s bookshelf. This is the most appropriate time to pull them out and try something new. Often, the best cooking teachers are mothers and other senior family members. Organise cooking meetings with family members on video calls, so they can supervise the preparation of food for best results.
- EMAIL NEWSLETTERS FROM MAGAZINES AND WEBSITES
In an attempt to increase their digital presence, most magazines, hotels, restaurants and aggregator services are curating high-quality email newsletters, for people who have availed of their services in the past. Instead of ‘junking’ the next newsletter from the inbox, browse through it for free recipes from celebrated in-house chefs.
Preparing wholesome meals at home is a healthy practice in more ways than one. With coronavirus still at large, it is high time to relinquish oft-repeated excuses like boredom, laziness and a lack of resources, and begin cooking instead.
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.