Our #HallamInsider Daniela Baicoianu has got some tips about how to cook healthy meals whilst in isolation.
Believe it or not, the self-isolation period it’s the best time to pay more attention to what you eat and set some healthy eating habits which will help you on the long-run. It may be hard to start with, but try a meal plan or research a few ideas about what you would like to try in the next 2-3 days, make a grocery shopping list and use your visit to the store wisely.
These are my go-to, easy, quick and relatively cheap recipes for a day spent in quarantine. Some of them are vegan, some are gluten-free, but they are very versatile, so you can easily swap ingredients to suit your diet.
Idea for Breakfast
Home-made guacamole on toast and fresh veggies
-1/4 onion (not necessary, only if you’re a fan)
-1/2 chopped tomato or a few cherry tomatoes
-a few slices of cucumber, red bell pepper and olives
-slices of toast bread (gluten-free)
Optional: rocket salad, sriracha and pumpkin seeds.
I usually crush and squish the avocado in a different bowl before mixing it together with tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Serve the mix on toast.
Idea for Lunch
Cream veggie soup with croutons or toast (gluten-free)
-2 celery stalks
-1 red bell pepper
Chop all the ingredients and add water to cover the veggies. Boil the mix until soft and use a blender to make the soup creamy – add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with parsley and preferred toast or croutons.
Idea for Dinner
Fresh salad with chicken
-2 garlic gloves
-red bell peper
My all-time cooking hack for delicious salads – add fresh dill.
I usually like to cook more chicken ahead, but for this particular recipe you need one chicken breast. Add crushed garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, Italian herbs or za’atar spices (easily found at Sainsburys), olive oil and squeeze a full lemon before cooking in the oven for 35 minutes. I personally like to cover the chicken with some aluminium foil to keep it tender and juicy.
Prepare the salad by mixing chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, spring onion, olives, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh dill.
You always have the option to serve it with a glass of red/white wine.
Idea for Snack
Peanut butter and banana slices on rice cakes
Most of the time I find myself wandering around the chocolate cupboard craving all the sweets and snack around 2-3pm when I tell myself I need some sugar to keep going. What happens is that I am actually just a bit hungry, but not enough for a full meal. Instead of diving into a full pack of Snickers, try some peanut butter and banana slices on rice cakes to avoid those cravings. Let me know if it works!
Honey, lemon and fresh ginger tea
I do believe this is the best tea to have before going to bed to help with digestion and to boost the immunity system.
I am by no means a qualified nutritionist to know what’s best for each individual, but my personal advice to you all is to make your meals as colourful as possible. Try to incorporate as many veggies as possible to keep your food light and packed with nutrients.
My isolation breakthrough is that if I make my food look nice, it changes the whole experience of dining home. Think about all the time you spend to get ready for a night out, hair, make-up, choosing the perfect outfit – you don’t necessarily need to spend the same amount of time, but try to cook and eat mindfully during the isolation period.
I would love to hear your feedback if you tried any of the recipes above and of course, how is everyone holding up.
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Written by Daniela Baicoianu #HallamInsider