Food Glorious Food: The tasty treatments that may be lurking in your cupboard

Debbie Murphy is a nutritional chef and food coach and undertakes recipe development, diet plans and food writing. She works for both companies and individuals and helps clients with eating goals to overcome diet-related symptoms and to generally love food again

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 5:56 pm
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It could be considered a little odd to see the strange collection of items that are tricky to get hold of currently, but I guess it says a little about what we are all doing.

For example, my online shopping website is currently out of stock of bin bags, dried yeast and ice.

So, are we all at home having clear-outs whilst baking bread and enjoying some rather lovely cold drinks?

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And don’t get me started with food bags. We must all be freezing lots too!

Like many of us, I have been busy having a clear-out.

I have been rummaging through the children’s wardrobes and filling up bags for collection (I hope they start picking up again soon); my own clothes are now filed in seasonal order; the under-stairs cupboard is now usable; and our small shed is now tidy and painted. Pretty productive I reckon!

However, one job that I particularly enjoyed was pulling out the entire contents of the food cupboard.

As an exercise about never wasting a thing, I collected the items that were nearly out of date and lined them up on the kitchen top, declaring to the family that they were all to be used over the next seven days.

There was a look of horror at the octopus tentacles in brine, but they did make a rather nice salad for one of us.

I came across a tin of condensed milk, desiccated coconut and a tin of coconut milk, amongst other things, and decided a rather tasty treat could be cooked for dinner one night.

The recipe turned out rather well, so I thought I would share it with you.

Substitutes could be made... the desiccated coconut could be almond flour or plain flour, while the coconut milk could be any other milk.

The recipe is very easy and just requires stirring.

Coconut Puddle Pudding

Whisk the following ingredients together and pour in to a greased 8in x 8in dish or tin, or something of a similar size:

1 tin of condensed milk; 3 eggs; 125ml coconut milk; 200g desiccated coconut.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 190C, until the top has set, but still has a lovely wobble underneath.

Place some foil over the top if it’s browning too quickly. You can eat this hot or cold, but either way you should have a custard bottom and a firm top as it will separate on cooking.

So, with dessert sorted, I still had a few other things found lurking in the back of the cupboard that I needed to use. A tin of pineapple was one, so I made a sweet and sour sauce.

This is a great recipe as it can be used with either pork or chicken and any vegetables you have. Serve with rice or noodles.

Sweet and Sour Store Cupboard Sauce

Mix the following together until smooth:

3 tbsp juice from a 400g tin of pineapple chunks (reserve the pineapple); 5 tbsp honey; 3 tbsp cider vinegar/white wine vinegar; 3 tbsp ketchup; 3 tsp soy sauce; 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce; 1 tbsp cornflour mixed in 1 tbsp water.

Add to a pan of cooked vegetables and meat with the reserved pineapple. Stir over a high heat until the sauce has thickened and coated your ingredients.

Lockdown has many benefits and there are some new habits I have formed that I hope to continue with once isolation has been lifted.

I talk to my family and friends more; I shop less but use more; I walk and embrace the outside and take time to sit and reflect.

Life may never be the same again, but it may just be a new improved one where we respect what we have, welcome change and appreciate more.