It’s been seven years since I was pushed from the comfortable bubble of my home and for the first two, I survived on junk food that ultimately gave me serious food poisoning, complete with several sick days and trips to the doctor. My new year resolution that year (the only one I have managed to keep) was to master the basics in the kitchen so well, I would never be forced to get ill due to ill-nourishment. To my surprise, I didn’t need a well-equipped Masterchef kitchen with aisles for 10 different kinds of leafy veggies or 7 different types of meat; but just the bare minimum necessities for healthy and nutritional meals for the day. Allow me to present the select few ingredients for easy cooking that you can always stock in your kitchen
We can see you junk food lovers out there vehemently shake your head at the mention of oats, but hey, it’s not all bad! Nutritious, healthy, rich in fiber, and an important agent of controlling the dreaded cholesterol levels in your body, oats is the superhero that comes to your rescue on bloated days!
Tip: if you can’t do just oats, but you love pancakes, try the best of both worlds!
Confession: I have had my moments of judging people who claimed ”I don’t eat anything unless it’s cooked in olive oil”, but now I definitely know what they were on about! No longer is olive oil considered a snooty chef’s ingredient because honestly, every dish tastes better when prepared with it! From seasoning your salad to garnishing your pasta, olive oil is a godsend for literally anything that you need to prepare!
Crack ‘em, boil ‘em, fry ‘em, whip ‘em, bake ‘em, scramble ‘em, and even poach ‘em! Successfully boiling an egg is probably the first thing that most of us consider a significant milestone in the kitchen (right after making tea) and for good reason. With all the different ways you can cook it, you’re never going to go hungry with eggs in your fridge!
Get a head start on how to combine the two most beloved ingredients in your life: eggs and Maggi!
I have caught your attention now, haven’t I? Yes, cheese is certainly making an appearance on this list because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like cheese? (If you’re raising your hand: meet me outside, we need to ‘have a chat’) From something as simple as preparing a kickass grilled sandwich to savouring a delicious omelette, cheese will always be bae: before anything else!
There have been days I have managed to completely run out of ingredients in my kitchen, and my trusty pack of penne pasta has magically come to my rescue! The best part - seasoning is going to be your only concern, because pasta can make for a whole dish by itself, with the most minimal amount of effort required. Don’t believe me? Try it out!
Remember all those times you’ve complained about being hungry, and your mom has a wiggly finger in store for you with a determined face saying “Eat fruits!”? Mum knows best, guys, because there’s so much you can do with fruit - wash and eat as it is, cut them up for a fruit salad, blend them with yogurt for smoothies, add a little milk and create a shake..your options are plenty!
Much like eggs, potatoes are your best friend in the kitchen, ladies. With a variety of recipes available online, you can make all kinds of dishes with the world’s friendliest (and most convenient) vegetable, including them in your sabzi, boiling and mashing them, dicing and frying them, and my favourite: baking them to perfection to accompany nearly all of your meals.
Can I get an amen for sliced bread being the best thing to happen to us (after Betty White, of course)? Just the thought of a soft piece of bread slathered with butter is making me crave a bun-maska-chai right now, and I haven’t spoken about chatpata aloo chutney sandwiches, peanut butter and jam slices, sinful grilled Nutella sandwiches, or even a simple piece of buttered toast by itself. Whoops, looks like I just did. *wink*
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