April 2014 - Greenwich Pantry Blog
29 Apr

Cooking for ME

My loyal student helpers are the play hard work hard type and it’s no surprise that cooking and eating often falls by the wayside. They tell me the main issue is knowing what to cook for ONE person and making sure it’s ready to eat in minutes.

Balancing food shopping. cooking, study and finances is also a worry. Students find themselves frustrated by the increasing cost of eating well in a city like London. If this is a familiar predicament, think ‘less is more!’. Invest time getting the basics right and you’ll find there’s no need to break the bank for a good meal or spend time slaving over complicated meals in the kitchen.

Here’s some practical steps you can take:

  1. Set up a pantry at the start of term. This can be done on your own or with a friend. Use my essential pantry guide as a starting point. Get this right and you won’t keep popping out for the basics.
  2. Research up to seven balanced meals to eat during the week. Doing this guarantees you get some essential nutrients (at least once a day). Create a shopping list for your chosen meals and only shop for fresh items you need. Check out our student cook and eat recipes for inspiration.
  3. Find a friend! Cooking is a great way to breakdown social barriers. Look for a friend that you can share cooking tasks with. Find what works for both of you.
  4. Have you ever thought of throwing a dinner party once a month? If you don’t have the tenacity for such things, join a cook and eat club in your area or set one up!

Greenwich Pantry runs cook and eat sessions in local student accommodation. If you would like us to run sessions in your student digs, get in touch; we’d love to hear from you.

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29 Apr

Breakfast Porridge

Photo by Kristen Althoff / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Serves 1-2

Breakfast Porridge

Ingredients

Method

  1. Add the oats and milk to a saucepan over a moderate heat and stir as it slowly comes to boil.
  2. Reduce to a low heat (the porridge should not boil) and cook for between 5 – 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the porridge is the desired consistency. The longer the porridge cooks the thicker it becomes.

Nutrition Notes

Quinoa Flakes are versatile and rich in so many ways. Rich in Protein, they are gluten and cholesterol free so if you are trying to avoid gluten, quinoa flakes should work. For Lactose intolerance, try almond milk or rice milk with this recipe.

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29 Apr

Homemade Muesli

Photo by Marc Ehrich / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Homemade Muesli

Ingredients

  • 8oz /225g Flax Farm Linseed
  • 1 handful of chopped dried fruit e.g. apricots, raisins, dates
  • 1 handful of seeds e.g. sunflower, pumpkin
  • 1 handful of chopped nuts e.g. hazelnuts, almonds, Brazils, walnuts

Method

  1. Mix all the above ingredients together

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and fresh seasonal fruit e.g. raspberries, blueberries a chopped banana.

Nutrition Notes

Quinoa Flakes are versatile and rich in so many ways. Rich in Protein, they are gluten and cholesterol free so if you are trying to avoid gluten, quinoa flakes should work. For Lactose intolerance, try almond milk or rice milk with this recipe.

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29 Apr

Hummus

Hummus
Ingredients

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas, saving the liquid.
  2. Put the chickpeas into blender with all the other ingredients and 4 tablespoons of liquid saved from tinned chickpeas.
  3. Blend until the mixture is smooth, adding more liquid as well as the natural yoghurt if necessary.

Serving suggestions

Serve with pitta bread and salad of your choice, for example:

Mediterranean salad

Nutrition Notes

This classic hummus recipe is a handy one to know because it uses chick peas which are full of fibre, protein and starch, a healthy food in and of themselves. For a more complete meal, you can serve chick peas with rice dishes, or alternatively make into a light snack like Hummus. It really does fill the gap on a busy day. Extra virgin oil is high in unsaturated fat which when used proportionately in cooking keeps our arteries working well.

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29 Apr

Plantain Crumble

Photo by Sophie / CC BY 2.0

PLANTAIN CRUMBLE

Serves 3-4

Ingredients for the filling

  • 2-3 Semi ripe Plantain, peeled and mashed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt

Ingredients for the crumble topping

Method

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4, 350oF or 180oC.
  2. Place mashed plantain, spices, water and yoghurt (if using) in a medium size oven dish. Mashing ensures the plantain is not stodgy when cooked.
  3. Place flour, oats and butter in a bowl and rub together lightly with fingertips until all butter (or rapeseed oil) is evenly dispersed and it looks crumbly. Add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture over plantain and spread evenly.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

 

Nutrition Notes

This Classic British desert is easily transformed into a more exotic desert using plantain. A healthier crumble topping has been achieved using wholemeal flour and rolled oats giving you the benefits of high fibre and a very small amount of sugar. Ripe plantain is usually very sweet and baking intensifies the flavour.

Serve with Cream, ice cream or organic frozen yogurt

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22 Apr

Quality Over Quantity

For me it’s quality over quantity and I venture to say that the more you know about your food, the less time and money you’ll spend on rubbish.

I’m no fan of supermarket shopping and while I know they play a part in the wider sphere, supermarket shopping can be a draining experience for some of us. That aside, I much prefer to shop for what I need. It’s a personal thing.

Having gone through some tough times in life. I’ve learned not to be penny wise and pound foolish.

Shopping for food and household items has it’s highs and lows. You can make shopping a liberating and fun experience by knowing what you’re looking for.

I have a lot to say on the matter and will shortly be posting a podcast on shopping tips so watch this space! In the meantime, enjoy the shopping the cooking and the munching 🙂

Lara

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17 Apr

Be store cupboard savvy!

Most people I know have ‘a go to place’ in the home for essential food stash. This place is often referred to as the pantry or larder or kitchen cupboard.

A lot goes on in a food pantry and there’s more to the humble pantry than meets the eye.

Some pantries are packed full of nurturing and nourishing foodstuff while others are the complete opposite.

Being store cupboard savvy is a prerequisite for modern living and you can build yourself a nourishing and nurturing pantry by only purchasing what you know you’ll need and use over and over.

A nourishing store cupboard can be an incredible asset, taking stress out of a busy schedule and adding to the pleasure of everyday cooking.

I visit my pantry for ingredients to recreate a meal or experiment with new ideas. I love rummaging through stuff, checking use by dates and making sure ‘first in’ is ‘first out’. I enjoy getting to know my stash! I like my pantry to be beautifully ordered making cooking, eating and laughter a treasured part of my day. Like I said, a lot goes on in the ‘humble’ pantry

For those who don’t know, pantry is an old Latin word that has it’s root meaning in the word Panis or bread. Bread is essential to life as is good food. One could say a well stocked pantry is a foodie essential. I’d love to hear about your pantry.

Tell me, do you have a favourite essential item?

If you’re having a spring clean or building a new pantry, you may find my essential pantry list a useful guide.

Download Lara’s essential pantry list to kick start your pantry plans.

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09 Apr

Welcome to my WOL

Hello and welcome to my WOL where I talk non stop about things that makes me smile and keeps me happy.

A bit about about me….my name is Lara and I am founder and director at Greenwich Pantry, a small independent food business based in Greenwich and inhabiting Cyberspace. I have been in the food industry for almost a decade helping people from all walks of life make good decisions about food and enjoying it…I have a really good team of people around me, family, friends and mentors who have helped me keep the GP dream alive and I value them dearly.

Why Greenwich?
I started up in 2008 after a series of life changing events and while researching names for the business, it made sense to name it after beautiful Greenwich. Greenwich is where I often escaped to catch my breath, refresh and renew my zest for life. Greenwich quickly became that serene place representing hope, vigour and strength.

And what’s not to like about the Royal Borough?
Way before gaining Royal status, the place was a distinguished suburb of London boasting one of the best outdoor spaces in the city, breathtaking architectural design and a world famous historic market. If you’ve not been to Greenwich, do it now…as you get to know GP, you’ll fall in love with Greenwich 🙂

Greenwich Pantry is a store cupboard of good things I love (especially food I love to cook and eat). The pantry is as essential to me as the location and I am looking forward to sharing my stories, recipes and my food recommendations with you.

Enjoy your day and Take it Slow
Lara

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