Six Versatile Foodstuffs to Stock Your Kitchen With

Potatoes

Yeah, you know; boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew. But as well as making roasties, mash, and boiled potatoes or being the basis of stews, there are some things to make with potatoes you might not have thought of. Cut into wedge or chip shapes it’s easy to oven cook your own chips, or even shallow fry them. Diced, they can be sautéed (quickly fried to you and me) or used in a curry where the spicy flavours cling to them.

Sweet Potatoes

They’re not the same thing, as they’re harder with rougher skin and orange insides, but you can basically treat them exactly the same as potatoes. Swap your regular roasties for sweet potato roasties, mash the two together, or give your spicy potato wedges a visual twist by using sweet potato instead. Anything you do with potatoes you can do with sweet potatoes!

Spinach Leaves

Push aside thoughts of slimy greens, boiled to hell and back again; spinach doesn’t need much cooking… or to be cooked at all! It can be used as an alternative to lettuce or other salad leafs in sandwiches and salads, as it’s perfectly good to eat uncooked. Added as one of the last ingredients, it can fit nicely into most dishes; stir fry it, put it in soups and sauces, or add some to a lasagne or other oven-bake for a little greenery.

Bananas

They’re a good and healthy snack, if you like them, and a great addition to the sweet breakfasts. Chopped or mashed in porridge or cereal, or on toast with something like chocolate spread or peanut butter, they make breakfasty foods more suitable for lunch or tea. They make a good egg substitute in cakes and work wonders added to cakes that get a little dry. The flavour is subtle in cakes; even if you dislike them you might like banana bread, which you can taste them in much more. If you love them you could even roast or grill them like plantain for an even sweeter treat.

Avocado

Yes, they’ve been a trendy superfood recently, and have a ‘posh’ association, but affordability is coming back down and with it the trendiness and poshness. They’re tasty and fresh tasting raw, and can be sliced easier as they reach ripeness and mash easily later on. They’re a traditional part of the ‘tricolour’ Italian flag starter, a salad of sliced avocado, mozzarella and tomato, and work very well mashed on toast. They’re a good way to make Seuss-inspired green scrambled eggs, and the main ingredient of guacamole. Like bananas, they’re even a good egg substitute.

Eggs

On the topic of eggs, they’re one of the original health and versatility superfoods. Cakes, pastry and pancakes use eggs, and they’re a good glaze to put on shop-bought oven pies. Obviously, they can be soft or hard boiled in the shell and fried, poached or scrambled without. Scrambled eggs and omelettes can have literally any ingredient you want to add, to the point when egg is just part of the stir fry or the glue holding everything together.

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Easy Origami Popcorn Cone (with photos)

Five very easy steps to make a simple cone that you can use for popcorn, chips or anything you like. There are three ways to do this, making three slightly different looking cones. The bigger the paper, the bigger the cone; this guide uses A4 paper turned portrait and landcape and cut into a square.

Step One:

Fold your paper in half, side to side,  so the fold is on the left.

Step Two:

Fold your paper so the bottom left corner is against the top right corner.

Step Three:

Take the corner of the paper with the original fold at its edge, and fold it over the other part of the paper.

Step Four:

Fold one side of the open corner over the folded end, turn the whole thing over and fold the other side to match.

Step Five:

Open the open side out to reveal a cone.

Cauliflower Popcorn Recipe

A popcorn-style snack tried and tested by yours truly; the photo is of my cauliflower popcorn. It might not taste exactly like popcorn, but it has a nice crunch and a moreish flavour.

Ingredients

  • One standard sized head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Half teaspoon salt or garlic salt

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F
  2. Cut the cauliflower into popcorn sized pieces – you won’t need the stem
  3. Mix the oil and salt together in the bowl
  4. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and make sure it’s all coated in oil
  5. Spread the cauliflower on a baking tray, all in one flat layer
  6. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, giving the tray a shake at 15 minutes to turn the pieces slightly
  7. Serve and enjoy