Euan’s Guide share some top accessible cooking tips to help you to discover your inner chef
At Euan’s Guide, we’re all about getting out and about, especially when it involves a bite to eat! We’re missing visits to our favourite cafes and restaurants, or the experience and excitement of trying somewhere new. One of our lockdown highlights has been enjoying home deliveries from local restaurants or giving a new takeaway a go.
With everyone spending more time at home we’ve been looking for ways to spice up our usual cooking and baking routine and have been loving the recipe suggestions everyone has been sharing. In search of that restaurant-at-home quality, we held a virtual cooking and baking evening with some of our Ambassadors as an opportunity to share tips and tricks for accessible cooking, as well as some delicious recipes. Here are a few of our Ambassador’s top tips and tricks…
– Buy frozen chopped vegetables and herbs, and jars of chopped garlic, ginger, and chillies. This way you can use as much or little as you want and it saves on the preparation front, as well as reducing waste.
– Your freezer is your friend, so make good use of it with meal preparation. Make an extra portion on a day you’re cooking or baking to enjoy on a day you’re not feeling up to the task.
-Tongs can be really useful for reduced dexterity or grip for picking up all sorts of items or handling hot food. They also come in all shapes and sizes which helps when it comes to finding the right one for you.
– Using a pizza slicer or scissors is great for cutting or slicing all kinds of food and often can be easier to grip instead of using a sharp knife.
– Lap trays are useful for food preparation as well as eating off and are often easier than using a work surface or table. Similarly, laptop trays are quite good, particularly curved ones with a cushion base as they can be a nice close fit to your body for doing your meal preparation.
– Fold away tables or trolleys can also be useful for preparing items for wheelchair users as they tend to be a bit lower than kitchen tables or counters.
– Dycem roll or silicone mats are really useful for stopping items from slipping away and can also be used to grip bottles and jars to open them.
This was one of our favourite top accessible cooking tips from our Ambassador Claire: “For baking cakes with a biscuit base, put the biscuits in double sandwich bags. If you’re a wheelchair user you can run over the bag of biscuits to grind them down– it’s quite fun and therapeutic and helps with the baking!”.
There are plenty of accessible cooking gadgets available to help with chopping, slicing and all kinds of food preparation.
– Spiralisers can be great, some come with various attachments to cut, slice or give a funky shape to your fruit and vegetables. Rocker knives and cutters are also handy kitchen tools as the large handle allows you to get a good grip.
– There are also lots of food processors that have an attachment for chopping or slicing vegetables, fruit or herbs, which is a great way for everyone to get involved in food preparation and can be a huge time saver as well.
– Electric tin openers make food prep a lot easier without having to wrestle with a handheld opener. There are also a variety of handheld jar and bottle openers available in many different shapes and sizes.
– If you’re a fan of the smell of fresh bread, but don’t fancy all the kneading, proving and mixing, a bread maker might be the answer. It can knead, prove, and bake the bread for you, all you need to do is put in the ingredients. Some can prepare cake mix for you too.
– There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup, but sometimes the prep involved can be quite the task. There are soup makers available where you can add all your ingredients and it chops, cooks and makes the soup for you.
A recipe for you to try
Our Ambassadors Sarah and Karine shared this delicious roasted butternut squash risotto recipe with us. Give it a go and share your masterpiece with us on Twitter @EuansGuide, we hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Happy cooking!
Sarah and Karine’s roasted butternut squash risotto
– ½ a butternut squash
– 1 onion
– Olive oil
– 4 garlic cloves (more or less to personal preference)
– Frozen (or fresh) green beans, as many as you want
– 400-600ml hot vegetable stock (this recipe is vegan if a vegan stock cube is used)
– 100g Spanish paella rice (this is a good trick for easy risotto)
– Rosemary (dried)
– Thyme (dried)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (fan oven). Peel and deseed butternut squash. Cut into 2cm cubes and throw into a bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste and 2 garlic cloves into the bowl. Mix this up so the butternut squash is well coated. Then line the coated butternut squash on a baking tray and put this in the oven, it will take roughly 25 minutes.
- Sweat down the onion and garlic in a wok or saucepan. Add the paella rice and cook until it all starts to look translucent. At this point add the vegetable stock and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- With 10 minutes left for the rice throw in the frozen green beans and let them cook in with the rice and stock.
- When the butternut squash is cooked throw this into the paella rice, stir and then serve and enjoy!
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