With stay-at-home orders in place throughout communities around the world and many restaurants and cafes closed, quarantine has drastically narrowed down people’s abilities to explore. There is, however, one place that is always open and always exciting — our kitchens! One positive thing coming out of this period of chaos is that people are stepping back into the kitchen. There is a ton of experimenting and exploring going on as people realize the joy of creating incredible dishes with their own two hands! Cooking in quarantine is not only a great way to pass the time, it has a myriad of other benefits.
Cooking as meditation in action
Baking a warm loaf of fresh banana bread, making ramen with all the toppings, or even shaking up a fresh cocktail is a great way to reconnect to your food and escape the madness in the world — even just for an hour or two. Cooking is a “live in the moment” activity, for some even a meditation. You can focus on the food, taste as you go, and jam out to some good music. When you sit down to eat, the reward is a beautiful meal that you have put hard work and intention into.
For many of us, quarantine has been difficult to adjust to. It has forced us to slow down and reexamine things that perhaps we have always taken for granted. By drastically diminishing our distractions, quarantine has in some ways become a global meditation — a collective breath and a reshifting of our focus inwards.
For me, cooking and baking have always been a joyful expression of creativity and love. In this quarantine I have gotten the chance to explore in the kitchen, to produce a cookbook, and to share meals with people I love (either virtually or in real life). In many ways, the extra time this quarantine has given me has been an amazing gift.
Cooking for climate change action
For those of you that maybe are not as comfortable in the kitchen or who don’t find a similar level of enjoyment, this time at home has probably forced you to become more familiar with cooking. Although that may be tough, it is not altogether a bad thing. By reconnecting with our food, we are reclaiming our food choices.
In the face of climate change our food choices matter and eating at home means we can be in full control. Choosing to shop at a local market, buying produce grown nearby, reducing the amount of meat and dairy we eat, and/or buying organic are simple choices we can make to reduce our environmental footprint.
The coronavirus pandemic has illuminated many of the ways our food systems are unsustainable in these uncertain times. However, if we take this forced time back in our kitchens to explore and experiment, to reconnect with the power and art of creating food, we may find that making these changes and owning our food choices can be rejuvenating!
Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s suggested recipes
To help you along this journey, we have pulled some of our most popular “basics” from the Bodhi Cookbook! The Bodhi Cookbook is a collection of 150+ of our best recipes that we have cooked for and with our guests over the past 10 years. They are tropical, they are healthy (for the most part!), they are international (with an emphasis on Costa Rican recipes), and they are absolutely delicious. To access the full cookbook, sign up here.
Here are some recipes we think everyone in quarantine should try!
Simple No-Knead Bread
There’s just something inexplicably delicious about homemade bread. Now imagine a bread that you make with your own hands because it is so simple and easy-to-make! Incomparable.
- 2 cups water, divided
- 3/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
- Pinch of sugar
- 3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Additional flavor ideas:
• Sun-dried tomatoes
- In 2/3 cup water, dissolve yeast and a small pinch of sugar.
- In a large bowl, combine all flour, salt, and any additional flavors.
- Add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix.
- Little by little, add the rest of the water (the amount of water needed depends on the humidity of your environment). Dough should be wet and sticky, but should form a loose ball.
- Cover bowl with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm area for 6-10 hours, or until double in size.
- Place a dutch oven or soup pot with lid into oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C).
- While oven is preheating, form dough into large ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Sprinkle dough with flour and score with serrated knife. Then, quickly lift dough by picking up parchment paper and place in the hot pot. Cover with lid and bake for 35 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
A delicious, healthy, and protein-rich snack. Hummus seems to complement any meal and is great just to have in the fridge for those “hangry” moments where you would eat almost anything that’s in front of you!
- 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, water drained but reserved
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon or lime
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- A sprinkle of paprika or cayenne
- Other flavor combos:
• In place of tahini – cilantro/jalapeño or roasted red pepper
• In addition to tahini – curry powder (1 teaspoon) and cumin (1/2 teaspoon)
- Blend everything in food processor.
- Add reserved chickpea water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- To finish, drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve and enjoy with bread, veggies, or falafel!
Naturally Fermented Hot Sauce
This hot sauce is like there is a party in your mouth, and everyone’s invited! An explosion of flavor, it’s also naturally fermented, and thus packed of natural probiotics.
- 2-3 large spicy chilis (i.e. habanero or serrano)
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 1/2 ripe mango + 1/2 ripe pineapple, cubed (really, can be one or the other or a combination of the two)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt (plus a pinch more to sprinkle on at the end)
- Sanitize a large jar by soaking both the inside and outside with boiling water. Set aside.
- In a food processor, blend chilis, garlic, and onion until puréed.
- Add mango and pineapple and blend thoroughly.
- Season with salt (Note: This may seem like a lot of salt, but this is necessary for the fermentation process. The salty flavor will dissipate during fermentation.)
- Pour hot sauce into the prepared jar making sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of extra space so there is room for the sauce to expand during fermentation.
- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon salt on top.
- Lightly close lid (do not tighten all the way, this allows the gases created during fermentation to escape) and store in a cool, dark space for about 5 days (if you live in a more temperate climate, this may take up to 2 weeks
Roasted Veggies (And our tips for making them perfectly on your stovetop)
These veggies can be used in most anything: pasta, lasagna, tacos, burritos, curries, soups, etc. They can either be a meat replacement or a side dish. And what’s better than that level of utilitarianism
- Veggies of your choice!
- Cut veggies into similar size pieces. Note that denser vegetables will need to go in first because they need to cook longer, so you might start with those to get them cooking first (if you’re feeling ambitious and/or are in a rush!).
- Cook denser veggies first. Here is a general guide on vegetable density (most → least):
• Sweet potato
• Green beans
- Cook veggies until down to the density of the next veggie, then add the next. So if you are cooking with carrots, broccoli, and onion you would first add the carrot and cook it until it is about the density of broccoli. Then add the broccoli to the pan and cook it until it is the density of onion. Then finally add the onion. This should mean that everything is done cooking at about the same time.
- If using garlic, add it last. Garlic has sugars that easily burn, it generally only needs a few minutes of cooking (1-3 minutes or until aromatic).
- Do not overcook your vegetables. Adrianne likes to cook veggies in a pan on high heat, giving the veggies a good sear then turning down the heat to cook all the way through. You want your veggies to maintain their crisp (no soggy veggies here!).