Cooking during Covid: hobby and survival


Self isolation and quarantine is no fun, trust me, I know as I write this on my 4th day in isolation. But, everything has a silver lining, and isolation has given me the opportunity to work on my cooking and continue to play around with flavours and so forth. So, hopefully, for those reading this, cooking will give you the same pastime, and at the least, these recipes will spice up your self isolation menus.

Now, the health officials do recommend that in order to stay healthy, we do our best to eat a balanced diet, so here below you’ll find easy, healthy recipes, that include immune boosting ingredients that will keep you strong and engaged in this coming period.

Roasted Vegetables [vegan/GF]

The citrus, recommended vegetables, garlic, and coriander all have many vitamins and homeopathic properties which will help keep you healthy. Also, the nice tropical flavour will make you think of summer.


  • An array of vegetables that can be found at the grocers (recommended if can be found: asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots)
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Fresh or Dried Coriander
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare a cooking tray.
  2. Wash and chop up all vegetables used into small chunks. Mince garlic and onion. Slice Lemon/lime. Mince fresh coriander (if collected).
  3. In a large bowl, mix vegetables, garlic, and onion in oil. Add salt and pepper into the mixture, as well as squeeze a bit of citrus in. Make sure the vegetables have an even coating.
  4. Spread vegetables evenly on the tray. Lay lemon/lime slices on top.
  5. Cook for 15-30 minutes, until done. Sprinkle coriander on top and serve.

Tumeric Rice with Okra Stew [vegan/GF]

Many of the ingredients in this tantalising dish contain divine flavours, but also healing/immune boosting properties. A personal family dish of mine, we regularly eat this, especially when ill.

Ingredients for Rice:

  • ½ cup Basmati or Jasmine Rice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Optional: a small amount of fresh ginger, sliced
  • Optional: fresh coriander, sprinkled on top

Method for Rice:

  1. Take ½ cup of rice and rinse in water two times to remove the starch.
  2. Place rice in a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic and saute for a minute. Stir in tumeric.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and salt; bring to boil.
  4. Once you reach a boil, turn the heat down to simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes.

Ingredients for Stew:

  • Okra (preferably baby okra, frozen is okay to use)
  • Tomatoes (canned, fresh, passata, it doesn’t matter), just make sure to chop up if you buy fresh.
  • Lemon, to taste.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Water
  • 1 large onion, chopped (preferably red)
  • Optional: cumin

Method for Stew:

  1. In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes [if using fresh or canned, add water and leave until it cooks down and soft; if using passata, just add tomato sauce and a small amount of water and keep on cooking].
  2. Lower heat and add in salt, pepper, cumin. Add in okra, and cook until finish. Serve with tumeric rice. Add lemon for taste.

Note: Greek Yogurt tastes good with the rice on its own and will add probiotics into your diet.

If you cook any of these recipes or any of your own, send in a picture to our Instagram @indigofoodanddrink and we will share them.

Image via Unsplash by Melissa Walker Horn

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