Food Hacks: easy ways to make an average food awesome

Here are four of my favourite “food hacks”, easy ways to make an average food awesome …

Pimped Beans

Baked beans … meh …

Arizona strawberries, bullets, whistleberries, the musical fruit – a simple instant food that never quite shed school dinner associations until I decided to posh them up with fried onions and stuff.

  1. Fine chop a medium onion and fry in a saucepan with half a tablespoon of oil until golden
  2. Grind some black pepper and drop a pinch of mixed herbs and a sprinkling of paprika over the top of the onions and stir them in
  3. For extra awesomeness, add a couple of teaspoons of bouillon powder if you have some
  4. Add the beans from a tin and heat through, stirring all the while
  5. If you want them HOT, this is the moment when a couple of drops of Tabasco wouldn’t go amiss
  6. Ladle onto hot toast and enjoy

Hacked Hummus

As a vegan, I eat a lot hummus. Supermarkets sell their fancy red pepper, caramelised onion, carrot and coriander and morrocan-style variations, but any one of these stirred into bog-standard hummus will blow your tastebuds:

  1. A heaped teaspoon of lime pickle – with lumps of lime in it
  2. Mango chutney
  3. Two drops of Tabasco
  4. A tablespoon of salsa dip
  5. A teaspoon of curry powder

Biscwiches

WP_001190A biscwich is that particular kind of a biscuit where you do have two biscuits and something to spread between them. Here are a few of my favourites:

  1. Hobnobs and marmalade – oaty orangey
  2. Ginger nuts and peanut butter – go nuts: add a few raisins, too
  3. The Oreo club biscwich – two Oreos with peanut butter between them
  4. Ryvita and hacked hummus

Garlicky Pea Rice

Don’t just boil your fairtrade basmati: add two cloves of chopped garlic and a fist full of frozen peas while it is bubbling on the hob.

Go and hack your food and let me know if you come up with any more awesome combos …

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5 Responses

  1. A few more ideas:

    Short on gravy? Dilute some refried beans with water, add fav spices, heat and stir. Cool to make curry sauce this way too.

    Short on time? Don’t forget you can cook beans in your pressure cooker. No need to soak first! Use 1 cup of beans and 4 cups of water. Leave out the steamer basket and cook for 45 minutes. Done! Sure beats cooking overnight in the crock pot, and you can add your garlic, onion, cumin, rosemary, chili, etc right into the pressure cooker.

    Short on company? If beans make you toot, add a teaspoon of fennel or anise seed to the pressure cooker along with your other spices. Not only does this help lessen the, eh, enteric emissions, it also adds a nice complexity to the flavor.

    • Excellent Ideas! Anything that puts more refried beans in my life is a good thing.

      Eating large amounts of beans of various sorts is so normal for me that I forget they have this reputation for inducing flatulence until I see the look of consternation on the faces of dining guests that says, “how do you expect me to eat all that and maintain any dignity over the next 24 hours?”

  2. I like to cook rice with a few dollops of Italian salad dressing. Sometimes it’s nice with a little (vegan) steak sauce. And of course, adding peanut butter to the water when cooking rice makes it irresistible – a great additional to a Thai curry, or an easy way to get some calories in a sick dog too.

    • Oh, boy … more good ideas – I’d never have thought of the peanut butter trick (you’re not pulling my leg are you? Just because I clearly love peanut butter?) I will definitely try that.

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