Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Will ‘fakeaways’ and DIY restaurant recipes change how we dine?

Missing your weekly Pret-a-manger from campus or eating out at all the best restaurants Coventry and Leamington Spa have to offer? Well, with many of us taking up cooking or baking to pass the time during lockdown, popular food chains have been releasing recipes for their signature dishes so we can try to recreate them at home.

I find cooking very therapeutic and enjoy cooking dinner for my family. Especially in these circumstances, taking time out of my day to prepare meals has led me to appreciate the process of cooking.

The recipes we’ve made have less fat and salt than the usual takeaway options

It’s a tradition in my family to have a ‘treat’ at the weekend. Baking isn’t an option as my family are trying to eat healthier so we’ve been enjoying having healthier versions of takeaways – ‘fakeaways’ if you will. The recipes we’ve made have less fat and salt than the usual takeaway options but are just as tasty, if not more so.

One of the recipes we’ve enjoyed the most is a doner kebab. To cook this, I marinated chicken breast in 0% fat yoghurt and a mixture of spices, like smoked paprika and cumin, leaving it overnight. The next day, I placed a large baking potato in a roasting tin and inserted wooden skewers in its corners. Next, the chicken was piled high onto the skewers and put into the oven. When it was done, I shredded it and put in wholemeal pitta, and served it with salad and a mint and yoghurt sauce. For anyone not wanting to eat meat, this would be just as tasty with roasted vegetables.

Sometimes we all need to treat ourselves and spend a little extra

Many different food chains across the world have released recipes for anyone craving their iconic tastes at home. When I first saw that Wagamama had released their recipe for katsu curry, my first thought was that I’d love to give it a go and wondered whether when this is all over I would even bother spending a lot in the restaurant again.

However, I have to be honest. After many Snapchat memories of meals out and cocktails with loved ones have been popping up in the last few weeks, I know I still want the experience of going out to restaurants like Wagamamas with friends and family. Going out to eat seems like much more of a luxury and I appreciate that more now than I have before. I love making an occasion of going out for a meal with my boyfriend or friends, and as nice as a home-cooked meal is – sometimes we all need to treat ourselves and spend a little extra.

Cooking and baking are the perfect remedies to feeling stressed or anxious

In the past few weeks, Greggs’ have released recipes for their iconic steak bake and sausage, bean and cheese melt. As well as this, Pizza Express has revealed the recipe for their infamous dough balls and garlic butter. Pret-a-manger has also shared its secret chocolate chunk cookie recipe, which is surprisingly simple. If you miss your catch-up coffee and cookie with friends on campus, you and a friend could both bake something and do a virtual catch up over zoom.

Cooking and baking are the perfect remedies to feeling stressed or anxious in this uncertain time. They are the ideal break from revision, as they allow us to concentrate on something else. It is something that can be enjoyed by your whole household and is such a rewarding thing to do with those you are isolating with. It can also help us learn a new skill to bring back to university, if you’re someone who lives on frozen meals. So, in this unusual time, get your restaurant fix by making one of these recipes at home. At the very least, cooking helps pass the time and I’m sure whoever you’re isolating with will appreciate anything you try to make.

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