Monthly Archives: June 2020

Treat Home-Schooled Kids To Healthy Food

Treat Home-Schooled Kids To Healthy FoodThe risks associated with contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) in public places like educational institutes has led to many children being Home-Schooled. This can often mean constant distractions, and one way to keep children happy with learning is to make their favourite snacks and meals. Here are a few healthy options.


Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Nut butters are wholesome, healthy and filling sandwich spreads. Peanuts are widely available in India so they are easy on the pocket. Peanut butter can be made in large quantities and can last for up to three months in the fridge. Simply slather some on toast and add a few chocolate chips as a treat. For children with nut allergies, coriander chutney sandwiches with crunchy cucumber are a good substitute.

Hummus and Crudités
This Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas is high in healthy fats and is a good source of proteins and fibre. Its smooth consistency makes it easy to eat for all ages – so your school-age children can share with their toddler siblings too. Team it up with a colourful variety of vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and bell peppers – raw or lightly steamed.

Healthy Fruit Muffins
Muffins seem more like a treat, but this is true of store-bought, high-calorie versions. Try healthier recipes with fresh fruit such as apple, strawberries, mango, pineapple, oranges or banana, sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar and the butter substituted with olive oil. Oat flour or whole wheat flour can be used instead of refined flour. These can be made in batches to last the week.

Easy Energy Bars
This snack can be a fun lesson in cooking for children as well a delicious snack. Some recipes do not require baking either. They often include oats; a sticky sweetener such as dates, honey or jaggery that holds it all together; nuts such as peanuts, almonds and walnuts; dried fruit and seeds. Energy bars only require gentle mixing and are a powerhouse of energy.


Mug Meals
Mug meals are perfect when you’re pressed for time. They require minimal effort for cooking and cleanup. There are tons of recipes online for popular children’s favourites including gooey mac and cheese, homemade chicken noodle soup, lasagna, meatloaf and even pizza.

Stuffed Parathas
Parathas are a well-loved children’s meal. They are easy for very young children to eat without a mess and parents can get quite versatile with the fillings. Instead of the usual potato, switch it up for cauliflower, paneer, beetroot or cheese. Parathas are also an easy way to sneak in vegetables that children don’t normally like to eat, including spinach, methi, bottle gourd and radish. Serve it with a favourite chutney and curd dip.

One-pot Pasta
Pasta is possibly an all-time favourite of children around the world. Choose one-pot recipes to help with easy cleanup. To make it a wholesome meal, ensure you include some vegetables and a source of protein such as prawns, calamari, chicken, beef or even tofu. Homemade pasta sauce can be made in advanced and bottled if needed. Béchamel also lasts up to five days in the fridge.

Veggie bake with chicken strips
Vegetable bakes combine lots of fibrous ingredients rich in vitamins and minerals, and lots of cheese that make it an instant winner. They are mild on the spice and are easy to re-heat. Serve portions with a side of breaded chicken strips for an extra punch of protein.


Improve Your Career Prospects by Upgrading Your Skills

Improve Your career prospects by upgrading skills
Hospitality is one of the world’s biggest industries. Career opportunities are many in the industry, but so is the competition. You will gain a good foundation in being a chef from reputed institutes like ACCLA, but it is important to keep upgrading your skills so you can set yourself apart.

Business management
You may be a great chef, but knowing how to run a business comes in handy when running a restaurant. Even if you are part of a restaurant team, knowing the basics of business management will help you understand how to cook food economically. Learning about budgeting, accounting and keeping tabs on inventory help greatly in any restaurant business, and more importantly if you hope to run a venture yourself sometime in the future.

Kitchen hygiene & sanitation
The most important factor in running a successful restaurant is having a clean kitchen. Learning about the best practices to keep your kitchen clean is an excellent skill to have as a chef. This also involves tips and tricks to deal with stubborn stains, odours and cooking mishaps.

First aid
All kitchens involve fires, sharp and pointy objects, and searing hot utensils. Accidents are bound to happen. Knowing first aid can help you avert disaster during an emergency. Learn about bandages and how to use them, dealing with burns and deep cuts, and also evacuation procedures in case of a fire are useful skills to have.

Creativity & innovation
On most cruise ships, chefs are expected to adhere to a set menu including presentation. However, there are instances when creativity can be utilised. One can attempt to use produce before they go bad in innovative ways, for dishes like soups of the day or daily specials. If they do have freedom, cruise ship chefs – like other chefs working in land-based restaurants – can experiment with menu design, adapting older recipes, creating new dishes, and trying interesting presentations.
In addition, creativity plays a huge part in sustainable cooking as well – using food scraps for stock, swapping imported ingredients for local seasonal produce in popular dishes, finding ways to use energy efficiently in cooking, choosing seafood wisely, and perhaps even nurturing your own kitchen garden for herbs and rudimentaries such as potatoes, onions, tomatoes and chilis.

Organisation & multi-tasking
To a novice, the kitchen or galley can seem a very chaotic place, particularly during service time. And if you do not have a method to the madness, things can get out of hand pretty quickly. Honing your organisation and multi-tasking skills is a great way to help you get ahead as a chef.
It starts with planning your day, even as a line cook, depending on your responsibilities. Knowing what you are going to be doing helps you stay on track. Being a good multi-tasker ensures you stay focused no matter what the unintentional additions to your day.

Being a team player
One of the most important skills to upgrade is learning how to work in a team. On cruise ships, chefs are part of very large teams, each with their own responsibilities but still just a cog in the wheel. Working well with colleagues, covering for others whenever required and lending a helping hand all help towards the end goal – serving good food on time.