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By Annie Ferland, Nutritionist, PharmD

While some people have a habit of going to the grocery store every day to pick up a few items, with the lockdown measures, everyone now needs to limit their movements. And yet, making a seven-day grocery list can present a real logistical challenge for some. However, you can learn to be resourceful and simplify your grocery list by getting into the habit of cooking with fewer ingredients. Here are some ideas:

1. Cooking with just five ingredients

Many popular recipe websites, and even some cookbooks, focus on cooking with just five ingredients. Practical, easy and economical, these recipes are perfect if you aren’t keen on cooking or simply don’t have much time to devote to it.

2. Making  “empty-the-fridge”  meals

“Empty the fridge” is fun way to describe cooking with whatever is in the fridge. It encourages you to go through the fridge every morning to see what’s in there so that you can think about how to transform it into a tasty meal. Are your fruits just on the edge? Make compote. Wilted vegetables? Turn them into soup. And, of course, you can never go wrong with a classic “empty-the-fridge” dishes, like a strata or a stir-fry.

3. Cooking creatively

Being under lockdown can also inspire you to create your own variations based on known recipes by simply adapting them using the ingredients you have on hand. You don’t always have to follow a recipe to the letter (except when baking). Experiment a bit and, who knows, maybe your new creation will become a favourite at home! In the end, the worst that can happen is that your creation doesn’t taste or look quite the way you expect.

In short, fewer ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean less tasty… but it definitely means fewer dishes to clean!