Coronavirus kindness: Recipe writer's tips to use up cupboard supplies

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Emily LearyImage source, Tom Regester
Image caption,
Emily Leary has received dozens of messages in response to her offer of help

A food writer has offered cooking tips to those struggling to find ingredients after panic buying cleared out supermarket shelves.

"People are thinking: 'What on earth can I cook?'" says Emily Leary.

She invited those struggling to use up back-of-the-cupboard supplies to contact her for recipe inspiration.

The mother-of-two, from West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, said: "This is just a tiny way I can be helpful and alleviate a bit of the stress."

Mrs Leary said she has since received dozens of messages from people self-isolating

Queries have included how to cook couscous, how to pair pasta with Marmite, or how to make your own bread.

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Mrs Leary said her general advice would be to embrace a bit of experimentation, but don't be ashamed to ask for help because "no-one's an expert in everything".

"A lady who lives alone approached me saying she had pasta, beans and no fresh veg," she said.

"We had a chat through what she had in her cupboards and managed to cobble together a recipe for a very simple bean bolognese made with baked beans, garlic granules, a pinch of chilli powder and a can of tinned carrots, served over cooked pasta.

"It's a good example of how your spice cupboard can save the day."

Don't panic: Three recipe ideas

Image source, Emily Leary

One of Mrs Leary's creations using humble ingredients is a baked bean chilli, made with a small onion, garlic, peppers, beans and spices.

Image source, Emily Leary

Another savoury idea comes in the form of salmon fishcakes, which can utilise fresh, frozen or tinned fish.

Image source, Emily Leary

For dessert, one of Mrs Leary's suggestions is a cake - made using two ingredients: full fat ice cream and self-raising flour.

Allow 300 g (10.58 oz) of ice cream to melt and mix it with 160 g (5.64 oz) of flour.

Pour the mixture into a baking tin and pop it in the oven at 200C/390F (180C/355F fan) for about 30 minutes or until baked through.

Allow it to cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Although the prime minister has urged people not to panic buy and shops have started taking measures to prevent it, many self-isolating have been left with limited options.

Director general Tony Hall announced on Wednesday the BBC Food website will be sharing recipes and advice on what you can make with essentials as part of its response to the virus.

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