We’re all looking to gain smart new habits for coping with the little water left in the Western Cape. Hoping to avoid “day zero”, let’s adjust to a new normal of being truly water conscious and saving every drop that we can.
When we were struggling with power outages a few seasons ago, Private Property wrote an article, Energy savings will be crucial this winter. With the current water shortage they asked me to put together a few dos and don’ts of foods/recipes to embrace and to avoid. Check out Private Property’s houses for sale, and remember these handy tips: Keep a water-less hand cleanser in the kitchen and bathroom to minimize rinsing your hands under running water. Keep the plug in the basin plugged in (or use a larger bowl/bucket) to reuse grey water as far as you can.
Water wise foods to welcome:
- anything braaied/grilled (remember to serve these on paper plates that won’t require any washing up)
- oven roasted vegetables instead of boiled vegetables (remember to use a sheet of foil or baking paper on your tray to minimize dirty trays)
- roast chicken (or other meat) that can double up as leftovers on a sandwich the next day, limiting more cooking and washing up
- salad, fruit and vegetables that can we wiped with a damp cloth (that don’t need extensive washing)
- “hand food” that doesn’t require plates or cutlery (minimizing dirty dishes for washing later)
- one-pot dishes that can go from oven/stove to table to fridge (minimizing dirty dishes for washing later)
Water unwise foods to avoid:
- foods that need to be cooked/soaked in a lot of water, like rice, legumes and pasta
- foods that need lots of water for rinsing, like sandy mussels or spinach (unless you can minimize the rinsing water and reuse it later as grey water)
- foods that require large amounts of stock, like soups and risottos
- food that will dirty various bowls/pots/trays (unless you use baking paper or foil on your trays that can be discarded) and will use more water for washing up than usual
Here are some of my favourite recipes that don’t contain any water, are made in one pot/pan, or require very little (or no) washing up:
- Mushroom, spinach & cheddar frittata: this is a one-pot recipe that is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, and also as leftovers for the office the next day. It can be eaten hot or cold, so no reheating required, and no extra dirty dishes gained. And yes, you can ditch the sage butter!
- All-in-one breakfast rusks: limit your tea/coffee intake by filling up with these “waterless” rusks – dip 2 or 3 in your one cup of daily coffee, and you might not require another cup soon.
- Granola with almonds & cranberries: made with no water, this granola recipe is so delicious topped with a dollop of yoghurt. To minimize dirty dishes, add a few tablespoons directly to your plastic yoghurt tub (and not other way around).
- Afritalian braaibroodjies: these can be assembled anywhere without using any water. Eaten with your hands straight from a plankie, they’re the perfect waterless food items.
- Ultimate caprese salad: no rinsing necessary (unless you want to wipe the tomatoes with a damp cloth), easy to assemble, and the juices can be mopped up with crusty bread straight from the plate.
- Baked tomatoes with feta, garlic & thyme: add a sheet of foil or non-stick baking paper to the tray, which you can pop in the bin afterwards. No pre-rinsing, no washing up.
- Roasted garlic prawns: another roasted favourite that can be done with a sheet of foil and eaten straight from the pan!
- Panzanella with smoked chicken: what a delightful, meaty, summer salad with oodles of crunchy croutons – perfect for entertaining a crowd. Make the croutons in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil and save on washing up!
- Vietnamese chicken & vegetable spring rolls: although these paper rounds are made of rice, they require no cooking – only one minute of soaking in a little cold water (you can use a wide bowl with 1cm deep water for the whole batch and still reuse the water left for rinsing anything that’s dirty etc.) It’s hand food at its best, dipped in a fabulously salty peanut sauce.
- Quick braaied lamb shawarmas: marinate in a plastic bag, braai, assemble on chopping board, eat with hands, wipe with kitchen paper – almost no dirty dishes! Perfect for outdoor entertaining.