For years I’ve been saying that a lot of people just don’t know how (or can’t be bothered) to cook anymore and it’s bloody terrifying. I did a food technology GCSE and instead of learning basic skills like different ways to make eggs or how to cook different meats, (you know all the important life skills), we spent hours learning about how a microwave works. Yeah thanks education, that really came in handy.My mum was really encouraging in helping me learn how to cook, but for the most part, I just couldn’t be bothered.
I’m a lot better now as I live with J and cook pretty much every day, but I feel there’s definitely an issue surrounding the under 35s who just don’t have any interest in learning to cook; especially when you can get food delivered to your door in under an hour!
This is why I was really keen to get on board with Co-op and SORTEDfood (you know, the YouTube guys). They’ve been researching the #CookingGap and found that 27% of millennials aren’t interested in learning how to cook and 31% only cook a limited variety of dishes.
So they’ve joined together to create Now Cook It, a website which can teach anyone the basics of cooking in a simple, easy-to-follow way. You can even share your results with other users!
They even had video instructions on how to do certain things … I’ve learnt something new in doing this – how to deseed a pepper!! I used to cut it in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Not any more though!!
They very kindly sent me a box with all the ingredients to make a roasted vegetable couscous to show how easy it can be!
- 1 red onion (or white)
- 1 red pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic (a clove is one of the pieces inside the bulb, I do actually know people who have made this mistake!!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 courgette
- 100g couscous
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 plum tomatoes (they actually sent me chopped tomoatoes but I just sieved the juice and pips out)
- 50g cucumber
- ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (they gave me a voucher to buy this as it wouldn’t have travelled well!)
- Preheat the oven to 240ºC (220ºC fan oven) with a large roasting tray in the oven to preheat too.
- Peel the onion and cut it into rough chunks, separating all of the layers. Deseed and dice the pepper into 2cm squares. Cut the courgette into similar sized pieces. (Keep the veg chunky so that it doesn’t turn mushy but has time to char, which is where the flavour is.)
- Squash the garlic clove a little but leave whole and in its peel to protect it in the oven.
- Cut the lemons in half.
- Transfer the onion, pepper, courgette, lemon (cut side up) and garlic clove onto the preheated roasting tray. Toss with the olive oil and season before roasting on the top shelf in the oven for 20 minutes, it should all be just soft and slightly charred.
- Boil water in a kettle. Pour the couscous into a large mixing bowl, having measured its volume in a small dish. Mix in the coriander and oregano, then pour in the same volume (using the same small dish as a guide) of boiling water. Cover the bowl with Clingfilm or a plate and leave to cool and absorb the liquid for 10 minutes.
- Remove the roasted garlic clove from the roasting tray, peel and mash up with the back of a fork.
- Squeeze the roasted lemon halves, through a sieve to catch pips into the softened couscous. Tip in the roasted veg and mashed garlic, then mix it all up with a fork and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Quarter the tomatoes and cut the seeds and pulp away from their middles, then dice the flesh. Dice the cucumber into small cubes. Add both to the couscous salad and season to taste.
- Serve with a few dollops of Greek yoghurt on the side and drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil.
- Time: 5 mins prep time + 20 minutes cooking time
- Difficulty rating: This was so easy to make and I love the video instructions on the website.
- Taste: It tasted really delicious and I loved the flavour combinations of the sweet pepper and onion with the sharp lemon. We preferred to eat ours hot though; cold makes it feel more like a salad!!
- Would I make it again?: Definitely, even J liked it!!
- Verdict: 5/5.
*PR sample but views and love of cooking (and eating) are my own.