Sunday, October 25

5-Minute Quick Snack Recipes for your Lockdown Snack time

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It is 3pm in the afternoon, you have cleaned the house, scrubbed the vessels a squeaking clean and more importantly sanitised every conceivable nook and cranny.  After all, you don’t want a visitor without a nucleus to make you its host (pun intended). 

It’s a Sunday, and hence no work, at least not the “work from home” type.  It’s leisure time if you can call it that.  I mean it’s been a kind of a leisure break anyway, for most part of the COVID19 lockdown phase.

All things said and done, there’s always a place in the tummy for a snack.  Everyone loves a tidbit now and then, especially at tea time. Who knows this better than parents.  Mothers, especially, are used to the rumblings of a hungry child.  But why oh why do they get hungry so soon – is a question they always ask.  As the kids have been well fed since breakfast through lunch, it’s a wonder they get hungry so soon.  In clockwork precision, they cry out for a munchie, and before you know it, the cry has spread like wildflowers across the house. 

The unpredictable snack time is upon youIn a sane world, snack time comes once a day and is usually something light to go with tea or coffee, or milk.  Since we are not in a sane world anymore, snack time can strike anytime, and variety becomes a compulsion

Since going to a nearby food stall is not an option anymore, you think of ingenuine ways to go creative at home.  I know that this makes you end up spending the entire day between work and the kitchen, which, to be honest, is not easy.  Whether you engage in household chores or try to keep the kids entertained, this is one chore that can send your brain into a tizzy.  The sporadic snack time may not be in your control, but surely the amount of time you spend dishing it up is.  Also, children’s patience levels don’t demand elaborate recipes; so here are my 5 minute recipes to help you out.

 

Microwave Omelette in a Mug

 

Microwave Omelette in a Mug

You’ve probably not stepped foot into a kitchen if you mess up an egg omelette.  There are only a very few ways to go wrong with eggs.  It is one of the simplest ingredients to work with, and that is why it has become a breakfast staple to many.  There is a way in which it can get even quicker if you studiously follow the steps below.
5 from 2 votes
Course Snack
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 capsicum (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 2 cheese cubes (grated)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 ham slices (diced, or cooked chicken / luncheon meat))
  • green chilli (as required)
  • salt (as per taste)
  • pepper powder (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Take two big microwave friendly mugs.
  • Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and distribute it evenly between both the mugs.
  • Place the mugs in the microwave and set the timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Dig in straight from the mug.  Take care to avoid a scalding hot sensation if digging into it soon after it's out of the microwave oven.

Additional notes:
You could use a bowl instead of mugs, with a possibility of increased time in the microwave – depending on the size of the bowl and its depth of course.

Pause the timer every 30 to 40 seconds to stir the contents of the mugs to not allow it to bubble over.

Microwave Mac and Cheese

Microwave Mac and Cheese

If there were a food haven, Mac and Cheese would be its star attraction.  The dish is part creamy, part tasty, and indulgence all the way.  Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes with a trick up everyone’s sleeve to make it better.  Well, this is my trick.
5 from 2 votes
Course Snack
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup (or100gm) elbow macaroni
  • ¾ cup (75gm) shredded cheese
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • green chillies (minced) (as per taste)
  • salt (as per taste)
  • chilli flakes (as required)
  • mixed herbs (as required)

Instructions
 

  • Take two big microwave friendly mugs.
  • Divide the macaroni evenly in both the mugs and partially fill the mugs with water.
  • Add salt to the mix.
  • Microwave them for 3 minutes and stir.
  • Add the milk, cheese, salt and minced chillies (if required).  Stir the mix.
  • Microwave for another 30 seconds and add chilli flakes and mixed herbs as garnishing.

Additional notes:
It helps to place a dish under the cup since there are chances of a spillover.
You could replace milk with sour cream for a creamier alternative.
Bowls could be used instead of mugs, with a possibility of increased microwave time – depending on its size.

 

Barbecued Chicken Nachos

Barbecued Chicken Nachos

At times it could get tedious to prepare individual dishes for all.  I am sure you wish for food that can be served to many in one single plate.  Barbecue Chicken Nachos is your answer for such a dish.  The ingredients could be a bit hard to procure, but I have listed several options to choose from if one or two among them are not available. 
5 from 2 votes
Course High Tea, Sides, Snack
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup green onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 cup Rotisserie chicken (or paneer) (shredded)
  • 1 cup (or 100gm) cheese (shredded)
  • 1 packet Dorito chips
  • 1 tbsp Guacamole paste
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (I used the Amul brand)
  • 1-2 drops lime juice
  • 3 tpsp BBQ sauce
  • salt (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Spread the Dorito chips on a microwave-friendly plate.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the BBQ sauce with the chicken/paneer and spread it over the chips.
  • In a bowl, add the chopped tomato, onion, lime juice, and salt.  Mix well.
  • Add the mixture over the chicken (or paneer).
  • Spread the cheese and garnish with green onions.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds and serve the dips on the side.

Microwave Chicken Quesadilla

Microwave Chicken Quesadilla

Quesadillas are one of my favourite Mexican dishes.  They are truly versatile when it comes to the fillings.  Talk of fillings, they are pretty filling as well.  This is one type of snack that is also served at lunch or dinner time.  You could even use leftovers for getting the Quesadillas going. 
5 from 2 votes
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup chicken cooked (or leftover meat) (shredded)
  • 1 tbsp Taco seasoning (easily available at stores)
  • 4 medium-sized ready flour/corn tortillas

Instructions
 

  • Microwave the tortillas for 1 to 2 minutes.  They should be slightly crispy.
  • Add the chicken/leftover meat, bell peppers, and Taco seasoning in a bowl and mix well to form a what-we’ll-term a ‘mixture’.
  • Microwave the ‘mixture’ for about 1 to 2 minutes.  The bell peppers should be soft.
  • Spread the shredded cheese over the tortilla and add the ‘mixture’ over it.  Spread yet another layer of cheese over the ‘mixture’.  The other tortilla should be placed on the top.
  • Microwave it for another 30 seconds, and voila – the quesadillas are ready to be devoured.

Microwave Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries

Microwave Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries

A bit of sugar makes my day, and for kids, it’s bound to be a compulsive delight.  You could say I have a sweet tooth, and my fridge is proof of the fact.  Stuffed with chocolate compounds, preserves, tutti fruiti and all, it’s almost a visual tour in there!  What I also have a fondness for are quick dessert recipes that provide instant gratification to sweet cravings – mine or otherwise. This plain cheesecake is one of those quick nirvanas.
5 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 sheets crushed crackers
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 6 drops Vanilla extract
  • 150-170gm softened cream cheese (I used the Philadelphia brand)

Instructions
 

  • Spread the butter on a microwave-friendly glass or ceramic glass bowl. Tilt the bowl to coat the sides as well.  Or use a silicone brush to spread the butter on all the sides.
  • Crush the crackers until they are of a fine powder consistency, and add it to the butter in the bowl. Mix well.
  • Use a spoon or a spatula to make the crust out of the mixture and press it down against the bottom of the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Add the filling over the crust.
  • Place the bowl in the microwave and set the timer for 4 minutes.
  • Pause every 45 seconds so that the cheesecake doesn’t bubble over.
  • You could freeze the cheesecake before serving.
  • Garnish with strawberry bits while serving.

Additional notes:

Although this cheesecake recipe doesn’t take much time in its preparation, it would do well to plan in ahead to ensure that there is enough time to cool the dessert.  I mean you don’t want to cool it at an hour which is well past dessert time.

Strawberry-Vanilla Duet

Strawberry-Vanilla Duet

Summer is upon us, and what better a time for coolers and shakes.  You could serve this thick strawberry sensation which is oh so filling that its effect would last until the next mealtime.  It is easy to prepare and will help with the sweet cravings as well.  Not good for the girth though.
5 from 2 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 2 cjups Vanilla ice-cream
  • 2 scoops strawberry ice-cream
  • sugar (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Add the vanilla ice cream and the strawberries together in the blender.
  • Once blended, pour the milk in small batches to achieve your preferred consistency.  I prefer it thick but thin enough to sip without the sipper snorting with its thickness.
  • After pouring the blend into the glasses, add a scoop of strawberry ice-cream to keep the eyes magically rivetted.

Additional notes:

You could also offer some variations, in adding finely chopped dark chocolate or Nutella to the top of the drink.

 

Open Avocado Egg Sandwich

Open Avocado Egg Sandwich

Avocado has great nutritional benefits and is available almost everywhere, even the nearest bhajiwala stocks it.  While Guacamole is an example of the classic use of avocado, many include avocado in their sandwiches to make quick meals.  Out of those recipes, this one was born.
5 from 2 votes
Course High Tea, Snack
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 radish (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp chives (chopped)
  • 2 avocadoes
  • 4 eggs (hard boiled)
  • 4 bread slices (toasted)
  • chilli flakes (as required)
  • salt (as per taste)
  • pepper powder (as required)

Instructions
 

  • Make sure that the hard-boiled eggs are cold and grate them using a cheese grater. You may simultaneously toast the bread.
  • Mash the avocado until you get the desired consistency.  Add salt, pepper, and chilli flakes to the mashed avocado.
  • Spread the mashed mixture over the toast and sprinkle egg shavings on top.
  • Line the top with the sliced radish, and squeeze some lemon over it before serving.

Chilly Cheese Toast

Chilly Cheese Toast

I probably make the best chilly cheese toast – in my home at least, and nobody would contest that. Tongue in cheek.  It is one of my ‘go-to’ dishes when there are unexpected guests at home or when I am craving for something incredibly cheesy.  It is simple to make as well.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tsp oil
  • 2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 2 onions (diced)
  • ½ capsicum (diced)
  • 4 bread slices
  • 2 tbsp Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 tbsp Mozzarella cheese (grated)
  • 4 tsp butter
  • salt (as per taste)
  • pepper powder (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Drizzle some oil on a pan.  When sufficiently heated, add the diced onions, capsicums, and green chillies till you get what we’ll term a ‘mixture’.
  • Season the ‘mixture’ with salt and pepper, then follow it with grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Place the bread slices in a separate pan and spread the ‘mixture’ over the bread.
  • Sprinkle some Mozzarella cheese on top, cover and let cook for 2 minutes. The toast is ready to be served now.

Additional notes:

You may choose to fry or air-fry the bread if you happen to have an air fryer at home.

 

Dill Vegetable Dip

Dill Vegetable Dip

You don’t need to go to a restaurant to get gourmet food.  In the lockdown phase, you could jolly well make it at home with Instagram-worthy results that could offset a new trend.  The recipe is simple, and the dish visually appealing.
5 from 2 votes
Course High Tea, Snack
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh dill weed
  • 1 carrot (cut in strips)
  • 1 bell pepper (cut in strips)
  • 1 cucumber (cut in strips)
  • salt (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, dill weed, and salt.  Mix them well together.
  • Partially fill small shot like glasses with the dip.
  • Chop the bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber lengthwise to keep it standing in the dip.

Additional notes:
You are free to add more vegetables of your choice.

 

Spicy Peanut Chaat

Spicy Peanut Chaat

The quickest fix of all is something that only requires assembly and no cooking.  For everyone who is looking for such a repair, I suggest Spicy Peanut Chaat.  The recipe is simple and serves as a light evening snack, or even as an in-between snack.  More of a ‘pastime snack’ I’d say.
5 from 2 votes
Course Snack, Tea
Servings 2 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups peanuts (roasted)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tso lemon juice
  • chaat masala (as per taste)
  • red chilli powder (as required)
  • salt (as per taste)

Instructions
 

  • Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl, and you are all ready to serve this pastime!

I cannot say if I have perfected the art of delivering the best in the least amount time, but these “go-to” 5 minute recipes have never failed to satisfy anyone’s food cravings.  Even when things go back to normal, post-COVID, you could refer to these recipes when you want something quick and tasty all at once

I’d be happy to receive your feedback if you happen to have tried one or more 5 minute recipes from this article.  I’d be glad to receive your kid’s feedback too, as, in my opinion, kids are often the best critics and will offer a piece of honest advice.  Post your comments on this article or even better, subscribe to the site for automatic updates on recipes food-related posts.

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About Author

Carmelita is an Economics major and is employed with a private sector bank. She holds a diploma in journalism, but that's not the reason for her creative writing skills exhibited in a few freelancing feature writing assignments with a leading daily and also her blog. Her blog falls under the Top 25 of the Best Mumbai Blogs to Follow, by Feedspot.com ranking. She has an eye for offbeat travel, having visited seven continents and seeing more than what meets the average eye. Though not a cook per se, her tips on smart cooking are a thing to reckon in her food and cocktail recipes. As if this is not enough, she dabbles now and then in studio singing assignments which have gained her a sizeable fan following. That she is an avid reader is but natural, with a bent for literary classics which in turn have lent its influence in her blog writing panache.

15 Comments

  1. Priya Fonseca Banerji on

    Fabulous Carmelita. Loved reading your blog. Such a great article. The recipes are so easy, doable and just apt for the present scenario given the limited resources and the lockdown. Hope to try some of them as my family is perennially hungry and managing work-from-home and household chores has become challenging and a daunting task too. Thanks once again. Loved reading your article.

  2. Priya Dasilva on

    Carmelita, absolutely quick and easy to make recipes. Gonna try each one since all ingredients suggested are available at the shop next door.
    Priya

  3. Dilency D'Costa on

    Wow! Can’t wait to try these. Enjoyed reading the article especially when you said visitor without a nucleus to make you its host

  4. Frankie Xavier Ferrao on

    5 stars
    Am in love with this recipes, Lita. Who would have thought simple recipes like this would be so delicious.

  5. Dilency D'Costa on

    Very helpful article. I like how you also manage to make it fun to read. Especially, the line “visitor without a nucleus to make you its host” cracked me up.

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