Wednesday 1 February 2017

Up your food game with #NowCookIt

I really do like cooking and whilst Jamie won't be calling me any time soon asking me to fill in for him, I can make a decent dinner. My imagination when it comes to cooking, however, can take a bit of a hit sometimes and recently, I've become pretty lazy in the kitchen and just go week to week, or sometimes day to day, without much planning or thought when it comes to what I eat.

I'm blaming the dark nights and being tired from working during the week for falling into a cooking rut but I know with a little effort and some pre-planning, I can up my chef game once more.

So when Co-op and SORTEDfood contacted me about a free online cooking course they were launching, I had every reason to start my better habits sooner rather than later.

#NowCookIt is a new website that's just launched and includes a range of recipes and covers various techniques to help you cook most things.

I was sent ingredients to cook a meal featured on the site and was excited to give things a go. Like I say, I do enjoy preparing food and will try out new recipes and give things a go - I just need the motivation.

The recipe I made was roasted vegetable cous cous - something that fits with the kind of meals I would make during the week - and with all the ingredients out and ready, I found the corresponding video online easy to follow.

The presenters of the recipe videos are energetic and fun to watch and the instructions are clear, too. I found it easy to follow what they were saying and to cook alongside them and it was actually a nice way to prepare a meal, as opposed to squinting at a torn out magazine recipe or scrolling on a phone with messy fingers, trying to follow instructions found on a website.

There's a good selection of recipes up on the website already and what's different about is the fact you can learn basic skills, complete recipes and earn status points and even rewards the more you cook. You sign in with Google, Facebook or Twitter (no fiddly online profile set ups necessary) and can share your progress as you go, with marks against techniques, recipes and 'know how' the more you cook. For me, that makes it more than a recipe site and helps provide some inspiration, and support, as I try and cook more myself, from scratch, at home.

The recipe guide is fab too - watch the video or follow the instructions and pictures, and click on the tabs to find out how to do certain things, such as knife techniques or how best to cook cous cous. And you can print the recipe if you're old school.

The cous cous recipe was delicious and so easy to make. I often make my own tweaks here and there, depending on what ingredients I have to hand or to suit the tastes of my family, but having a clear recipe to follow is always a good starting point.

You can find out more about #NowCookIt here or visit the website to see the current recipe range and video tutorials. It's a fresh idea, presented in a fun and fresh way that makes it so accessible, and I'm keen to carry on with the online course to see how I get on and to build my skillset - and my 'must make meals' list.

* I was sent ingredients to make a recipe but all opinions are my own.


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