Did you know that ‘only a third of Britain can confidently cook 20 dishes or more’?**
Many people want to come in from a hard day at work to a hot, freshly-prepared meal, but don’t have the time to make it a reality.
Many people want to be able to rustle up something simple, that doesn’t require a long list of ingredients.
Many don’t know where to start.
Hi, I’m Emma, owner and creator of The Food Brood. This website turns my passion for food into a community of like-minded foodies, enthusiastic home cooks and the gastro curious. I want to help people eat simple, tasty, home-cooked food every day and learn how to shop smart, prepare ingredients and provide balanced meals for their households.
Just six ingredients
I believe that good food shouldn’t be difficult. I love to experiment in the kitchen and am always looking for ways to simplify the cooking process for my hungry Brood. That’s where the name of this website came from, my Brood! – although I do regularly ‘brood’ on the subject of food too!
I carefully create recipes that give you maximum flavour for minimum effort; when you’re cooking with just six ingredients, every part of the recipe has to add to the overall flavour, to serve a purpose and to embellish – we can’t afford for any freeloaders here!
Have you ever found a recipe you want to cook only to be put off by a long list of complicated ingredients? Have you ever cooked something from memory only to serve it and realise you forgot an integral element? Me too!
But when you’re cooking with just six ingredients (or fewer), it’s easy to remember EVERY part of the recipe and put together something delicious and nutritious with minimal stress. So even my main dishes have just six ingredients. Easy as pie!
Food that fits around your busy life
The Food Brood’s recipes are designed with busy schedules in mind. If you’re going to make meals from scratch, then you need to be able to fit the preparation and cooking around everything else. There are recipes that can be thrown together in just 20 minutes, recipes that you can ‘set and forget’ and ideas for preparing ingredients in advance – all to make your meal times easier (check out these different ways to approach your cooking). And, of course, they all have just six ingredients or fewer.
If you want to know more about me and how I got started blogging, you can check out my About Me page. If you’re eager to get on with the cooking, then take a quick look at my list below on how to use this website and its recipes. And get cooking.
How to use this Website
I assume you have water, salt, pepper and cooking oil at home, so these don’t count in the six-ingredient total. It’s also helpful to have olive oil, but not a ‘make or break’. If it’s a major component, I list the olive oil separately.
A ‘little’ cooking oil or a ‘glug’ is usually about 20ml but it really depends on how much food you’re cooking at once. Use your discretion a bit.
I prefer to use sunflower oil for cooking but you can use any that you prefer.
All my recipes are quick and easy because they’re actually what I’ve cooked, and my family has eaten, at home.
I never create a recipe just for the website that we haven’t actually used ourselves.
When browning meat or generally frying something like chicken, take care not to overcrowd the pan as you will end up steaming/boiling the food rather than frying it.
I try to give more informal instructions too, such as ‘the cake is ready after 25 minutes or when you can smell it cooking’ and ‘whip the cream as stiff as you dare; if it curdles, just add a little more runny cream and stir to bring it back’, so that you can begin to get a feel for food and take more initiative in your own creations.
I love using cheats’ ingredients that cut down on the amount of work I have to do and save me an ingredient in the list. I’m a big fan of ready-made curry pastes (Indian and Thai), pizza bases (I like the frozen ones from Waitrose the best), red pesto (which already contains oil, tomatoes and garlic) and other such kitchen helpers. They cut down on ingredients and they cut down on time.
All the photographs on my website are actually of the meals we have eaten; I do not spend money on food just for photographing because of the sheer amount of waste this creates. I also do not spend hours prepping for a photo shoot because I want you to know that the food you cook at home, and the recipes you try, will actually look something like the website – not the result of 4 hours of styling and the addition of browning sprays, pins, artificial brightener etc. So I cook our food, I snap my photos and then we eat!
I don’t stick rigidly to using grams as a weight for ingredients; if it’s easier to grab ‘a handful’ of something or to use a regular coffee cup to measure something out, then I’ll say it! We’re trying to make this easier, people!
I do all of my weekly shops on Tesco.com (thanks, guys!) so all of my ingredients can be found there. The only time I will visit another supermarket is if they have an ingredient by another brand that I prefer (such as the pizza bases) but there are still always Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s equivalents.
I love buying pre-packaged mixtures of fresh vegetables, e.g. broccoli and asparagus, as they can cook together in one pan (and count as one ingredient!) but provide two of your 5-a-day. I am also fond of frozen mixed vegetables as my children will always eat them!