Did you know that Cardiff alone eats 76 tonnes of canned food a day? That is a huge 183,000 (survey estimation) cans! Cardiff residents are eating more canned foods now than they were 10 years ago, over half of the residents stock up to 10 cans in their cupboard at any one time, the main reason for this is the speed of preparation. Canned products can be used to make a quick, wholesome meal for the whole family with minimum cost, as well as having a long shelf life and retaining the nutritional benefit.
I was recently invited to create a delicious three course meal using mainly tinned foods, with recipes from Canned Foods UK, a not for profit organisation who promote the benefits of cooking with canned foods, such as affordability and nutritional value.
After browsing through the delicious recipes I decided that I would make mini crab cakes*, coconut & mango chicken with aloo sagg & lentil rice * and summer fruit brioche*.
The crab cakes were delicious and so easy to make. I’ve made tuna cakes using tinned tuna previously but for some reason had never thought to use tinned crab. I will definitely make these again, buying and preparing a crab would be both expensive and time consuming. The simplicity of opening and draining a tin of crab meat makes it a lot more appealing.
The main dish had a lot going on, which made it feel like a naughty takeaway, without the guilt! It also contains two of your five a day. This dish was a little more complicated than the starter, but it was still very easy. It took a while to make but a lot of that time was just leaving it to simmer. Despite being a little bit too hot for me this was a very satisfying and enjoying dish.
The pudding excited me the most, I love custard and I love brioche so I couldn’t wait to tuck into this. This was so indulgent, it only took about 10 minutes to make, maybe less, and it has fruit on it so it is a little bit healthy! I like the fact that this dish can easily be mixed up by simply using a different tin of fruit, a mixed berry one would be lovely for the Winter.
This challenge actually has made me re-think my shopping habits. I am always throwing fresh vegetables out as I forget to use them, I also hate washing and chopping mushrooms. From now on I will be going down the route of buying a lot more canned vegetables, and will definitely use cans to make a tasty treat meal in a lot less time.
Cardiff’s favourite canned food is Baked Beans, followed by soup and corned beef – what are yours? Mine are tomatoes and mushy peas!