Home cook and recipe creator Jessica Nguyen has a knack for making healthy meals look delicious and easy to make.
She turned lemons into lemonade when she was made redundant from her marketing job due to Covid in 2020. Jessica turned her passion for food into a brilliant business concept inspiring others with fresh and fun, step-by-step recipes and styling tips.
We know that adding diversity to your meals is good for brain health and Jessica says every home cook should have these 10 ingredients on hand to create quick, healthy and delicious meals.
A pantry staple that is so versatile and economical.
Garlic and onions
I have a massive bowl of these on my dining table that I always have on hand and use in the base of every dish.
I have a herb garden at home and always have some in my fridge to pack into every dish, whether it be a simple stir fry, a salad, a sandwich or to top a show-stopping dish like one of my pastas.
Lemons and Lime
I have a bowl of these in my dining room that grow in my backyard and use them in most of my cooking. Perfect for squeezing on top of a dish, using the juice in salad dressing, or grating the zest to make a dish more flavourful.
I normally have a packet of spaghetti, rigatoni and linguine in my pantry to whip up a quick and healthy pasta and day, any time.
I use this as a salt to flavour most of my dishes, but also use it to make my Vietnamese dipping sauce which is also a staple sauce that I make in batches and keep in the fridge.
I always have a block of grana Padano or Meredith goat’s feta which I always add to my meal.
I always have a jar in my kitchen to drizzle onto my meal or to cook with. It instantly turns any boring dish into a much more flavourful and spicy one.
When I cook, I like to always make extra to have as leftovers the next day or to freeze for another day in a few weeks time, for those days when I can’t be bothered to cook from scratch and can just defrost and reheat it. I also buy proteins like prawns, fish and meat that I have frozen in case I want to add it to a meal without having to duck to the shops.
Nuts and spices
I have a lot of jars of spices and a few different nuts that I’ll just throw into a dish to make it more interesting and to add more texture and flavour.
Follow @EatPlayRestAustralia on Instagram, for more brain-healthy tips and inspiration.