Image Credit: Charlotte Lear
I know I keep banging on about how important it is to switch things up at the moment, but I’m not wrong. Where best to look for foodie inspiration during this burnout than TikTok? The content-creating platform has characterised many of our lockdown lives as we sit for hours flicking between @poppycooks’ 30 days of potatoes, to video after video of sloppy feta and tomato messes.
I love giving new hacks a try, so I did some of the most popular ones and gave my honest opinion. These are the few that made the cut...
Cloud Coffee – 5/10
This gets a five for the sheer faff of it. I really don’t know what possessed me to get a whisk and a bowl out everyday in the first lockdown and whisk until my arm was about to drop off for the satisfaction of a fluffy iced latte. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely delicious but I just could not be bothered. Those of you who had the intellect to use an electric whisk and make your life ten times easier, I salute you.
Feta Pasta – 6/10
If anyone has tried the feta pasta (baked feta and tomatoes smushed up to make a sauce), you may be thinking that 6/10 is a bit harsh for a dish that is actually delicious. However, this trend has tested me. I’ve seen enough videos and pictures of the most watery, unseasoned, feta pulp to last me a lifetime – some of it is just straight up vile-looking. Understandably, I was tentative.
Then the MOB came through. The MOB Kitchen actually added some seasoning (oregano, garlic, red chilli flakes, red wine vinegar, etc.) and used orzo which was great at soaking up any excess liquid, topped with some torn-up basil for that ‘salt-bae’ moment. Quite frankly a taste sensation. I mark this one lower purely because I think I’m traumatised from seeing it done so badly on my feed. My top tip would be to drain a little of the excess liquid before smashing it all together to make the sauce. Reserve the pasta water though, as you can use that to loosen it up if you need to. PSA, avoid vegan feta if you can – it simply doesn’t work.
‘Gigi Hadid’s’ Vodka Pasta – 6/10
This gets a moderately low rating for how much it got on my nerves. TikTok was lauding a rather basic pasta recipe as Gigi Hadid’s signature dish. It’s literally ‘penne alla vodka’ and has been a thing for years. However, it is also a classic and definitely one to do if you have the dregs of a Smirnoff lying around after one of your lockdown living room parties.
Wrap Hack – 10/10
This one was a rather exciting one for me and, thankfully, it did not disappoint. Some of you might think this is criminal, but before the wrap hack came into my life I was a bit of a wrap hater. I have never understood the appeal of getting a Wrap-of-the-Day over a McDonald’s Big Mac, purely because the ratio was always so off! Surely you like burritos you may ask? You would be making a fair point, I do, but only because there is drastically more filling to wrap ratio. However, when it came to your bog-standard lunch wrap, I just really wasn’t fussed.
TikTok saved the day. With this hack you essentially cut from the central point of the wrap in a straight line to the edge and you can then assess what fillings you will add to each quarter. In this instance, for my main filling I chose ALDI’s vegan chicken nuggets which I’m obsessed with, but that’s another article in itself (unreal crispy coating, better than anything I’ve ever tried? Check.) I then followed through with red onion, a few slices of extra mature cheddar, some mayo and sweet chilli for sauciness. Once loaded, just fold it up and whack under a George Foreman if you’re lucky (my housemate really delivered with this) or in an oiled frying pan just to make the outside nice and crispy.
All criticisms aside, I am really enjoying TikTok as a platform to explore different recipes. It has also been a fantastic way of discovering different cuisines as well as fresh content creators who haven’t been on the scene for years – sorry Jamie Oliver. I’ve taken the liberty of making a short list of my favourite TikTok food creators at the moment:
@mobkitchen - obviously.
@samseats - my FAVOURITE currently, he makes everything from scratch which is a pipedream that my dissertation is really standing in the way of.
@christopherastrom - there’s something about ASMR chopping that I’m just obsessed with.
@turnipvegan - makes a chili with walnuts? Obsessed.
@carbnation - for the ultimate student cooking, she does most of it in a student kitchen- very authentic, also very brave.
@morganlynzi - I’ve never seen food videos look so good.
@ms.merhi - self-professed ‘CEO of season your food’.
@nonnapiaa - for some wholesome, authentic Italian content.
@tiffycooks - unreal Asian, quick and easy food.
@zanaskitchen - the range! Sensational.