We're only a few days into being homebound amid the country's snap level 4 lockdown, which we were plunged into this week when cases of COVID-19 were found in the community for the first time in months.
But this time around it feels like a lot of the kitchen creativity present during the lockdowns of last year is missing.
Many of us are despairing over the prospect of days on end of cooking for ourselves, especially without access to delivery apps like UberEats or Menulog.
Luckily even with the restrictions of level 4, you can still access some delicious deliveries, while supporting the local businesses that need us more than ever right now.
Here are some of our top picks:
With no UberEats available and all the usual delicious Sandringam establishments closed for the time being, many of us might be mournfully lamenting the lack of delicious curries in our lives. But don't worry: No longer is a sugar-filled supermarket jarred sauce your only answer. Local supplier Banu's has a range of delicious pre-made sauces available to purchase on its website. All you need to do is cook some meat or paneer, mix through the sauce and finish off with coconut cream, regular cream or yogurt, then serve on rice or with homemade flatbreads. Banu's does contactless delivery nationwide, and makes sauces full of all the spices and nutrients we need to keep our immune systems firing - we'd recommend the butter chicken.
If you're anything like me, the last few days have seen your plate almost exclusively filled with beige foods, and more wine and chippies than you can shake a stick at. If so, your body is probably crying out for some proper nutrients, and that's where Auckland plant-based eatery Little Bird comes in. While the cafe is closed, its fresh food factory is open and supplying a range of meal and dessert boxes. You can have treats like its famous kimchi pancake batter, cashew aioli and gluten-free sprouted bread all delivered directly to your door. If the situation is really desperate, you might need the 'day one cleanse'.
The supermarket bread shelves have been ransacked and most of us got the whole 'making our own sourdough' thing out of our system all the way back in the first lockdown last year. Luckily you don't have to worry about pulling up all those old bookmarked blogs - Daily Bread bakery's sourdough bug is alive and kicking. Head to its website to order online for contactless Auckland deliveries and shipping NZ-wide. After all, carbohydrate-free is no way to get through a pandemic.
If even boiling an egg is a little beyond your capabilities, you might be staring down the barrel of an extended lockdown worrying you're going to go hungry. To that, we'd firstly say, learn a few basic skills. Then we'd let you know that food delivery service FED is still delivering its chef-prepared meals you can simply heat and eat at home. There's a weekly changing menu of 12 meals, so even picky eaters will be catered to. This week some of our top picks are probably the mac'n'cheese with bacon herb, smoky beef ragu with fettucinne, or the plant-based lentil shepherd's pie. Yum!