You are stuck inside with a hungry family and a bare pantry.
Eating pasta or boxed macaroni and cheese multiple days a week is starting to get old (not to mention it’s full of carbs and not healthy.)
But what can you do? Your family needs to eat and you’re working with a limited supply.
The good news is, even though your quarantined at home, you can still cook healthy meals for your family that they actually enjoy.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Southern mamas know the secret to pleasing their families is dishing out a mean casserole dish.
Piping hot and full of a variety of ingredients, you really can’t go wrong with making a casserole.
And while recipes are a good guide to follow, the best part about homemade casseroles is they are completely customizable and easy to make!
You can add in more spices to give it a kick, or more cheese and chopped veggies to give it a deeper texture.
Don’t think you need to make anything gourmet —think simple.
One night you can use ground beef, eggs, cheese, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices and make a breakfast casserole.
The next night, you can use chicken, ranch seasoning, cream, tomato sauce, rice, and make a creamy chicken casserole!
You can make tuna casseroles. Pizza casseroles. Veggie casseroles.
Look For Recipes With Few Ingredients
Now is not the time to try and cook the complicated 40 ingredient recipe because you “have time.”
Keep it simple!
At this stage of the quarantine – your goal is to feed your family with (hopefully) food they like – that is easy to make.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Feeling like Mexican? You can make enchiladas – all you need is beef, cheese, tortillas, salsa (and enchilada sauce if you have it – if not, a simple hot sauce will work).
Craving classic American? Whip up your kids a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and get creative and add other things like bacon or avocado.
Looking for a healthy snack?
Think almond butter with celery or bananas, or fruit cups with a hint of whipped cream.
You can also make smoothies for a treat (with frozen berries) and simply use almond milk as the base.
Or if you want something crunchy, if you happen to have a can of chickpeas, you can add olive oil, sea salt, and seasoning and bake ‘em in the oven for a crispy treat!
The key to survive quarantine cooking is to load up on key ingredients that can be used to make multiple meals.
Yes – You May Have To Buy Frozen And Canned
While it’s always best to eat fresh fruit and veggies, sometimes it’s not always possible (or wise) during a quarantine.
Do you really want to touch and hunt for the perfect tomato, touching the same tomatoes hundreds of other hands have touched?
Or do you want to make frequent trips to the grocery store because you are constantly running out of fresh ingredients?
Now is the time to stock your pantry with staples that will last like canned tomatoes, black beans, brown rice, canned pineapples, chickpeas, marinara sauce, etc.
Don’t forget cooking staples like sea salt, olive oil, garlic powder, and whatever other spices you use on a regular basis.
And while it’s nice to eat fresh veggies with meals, you might have to resort to stocking up with frozen versions such as steamed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and stir fry peppers.
Make Extra For Leftovers
When you’re cooking, don’t just think about cooking for one meal – plan to cook several meals at once.
You can make big pots of hearty chili or beef stew that can be eaten throughout the week or frozen for another day.
And remember, give yourself grace.
If you’ve had a long and exhausting day – order takeout and be done with it!
(h/t Mommy Underground)