So suddenly we’re all spending a lot more time in our houses! We’ve got ideas on what type of meals to cook during these strange times.
We’re all in this together. No, I’m not quoting High School Musical. I’m talking about the current state of the world.
With so many people having to stay at home as much as possible right now, they’ve stocked up on essentials and are avoiding public places.
But that doesn’t mean a life of freeze-dried meals and beans straight from the can. There are plenty of simple dishes that you can prepare while you’re stuck at home. Here on The Cookful, we’re going to be exploring a number of those dishes in the coming days, to ensure that you can inject a little happiness into potentially lonely days.
Before we start posting new recipes though, we should take this opportunity to talk about a few of the basic groups that we’re going to be pulling from.
Soups with Canned Legumes
A nice homemade soup can go a long way toward lifting your spirits when you’re stuck inside.
Soups and other one-pot meals like stew are great because they’re not only quick to make, but they’re easy to clean up. They’re also both comforting and versatile, ensuring that you won’t get sick of them.
You’re going to want a well-stocked pantry in case you can’t get out to the store as much as usual. That means non-perishable items like rice and pasta.
Rice and pasta are great because they allow you to take any small food and turn it into a meal. Pasta can be the difference between an ordinary can of tuna and a tuna noodle casserole.
You’re also going to want some canned tomatoes. Doesn’t matter if they’re whole, diced, crushed, or pureed. Try to have a few cans on hand. Canned tomatoes go in a lot of foods, from soups, to chili, to pasta sauce.
Obviously, you’re going to want some meats for your meal, but when you’re stuck inside for long periods and the shelves at your local supermarket are empty, you’re going to want to stock your fridge with cured meats.
What do I mean by cured? I’m talking about things like bacon, ham, kielbasa, and fully-cooked sausages and sausage patties. Things that have a longer shelf life than traditional meats and are handy to have around when they’re needed.
It’s always easy to grill up some kielbasa or fry up bacon with some eggs for a quick meal. They can also be nice additions to soups for extra flavor and protein.
Items that Freeze Well
The freezer is going to be your best friend throughout the duration of this pandemic.
Freezing items can keep them fresh for future use, but some foods freeze better than others.
Of course, you’ve got your frozen fruits and veggies that can be purchased in a bag and already frozen. Those frozen fruits can make tasty treats like smoothies!
But there are a number of items that you can freeze which could be a major piece of a full meal.
Ground beef is one. Freeze your ground beef and defrost it when you’re ready. You can still make burgers, meatloaf, and tacos to your heart’s content.
Shrimp is another versatile food that freezes very well. You can serve your shrimp either cold or cook it so that it’s nice and warm in a pasta or rice.
Salmon fillets are also a healthy option that can be frozen and thawed when needed. Toss it in some rice with some teriyaki sauce and you’ve got an amazing meal on your hands.
Tomato sauce is another great idea. Make a big pot of it, use it with some meatballs and spaghetti, then freeze the rest of it to thaw and toss onto some pasta whenever you need it.
If you’ve ventured into your local grocery store lately, you’ll have noticed that a lot of the shelves are empty.
Obviously, roasts take time to prepare, but if you’re home already, it’s the perfect opportunity to make one. You can even cook a pot roast in your Instant Pot and save a lot of time.
Roasts give you the opportunity to make one large meal and enjoy the leftovers for another day or two.
What’s more, the meat can be easily frozen, so there’s no rush in making it.
Being home all day isn’t the end of the world, though of course it might feel that way. But just because you can’t leave the house doesn’t mean you have to give up the meals that bring you the most comfort. Turn off the news for a bit, gather your family, and enjoy some delicious home cooked meals.
Keep checking back to The Cookful for ideas on recipes that make the most of your time and pantry.