Can You probably have all, or most, of what you need to whip up a few simple social distancing dinners that require just four or five ingredients each.
Stock up for your social distancing dinners
If you’ve made a stop at the grocery store any time recently, you know everyone is stocking up. Without shoving, and while obeying all applicable distancing requirements, make sure you have what you need to be flexible in your home cooking. You can’t go wrong by picking up a few of the following:
- Produce: Versatile, filling and nutritious
- Canned Goods: These will last as long as you need them to and come in handy surprisingly often
- Dry Ingredients: Think flour, sugar, baking powder, rice, etc.
- Oils: You’ll want some olive oil, butter and a more neutral oil with a higher smoke point like canola
- Spices: Salt and pepper are not the only spices. Get creative.
- Bases: Here we’re thinking the protein of your choice. Meats if you can find them, plant-based proteins if not.
1. Garlic spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash is a fantastic choice during social distancing because it isn’t usually everybody else’s first item to grab, and it’s both nutrient-rich and filling. Feel free to dress it up as you’d like but find a delicious start here. You can always omit or change the veggies. All you really need is the squash, oil, garlic and salt.
2. Black bean-corn quesadillas
This one feels both indulgent and simple. You can throw it together in about 20 minutes and don’t have to charge yourself extra for guac. You need corn, beans, tortillas and cheese. And then add salsa and taco seasoning to your tastes. Doctor it with grilled onions or diced tomatoes if you’d like.
3. Egg fried rice
This one tastes like a night out and serves as the perfect start to a night in (mandatory or otherwise). If you prefer a more substantial course, pan fry some diced chicken before cooking the eggs but otherwise, eggs, rice, oil and soy sauce will make it delicious.
4. Panko chicken nuggets
Kids at home? Just feeling a little nostalgic? Don’t feel like you have to spend all night standing over a pot of hot oil to enjoy decadent “fried” chicken.
The best part: Once you’ve collected these ingredients (chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and butter), you can use the same method on almost anything for a delicious and crispy result.
5. Baked zucchini “fries”
Remember when we said you could replicate the frying process with almost anything? Fried zucchini is an amazing and guilt-free alternative to potato fries, and if you’ve already made the chicken above, you already have everything you need: Panko, Parmesan, flour and eggs.
6. Easy Southwestern soup
This comes with the flexibility of a vegetarian or meat-inclusive option using almost exclusively canned or frozen items! The broth, seasoning, corn and salsa are required. The chicken (or beef or pork) is up to you!
7. World’s best pancakes
Just woke up? Craving your local pancake joint? Fear not, you almost definitely have what you need to recreate the experience. Additional sugar is optional, but mix things up with chocolate chips, cinnamon, peanut butter or whatever hits the spot.
8. No-hassle beef stew
Fresh beef may be scarce, but many of the prepared, refrigerated options are still available! For a satisfying and well-needed dose of comfort food, check out this quick and easy stew. The puff pastry is fun but unnecessary and you can doctor this with whatever veggies you desire.
Don’t let the distance bring you down
Make sure you’re still making time to put yourself first, especially in the kitchen. More often than not, we don’t even know what we have stored in the back of the pantry or fridge until we take a good hard look. You may need to stop off to pick up a few things in these recipes, but they should be more or less frictionless and allow you to nourish the body so you can nourish the mind!