YOU GUYS ASKED so let’s SIMPLIFY quarantine cooking. Today’s question: how can I stretch my groceries and meals in quarantine?
Also file under: how can I save myself from cooking from scratch every day / is there any way to simplify cooking while we’re homebound?
Yep, yep and yep. I’ve got you, mama.
While I’ve been leaning into this time, playing more in the kitchen and getting real creative when our shelves are looking bare, I know not everyone loves the act of cooking all their meals, esp. when we’re being required to do it most days right now.
And so this has been a challenge, in more ways than one. I get it and I feel for you– I really do.
It’s also the reason I’m so into real foods though, and simplified cooking. Nothing I make is fancy (unless 20 minute gf granola is fancy), or elaborate.
Nothing takes longer than 10-20 minutes.
Like that’s a hard rule for me.
Eating this way will save you so much: time in the kitchen, stress on your body, weight on your mental capacity.
I just try to focus on using real foods and upgraded versions anywhere I can. That take care of my mind, body, soul and make them feel their best– and my family’s.
So when I hear someone say they don’t like cooking, I get it. But I also want to invite you to try my kind.
It’s like the easy cooking guide for non-cooking-lovers and it’s reaaalll easy, pinky promise. I wouldn’t have it another way.
(Psst, for a big kitchen win during quarantine, get my 2-week pantry meal plan and shop for groceries once for 2 weeks of meals that are all 5 ingredients and done in 15 minutes– because I get it right now. And I want to help as many people as possible keep cooking, keep staying healthy, and keep feeding their families well, no matter what is going out in our outside world. Get the plan for $27 with code STAYHOME at checkout.)
BUT– for a little prep that won’t feel like prep, I have another solution for you.
Save your future self time by making TWO of one recipe.
Enjoy one now, and freeze the other for later.
BOO-yah. You just nailed dinner tonight, and in two weeks (or whenever you’re not in the mood to cook).
This works best with *certain* types of foods: soups, stews, chili, meals cooked in baking dishes like lasagna, enchiladas or casseroles.
Think: things that are more “one-pot” or just use one dish that you can double and freeze.
To get you started, here are 3 of my favs to make a big batch of and save half for later on!
3 recipes to double and freeze for later
Black Bean Enchiladas
From the Simply Real Health Cookbook
Makes approximately 8 servings
2 packages organic corn tortillas
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar salsa of your choice
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 small container goat cheese or 1 cup shredded artisan cheese of your choice
1 small container pre-washed spinach or 1 bunch fresh spinach
1 large jar/can clean enchilada sauce
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a large rectangular glass or oven-proof baking dish with a bit of olive oil. Smear some enchilada sauce on the bottom to cover the pan, and add a layer of corn tortillas, tearing them to fit if necessary.
Layer with crumbled goat cheese, black beans, spinach, salsa and avocado. Add another layer of corn tortillas and pour enchilada sauce over the top. Continue building layers, ending with tortillas on top and sauce poured over it. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove foil.
Place back in oven for 5 minutes until cheese browns and bubbles. Optional to broil for the last minute or two for a nice crispy brown top layer.
Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
From Simply Real Eating
Makes 4-6 servings
½ lb organic ground turkey, chicken or beef, optional
3 carrots, chopped
1 small yam or sweet potato, peeled and chopped
5-6 stalks celery, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 can baked beans, with top liquid drained off (look for baked beans without corn syrup)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups organic chicken stock
½ teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder and oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, stirring as you go. When done, remove from the pan, turn up the heat to medium-high, and brown the turkey. When done, add all other ingredients and spices to the pot and let cook together for 5-7 minutes. When ready to serve, scoop into bowls and add any extra toppings you’d like.
Organic Turkey Meatloaf
From the Simply Real Health Cookbook
Makes approximately 6 servings
1½ pounds organic ground turkey or ground grass fed beef
½ cup almond flour, garbanzo bean flour or brown rice flour
2 tablespoons assorted chopped herbs: parsley, mint, thyme and basil would all work great
¼ medium onion or ½ small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a pie pan or loaf pan with olive oil or coconut oil. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes so the chia seeds can expand. Pour the mixture into the pan and distribute it evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Drain off any excess liquid before serving.