Do you need to stay indoors? Is the weather bad, or are you not able to go out? Here you have a collection of 17 easy meals to make when you are stuck at home.
Do you need to put food on the table, but your pantry is full of ingredients? This article is for you.
Whatever the emergency event, we all need to organize the pantries and refrigerators to come up with meals that are easy to make and nutritious for the entire family.
These are recipes that I make regularly, and they are part of my repertoire. You will find very few recipes on this blog that are not part of my regular cooking routine.
Instead of hoarding toilet paper, a better idea would be to shop for pantry items that would help you create good meals for everyone involved. We should all be prepared if the pizza delivery doesn't come to us or we cannot go to a restaurant.
Sometimes, emergencies, when we are stuck in the house, teach us how to be self-sufficient and careful with our resources.
While sometimes the impulse to buy everything in the store looks hilarious (after all, that sugar and flour will not last forever anyway), I think that a little bit of organization instead would help each one of us during times when we need to manage our own pantry in a better way.
What do you think about a 14-15 days meal plan based on non-perishable foods combined with a few fresh foods that will stay fresh for only a few days?
The idea is that if you’re preparing to stay home more than usual, it’s important to have healthy foods on hand.
That means you will need to shop (besides the dried foods from the pantry) for foods that will keep you healthy and that you’re getting the nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other immune-supporting compounds you need.
Think about long-lasting fruits and vegetables like apples, grapefruit, oranges, and clementines. Lemons are also good if you need to make tea with honey and lemon or make wonderful lemon bars.
Also, frozen foods are perfect, as you can use them as you need. Strawberries, mango, blueberries, and peaches can be used for smoothies or desserts.
Long-lasting vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers stay fresh for several days. Carrots (in the refrigerator) and potatoes are basic staples you should have.
I will share with you a few links that will take you to easy recipes from my blog, recipes that will keep you fed and satisfied.
Before that, though, I want to share with you some important tips, so you can stay better organized in case you are not able to go out for a while.
Important tips to stay organized
- Be grateful- Take a moment to be grateful for your current life of abundance. Be grateful for the toilet paper! Be grateful for that cup of coffee, that bacon you had in the morning for breakfast, or that piece of chocolate. Drink that bottle of water and be grateful for it, also for that shower you just took, or for having a washing machine. Be grateful for everything you have right now, as it is part of your life unaffected by this global crisis.
- Be proactive: You don't know what tomorrow brings. Clean the house now, do the laundry and the dishes. Laundry and dishes should be an everyday task, so do not wait until you discover that you do not have clean socks, underwear, or basic pajama pants. Or a clean mug to make a lousy tea. In general, be proactive and do not postpone anything if you can do it today.
- Make a list based on a week's worth of groceries your family consumes. This will help you figure out a shopping list for the next 2-3 weeks. Go to the pantry and check what you have. Build a list from there. Here is my pantry list. Take the list to the grocery store and stick with it; otherwise, you will buy random things you don't need. Impulse shopping, thinking that you might need the items, is not a strategy but just pure chaos.
- Clean a closet or a drawer- If you live in a small apartment or don't have a lot of storage place, clean a closet or a drawer so you can fit some pantry items, like cans of meat, fish or vegetables, oil, vinegar, maybe the wine (if you were smart enough to buy from the grocery store).
- Buy an extra can opener- That fresh food you bought from the store will not last forever, and an extra can opener is a good thing to have around anyway.
- Clean the condiment shelf of your fridge- I had to do this today, as my food order arrived, and I had no space in the fridge for everything. We all have these bottles of random condiments sitting almost empty, sometimes super old, on that shelf. Get rid of anything you don't like or it is too old.
- Apply the FIFO rule, "first in, first out," especially for foods that expire fast. The first item you put in the refrigerator should be consumed first. So, always grab items from the back of the refrigerator, not from the front; otherwise, you will always have stuff on the back of the fridge that will eventually get tired of you, grow little legs, and leave.
- Do not cook more than you know you are going to eat- if you made too much pasta because it fell in the water before you got to measure it properly, stop being a spoiled brat and eat the leftovers or freeze them. Do not throw anything away. After all, being sustainable is an important lesson that we all need to learn.
- Buy a vacuum sealer machine- Invest a small amount of money and get a vacuum sealer. Also, buy some bags for it. It will help you keep fresh (only in the refrigerator) pieces of meat, vegetables, and fruits for 7-10 days.
- Use the freezer- We all know that we can freeze vegetables, meat, bread, homemade soups, stews, etc. Suppose you plan on cooking in advance to freeze so you can eat later, great. Keep in mind that when you defrost food, it has to be done properly. Bread or any pastry type can be put in the oven right away for reheating, as well as roasted meats and other frozen vegetables.
- Cravings and addictions to different foods- Make sure you stock up on foods that you like to indulge in once in a while. I am not saying that you should live like a king during difficult times, but your food cravings are going to be your worst enemies if you have to stay home. If your life is empty without ice cream, buy it. If you cannot live without coffee (but you usually go to the coffee shop every day to buy it), either buy a coffee machine or learn how to make coffee on the stove, as you will not be able to get out of the house. (my recipe for basic Turkish coffee is amazing).
- Cook- It is OK to buy frozen or canned already-made meals, but these will not last forever. Also, I think that ordering take-out might not be easy. Trying to make a few new recipes is always a good idea. If you have children and plenty of time now, you might also want to involve them in your culinary creations in the kitchen. This way, you give them something to do, and the opportunity to enjoy time with them is right there.
- Go get to know your neighbors or call them- you might discover new friends or people you can rely on in case of need. Also, think about elders if everyone in your neighborhood needs to be at home as well. They might need some help too. Some of them might not be as fortunate as you are; they might be fragile or in a difficult situation. Call and offer your help. If they need grocery shopping, you can do it for them. You can also leave the groceries at their door. A little bit of solidarity never killed anyone.
- Stock up on a board and card games and also books- this is your opportunity to read or spend quality time with the family.
- Do not forget your pets- buy food, vitamins, and everything else they might need.
- Make sure you have enough medical supplies for the entire family.
And now the recipes:
Of course, I could give you hundreds of recipes from the blog, but I think that if you go through this list and make at least one recipe every day, your life at home is going to be more bearable.
You might even have some fun in the kitchen and, in the process, find some more recipes that might be useful.
It would probably be a good idea to take a look at the recipes before you go shopping and make a list.