Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

What To Eat During Your Self-Quarantine

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the distribution bottleneck we’re witnessing in our food system, I thought it might be helpful to outline some simple recipes to help keep everyone staying home safe, healthy, and satisfied — on a budget.

1. Basic Shopping List:

  1. Veggies, fresh or frozen, such as carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, bok choy, potatoes, squash, mushrooms, etc.
  2. Fruit, fresh or frozen, such as apples, pears, bananas, cherries, berries, lemons, oranges, etc.
  3. Protein, fresh, canned, dried, or frozen, such as beans, tofu, stew meat, ground meat, or a whole chicken.
  4. Grains, dried or frozen, such as rice, oats, quinoa, wheat berries, farro, etc.

2. Oatmeal & Grain Bowls

Oatmeal is a wonderful thing because it can be sweet or savory, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are a basic sweet recipe and a basic savory recipe that you can tweak and work with at your own pleasure.

3. Simple Meat

You may be under the impression that meat would be a too expensive indulgence while rationing food, but I am here to tell you differently. Buying a whole chicken that you can roast for dinner, save meat for soup or sandwiches throughout the week, and save the bones for broth gives you a major bang for your buck. In addition, less expensive cuts of meat from your local grocery store (or even butcher!) like stew meat, stir fry meat, bones, or other offcuts are great for slow-cooked stews and soups that will last you through the weekend.

Roasting A Whole Chicken:

Preheat your oven to 425 F. If you can find a whole chicken, remove the giblets (you’re going to use these for broth or soup later), rinse that bird in your (empty!) sink, and set it out to dry on paper towels while you prepare a roasting pan.

Bone Broth:

You can use leftover chicken bones for this broth, or purchase bones from a butcher — marrow bones and bone-in shanks work well here. Place your bones to a large slow-cooker or stockpot and cover with water. For every gallon of water, add at least 1 tbsp of salt, and 2 tbsp. of any vinegar but balsamic — apple cider vinegar is my go-to (the acidity of your liquid helps leech minerals from the bones). You can also add whole spices like peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, and cinnamon sticks for a more middle-eastern flavor profile (these spices work especially well with lamb bones).

Soups & Stews:

1. Leftover chicken meat, or other stew meat.
2. Homemade broth.
3. Vegetables: the core ones are onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, but you can also incorporate canned chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, greens, or other root vegetables.
4. Starch: Grains, beans, or pasta.

4. Stir-fry’s and Hash

The great thing about stir-fry’s and hash is that they’re both “kitchen sink” meals. You can make them with just about anything available in your pantry or fridge, and they’re inherently foolproof.

  1. Basic Hash:
    - A potato or starchy vegetable of your choosing
    - The meat of your choosing — corned beef & sausage are my favorites
    - Veggies of your choosing
    - Fried egg
    - Herbs: sage, parsley, thyme, oregano
    - Cheese (optional)
    - Sweet potato, sage, onion, and chorizo sausage with a fried egg on top has been my favorite combination thus far. *Pro-tip — steam or boil your potatoes before adding them to your skillet. That’s how you get that super crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside texture.

5. Ramen

I have nothing against ramen. I LOVE ramen. But there are ways you can dress up ramen so that it doesn’t feel like a bland sodium overload every single afternoon and evening.

Life Coach & Author. Twitter: @LeighHuggins

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