Before the lockdown, millions of people relied on regular restaurant visits and quick grocery trips to eat happily. Whole cities and lifestyles have been designed around eating near others and – more importantly – not really cooking at home. For many, finding yourself locked down with your own pantry and stove is almost like living without edible food. Matters are only made worse by complicated and overly fancy recipes filling the internet instead of good, simple 20-30 minute ideas with balanced nutrition.
What most of us need most during the COVID-19 lockdown is some good mother-cooking sense. We need the kind of recipe book that covers all the food groups, tastes pretty good, and doesn’t take three hours to prepare. Even better if you can mix up the menu with the groceries you already have.
In light of this worthy goal, we’re sharing some easy, healthy recipes that you can enjoy during your time as a lockdown home chef.
1. Personal Egg Scramble
- Chopped Favorite Veggies
- Ex( broccoli, mushroom, tomato)
- Bread Carrier
- Tortilla, English muffin, or toast
When you want an easy and healthy breakfast, nothing beats the egg scramble. Start with your favored number of morning eggs. A good standard is one-or-two per child and two-or-three per adult plus one for the pot. A dash of milk whipped in can make your eggs fluffier.
Now add a few chopped veggies that you might order in an omelet. Omelets are hard, scrambles are easy and tasty. Stir-fry the veggies a little in cooking oil and garlic, then add your pre-mixed eggs. Stir until they’re the right amount of cooked for you and enjoy with a lightly-buttered carb.
2. Simple Stir-Fry and Rice
- Shredded Chicken
- Favorite Stir-fry Veggies
- Ex(broccoli, carrot, peapod, mushroom, bellpepper, onion)
- Soy Sauce
Every family does stir-fry a little differently. Maybe you love mushrooms and hate bell peppers, or always cook with big chunks of onion. The key is that stir-fry is easy. Strt with garlic and cooking oil in a pan. Add chicken and cook at medium heat until the chicken can be shredded. Add your favorite chopped stir-fry veg and toss as everything blends. When the chicken is done and the veg is hot, make a space in the middle and throw in two pre-scrambled eggs. Let them solidify a little, then stir it in. Then stir in one more pre-scrambled egg and toss it with soy sauce into the whole mixture. Season to taste. When all the egg is cooked, you can serve with white rice.
Cooking white rice is easy. Boil about two and a half cups of water. Add one and a half cups of rice. Let the rice come to a simmer, then turn down to low heat and cover. Wit 20 minutes while the stir-fry cooks, fluff rice, and serve.
3. Fruit and Cottage Cheese
- Canned or fresh fruit of choice
- Non-fat Cottage Cheese
The next time you want a quick and healthy meal, consider fruit and cottage cheese instead. If you haven’t tried it in years, try again. The adult taste buds change. Try it with different kinds of fruit, canned or fresh. Pineapple gives a delicious tang while pear is a very gentle combination.
Cottage cheese and fruit is filling, tasty, protein-rich, and otherwise low on bad calories. Best of all, it takes no time to prepare.
4. Chicken Rice Soup
- Soup Veggies of Choice
- Ex(broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, celery, peapods, onions)
Also known as kitchen-sink soup or alternately, stone or nail soup. The best chicken soup can be made from whatever is around in your kitchen, plus one or two pieces of chicken. The steps are easy-peasy and anyone can make a delicious pot of filling chicken soup.
Boil your chicken pieces in a pot of water. Add your favorite mixed season – both Italian and Greek blends are trustworthy. Dump in your chopped veggies and let the whole thing boil for 10 minutes together. Pull and shred or chop the chicken and throw it back in. Add one to two cups of dry rice (depending on the size and fullness of your pot). Simmer until the rice is mush, season to taste.
When the rice expands into chicken casserole in the fridge, you can add water, microwave, and season again to taste.
5. Fresh Taco Night
- Ground Beef or Shredded Chicken
- Taco Seasoning Mix
- Fresh Chopped Lettuce or Spinnach
- Fresh Diced Tomatoes
- Shredded Cheese
Last but not least are the indomitable tacos. Taco night is a tradition we love to start or continue. Begin with either ground beef or shredded chicken – mostly cooked. Add a pack of taco seasoning and a small amount of water. Simmer your meats in taco-paste while you chop the veggies.
Start the oven and warm your taco shells/ tortillas with cheese in them. (melted cheese holds the taco shell together). Chop lettuce (or spinach for an added health kick) and fresh tomatoes. Onions and cilantro are also popular.
When the seasoning has simmered down and the cheese is melted, load up your tacos and enjoy. It’s as simple as that.
Eating healthy and cooking easy don’t have to be separate. Instead of splurging on freezer foods, ace cooking fast and taste balanced meals in the kitchen. As you can see, it’s much easier than those home-and-garden recipe trends make it out to be.