Though we’re running a bit low on toilet paper (this could get interesting), we have shelves and shelves and shelves of dry goods, every kind of Italian-named noodle, frozen veggies, canned beans and chicken of the sea (which still reminds me Jessica Simpson. Every time.).
I’ve rustled up five of the most user-friendly and ingredient-short recipes for times like these. When walking into the kitchen and making something good to eat feels more like feeding your soul than your tummy.
One. Ina Garten is one of my favorites, and she is especially adept at making tried-and-true meals from whatever she has on hand. This Broccoli & Bow Ties is easy and tasty, and can be of course adjusted to incorporate any veggie and any noodle!
Two. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this soup from damndelicious. It’s enough that I don’t need the recipe anymore (which says a lot for me). It’s filling, smells fantastic and doesn’t use very many ingredients. You can cheat the steps and use frozen cubed hashbrowns instead of fresh new potatoes, and I like to add a little more red pepper flakes than she calls for, but that’s just me. And it feels SO GOOD to pour the heavy whipping cream in (which of course can be substituted with half and half). Heaven.
Three. Victoria Granof’s Pasta con Ceci might have the fewest ingredients of these recipes, and I KNOW I have these all in my pantry, which makes me more than confident you do, too. Food52 is a great source for beautiful, but accessible, recipes. It’s safe to say I haven’t tried one with my family that we didn’t like.
Four. Giada is a master, and right now, she has a whole section on her page for pantry friendly recipes and adjustments to her regular menu, but with quarantine abundant ingredients. Check out the whole page, but start with this gem. It even uses canned tuna! I know. Shocking.
Five. Antoni. He’s easy on the eyes, which is a plus, and somehow makes everything he cooks just better? He’s the food and wine expert on Queer Eye, and he (get ready for this) can actually cook. Bonus. His recommended meal for our COVID quarantine? Omelette. All you need are eggs and whatever you have that needs consuming before tomorrow. Steve’s a master with this–he drags out spinach, canned beans, shredded chicken from last night…whatever. But it’s all delicious folded inside eggs, cheese and butter.
Fun Facts: The more you open a jar, the more air gets in, so the faster it expires. Root vegetables last longest: potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions. Plus fruits like apples, lemons and oranges are good for three weeks. Stay away from fragile foods like berries and avocados, and don’t make creamy soups–they have a short shelf life and don’t freeze well. If anything is starting to expire, like fresh vegetables and fruits, slice them now and freeze. You can cook them later when you need them (or put them in smoothies).