Easy Recipes and Tips for a Tastier Shut-In

Kitchen One-Pot Recipes

One of our many challenges during this shelter-in-place is our meal situation. We have all been probably stocking up on the staples for our pantry. We don’t want to sacrifice how we eat, but we know we need to make smart decisions while we shop.There are a few tips we can use to help us in the kitchen.

  1.  Choosing fresh ingredients that can be used in multiple meals we can use.  For example, buying multiple onions, carrots, garlic cloves, or other fresh staples that will be used within a week for multiple meals.
  2.  Knowing where to shop for your meat and poultry and how long it can be stored in the fridge vs. the freezer is important.  Being able to buy your meat in larger quantities and freezing it is helpful.
  3.  Storing your dried goods in seal-tight containers is also important to keep out moisture. 
  4. Many local farmer’s markets are still open and practicing social distancing.  Their produce is often less expensive and higher quality than what you will find at your local grocery store.  It will also last longer when storing because it is picked fresh daily vs. sitting on a shelf or being shipped out of state.  If you are willing to brave stepping out of your house and practicing safe social distancing this is a viable option.
  5. If you do have your groceries delivered, do not bring them into your home unless absolutely necessary or until you need them.  When you do bring them in, do your best to clean the boxes or remove the items from their packages first. Items like produce need to be washed before being stored in your refrigerator.  Use gloves when handling these items.   

We also want to give you a few great recipes that are easy to prepare and don’t require many ingredients. These recipes are easy to follow and turn out delicious. We hope you enjoy them and try out different variations depending on your own personal tastes.

ONE POT CHICKEN ALFREDO

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 c. whole milk

1 1/2 c. chicken broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. fettuccine

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Directions: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden and cooked through, 8 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice. Add milk, broth and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add fettuccine, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Let cook until al dente (which means to still be firm when bitten), 8 minutes more. Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan until combined. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in sliced chicken.

MEXICAN BEEF-STUFFED BELL-PEPPERS

Ingredients

4 medium green or sweet red peppers

1 pound ground beef

1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve Spanish rice

2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1-1/2 cups salsa

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (if available)

1 cup water

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (if available)

Directions: Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the rice, 1-1/2 cups cheese, salsa and pepper sauce. Spoon into peppers. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Pour water around peppers. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Top with remaining cheese; sprinkle with cilantro if you have it on hand.

VEGETARIAN ONE-POT CAPRESE PASTA

Ingredients

4-1/2 cups water

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup basil leaves , packed

3 garlic cloves , minced

salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste

1-1/2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions: In a stockpot, combine water, olive oil, pasta, halved tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 11 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is thoroughly cooked and water reduced. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in shredded mozzarella cheese; stir until thoroughly combined. Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly. Garnish with balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and tips. This could be an opportunity to try a new food or recipe you haven’t had before. Join a friend or family member in the kitchen and have some fun doing something outside the box or creating comfort food at its best. More recipes found on budgetbytes.com and foodnetwork.com.

Author: Janelle Fontaine| Assistant News Editor

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