I like seeing what people are eating right now. I don’t know why, maybe I need the inspiration or it just makes me happy to see that people are finding comfort in food. I’ve been trying to stick to simple dishes (because it feels like I’m cooking and cleaning up after 5427 meals a day). And dishes that are easy to make large portions with, so we can have leftovers for the following lunch. My husband is still surprisingly considered essential (law) so we don’t have him home everyday. So I’m choosing simple, relatively quick and nutritiously dense meals.
It’s cold and rainy this week in SoCal, so we’re making more soups. And I’m using simpler ingredients because stores are still sold out of a lot of items that we love around here (is it any better where you are?). My kids and I haven’t left our home, except for walks around our neighborhood, since March 13. We have been getting our groceries delivered through Instacart, which has been such a great service to have at this time.
There has been a tremendous amount of change with school and seeing friends, so I have been making sure to make some of our kids favorite comfort foods—veggie dogs for lunch and grilling up loaded beyond burgers outside on the weekends. And we have been baking away, just like everyone else! Lots of cookies, banana bread, pies, you name it. And the kids are eating mountains of fruits. Again, so thankful for grocery delivery.
And since my husband is still working, it has been a huge help that he makes a huge batch of pancakes on Sundays, which are the kids favorites and last a day or two.
Hope you’re finding comfort at this moment, whether it’s in food or feeding the people you love.💗
And in case you want more info, I only have written recipes for one of the meals above. But here is the quick gist of what’s involved:
- Shepherds Pie: French lentil base. I sauté onions and garlic and a mix of veggies (the frozen bag is honestly perfect for this) with pre-cooked lentils. Add in a few spices like thyme and chick’n seasoning. Top with mashed potatoes and bake. A favorite in our house!
- Haystacks: a potluck staple in our community, which is basically a build-your-own-taco-salad. We start with a base of tortilla chips (some prefer Fritos!), then top with refried or black beans, rice, an optional veggie meat and then various toppings. The toppings are the best part and can consist of tomatoes, onions, both green and diced, olives, salsa, guacamole, jalapeños, you name it. We add a potato/carrot/cashew based nacho cheese sauce and vegan sour cream. Perfection and everyone happily chooses their own toppings.
- Chili: This one is self-explanatory, but one of my sons favorites. I keep dried TVP on hand just for this dish. Sauté onions and garlic and add in TVP. Then we add whatever beans and any veggies we have on hand with tomato paste. Very easy. And top with different garnishes like chopped red and green onions, cilantro, cashew sour cream, etc. Sometimes I’ll make it a creamy chili by blending warm water and cashews in the vitamix and adding in towards the end.
- Cashew Cream Pasta: another one of our kids faves. Literally just cashews blended in the vitamix with warm water, a few garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, a tiny bit of olive oil and sea salt to taste. Then we throw it in the pan with cooked pasta of choice, once it’s drained. Roasted tomatoes are delicious in this dish, but my kids like their veggies on the side.
- Coconut Braised Lentils: one of our kids very favorite dishes and one of mine too–since it’s so easy to make. You can find the recipe here: Coconut Braised Lentils.