All of my friends know my steadfast healthy eating habits. I have always been focused on feeding my family whole organic food whenever possible. Don’t worry, the hydrogenated oily goodness that is the creamy center of an Oreo cookie is not lost on me. When quarantine hit I was faced with having all the kids back home and having to feed six adults. I wanted to do this in the healthiest way to keep our immune systems boosted, and everyone full.
In an attempt to help with the meat shortage, I stocked up on pantry staples like beans, flour, and dried fruits and nuts. Then sat with my daughter to browse our favorite food bloggers sites and get some meals pulled together. I must admit, I feel like we’ve crushed this quarantine cooking. And I owe almost all of it to said daughter, who has pulled her weight in the kitchen over and over again. And seen what it feels like to feed four boys who look at you questioningly. Or even worse looking for more when there isn’t any.
Sourdough starter for the win
Not sure where we would be in this quarantine feeding frenzy without our sourdough starter, more commonly known as our bread baby. Even the teenage boys have started asking where ‘the baby’ is. Our starter recipe and directions came from one of my favorite homesteading bloggers, Farmhouse on Boone. Besides the basic sourdough bread, one of our favorites were the sourdough bagels she made. Definitely a fan favorite. You can grab that recipe by clicking on the photo below.
Chicken tacos with cilantro lime ranch
Another quarantine meal crowd favorite here are tacos. And these crispy chicken tacos with cilantro lime ranch was a definite fan favorite. Half Baked Harvest is one of my favorite food bloggers. She has a way with recipes and photography. Like my mouth waters when I see her posts. I wasn’t planning to do a blog post of our food, so you’re getting our ‘wow, look what we made for dinner’ photos of the food. As you will see here the difference between our photos. ((insert a lot of laughing emoji faces here). We didn’t do the crispy part of this recipe because everyone was too hungry to wait any longer. We weren’t able to get tortillas so we made our own. One of my local friends actually put a recipe out for making tortillas, you can grab it from Tight Ship Mamma.
What to do with all the beans
I add beans to a lot and try to do as many meatless meals as possible. Sorry boys. One night I made an amazing pasta dish with cannelini beans and nobody even knew it had beans in it. I rinsed a can of beans, put it in a pot with chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper and added some pasta cooking liquid. This simmered until the beans were super soft, then I used the potato masher to mash it. I added more liquid until I had a smooth creamy sauce. Dumped it over the pasta, added parm and fresh basil and BAM! Dinner was done, healthy and nobody had any idea they just ate beans, again.
But our hands down what to do with all these beans quarantine meals has been Falafel. We’ve use the falafel recipe from Half Baked Harvest. We have made this more than once, and the boys are now all into it. We even ran out of sauce this last time.
again, how it should look……..
A few other offerings
From made from scratch ravioli (brown butter Brussel sprout and bacon), to curried lentils and beyond. We have enjoyed trying some new things while perfecting some of our past favorites and even adding healthy twists to one of my childhood dinners, tuna noodle. One of the big things I have learned in my years in the kitchen, make it yours, put your stamp on it and try new things. It doesn’t have to be all serious. And it’s okay to still sneak things into your teens (and beyond) food.
I hope this season has found you with some joyful moments with your family around your table. In your kitchen together, with flour on your faces and cookies in the oven. If we can be of any assistance during this time to you and your family, please feel free to reach out.