Recipes

27 Meals For Staying Home

April 5, 2020  —  Written by Chris 

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It’s a stressful time. For everyone.

Stress leads to stress eating. Which, at least for me, usually centers on foods high in carbs and low in nutrition. And that wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t arguably more important than ever to have your immune system firing on all cylinders.

Below we share 27 recipes that focus on fresh vegetables and ingredients that you can either freeze for months or keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Pick the ones that make sense for you and work them into your meal plan. A healthy, home-cooked meal can be a big help in lifting your mood, as well the mood of anyone you may be privileged to cook for right now.

And with all this social distancing, I hope it’s clear just how much of a privilege it is to cook for others.

Recipes in this post:

Pork Tenderloin & Roasted VegetablesArugula Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Chicken Quarters & Roasted Potato SaladSausage & Peppers
Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups(EASTER)
Glazed Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus & Mushrooms
Ham & Bean SoupMoroccan Chicken & Rice
Fried RiceHoney Glazed Chicken Wings & Fresh Greens
Salmon & Braised CabbageGrilled Steak Tacos
Salt and Vinegar Chicken & Sweet Corn SaladTomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese
Taco SaladMango Smoothie Bowls
Sweet Potato Hash & EggsSpaghetti with Meat Sauce
Beef StewVegetable Soup with White Beans
Vegetable Stir FryBBQ Ribs & Broccoli Slaw
Eggs & AsparagusHard Shell Tacos
Sweet Potato ChiliGrilled Pork with Herbs & Grilled Summer Vegetables
Baked Sausage & Eggs

Pork Tenderloin & Roasted Vegetables
Pork tenderloin is an affordable way to feed a family with a great cut of meat. They’re also skinny and won’t take up a ton of space. If you store it in the freezer it will keep for up to a year, though the flavor starts getting weaker around month three.

Seared Pork, Roasted Vegetables & Basil Dressing

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5 from 4 votes

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin trimmed
  • 1/2 yellow onion quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus trimmed, cut into 1in lengths
  • 2 yellow squash cut into 1in pieces
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Sear the pork

  • cut the tenderloin into 4 portions and season with salt and pepper. In a stainless steel pan on medium heat, sear the pork portions on all sides in 2 tbsp olive oil. Remove pan from heat, set aside.

Roast the vegetables, finish the pork

  • Place a baking pan in the oven and preheat to 400.
  • Toss the onion, asparagus and squash together in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil and a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Quickly slide the vegetables onto the preheated baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, toss the vegetables around, then place the pork portions, along with any cooking juices in the pan, on top. Place a meat thermometer inside and continue to roast the vegetables with the pork on top until the pork reach an internal temperature of 145. Remove from the oven at that point.

Make the dressing

  • Add the olive oil to the pan the pork was cooked in and warm it over medium low heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the oil and garlic with the chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir together.

Serve

  • Cut each portion into 4 slices. Place the roasted vegetables on a serving sheet, topped with the sliced pork, and then top with the parsley dressing.

Arugula Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Arugula is a great green, that holds up better than baby lettuces. As long as its kept dry it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks (of course, check the “best by” date). Even still, the flavor is best within the first week of purchasing so if this one makes it on your list, plan to eat it sooner rather than later.

Arugula & Prosciutto Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

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5 from 4 votes

Arugula Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 10 oz arugula
  • 4 strips bacon cooked, chopped
  • 2 oz gorgonzola crumbled
  • 1/3 cup almonds sliced, toasted

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Make the dressing by first warming the garlic over medium low heat in the olive oil. Add it to the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
  • In a large bowl, add the arugula and top with the bacon, cheese and almonds. Add the dressing 2 tbsp at a time and toss until coated sufficiently. You may not use all of it. Plate the salad and serve.

Chicken Quarters & Roasted Potato Salad
Chicken quarters are a favorite here. They’re inexpensive but super filling, and will keep in the freezer for months. A roasted potato salad is also a great way to freshen up those potatoes that may have been sitting in the pantry for awhile.

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5 from 4 votes

Chicken Quarters & Roasted Potato Salad

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 4 chicken quarters
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the roasted potatoes

  • 1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Remaining salad ingredients

  • 2/3 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • caper berries optional
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Roast the potatoes

  • Place a baking pan in the oven at 400 degrees while you prep the potatoes
  • Toss together the potatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil. Quickly slide onto the preheated baking pan and roast for 20 minutes.

Sear and roast the chicken

  • While the potatoes roast place a large pan on the stove over medium heat. Season the quicken quarters with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the heated pan and sear the chicken, skin side down.
  • Once the potatoes are finished, turn the oven down to 375, set the chicken quarters into the pan skin side up, and place in the oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 173.

Make the potato salad

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the raw, red onion to a bowl and, when you take the potatoes out of the oven, add them immediately to the bowl, atop the red onion, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the fresh dill and toss together. Add the dressing 2 tbsp at a time and toss until sufficiently covered. You may not use it all.

Serve

  • Place the potato salad in the middle of each plate and top with a chicken leg quarter.

Sausage & Peppers
By the time you serve this sauce, it’s made up almost entirely of broken down vegetables. Store your bell peppers separate from each other. That way, if one goes bad, the others have a better chance of lasting. Do the same with zucchini squash.

Classic Sausage & Peppers

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5 from 4 votes

Simple Sausage & Peppers

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 links Italian sausage
  • 1 large zucchini squash cut into 1in pieces
  • 2 bell peppers, any color cut into 1in pieces
  • 1 yellow onion cut into 1in pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • In a large cast iron pot over medium heat, sear the Italian sausage on both sides in the olive oil. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the zucchini, peppers, onions, thyme and oregano to the pot (add more olive oil if needed) and season with salt and pepper. Sweat, stirring occassionally. If the pan starts getting too dry and the fond begins to burn, add a little of the chicken stock at this stage to break it up.
  • Once the vegetables have started to soften, add all the remaining ingredients. Slice the sausage into 1/2in slices and add to the pan, along with any juices that may have escaped. Stir, cover, and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, another 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Serve over top noodles or riced vegetables.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups
Typical chicken salad calls for grapes, which is great if you have them but when you’re stocking the fridge they can take up valuable real estate. Apples keep for weeks on the counter, and add good crunch and sweetness to this chicken salad.

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5 from 4 votes

Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 3 cups grilled chicken chopped, chilled
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, diced
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce cut and separated into cups

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Make the dressing by whisking together the mayo, lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • Combine the chicken, celery, and apple. Toss with the dressing until coated evenly.
  • Put a small scoop of chicken salad into each lettuce cup and serve cold.

Easter Ham, Mashed Potatoes & Asparagus with Mushrooms
This is a very specific one, but Easter is coming up! Ham keeps in the fridge for about 2 months after its package date. Choose button mushrooms as they keep the longest. Store the mushrooms in their carton in the fridge, with the plastic removed. Pat dry any moisture on them you see.

Perfect Easter Ham

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5 from 4 votes

Glazed Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus & Mushrooms

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

For the ham

  • 1 small tavern ham
  • 1 small jar orange marmalade
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

For the mashed potatoes

  • 6 russet potatoes washed, diced (no need to peel)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 stick butter or vegan butter
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled, smashed
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

For the asparagus & mushrooms

  • 1 bunch asparagus trimmed, cut into 1in lengths
  • 6-8 mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice fresh from a lemon

Instructions

For the Ham

  • Preheat the oven to 300. Unwrap the ham and place it in a roasting pan large enough that you will be able to get a spoon underneath the ham easily to baste the ham later in cooking.
  • Make the glaze by whisking together the marmalade, chicken stock, whole grain mustard, and ground cloves. Pour the glaze over the ham evenly.
  • Cover the entire ham with tin foil, making sure the foil doesn't hug tightly to the ham - there should be room between them.
  • Bake the ham at 300 for 4-6 hours. About 2-3 hours before dinner, remove the foil. Baste the ham every 30 minutes by spooning some of the glaze liquid from the bottom of the pan over top the ham. Do this until it's time for dinner.

For the mashed potatoes

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and garlic cloves to the water, along with a large pinch of salt. Boil for 20 minutes.
  • While the potatoes boil, microwave the chicken stock for 2 minutes. Melt the butter separately. As the potatoes finish, reserve 1 cup of the boiling liquid and set aside.
  • Drain the potatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl with the butter. Use a hand mixer to beat the potatoes until they start to clump together. Add the mayo and continue to mix for a couple minutes.
  • Add the garlic powder, a couple pinches each of salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup of chicken stock and continue mixing. Add the stock every 30 seconds, 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach a consistency you like. If the potatoes are too dry, use some of the reserved boiling liquid. Season with salt and pepper to your preference. Use some of the ham jus in place of gravy (you can even thicken the jus if you want).

For the asparagus & mushrooms

  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the asparagus and mushrooms to the pan, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Toward the end of cooking, add the garlic and lemon zest and toss to mix evenly. Turn off heat, squeeze lemon over, and cover until ready to serve.

Ham & Bean Soup
Assuming there’s ham leftover from Easter, you’ll definitely want to add this to your list. All of the fresh ingredients last for weeks in the fridge, so it can be made just about any time. Leftover ham you’ll want to put in the freezer if you won’t use it within a few days.

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5 from 4 votes

Ham & Bean Soup

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks cleaned, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 large carrot small dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups ham chopped
  • 2 medium cans navy beans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sliced green onion optional
  • chili oil optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot, sweat the leeks and carrot in the olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chickcne stock, water, bay leaves, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until velvety in texture. Add the navy beans and chopped ham, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve topped with thinly sliced green onion and chili oil, if you have either.

Moroccan Chicken & Rice
This is one of Julia’s favorite meals of all time. Raisins give the perfect amount of natural sweetness, and I feel like we all have a package of them in the back of our pantry slowly getting harder and harder every day. But you can still use them, especially for cooking in liquid like this.

Moroccan Chicken & Rice

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5 from 4 votes

Moroccan Chicken & Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed or 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 cup greek olives
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 4 servings cooked rice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Put a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Season the drumsticks with salt and sear on all sides in 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  • While the chicken cooks, toast the cumin seed (if using), coriander seed, and peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat. Once they become fragrant, grind the toasted spices in a mortar and pestle as finely as you can. Add the cinnammon and turmeric (and ground cumin if using that instead) and mix together.
  • Remove the drumsticks to a plate and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and saute (add more olive oil if needed to keep the pan from turned too dry). Add the spices and garlic and mix together. Add the raisins, and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock, ginger paste, quartered lemon, and mix together. Add the drumsticks, cover and place the pan in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes, then add the olives and parsley, cover again and cook for 30 more minutes.
  • Serve over top rice, topped with cilantro.

Fried Rice
Another great meal using leftovers. Fried rice is actually best when you use day-old rice for it, and by mixing in vegetables, eggs and bacon, it covers a lot of bases. Alternatively you can use cauliflower rice, which keeps in the freezer for several months and gets more vegetables in your diet.

Fried Rice

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5 from 4 votes

Fried Rice

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 5 cups leftover rice or cauliflower rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • olive oil
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Beat the eggs and cook in a nonstick pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Scramble them until done, remove and set aside.
  • Cut the bacon into 1/2in pieces. In the same pan, cook the bacon and render out the fat. When it starts to brown, spoon the grease out of the pan until there's only a residual amount remaining, then add the celery, carrots, and the white parts of the green onion. Cook until the bacon is almost crispy.
  • Add the rice, sprinkle with soy sauce and season with pepper. Toss to coat evenly and add a couple tablespoons of water to soften up the rice.
  • Once the rice is done, chop of the scrambled eggs and add back in with the rice, along with the green parts of the onion. Mix evenly and serve warm.

Honey Glazed Chicken Wings & Fresh Greens
Eating fresh greens seems like a waste, but the right greens will keep really well. Your grocer probably sells a baby kale salad mix, which stays good in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, as opposed to the 20 or 30 minutes you get with Spring mix. Spring mix sprouts from the ground rotten, I swear.

Bee Sting Chicken Wings - Chris Cooks

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5 from 4 votes

Honey Glazed Chicken Wings & Fresh Greens

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 20 chicken wing flats cut in half, between the bones
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp red peppercorns optional
  • 8 cups baby kale mix
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat.
  • In a bowl, toss the wing segments with the salt, black pepper and onion powder until coated evenly.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the wok (or pan) and cook half of the wings until just done, tossing frequently. Keep it moving so it doesn't burn. Remove and cook the other half.
  • Just as the second half is finishing, add the first half in with the second, drizzle with 1/2 cup honey, 2 tsp lemon zest and sprinkle with crushed red peppercorns (if desired). Remove from heat.
  • Add 2 cups of greens to each plate, drizzle with olive oil, honey, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, add the wings to the plate, and serve.

Salmon & Braised Cabbage
When frozen, salmon is safe to eat for up to 9 months. That said, I find the flavor and texture have a big drop off after 3 months, but that’s still plenty of time to use it. Plus, you always have the option of making this your first meal after shopping, so it’s still at its freshest.

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5 from 4 votes

Salmon & Braised Cabbage

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 4 portions salmon
  • 1/2 head cabbage cut into 1in squares
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • In a stainless steel pan on medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside.
  • Season the the salmon with salt and pepper (even on the skin side). Add 1 tbsp olive oil in with the rendered bacon fat and add the salmon to the pan, still on medium heat, skin side down.
  • Cook until the salmon looks cooked 3/4 the way up the sides. Flip, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside, making sure to set it with the skin side up.
  • To the pan add the onions and sweat until translucent. Add the cabbage, a couple pinches of salt and pepper, the chicken stock, and cover.
  • After about 5 minutes, stir the cabbage. Check on it every couple of minutes until it's cooked through but not mushy. Serve a portion of cabbage topped with the salmon, skin side up. If you have a lemon lying around, squeeze some juice on it, but it's not required.

Grilled Steak Tacos
I lived in Ukraine with my family as a child, and the state of things was rocky. But cabbages were everywhere because they’re affordable and very forgiving when it comes to storage conditions. Thinly sliced, fresh cabbage atop grilled steak is Heavenly.

These tacos are keto friendly

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5 from 4 votes

Grilled Steak Tacos

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs flat iron or flank steak
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 oranges zested and juiced
  • 5 cloves garlic made into paste
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin powder

For the slaw

  • 3 cups cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper red or yellow, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

To serve

  • cotija cheese or whatever kind you have
  • corn tortillas or lettuce cups
  • sour cream optional
  • salsa optional

Instructions

  • In a glass container large enough for your cut of meat, add the olive oil, juice from the oranges, 1 tbsp zest, garlic paste, onion powder, paprika, and cumin. Whisk together, then add the meat and massage everything into it. Cover and set in the fridge for 4 hours.

Make the slaw

  • Just before the meat goes on the grill, mix together all the slaw ingredients, dress with the olive oil and lime juice, and toss to coat.

Cook and serve

  • Grill the meat to your preferred doneness, and slice into thin strips at a bias. Serve in warm corn tortillas (or atop cups of lettuce), topped with the slaw and cotija cheese. Sour cream and salsa optional.

Salt and Vinegar Chicken & Sweet Corn Salad
Roma tomatoes have a lower water content than other tomatoes, which usually means they last longer, even at room temperature. The cucumber may need some planning, though. As with peppers and zucchini, store cucumbers separately so they don’t rot each other.

Salt & vinegar chicken with a grilled corn salad.

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5 from 4 votes

Salt and Vinegar Chicken & Sweet Corn Salad

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bag frozen super sweet corn
  • 2 Roma tomatoes small diced
  • 1 English cucumber small diced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Make the salad

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Thaw the corn by emptying it into a strainer and running it directly under cold water for a few minutes. Allow to drain, tossing every so often to release water.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, cilantro, and 1 tsp of lime zest. Add the dressing and toss to coat, add more salt if needed. Cover and set in fridge.

Make the chicken

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and garlic powder. Add the chicke and let sit in there for 20 minutes.
  • Heat up your grill and brush the grate with olive oil. Take the chicken directly from the brine and put it on the grill, grilling at medium high heat until cooked through. Serve immediately with the chilled corn salad.

Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese
Basil is my favorite all time herb, but it’s not known for lasting very long once cut. Instead of buying the trimmed leaves in that plastic container, reach for the “live” plant and put it in a planter on your counter. You’ll have fresh basil when you need it, but the aroma every day.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

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5 from 4 votes

Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 handful fresh basil chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

For the sandwiches

  • 8 slices bread
  • 8 slices Muenster cheese
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • olive oil or butter

Instructions

Make the soup

  • In a large pot on medium low heat, sweat the garlic in the olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock, turn the heat to medium high, bring to a simmer and reduce to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until velvety and smooth. Add the sugar and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cream, stir, bring to a simmer, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil.

Make the sandwiches

  • As the soup cooks, make the sandwiches. Put one slice of Muenster and one slice of cheddar between two slices of bread. Brush the outsides of each slice with olive oil (or butter them) and cook on medium low on a nonstick griddle for 5 minutes on each side, or until the bread looks toasted.

Taco Salad
Romaine lettuce is almost as robust as iceberg, but more nutritious. Once cut it starts to turn brown and bitter, so leave it whole as long as you can. It will keep for a long time as long as it’s relatively dry and not exposed to the air in the refrigerator.

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5 from 4 votes

Taco Salad

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 sweet onion small diced
  • 1 zucchini small diced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1/2 bag corn chips broken into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 small can black olives sliced
  • 1/2 can black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 English cucumber small diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes small diced
  • 1 bell pepper small diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • In a frying pan on medium heat, cook the ground turkey, sweet onion, and zucchini in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the taco seasoning, continue cooking. Once done, set aside to cool.
  • In a bowl combine everything together except the dressing. Add the turkey once it has come down sort of close to room temperature, then add half of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Add more dressing a little at a time, tossing to coat, until the entire salad is lightly dressed. Served with corn chips on the side, and feel free to add a squeeze of lime if you feel so inclined.

Mango Smoothie Bowls
If you don’t use your bananas before they start to become overripe, peel them and put them in a freezer bag in your freezer. They’ll keep in there for months, and still taste good in a smoothie even after they look a little brown.

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5 from 4 votes

Mango Smoothie Bowls

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 4 cups frozen mango chunks
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk

For topping

  • fresh banana
  • granola
  • shaved/toasted coconut
  • honey

Instructions

  • In a blender, blend the frozen bananas, frozen mango, lime juice and coconut cream, until smooth.
  • Divide the smoothie into 4 bowls, top with fresh bananas, granola, toasted coconut, and honey. Or whatever you have. It'll be great, whatever it is.

Sweet Potato Hash & Eggs 
Sweet onions have higher sugar content than a yellow or white onion, which means they begin to rot faster. But if they’re in good shape when you buy them and stored in a cool, dark place in the pantry, it’s not unreasonable to expect 3-4 weeks.

Chris Cooks: Sweet Potato Hash

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5 from 4 votes

Sweet Potato Hash & Eggs

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes peeled, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp massalla powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground turkey sausage
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves only
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 lime

Instructions

  • Place a baking pan in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, massalla powder, and 2 tsp of salt to coat evenly.
  • Quickly slide the sweet potatoes onto the heated baking pan, shake to spread out evenly, and close the oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the top starts to brown slightly. Remove from oven.
  • As the potatoes are roasting, in a pan on the stove top cook the turkey sausage, seasoned with ground cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the sweet onion, bell pepper, and thyme. Season again and cook until vegetables are just tender. Toss the sweet potatoes with the turkey and vegetable mix and set aside for a moment.
  • Cook the eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, two at a time, according to desired doneness. Add a serving of hash to 4 plates, top with eggs, and squeeze a bit of fresh lime on top.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce 
As a non-Italian, I grew up on meat sauce as opposed to meatballs. It’s a lot easier to make, and the ingredients are pantry stable (except the ground beef). Spaghetti squash is a great option for food restrictions or just to get more vegetables in the diet, plus it stores in the pantry for months.

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5 from 4 votes

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups strained tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper
  • spaghetti noodles or spaghetti squash

Instructions

  • In an enameled cast iron pot on medium heat, brown the ground beef, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Add the onion, oregano, thyme and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add the Italian seasoning and mix together, seasoning with another pinch of salt.
  • Add the crushed and strained tomatoes, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • While that cooks, make your noodles (or cook your spaghetti squash - whichever you use) and serve when ready.

Beef Stew
A classic condiment for prime rib is horseradish. It’s an amazing flavor combination. Another member of the radish family is the rutabaga, and it’s totally underrated. The flavor is more mild, and it cooks up like a potato. They stay good in the fridge for months, though the flavor is best in the first month.

Chris Cooks: Grain & Gluten Free Beef Stew

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5 from 4 votes

Beef Stew

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

To braise the beef

  • 1.5 lb beef stew meat
  • 2 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery leafy parts preferred, diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef stock

For the soup

  • 2 large carrots cut into non-uniform shapes
  • 3 russet potatoes diced
  • 1 rutabaga small diced
  • 6-7 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 handful parsley chopped
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Braise the beef

  • Preheat the oven to 325. Put a large cast iron pot (something with a lid) on medium heat. In a bowl, toss together the stew meat and steak seasoning. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to the pot and sear the stew meat in batches on all sides. Set aside.
  • Add the onion, celery, rosemary (tie string around it doesn't leave needles all through the stew), thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. If needed, add a couple tablespoons of water to break up the fond and cook the onions until translucent. Add the meat back in, along with the diced tomatoes and 3 cups beef stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven for 2 hours.

Make the stew

  • Remove the pot from the oven and place on the stove on medium heat. Remove and discard the herbs and bay leaves.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, rutabaga, mushrooms, and 5 cups beef stock. Stir, season to taste and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Season again, add the parsley, stir and serve. Is great with cornbread on the side.

Vegetable Soup with White Beans
Root vegetables like carrots and turnips can keep in the fridge for months. Store them in a crisper at low humidity and they’re practically indestructible. And if you don’t think you’re a turnip fan, now is the perfect time to revisit this amazingly nutrient-dense root vegetable.

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5 from 4 votes

Vegetable Soup with White Beans

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 28oz can white kidney beans drained, rinsed
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 turnip diced
  • 1 yellow squash diced
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Put a large pan on medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions, oregano, and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and sweat. Add the carrot and turnip, and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the squash, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper again. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the beans, simmer for another 5 minutes, adjust seasoning if needed, and serve.

Vegetable Stir Fry
Sugar snap peas stay good for about a week in the fridge. After that their taste gets more bitter by the day. If you don’t think you’ll make that window, opt for frozen shelled peas instead.

Vegan Stir Fry

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5 from 4 votes

Vegetable Stir Fry

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 4 servings rice or riced cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers any color, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • 1/2 bag frozen green beans
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas cut in half
  • 8-10 mushrooms thick sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 6 green onions white parts sliced thin, green parts sliced thick
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chili garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar or regular sugar
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat a wok or large frying pan on the stove on high heat.
  • As that heats up, in a bowl whisk together the liquid aminoes, vinegar, sesame oil, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, chili garlic paste, sweet chili sauce, tamarind, lime zest and juice, and coconut sugar.
  • Toss the bell pepper, yellow onion, green beans, peas, mushrooms, garlic, and white parts of the green onions together with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add directly to the wok and stir fry, tossing and stirring constantly.
  • Add the sauce 2 tbsp at a time, tossing to coat evenly. You may not use al lthe sauce.
  • Serve the vegetables alongside your rice or riced cauliflower.

BBQ Ribs & Broccoli Slaw
A bag of broccoli slaw is super resilient. It’ll stay good in a crisper drawer for a couple weeks, and is my preferred way to make classic broccoli salad anyway. It’s also great to have on hand to add to stir fry.

Mayo-Rubbed Smoked Ribs

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5 from 4 votes

BBQ Ribs & Broccoli Slaw

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 2 racks St. Louis pork ribs membrane removed
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard

For the rub

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp pepper

For the broccoli slaw

  • 2 packs broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/4 purple onion diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 6 strips bacon cooked, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Set your grill or smoker to 250. If using a gas grill, set it to low. Cover the grate with tin foil.
  • Mix all the rub ingredients together. Rub the ribs all over the outside with the mustard, then sprinkle on the rub to coat evenly.
  • Set the ribs in the grill/smoker, on top of the foil, and cook for about 3 hours, or until the meat starts to pull up from the bones.
  • Remove the foil, brush the ribs with bbq sauce and grill on direct heat for 2 minutes on each side. Brush with bbq sauce one last time for cutting and serving.

Make the broccoli slaw

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the slaw mix, onion, cheese, bacon, sunflower seeds, and cranberries. Add the dressing, a few tablespoons at a time, and toss to coat evenly. You may not need to use all the dressing. Serve cold.

Eggs & Asparagus
Once asparagus starts going bad, it almost always starts at the top, so if you ever see the flowery part start to rot, just trim it, wash it, cut it and put it back in a bag in the fridge. The stalk section will hold up an additional 4-7 days beyond that point.

Eggs & Asparagus

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5 from 4 votes

Eggs & Asparagus

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 5-6 eggs
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 cup diced pancetta about 5oz
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • lemon juice just a squeeze
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the eggs and boil for 5 minutes (you only need 4 eggs, but it's good to boil a couple extra just in case one cracks while cooking).
  • Cut the bunch of asparagus about 3 inches from the top. Reserve the lower part for another use. Optional: using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin from the bottom inch or so of the aspargus tops.
  • After the eggs have boiled 5 minutes, remove them from the boiling water and place in a bowl. Run under cold water for 2-3 minutes. Peel the eggs and set aside.
  • In the same water the eggs were boiled in, boil the asparagus for two minutes, then remove and place in a bowl of ice water for another 2 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
  • In a ceramic nonstick pan, cook the pancetta over medium low heat until fat is rendered and the pancetta has started to brown and crisp up. Add the asparagus, season with black pepper (no salt is needed - pancetta is very salty), add the lemon zest and toss. Cook together for 2 minutes.
  • To serve, divide the asparagus and pancetta evenly among 4 plates. Place an egg on top of each, cut in half, and season with salt and pepper. Finish with a few drops of fresh lemon juice over each plate. Enjoy!

Hard Shell Tacos
Whenever I make “taco meat” with ground meat of some kind, I always chop onions, peppers and zucchini up real small in it. My kids never know the difference, and it gets vegetables in their diet without a whimper.

Hard Shell Tacos

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Hard Shell Tacos

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 zucchin squash diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • sour cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Put a large frying pan on medium heat. To it, add the olive oil, ground beef, onion, squash, and taco seasoning. Cook until done.
  • Place the taco shells out on a baking sheet. Add some of the meat and bake in the oven for 6 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, add some cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream to each taco, and serve.

Sweet Potato Chili
Sweet potatoes store in the pantry extremely well in the right conditions (cool, dark, dry). If you see the outside starting to turn, use a vegetable peeler to get down past the nasty parts, cut it up and put it in the fridge for up to another week.

Grilled Pork Chili

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5 from 4 votes

Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients

To braise the beef

  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 packet chili seasoning
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup water

For the chili

  • other half yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cup black beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup pinto beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup red kidney beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes fire roasted if you can
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilis fire roasted if you can
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tt salt
  • tt pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325. In a large cast iron pot (with a lid) sweat the onions in the olive oil with the chili seasoning. Add the sweet potato, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, beef stock, water, and stew meat. Stir and put in the oven for 2 hours.
  • After the beef comes out, place on the stove on medium low heat. Remove the herbs and bay leaves. Add the other onion, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, green chilis, beef broth, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add all the beans, stir and adjust seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes, serve.

Grilled Pork with Herbs & Summer Vegetables
Fresh herbs obviously last longest as a living plant, in dirt, still being watered. But oregano and thyme bought from the store, in the little packages, will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks. Cooking with fresh herbs brings food to life.

Grilled Pork and Herbs

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5 from 4 votes

Grilled Pork with Herbs & Grilled Summer Vegetables

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

For the pork

  • 2 lbs pork loin roast cut into 3 inch squarish pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano just the leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme just the leaves

For the vegetables

  • 2 zucchini squash large diced
  • 10 mushrooms quartered
  • 1 yellow onion cut in half, then each half quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 1in squares
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

For the pork

  • Heat the grill to 450. In a large bowl, toss the pork with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Grill on high until internal temp reaches 145. Remove, toss with fresh herbs and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

For the vegetables

  • Heat the grill to 450 and place a grill basket directly on the grate to heat up. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the vegetables to the grill pan and stir around to even it out. Close the lid and let it cook for 6-8 minutes. Stir, then close the lid again and cook another 6-8 minutes. Do this until desired doneness is reached.

Baked Sausage & Eggs
Tomatoes taste better at room temperature, it’s true. But they last longer in the fridge. And I love nothing more than snacking on cold, crisp cherry tomatoes. Keep your cherry tomatoes in the fridge if you won’t use them within a week.

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Baked Sausage & Eggs

Servings: 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork or turkey sausage
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 10 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional
  • 2 russet potatoes small diced
  • 1 handful parsley shopped
  • 8 eggs
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Put a large, oven save skillet on the stove on medium heat. Add the pork sausage and cook. If using turkey, add some olive oil as well.
  • Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the pan and skim out all the fat except 1 tbsp. Add another tbsp of olive oil, along with the potato, onion, pepper, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing frequently.
  • Add the sausage back in, along with the cherry tomatoes, and toss together. Make 8 pockets in the mix. If using cheese, place some cheese in each pocket, then an egg on top. If no cheese, just put an egg in each pocket. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven.
  • Bake until eggs reach desired level of doneness. Serve with chopped parsley on top, maybe a squeeze of lemon if you have some handy.

What do you think?

  1. Whitney says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for this, Chris! Simple, delicious recipes are very much appreciated right now. I made the Moroccan Chicken tagine and the Tomato Soup this week. Talk about comfort food! We’re having the Sweet Potato Hash w Eggs tomorrow! Thank you!!

  2. Judith says:

    That’s a great collection or recipes, thank you for putting it together!

  3. Jamie Murfee says:

    5 stars
    I made the pork tenderloin with roasted vegetables tonight and it’s the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever made!! It was so tender and not dry in the least!! I typically don’t like yellow squash but this was amazing. Thank you!! I’m going to be drinking this dressing with a straw when everyone goes to bed later!!

  4. Kelsey Connelly says:

    Love this post! So many ingredients I already have! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Lauren Oelrich says:

    Seriously going to try and make every single one of these before I go back to work! :-)

  6. 5 stars
    This is fantastic! I had a Moroccan Chicken recipe, but yours is even better with the green olives! Thanks for the timely recipe inspiration as we have been doing so much cooking and needed a few new ones in our arsenal.

  7. Hena Tayeb says:

    Oh yum… so many great recipes to try.

  8. Emily says:

    Great! Thanks Chris!

  9. Krissy says:

    Yeah I’m so excited to try these! Thanks Chris!

  10. Jill says:

    Thank you so much guys!! What a great roundup of recipes. If I don’t have some of these ingredients right now, this still gives me inspiration and ideas to use what I do have. Very nice of you to bring this all together.

    Best, Jill

  11. Patricia says:

    5 stars
    Very helpful article. Especially appreciate you explaining how long different meats and veg last in the fridge/ freezer with comments how to use items slowly sliding off the cliff of good eating.
    Love the variety. Something for every taste.

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