Working from home – as many are compelled to do in light of the coronavirus outbreak – is a mixed bag. Some relish the added time with family, or the convenience of being home to accept deliveries, or the lack of office gossip and water-cooler chatter. Others lament the social distance, the disconnection with daily life, the monotony … but either way, with so many affected by government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions nowadays, it’s important to find enjoyment in the little things. Like … a delicious family meal. A new cooking technique you didn’t know about. The aroma that fills your house when you’re making something special.
Create meals that check off all the boxes of your and your family’s priority lists: convenience, efficiency, cost savings, quality and, of course, amazing flavor. And in the wake of current events, that message has never been clearer. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 of our easiest and most efficient recipes to get you through the tedium of telecommuting.
Mini vegetable frittatas
This is not one of those “throw together as you reach for your purse and heels” type of recipes; it’s more like the slow Sunday morning fare you produce when you know you don’t have to leave the house for a while. But it’s worth the effort, and of course, you can grab the leftovers the next day.
4-ingredient sunbutter chocolate bars
When you make your own chocolate bars, you can customize the ingredients to your taste, or to accommodate food allergies. But the key reason we’re recommending this one is the fun of decorating – you can sprinkle these delicious treats with whatever floats your boat – all-natural sprinkles, candied sunflower seeds, toasted nuts, or just leave ‘em sweet and simple. If the kids are out of school, this is a great family activity for them, too.
One-pot teriyaki veggies with buckwheat
Ancient grains have become very trendy recently, particularly among millennials and young folks. And for good reason: they’re full of nutrients, delicious, and recipes like this one involve no fuss. But lately, there’s another selling point for this and other ancient grains: they’re available at many grocery stores right now. You might not get your fill of toilet paper, but you’re highly likely to find copious amounts of farro, buckwheat, barley, quinoa and the like. For now.
For this teriyaki veggie bowl click here.
Easy chicken shawarma
One of the true culinary pleasures of Israel is the shawarma. The chicken, lamb or, increasingly, turkey, is placed on a vertical spit and roasted. It’s then carved into little chunks of meat and served alongside an assortment of vegetables, or in a pita or flatbread called a laffa.
It’s not always easy to come by shawarma outside of Israel. While falafel has become a popular street food in the U.S., shawarma has not totally caught on. Thus my craving for the stuff goes unrequited.
Now’s a great time to test out your shawarma-making skills, with this easy version.
Herb wheat pita bread
Homemade pita bread is fluffy, delicious and surprisingly easy to make. (Photo: jeffreyw / Flickr)
One of the best parts of this easy recipe is that the pitas need only five minutes to bake. They’ll need to rise 20 minutes, and you can spend that time whipping up a delicious dip that pairs well with homemade pitas. Which is just about anything – from hummus (choose from a variety of flavors) to roasted tomato and red pepper spread.
Rustic French toast bake
Not that making French toast is hard, but this recipe makes it a whole lot easier. You just prepare it the night before, wake up and bake it.
Instant Pot sweet and spicy meatballs
These days of social distancing provide us with more time to appreciate the things we have at home, things we might not use much in our busier, more hectic, commuter-driven lives. Like … trendy countertop appliances! The Instant Pot is like a pressure cooker deluxe; not only is it super convenient and easy to use, it also speeds up cooking time while using significantly less energy. And, naturally, it’s amassed quite a following among home cooks.
Roasted red pepper caprese sandwich
What’s wonderful about simple flavor combinations is just how easy they are to hack. Let’s take the caprese salad, for example. It is simply fruit, cheese and basil. Well, OK, drizzled with olive oil and some balsamic. But it’s not very complicated.
Provided the produce section is still somewhat stocked, there are some really superb recipes to make by substituting eggplant for meat. If you’re concerned about the carb overload that might result from being homebound for long periods of time, try making pizza out of eggplant. This eggplant pizza recipe, in particular, makes that objective easy. Instead of pizza dough, let the eggplant be your base.
The perfect homemade salsa
If your family’s tolerance for spicy foods and dips runs the gamut, it can be a challenge to buy just the right salsa to please everyone. That’s in addition to current challenges to buying food, which no one should be taking lightly. So now, to make the perfect homemade salsa, you can split this recipe in two, so that one half of the household gets the spicy stuff, while the other half is perfect for the heat-averse.