Wow! What a week it has been. I hope this post finds you all healthy, home, and finding grace in what has been a truly humbling experience for all of us. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here but with the additional free time I now have and my desire to help, I thought this post would put some good into the universe.
If like many people around the world you found yourself at the grocery store last week stocking up on beans, rice, and lentils, and are now in your kitchen wondering what on earth to do with them, I’ve got you covered. Below are links to a few of my older posts and one of my family’s favorites from Delish Knowledge. These recipes for durable, food staples and what some may have considered food scraps in the past should help you get through this crazy time without sacrificing flavor. Who knows, you may even find a new favorite recipe to keep cooking after the quarantine ends. I’ve added some notes to help you with substitutions I thought might be necessary. As I cook other recipes for my family with these staples in the coming weeks I will make sure to post them so check back often.
This is one of my families favorites. If you don’t have a ham bone (I sure don’t right now) you can substitute bacon or a link or two of sausage. Eliminating the meat all together would work too, just add a bit more salt and maybe some garlic powder.
I don’t know about you but when I was at the store last week all of the long-grain white rice was gone. If you usually cook white rice for your family and aren’t sure how to best cook brown rice, this is my fool-proof method. Serve it with some soy sauce and stir-fried frozen vegetables, use it as a side to any dish, or serve it warm with a little cinnamon and sugar for breakfast.
I found this recipe on the amazing blog Delish Knowledge while looking for more Meatless Monday recipes to add to my repertoire. It has become a family favorite. I made this recipe last night and substituted 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning for the spice mix. I’m running low on chili powder and wanted to save it for other recipes should this quarantine become longer than originally planned. The lentils tasted great with just the taco seasoning. You could even omit the onions and garlic if you ran out of those and serve the lentils over rice if you don’t have tortillas.
To cook your lentils place 1 cup of dry lentils in a pot with 2 cups of water, add a bay leaf for flavor if you have one. Make sure to sort the lentils first and remove any debris, rocks, or shriveled lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Add water as needed so that the lentils remain immersed. Start checking the lentils at the 20 minute mark. You want them to be tender but not mushy.
This is an easy recipe that can be made in both a food processor or a blender. The recipe calls for canned beans but you can substitute 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked, dry beans. I realize not everyone keeps tahini on hand, I’ve substitued peanut butter in the past but you can also just eliminate it all together. Hummus is a great snack that can be served with pita chips, tortilla chips, crudites, or used as a spread on bread, bagels, etc…
This is one of my kid’s favorites. When they see it in the fridge the evening before they scream with excitement. Who knew, what most people throw in the trash could create such delight. I have never made this with a milk alternative (soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk) but I think you could substitute one into this recipe with no problem. A variety of fresh or frozen fruit works well and I’ve also used raisins and diced, dried apricots with success.
I hope the above is helpful to you in some small way. I have always found comfort in food and believe it is something that connects us all.
Be healthy, be kind, stay home, love the ones you’re with.