With shelter at home practices in place across the country we are all finding ourselves in new territories. Taking on roles that we might not have had to before like teacher, chef, healer, seamstress and professional online shopper. Any one of these new hats can be overwhelming by itself not to mention juggling them all. This guide is here to make your cooking tasks easier and dare I say fun. You might even feel like your own Julia Child. These 5 recipes are easy to prepare, rich in nutrition and delicious. Something the whole family can enjoy and even help prepare. My 3.5 year old helped me prepare all of the meals featured here.
Take a big yoga breath and let’s get started.
Meal #1 : Pizza Pasta
If you are anything like me and my family, pizza is a regular staple in your household. Here is an option to get that same craving met with a higher nutritional value and much lower cost than your local delivery.
This is the fun part. We all like our pizzas a certain way. Think of your pasta toppings as your pizza toppings. You can add or subtract anything that you like. I like my pizzas with bell peppers, onions,vegan cheese, mushrooms and spinach. How do you like yours?
Recipe inspired from “Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures Fit Fare Meals”
Servings : 4
Prep time : 10-15 minutes (depends on amount of toppings)
Cool time : 15 minutes
Ingredients: (add or delete toppings of your choosing)
- 12-16 oz pasta of choice (can use gluten free or other vegan options) I chose Gnocchi because I like the texture and richness it’s gives the dish
- ½ red onion
- 1 cup chopped bell peppers - variety of color
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¾ cup of spinach chopped
- 2 cups of your sauce of choice (I try to find an oil free option)
- In a large skillet sauté garlic and onions until juices run clear. I use a splash of vegetable broth on low heat in place of oil for a healthier option. Add more broth if it begins to stick.
- Add in bell peppers and any additional toppings you’ve selected. Wait on spinach until the end.
- Cook pasta according to directions. If preparing Gnocchi wait until it all rises to the top before draining.
- Add the spinach to the pan and sauté together
- Add the sauce stirring for 2 minutes
- Place your pasta on a plate. Top with your sauce mixture and any other favorite toppings (parsley, Vegan Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, Vegan meat crumbles)
Meal #2 : Grandma's Broccoli and Cheeze Rice
How do you get your kids to eat their broccoli? Either hide it in something else or melt some cheeze on it. That was true for me when I was a kid and my kids now. This recipe was selected because it is extremely easy to make, is a comfort food that we all crave right now and kids will ask for seconds and thirds!! I have made this family recipe for holiday feasts for years and there are never any leftovers.
Servings : 4 (I double the recipe because it’s that good)
Prep time : 10 mins
Cook time : 20 mins
Ingredients: (based on single batch)
- 1 package of frozen broccoli florets (can use fresh if frozen isn’t available)
- 1 cup of prepared rice of choice (I prefer brown rice)
- 10 ounces of Vegan cream of mushroom soup (I like portobello mushroom creamy soup)
- 8-10 ounces of your favorite vegan cheeze sauce (I like Daiya) or prepare your own cheeze sauce recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare broccoli according to directions. Cut into smaller pieces
- Prepare rice according to directions
- Mix broccoli, rice, cheeze sauce and soup together in a dish or Dutch oven.
- Bake for 20 mins
- Stir and enjoy!
- Top with bread crumbs for an extra treat
Meal #3 : Sloppy Joe Chili
We all love a hearty chili. Something about the smells and warmth as it goes down brings a sense of calmness and warmth to your household. This recipe is packed with flavor, nutrients and is so easy to make. It practically makes itself!
Recipe inspired from “Ambitious Kitchen Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joe”
Servings : 6
Prep time : 10 mins
Cook time : 4 hours
- 1 ¼ cup of green lentils (uncooked, rinse and drain)
- ½ white onion
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of organic ketchup
- 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon of coconut aminos
- 1 ½ teaspoon of chili powder (more if you prefer more spice)
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional : one cup of corn (add during last 30 mins of cooking)
- Polenta : 1 cup of cornmeal, 3 cups of water (add during last 30 mins of cooking)
- Throw all ingredients into Insta Pot or slow cooker except corn and polenta
- Cook on high in slow cooker for 4 hours or slow cook mode on Insta Pot for “more” at 4 hours
- After 3.5 hours prepare polenta. Boil 3 cups of water with a pinch of salt, add in 1 cup of cornmeal and stir with a whisk to get clumps out. Stir/cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Let set for 3 minutes then add to the pot.
- Optional: Add in 1 cup corn
- Serve with your favorite toppings (vegan cheddar cheeze, vegan crackers, jalapeño peppers, vegan sour cream)
Meal # 4 : Tacos Three Ways
Taco Tuesday has never been easier or tastier. Now you can enjoy tacos on multiple days of the week with this simple recipe that can be adapted into three meal options. This is my go to meal when I have no time to grocery shop and prepare a meal but still want something healthy and home cooked.
Servings : 6
Prep time : 5 mins
Cook time : 10 mins
- Meatless taco base
- 1 cup of raw chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoons each
- Garlic powder
- Add in ingredients (add or delete to your liking)
- Lime juice
- Bell peppers
- Place walnuts, coconut aminos and spices in the food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until it forms a “meat” like texture. Don’t over pulse or you will turn it into a butter.
- Place “taco meat”, vegetables of choice and rice (optional) in a skillet. Sauté until vegetables are tender. I use a splash of vegetable broth and lime juice in place of oil for a healthier option.
- Serve in your favorite taco shell with toppings of your choice (vegan cheeze, avocado, vegan sour cream, jalapeños,
Option #2: Nacho Mama
Turn into nachos. Place your “meat” and veggie mixture over a bed of chips. Top with your favorite sauce or salsa (I like BBQ sauce) top with vegan cheddar cheeze. Place in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheeze is melted. Top with any additional favorite nacho toppings.
Option #3: Taco Ensalada
Place your “meat” and veggie mix over a mix of iceberg or Romaine lettuce and coleslaw mix. Top with your favorite salad toppings and dressing. I like avocado ranch dressing (I mash an avocado with non dairy yogurt and ranch seasoning)
Meal #5 : Classic Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
An all American cult favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup. My son calls this the orange soup and asks for it almost everyday. He won’t eat tomatoes normally, little does he know that tomatoes are the main ingredient of this recipe!! We will stick with calling it the orange soup. Paired with a classic grilled cheese this meal leaves bellies and hearts full and warm.
Soup recipe from “Merlee Shay”
Servings : 6
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 2.5 hours
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ to 1 white onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup fresh basil
- Chop tomatoes, pepper, onion and garlic and arrange on a cookie sheet
- Drizzle oil over it
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Mix all together with your hands
- Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes to roast the vegetables
- Place in slow cooker or Insta Pot with remaining ingredients
- Cook on high for 2 hours
- Blend with a hand mixer until pureed
- Add fresh basil
- Serve with any desired toppings (garnish of more fresh basil, croutons, Parmesan cheese)
Grilled Cheeze Directions :
- Take two slices of bread of choice
- Lightly butter the outside of each slice of bread (I like Earth Balance organic)
- Sprinkle the buttered side with Vegan Parmesan cheese or Nutritional Yeast and Italian seasoning (you’re welcome!!)
- Place a slice or two of your favorite vegan cheeze on the inside of the bread and form a sandwich
- Place the bread, buttered side down, in a pan on low heat to toast, flipping after a few minutes, until bread is toasted and cheeze is melted
Bonus : Vegan Chocolate Fudge
This is not technically a meal but it’s delicious and it’s chocolate which is a must have sweet treat necessity to stock in your house right now. This is also very simple to make.
Servings : 15 - 20 pieces
Prep Time : 5 mins
Set time : 45 mins
- 2 cups finely chopped vegan chocolate or mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup almond butter (unsweetened, no oil or salt)
- ½ cup of non-dairy milk of choice
- Sea salt
- In medium saucepan, put all of the ingredients except the salt
- Stir continuously on low heat until chocolate is melted
- Pour contents into a lined (with parchment paper) square 9” dish
- Sprinkle with sea salt
- Place in freezer for 15 minutes
- Place in refrigerator until hardened
- Cut into bite size squares
- Place remaining in an airtight container and store in refrigerator
Hopefully you are not in a food coma after reading all of this and can begin cooking up one of these meal options. I recommend starting with the fudge first!! Enjoy these delicious and healthy recipes. Stay isolated, safe and healthy.
The Wolfpack IRL
About the Author
Mariah Jere @theycallthewindyogaAside from being a yoga teacher, Mariah Jere is a professional hair and makeup stylist providing beauty needs for others special occasions. The job she loves the most is being a wife and mom to her two young boys. She prides herself on providing high quality nutrition to her family by cooking a whole food plant based diet and practices other environment saving habits by living with zero waste, composting and gardening, repurposing and upcycling and making all household cleaners and detergents.