I hope you’re prepared for cooking during quarantine. I know I am. But I owe my preparedness in the path of hurricanes for many years. Hurricane preparedness was so much a part of our lives, that we actually wrote a book about it! And now, that the same kind of preparedness is helpful during these strange days of self-isolation.
Even though we’re allowed to venture out for groceries, I prefer to keep my interactions with the outside world to a minimum. That’s why we made one trip to the store last week and shopped for enough food to last a month. The canned and dried beans and pasta was the easy part. I also stocked the freezer with an extra supply of frozen spinach, collards, broccoli, and other green veggies because I knew the fresh, more delicate produce would be the first things we needed to use up. I then loaded up the fridge with plant milk, tofu, and lots of fresh produce.
I planned menus that used the most delicate product first, so now, over a week since shopping, we’re nearly out of fresh greens — I have enough lettuce for about three more salads. But we still have a lot of other hardy veggies like cabbage, carrots, celery, winter squash, and of course, white and sweet potatoes. I bought a lot of fruit that I’m keeping refrigerated to last longer, pulling out only what we’ll use in a day each morning.
Here is a list of what I plan to cook in the weeks ahead using what I have on hand:
Stay-at-home Menu Plan
- Chili Mac & salad
- Pizza & salad
- Hakka noodle stir-fry
- Lentil soup
- Stuffed kabocha squash
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Ramen bowls
- Vegetable fried rice
- Tofu tetrazzini with green beans
- Saag with tofu and basmati rice
- Pasta Fagiole
- Tofu scramble
- 15-bean soup
- Seitan Pot Roast with Cabbage, Carrots & Potatoes
- Artichoke Mac UnCheese
- Three bean pasta salad
- Veggie Dogs w/sauerkraut
- Chickpea salad wraps
- Singapore mei fun
- Hoppin’ John
If you have a copy of my book Cook the Pantry or Vegan Unplugged, you’ll find lots of useful tips and recipes using pantry ingredients. I’ll be sharing some of those recipes in the weeks ahead. For now, I’ll leave you with the recipe from Cook the Pantry for Spinach and White Bean Quesadillas or as they are now known, Quarantine Quesadillas. Stay safe!
Spinach and White Bean Quesadillas aka “Quarantine Quesadillas”
Frozen spinach and canned white beans combine with garlic and spices to make a delectable filling for these hearty quesadillas. No cheese needed. Serve with your favorite salsa.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or 2 tablespoons water to water-saute)
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Large flour tortillas
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the beans, lemon juice, coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring, until the spinach is cooked and the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans well while cooking. Set aside.
Place a large tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture evenly over half of the tortilla. Fold the remaining half of the tortilla over the half with the filling and press gently to enclose and spread the filling close to the edges.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the hot skillet. Flatten with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the quesadillas and cook until the other side is golden brown. Cut into wedges. Repeat with more tortillas and filling as desired. Serve hot with salsa.
This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Annie Oliverio.