Lockdown and bookmark these healthy recipes to pull out during quarantine months and use up the Covid-19 stockpiling staples, dry goods and canned foods you bought!
Healthy quarantine meal recipes with simple pantry ingredients and freezer staples! Delicious, family-sized, kid-friendly, mostly budget-friendly meals. there are quarantine dinner recipes for all diets here from flexitarian to vegan and vegetarian to paleo and gluten-free, and of course, mostly dairy-free and immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory diet foods that happen to be low in sugar, but full of flavour! Most of these recipes are also low-budget using basic cupboard ingredients, yet they are wholesome and all-natural. And they are satisfying, Corona is enough, no deprivation in quarantine 🙂
These quarantine meals include breakfasts/brunches, lunches and dinners.
First during this quarantine bread craze, let us start with this easy quick no knead focaccia bread, which can be decorated with toppings to make a Garden focaccia art, a perfect comfort food year round; focaccia is great to pair with summer grilling, dip into balsamic olive oil or marinara as a starter, or have some of this decorated focaccia with a soup or salad. great dish for italian night to precede some basil pesto pasta perhaps (pesto recipe below).
Or have this delicious focaccia as a starter before Baked shrimp with herbs, potatoes and roasted veggies, also a one pan meal! Normally I make it with fresh shrimp resulting in more photo-perfect crispy potatoes and caramelized onions, but I used frozen shrimp during lockdown times and it was still absolutely delicious though a little more stew like! A healthy satisfying pescatarian dish.
Coconut chicken curry in a hurry! For an immune boosting healthy dinner recipe with ginger, turmeric and garlic.
Lentil shepherd’s pie, a one pot meal that is kid-friendly and a family sized dinner, plus a low-budget meal for a few dollars (one of the cheapest dinners that is still healthy, I never calculated but if this isn’t a $5 dinner to feed a crowd that still is nutritious- then I don’t know what is). And it is using pantry ingredients and freezer staples. Also great for kids and older folks as the ingredients are soft.
Anti-inflammatory dahl lentil stew. lentils are a cheap, healthy, plant-based protein and cupboard staple, so they are perfect for quarantine cooking.
Schnitzel: a 3 ingredient dinner! plus a creamy cucumber salad to match. Many European recipes and foreign recipes are perfect for quarantine as they use basic ingredients available year round as well as using kitchen staples, and are budget friendly with just a few basic ingredients required.
Or Breaded chicken thighs with crispy skin and juicy oven-baked chicken thighs. A 3 ingredient dinner with the most common ingredients you already have! Also great with the above linked cucumber salad.
Or for a healthy easy Taco Tuesday dinner, Mexican shrimp tacos with mango salsa, ready in less than 10 minutes!
Or Mexican black bean quinoa salad, this vegan Instant pot meals cooks up dried beans in minutes!
Ratatouille for a veggie-loaded pasta or chicken dish.. or make it a ratatouille pizza: a vegan and paleo (pegan) pizza with grain free crust. you can make it a meatless dinner (that is still high-protein) or add chicken or cheese of choice. Perhaps when you make it to occupy the kiddos put on that movie about a rat becoming a chef 😛 Ratatouille is basically stewed tomatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini and herbs- it’s delicious!
Growing your own basil, herbs and veggies and want to know how to use up your basil in recipes? Try a homemade basil pesto for pasta: you can keep it vegan with sautéed veggies or toss in chicken or on salmon (put in on raw salmon and bake together)
Or try this chickpea sweet potato flatbread (without yeast, no-knead) topped with fresh basil pesto
And for a delicious creamy spread for salmon burgers, chicken burgers or on a warmed baguette: basil avocado goat cheese spread (can be made vegan without the cheese)
Or simply guacamole to pair with a salmon patty or brined salmon on a burger or on tacos or veggie burgers.
Starchy sides to pair with quarantine dinners and lunches:
Easy sweet potato flatbread recipe for lunch, breakfast or as a dinner side: Yeast-free bread, no Dutch oven, and no equipment required for this for homemade bread! no room in the freezer for bread? no problem! Make this easy Gluten-free Paleo Sweet potato flatbread.. a healthy, no-knead, yeast-free bread! Can be made in a bowl in minutes with a potato masher and wooden spoon! See this recipe for a grain-free sweet potato flatbread. It’s also vegan.
Potato latkes or bacon loaded hasselback potatoes or roasted yam chunks with roasted veggies and oven caramelized onions or Coconut rice in the instant pot.
or a sweet potato casserole: maple pumpkin spice mashed sweet potatoes with toasted maple walnuts, pecans and coconut..practically a sweet potato pie dessert, but it’s a refined sugar free, dairy-free, gluten-free and a paleo side. Preced with pumpkin coconut soup or squash soup or pair with the honey glazed carrots below.
Sides and simple healthy appies:
The best damn soup for quarantine or any day when you want comfort food that is healthy! Cream of Pumpkin squash soup with coconut milk as good as pumpkin pie, but healthier! Made with pantry staples and a few common fresh ingredients, plus variations if you don’t have some ingredients. Its my favorite soup of all time!
Lunches and hearty healthy snacks:
A dill and bell pepper quiche or frittata egg cups for a paleo variation (both recipes included in the same recipe link, plus many flavor variations to be flexible to the ingredients you have such as spinach egg cups or bacon quiche or smoked salmon quiche.)
Anti-inflammatory turmeric scramble with eggs or tofu and veggies, an immune-boosting food, also said to be a hangover cure.
for a snack or breakfast, chia pudding with nutbutter
How to make homemade plant milk: This homemade oil free oat milk recipe is cheap to make on a budget, super easy and quick, healthy, and versatile for your coffee creamer etc. See the menu for more plant milks like diy coconut milk and homemade almond milk.
quick healthy kids lunch idea: PB&J sandwich: healthify your nutbutter sandwich by topping it with fruit such as mandarin slices or apple slices or strawberries or with applesauce instead of jam
Also check out this list of immune support foods and recipes and this comprehensive list of healthy smoothies and smoothie bowls for more healthy quarantine snack and lunch ideas to help you get through the Corona virus quarantine time with extra vitamins and nutrients (*not claiming this to be a cure for Covid-19).
a simple extra quarantine dinner idea when you have no time nor ingredients for a full recipe (not the most inventive nor special but good for a regular quarantine day when you obviously are not entertaining). A bit of a non-recipe recipe (to see actual well written recipes look at the above links): quarantine sloppy lasagna ragu with simple ingredients. Just chop and fry the onion, 4-5 cloves of minced garlic and ground beef (from one small pack), adding the rest of ingredients that you have on hand as you go.
I used approx 3/4 jar tomato sauce; initially I used about 1/3 jar and added more to leftovers as they sopped up the sauce in the fridge. Almost a whole bunch parsley added in the last few mins. Ideally some red bell pepper or carrots and celery can be cooked with the meat, but I didn’t have any that day so I loaded it with parsley. When you don’t have what you want you make the most of what you have right?
generally getting a variety of food from every macro-nutrient group and micro-nutrient group, and a variety of colors of produce is a good rule of thumb. enough healthy fat, protein including legumes, whole foods, fresh and frozen produce etc.
some Paleo followers also believe in grass-fed ghee, beef tallow or lard.