Hunker Down Easy Dinners

Be honest, did you think this virus was going to escalate to the level it is now? I didn’t. It wasn’t until this past weekend that we finally decided that we should probably go to the store and stock up on some things. We also just so happened to need toilet paper. I really wish that we would not have waited so long because the shelves were almost bare and the pickins were slim for a lot of our pantry staples. There was a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables still available. But if you’re going to not leave the house for a couple of weeks than canned fruit and frozen vegetables are the way to go. Of course, there are also those vegetables that are hardy enough to last the apocalypse like potatoes and root veggies. But some vegetables really are better from the freezer like peas and spinach, and some are really great in a can like corn and (don’t judge me) mushrooms. If you were to go to the store right now, I’m sure the shelves are more bare than usual but a lot of what is actually missing is processed/premade packaged dinners. 

Thankfully not all hope is lost, you just have to think outside of the box. Maybe use grains like quinoa, or farro, or different varieties of rice like jasmine or basmati. There are frozen bread loaves and rolls that are so good, I can pass them off as homemade. Or if you’re needing a project because your kiddos are on an “extended Spring Break” consider starting a sourdough starter and learn how to bake bread. I’ve asked my fellow food bloggers to help us all out by sharing their favorite recipes for dishes that contain items you can still find on the shelves. You’ll be surprised with how you can get so much flavor out of so little.

One example of an easy recipe that you can make with ingredients that are probably already in your pantry is Chicken Satay. All you need is chicken (thighs are our favorite), peanut butter (chunky or creamy), water (or stock), 1 can of coconut milk and a couple of spices, that’s it! Steam some broccoli (either frozen or fresh) or spinach and make a pot of rice. Boom! You’ve got yourself a budget-friendly, very filling, family dinner. One thing that my local store is not short on (yet) is wine. We’ll make it through this one way or another!

If you’re still unsure on what to stock up on I made a grocery list

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay

Quick and easy chicken skewers with a savory peanut sauce for dipping.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marination Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Breast, sliced into inch thick strips
  • 1 14oz can Coconut Milk, split
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/2 cup Water, stock, or water and bouillon mixed
  • 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
  • pinch (or so) Chili Flakes
  • Skewers, soaked in water

Instructions

  1. In a dish mix together 1/2 of the can of coconut milk, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Skewer one strip of chicken per skewer pushing the chicken onto the middle of the skewer leaving space on both sides of the chicken.
  3. In a casserole dish place, a piece of foil at the bottom of the dish then lay the chicken over the dish. The skewer lays on the sides of the dish and the chicken hovers over the foil.
  4. Place in a 425˚ oven on one of the top racks. Cook until the interior temp is 160˚ (the chicken will continue to cook to 165˚) turning 1/2 way through.
  5. While the chicken is in the oven, in a medium saucepan add a touch of oil and add the peanut butter, and cook until smooth and warm but the oil has not separated.
  6. Add the coconut milk and whisk until smooth add water (or stock) until the sauce is the same consistency of yogurt. Season with chili pepper, soy sauce, pepper, then taste for the salt level.

Notes

Once the chicken is cooked you can garnish with sesame seeds and green onion, and serve the peanut sauce on the side for an appetizer, steam some broccoli serve with rice to make it a meal or toss the chicken in the peanut sauce served over a bed of spinach.

More Great Ideas

Some of my own “Struggle Meals”

Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep a bit of distance from other people.

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