While I have ordered food delivery a few times since I started social distancing over three weeks ago, I’ve mostly been cooking! With that said, I’m not doing a lot of stuff from scratch. Most of these I made with the help of frozen or packaged foods! As I’m trying to avoid the grocery store, I’m also trying to avoid recipes that require a lot of random ingredients and a bunch of fresh stuff… just trying to make some yummy, easy meals without too much hassle. Most of these are pretty healthy, and all were very good!
For the first week I had quite a bit of fresh produce to work with, then I moved onto the frozen items I’d purchased. Since this all started I’ve only placed one grocery delivery order (a little over two weeks ago) and been to the grocery store only once after that (this Sunday), and bought some additional fresh produce to cook along with the packaged items I purchased! It’s been a good mix of things so far, so I think I’m going to continue doing it that way. Continuing to eat my frozen/packaged items while placing a grocery delivery order every other week or so for some fresh stuff to add! I definitely don’t need to be eating pasta or frozen pizza every day, so I’m trying to buy more proteins I can use or freeze for later and veggies like spaghetti squash that last (as well as frozen ones!). Below is a roundup of some of the stuff I’ve been making! I didn’t realize I wanted to do a post on this until last week, so unfortunately the food photos aren’t the presentation or quality you’re probably used to… but that’s life! I’ll do another one of these in a couple weeks once I’ve taken more pics/tried new things!
I discovered this recipe by googling some ingredients I had on hand: a spaghetti squash, spinach, cheese and tomato sauce. While most spaghetti squash boat recipes feature a meat, I was excited to discover the vegetarian blog, Cookie + Kate, had one without! The Spaghetti Squash “Pizza” Bowls are SO easy to make and are truly so delicious. The only thing I did differently is to put the broiler on at the end for one minute so the cheese on top could bubble and brown. Truth be told I ate both halves of the spaghetti squash in one sitting, but in my defense it was a very small squash! Aside from the cheese, it’s all veggies… a very healthy and yummy dinner the whole family would love!
These meals look a little less appealing, I know, but I swear they’re so good! I bought several boxes of these Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers to eat over a couple months and they’ve proven to taste good over a variety of items! I bought the Mushroom Risotto, Kale and then the California veggie burgers and have enjoyed all three. Last week I tried two of the Kale burgers over a bag of Trader Joe’s Multigrain Vegetable Blend (with some parmesan mixed in!) and it was SO good! I also really love putting these veggie burgers over kale salad. Highly recommend trying the Mushroom Risotto burgers with a little truffled hot sauce on top! Obviously you could eat these burgers on buns as well. They’re just a great, versatile product to have on hand in the freezer! I bought mine at Whole Foods.
One thing I cook with a lot is cauliflower rice. Since I didn’t want to be going to the grocery store often, I bought a few bags of frozen cauliflower rice! I’d never tried it before, so wasn’t sure if it would be as good as it is fresh. I love it though! I tend to rely on Italian a lot when it comes to frozen foods, but to wanted to have a variety of cuisines to choose from while social distancing. I bought a bag of frozen grilled chicken and a pouch of this Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce to try and recreate a healthier version of my go-to Indian order. When I order from Roti Grill in Dallas it’s served with basmati rice and naan, but by using cauliflower rice and no bread it’s a really light meal! To my surprise, it was delicious! I was a little worried about how I’d like the texture of the chicken – I’m already kind of on the fence when it’s fresh – but it was great. Bought all three of these items at Whole Foods!
One frozen item I always stock up when I go to Trader Joe’s (quarantined or not!) is their cauliflower gnocchi. It’s really easy it to make and is only 330 calories for the whole bag. I do not recommend following the instructions on the bag though! Here’s what I do: 1) heat up 2 tablespoons of butter at medium-high heat. 2) Add frozen gnocchi to pan and stir to coat, then let gnocchi sit untouched for 2-3 minutes, until browned and can be flipped with ease. 3) Flip the gnocchi over to brown other side for an additional 2-3 minutes. 4. Add your favorite sauce and toppings, and eat! In this picture I’ve added pesto, sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, naturally topping with some grated parmesan cheese as well.
Another attempt to mix it up from Italian food was I bought a couple packages of cauliflower rice stir fry! I got one bag from Trader Joe’s and one from Whole Foods. I made them both the same way, so I can give a good review on each! I tried the Trader Joe’s option first a couple weeks ago with three scrambled eggs on it for some protein. Like most other Trader Joe’s frozen items, I felt like the cooking directions were off. The cauliflower rice was a little mushy and the flavor, while good, didn’t taste super authentic. The Whole Foods version was much better, in my opinion! When I made it last week, the cauliflower rice came out more crispy and the flavor was on point! Perhaps it’s just the cooking directions that need a tweak? Either way, I recommend the Whole Foods frozen cauliflower rice stir fry over the Trader Joe’s version.
Back to Italian, I bought two frozen Caulipower pizzas at Whole Foods. I got the Three Cheese and the Margherita options, both of which were so good! While I really do love the Trader Joe’s cauliflower crusted pizza (I love cauliflower!), the Caulipower brand pizza tastes like real pizza crust as opposed to something else pretending to be pizza crust. Another nice thing about Caulipower is the toppings are already on the pizza! No need to buy pizza sauce, herbs, toppings, etc in addition to the crust. I did, however, add some extra cheese on top… because YOLO. Highly recommend grabbing a couple of these on your next trip to Whole Foods! Or order it online here with Amazon Prime delivery!
In another attempt to mix things up, I made breakfast for dinner last week! I don’t use eggs very often in my recipes, but they’re a good buy during social distancing because they last weeks! I’ve obviously used them in both stir fry dishes I made, but opted for an omelet here. I whisked three eggs with some 2% milk and made an omelet with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I’m sure you’ve noticed a theme with this ingredients! The artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes have been a go-to for me lately, as they last a long time in jars and add a bunch of flavor to everything from pastas to salads to omelets. I had a sweet potato I needed to use, so I chopped it up and sauteed it in coconut oil with some chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
I’ve tried two other versions of Trader Joe’s frozen gnocchi in addition to the cauliflower gnocchi, but only got a pic of this one. The first I tried was the gorgonzola gnocchi, which was SO GOOD! The flavor was insane. This one is the gnocchi stuffed with mozzarella and tomato sauce, which was also very good! Again, I kinda did my own thing in regard to the preparation instructions: I sauteed them in butter, added some water and covered for a few minutes. I was also told they can be dry, so I added some marinara sauce and parm to it at the end. So yummy!
This was a meal I made when I had fresh produce right at the beginning of all of this social distancing! You’ll see artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes again… can’t stop, won’t stop! I sauteed fresh riced cauliflower with some pesto, the tomatoes and artihearts. I also roasted some Brussels sprouts (using these prep instructions) to pair with it! So flavorful, filling and healthy. A great meal that makes delicious leftovers too!
On my last grocery run before I fully began social distancing (four weeks ago this Friday!), I picked up a few gluten free pasta boxes by a couple different brands. I’d heard they’re good, but had never tried them myself! On Saturday night I decided to try Tolerant Organic Chickpea Penne, and really loved it! It tastes just like pasta, but it’s not as soft as real pasta – there’s a bit of a bite to it, which doesn’t bother me at all. Since this was before my grocery store run on Sunday and I didn’t have any protein, I just decided to pair the penne with some vodka sauce (Cucina Antica is my go-to pasta/pizza sauce brand!) and frozen peas. It was SO GOOD! It made great leftovers too, which I had for dinner again Monday night. Obviously added salt and a bunch of grated parm for more flavor. I think this would be so good with chicken or sausage in it too, which is what I’m going to do when I try the other gluten free pastas I bought! I have two red lentil pastas to try next, but really do recommend the chickpea pasta if you see it at the store! I found this at Whole Foods, but it can also be ordered on Amazon!