Saturday, June 10, 2023

Cooking during the quarantine!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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The quarantine conditions are different for everybody but the one thing we all have in common is the desire to stay safe. Part of these quarantine restrictions includes smart grocery shopping and making the most of your pantry items and on-hand food items without breaking the bank. These recipes help you do just that!

Poor Man’s Burrito Bowls

  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 15 oz. cans black beans
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa
  • 6 oz. shredded cheese*
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 jalapeño (optional)
Cooking during the quarantine!
  1. Add the rice, salt, and 3 cups of water to a medium saucepot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high, and allow the water to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit, with the lid in place, for an additional five minutes. Fluff just before serving.
  2. While the rice is cooking, make the beans. Add both cans of black beans (undrained) to a small saucepot, along with the cumin, and garlic powder. Heat over medium, stirring often, until heated through.
  3. Slice the green onions and jalapeño (if using).
  4. Once the rice is cooked, build the bowls. Add one cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup warm black beans, 1/3 cup salsa, and 1 oz. shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup) to each bowl. Top with a few sliced green onions and jalapeños, then serve.

Chicken Chili Casserole

  • 1 pound (450g) chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • salt
  • 15-ounce (425g) can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (about a small handful)

Optional Toppings

  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced avocados
Cooking during the quarantine!
  1. Poach Chicken: Chop chicken breasts into smaller segments. I usually cut a chicken breast in half, along the grain. Bring about 2 quarts of water to boil. Make sure to salt the water with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add chicken breasts and cook for 8 to 12 minutes, until the water runs clear and the meat reaches 165ºF (74ºC). Dish up chicken. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your hands.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Add diced zucchini, peppers and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken, beans and enchilada sauce, and stir until everything is combined. Turn off heat. Sprinkle tortilla chips on top, then sprinkle the cheese. Feel free to add more cheese or tortilla chips.
  4. Place skillet in the oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  5. Serve casserole with cilantro or avocado, if you like.

Budget-Friendly Black Bean Burgers

  • 1/2 medium red onion roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 30 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 egg (or 1 flax egg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or oat flour
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 sprouted wheat burger buns
Cooking during the quarantine!

Burger Toppings:

  • Sliced Tomato
  • Sliced red onions
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Ketchup
  1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse onion and garlic until finely chopped.
  2. Add 1 can black beans, cilantro, parsley, egg, and red pepper flakes and pulse to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining can of black beans and the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix until well combined.
  4. Divide mixture into 6 portions and form into patties.
  5. Place on a hot oiled grill over medium-low heat and cook about 6 minutes a side or until heated through.
  6. Toast hamburger buns on a grill. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun. Top with baby spinach (or lettuce), tomato, onions, and ketchup.
  7. Cover the burgers with the top of the bun and serve.

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