Plenty of us promised ourselves that we’ll clean up our diets and start eating well as soon as the coronavirus quarantine starts. Sadly, like this chocolate bar and carton of chocolate milk we're enjoying for breakfast show, not all things go to plan. The quarantine has brought out our creativity and desperation in equal parts. You can clearly see it from the photos people are proudly posting online where they show off their next-level improvised quarantine meals.
No burger buns? No problem! Substitute them with some donuts. No breadcrumbs for your steak? Again, no worries—broken up Doritos will do. Out of nachos? Yeah, this cereal will be perfect with some cheese and salsa. Scroll down for the wonderful and terrifying lockdown food pictures that Bored Panda found, upvote your faves, and drop us a comment about your own quarantine meals, dear Pandas!
Bored Panda spoke about these improvised quarantine recipes and people rediscovering their love for food with Nathalie Cooke, Professor and Associate Dean at McGill University Library and Archives, and an expert in cookery literature. Scroll down to read what she thinks and to have a look at her 2 simple but tasty recipes that we can all enjoy during the lockdown.
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According to Professor Cooke, the fact that people are improvising with the way they're making meals at home might be a sign of not just creativity but also of consideration for others over consideration for their own taste buds. "We’re currently asked not to go to the grocery store multiple times for small amounts, but rather to try to shop just once a week. That limits our own exposure, and also helps minimize risk of exposure for all those working in grocery stores at the moment."
Professor Cooke also believes that more and more people will discover their cooking talents and love of food as the quarantine continues. "Is it just my own social media accounts that are filled with photos of sourdough starter and homemade bread? We have the luxury of time to enjoy the process of cooking and are taking time to rediscover the art of serving and savoring a meal—even if it’s just a meal for one, or for the few people sharing the same living space," she said.
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"And since we can’t mix things up by going out for a restaurant meal, we’re also craving variety—trying different recipes, putting lots of colors on the plate, trying out different flavor combinations," she explained to Bored Panda, also suggesting that using Doritos for breadcrumbs may be just the start that leads to people wanting to experiment with, for example, expensive pine nuts in a pesto for breadcrumbs.
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The professor was also kind enough to share a couple of easy-to-make recipes with us that we can all try out at home!
"Speaking of pesto, that’s a great pasta sauce that is easy to make if—and here’s the big if—one has a food processor or blender. Put in a blender: 2 cups of green leaves (usually basil, but can be mixed with arugula, spinach, flat-leaved parsley), ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup grated Parmesan, 3 cloves garlic (or garlic powder), 1/3 pine nuts (walnuts, even bread crumbs with a bit of extra cheese), salt and pepper. Blend until it looks delicious!" Professor Cooke shared.
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"Another tasty recipe? My favorite is tomato soup. Pour some olive oil into a saucepan (2 tablespoons or so), add one sliced onion, a sliced carrot and a sliced stick of celery. Cook over medium heat. Then add 28 oz can or 3 cups of tomatoes (sliced into quarters, and remember to remove the “woody” part first), and 4 cups of broth. You can make your own broth by boiling up veggies that you typically discard—broccoli stalks, celery leaves, onion skins etc. What makes this soup really taste good are the secret ingredients: a pinch of sugar, 2 teaspoons of tomato paste, and 2 bay leaves (which you remove before serving). Use a blender or hand-held immersion blender to mix until smooth. Or use a potato masher and a bit of elbow grease."
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Now, we know what you’re thinking: “How can I cook something wholesome and nutritious when I don’t have a lot of energy and I don’t want to go to the store for more ingredients?” You’re not Gordon Ramsay. We're not Gordon Ramsay. But we can’t let this pandemic beat us into submission and take away our cooking skills! While donut-burgers sound delicious and we'll totally be making them for lunch this week, our bodies deserve better food.
Luckily for us, more and more media outlets are writing articles about cooking advice and easy-to-make recipes while we’re stuck working and studying from home. So there's a wide variety of recipes to choose from.
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For instance, USA Today points out that enchiladas are hella easy to prepare. All you need is some ground beef, cheese, tortillas, salsa, and enchilada sauce. That’s only 5 ingredients. (Personally, we're out of tortillas, but we're sure that we can find something to swap them with. Like bread. That’ll work, r-right?)
Meanwhile, The New York Times is an absolute treasure trove of wonderful recipes to try out. One of the things they recommend you cook for lunch includes sardine toasts with tomato and sweet onion. Something else that you can make with little to no experience is chicken noodle soup. While for dinner, try out tuna noodle salad. Hint: there are lots of things that you can do with noodles. All it takes is a little bit of imagination and enough willpower to get you off the couch and into your pantry.