14 days inside? But what will I eat?
With coronavirus spreading globally you may have heard of people stocking up on groceries, or you may be self-isolating or practicing social distancing. One of the big questions I get asked in this situation is – what am I supposed to eat for 14 days if I can’t go out of my house? So I’ve compiled a sample 14 day menu of recipes that can be made with basics from your pantry or freezer. I have included a list of ingredients that are assumed to be in your pantry, fridge, or freezer to follow this plan. If you look at this list and notice there are a few things you don’t have it may be prudent to make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on a few things. If in the end you don’t need to self-quarantine these foods can still come in handy should you ever be unable to get to the store for other reasons (illness, weather, etc). You will notice the menu relies on fresh ingredients more heavily at the beginning and slowly transitions to shelf-stable foods as the days progress. This will accommodate the slow reduction in your fresh products available over the 14 day period. Some fresh produce lasts longer than others and is handy to keep stocked in your fridge for that reason. When you’re eating out of your pantry and freezer for an extended period of time, you run the risk of having high sodium intake. To prevent this I’ve suggested selecting ‘no salt added’ or lower sodium options when stocking your pantry.
Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time and frozen in individual portions. You will notice that many of the meals rely on beans or lentils for protein. Beans and lentils are shelf-stable (can be purchased either dried or canned) and are super handy when trying to make meals with pantry and freezer items. This recipe selection is only a guideline – you can play around with it to make it fit your preferences and resources available. You could look at cooking out of your pantry and freezer for a few weeks as a good opportunity to flex your culinary muscles!
Remember, stay calm and food prep on!
~ Your friendly neighborhood dietitian.
- All-purpose flour
- 1-2 jars Unsweetened applesauce
- Various canned fruit
- Skim milk powder (for when/if the fluid milk runs out)
- Dried fruit
- 3 cans fish (tuna or salmon)
- Canned beans (black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas)
- Red split lentils
- No salt added tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2-3 cans/jars low sodium pasta sauce
- 1 jar salsa
- White or yellow potatoes
- Your preferred types of nuts and seeds
- Your preferred nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, pumpkin seed, etc)
- Canned pure pumpkin
- 1 tin water chestnuts
- 5 14-ounce Cans whole or diced low sodium tomatoes
- Low sodium beef broth
- Low sodium chicken broth
- Dried egg noodles
- Skim milk powder or shelf-stable milk alternative (such as non-refrigerated almond milk etc, check labels for this)
- A variety of spices and condiments
- 18 Eggs
- 3 L Milk
- 2-3 bricks cheese
- Small container sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 container cottage cheese (or you can replace in menu with yogurt)
- 1 large bag apples
- 2 medium sweet potatos
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 head broccoli
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 yellow zucchini
- 1 green zucchini
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 pear
- 2 navel oranges
- 8 ounce package cremini mushrooms
- Bag of onions
- Bag of carrots
- Lime or lemon juice
- Hummus or other dip
- Container of spinach or other greens
- 2 lbs stewing beef
- Frozen peppers (or you could use fresh if available)
- Frozen spinach
- Frozen stir fry mix vegetables
- Frozen corn
- Frozen avocado cubes
- Frozen Fruit
- Chicken Breasts (could also be fresh, could also substitute chicken thighs or drumsticks if those are more readily available )
- Ground Beef
- Frozen Shrimp
- Prepared muffins and pumpkin loaf
14-day Quarantine Menu for 1:
Crunchy Tuna Salad in Pepper Cups: (if making for one, use the leftover half red pepper from sheet pan chicken meal below.
Chicken Soup: (this will make a large batch, freeze in single serving portions and use on later dates or even after the 14 days is up).
Sheet Pan Chicken and Rainbow Vegetables: (for one person make a half batch of the recipe, the remainder of the ingredients will be used to make the other recipes over the next few days).
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff: (this will make enough to freeze a few extra single portions, can be sued at a later date).
Easy Vegetarian Chili: (this will make enough to freeze a few extra single portions, can be sued at a later date).
Chicken Stir Fry Bake: (this recipe will make enough you can freeze some in single portions; if you do not have chicken available you could substitute canned beans for protein).
Shrimp Fried Quinoa (if you prefer you could substitute cooked chicken or other meat/poultry for the shrimp).
Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato: (this recipe makes enough for 4, but you can cut back if needed; can use frozen avocado).