We’ve been staying home long enough that we’ve stopped counting days; we’ve probably killed our sourdough starter; and we’ve figured out how to remove our gel manicures at home. For those of us who regularly cook, we are realizing our recipe bench may not be deep enough for this much time in the kitchen. Even those whose idea of cooking is putting a frozen a pizza in the oven (no shame) are making a go of flexing their culinary skills because, let’s face it, we have the time. As we look to expand our repertoire we are also aiming to minimize our trips to the grocery store by making the most of our pantry staples. So, if you are in search of new recipes that are healthy, comforting, and allow you to use what you’re likely to have on hand or can be easily found, we’ve got you. We have asked some of our favourite cookbook authors and food bloggers to share their current go-to stay-at-home recipes, and the kitchen staples they can’t go without — and they have delivered. We may all feel like we are living the plot of Groundhog Day, but our meals don’t have to be repetitive or boring.
Keep reading for these delicious stay-at-home recipes from our favourite foodies and cookbook authors!
JessieLAURA WRIGHT of THE FIRST MESS:
Vegan “Butter” Chickpeas
If you already follow The First Mess on Instagram or own one of her cookbooks, then you know a) Laura has two dogs, Mickie and Cleo, who are worth the follow alone, and b) Laura knows how to make cooking at home look easy and fun. This perfect stay-at-home recipe for Vegan “Butter” Chickpeas is ‘super creamy, perfectly spiced, 100% vegan take on butter chicken’ and is plant-based comfort food to the infinite. Made from lots of pantry staples with easy-to-follow instructions, it is a perfect option for those nights when you want something comforting and warming. Pair it with your favourite grains or even better, this flatbread recipe (No yeast! Bless).
Laura’s pantry must-haves: canned chickpeas and beans, canned tomatoes, and a good rotation of whole and ground spices
Food contributor for The Globe & Mail, and author of the book Seven Spoons: My Favourite Recipes for Any and Every Day, Tara recommends her garlic soup recipe as the ideal stay-at-home meal. “This garlic soup follows the tradition of Spanish Sopa de Ajo — it’s thickened with bread and spiced with paprika. I appreciate its ability to turn stale bread into something for dinner, and, especially now, the recipe’s surprising versatility. I sometimes add a handful or sturdy greens, any cooked beans or lentils I have kicking around, or simply an egg, and there’s a meal sorted. Comforting, simple, and somehow restorative, too.”
Tara’s pantry must-haves: A few types of chocolate (for snacking and throwing into desserts), dried chickpeas (she recommends kabuli chickpeas from Flourist), and a collection of hot sauces to bring a lively dimension to any dish
JESSIE MAY SNYDER:
Carrot Cashew Sauce
Based out of southern California and with a serious wanderlust, Jessie’s plant based recipes have something for everyone. Her Carrot Cashew Sauce has been a go-to recipe, “I’ve been making this sauce regularly recently because it uses such simple pantry ingredient…. plus a carrot which is a produce item that holds up well to long storage. The sauce goes well on any type of bowl or salad type of meal, nice for these times when you just have to roll with what you have on hand more often.” Just in case you need inspiration (hello!), this recipe also includes a helpful list of items of what you can use to make the perfect ‘cozy salad bowl’ with what you already have at home.
Jessie’s pantry must-haves: lemons, vegetable stock, and sturdy greens (such as kale and chard)
ALANNA TAYLOR-TOBIN/THE BOJON GOURMET
Tahini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
A pastry chef at heart, Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet says ‘These Tahini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies became a fast favorite among readers, and it’s easy to see why. ‘They’re naturally gluten-free, vegan, sweetened with maple, and made with pantry-friendly ingredients that you probably already have on hand. You can get them in and out of the oven in less than an hour, no chilling required. If you don’t have tahini, feel free to substitute peanut butter.’ BONUS POINTS: They are healthy, too.
Her cookbook, Alternative Baker, is popular with gluten-free bakers, too. In other words, The Bojon Gourmet has something for everyone.
Alanna’s pantry must-haves: Lemons, Greens (like spinach and arugula), and Chocolate (because CHOCOLATE)
AIMÉE WIMBUSH-BOURQUE / SIMPLE BITES:
Swiss Chard, Leek and Sweet Potato Frittata
First of all, a frittata is ideal for all meals, and it can be served hot or cold, so Aimée has got you covered for any time of day. Highly versatile and healthy, ‘This frittata recipe marries refrigerator staples with a trio of hearty vegetables in a nourishing dish that also qualifies as comfort food. In these times of quarantine cooking, you can certainly use what you have on hand for this dish (spinach, squash, carrots, onions, kale) and it will still be fantastic. I love that the frittata keeps for the better part of a week and is delicious enjoyed hot or cold for any meal of the day.’ Alongside her popular blog, Simple Bites, Aimée’s newest cookbook is a valuable resource for ‘bringing the whole family together around the table’.
Aimée’s pantry must-haves: eggs, all varieties of oatmeal, frozen fruit for smoothies
ERIN ALDERSON / NATURALLY ELLA:
Miso Butter Brothy Beans
Erin’s Instagram is downright drool-worthy, and this recipe for Miso Butter Brothy Beans is no exception. A stew-like bowl with white beans in their broth, and flavor help from scallions, miso, and lemon, this dish is the perfect no fuss meal. ‘I love this recipe because every weekend I make a batch or two of beans to use throughout the week. This recipe is one of the easier lunches I’ve thrown together with help from those batched beans! The miso/lemon/scallion combination is always a go-to and paired with some good bread, this recipe hits all my favorites.’
Erin’s pantry must-haves: Light miso, garlic, and tomato paste (essentially all the ways to bring some flavor!)
(Story by Contributing Editor, Shayna Stevenson)