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  • Writer's pictureRenee Little, R.D.

Cooking Can Be Simple, Comforting and Nutritious

I wanted to offer support while we are all self-isolating. Doesn't it seem like you're cooking A LOT of meals? I know I definitely eat out in grocery stores and restaurants more than I would like to admit (don't judge me)! Now that my husband and I are cooking at home most meals, cooking feels a little much some days.

I thought....well I can't be alone in this! I've heard from many individuals that they are feeling the exact same way. I thought one way I could be supportive is to come up with 3 meals that are delicious, that I regularly use in my meal rotation and take very few ingredients. Few ingredients means less time in the grocery store, less time cooking and less overall stress for your #cookinginquarantine needs.

Recipe 1: Black Bean Quesadillas


  • 1 15oz can black beans

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

  • 1/2 small red onion

  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro - can eliminate this if you do not have access to it

  • 2 cups shredded cheese

  • 1 reduced sodium taco seasoning

  • 10 tortillas

  • Toppings optional: salsa, sour cream, guacamole


Drain the can of beans and rinse. Place beans in large bowl. Rinse cilantro, remove leaves, chop roughly. Dice onion and pan fry with the corn. In the large bowl with the beans, add cilantro, cooked onion, corn and mix in taco seasoning. Place a half cup of the filling on one side of the tortilla, add cheese and fold over.

Cook in a skillet on both sides over medium heat until lightly brown and crispy and cheese in filling has melted.


Recipe 2: Teriyaki Stir Fry


  • 8 chicken drumsticks

  • 3-4 cups vegetables you have in your fridge (celery, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli) or frozen stir fry vegetable pre-mix bag.

  • Teriyaki sauce - add to your own flavor preference. You will likely need ~1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.

  • Sesame seeds (if you have them)

  • Oil for frying

Instructions: Bake chicken in the oven, follow meat cooking and temperature guidelines (if you are unsure please message me for details). After dicing vegetables, add 1 tsp of oil to a frying pan and fry vegetables on medium heat. Once the vegetables are cooked to suite your preference add the Teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds. Mix the chicken into the vegetables and sauce. Serve immediately on rice or noodles. This is a reminder that meals can be simple and still taste and look delicious. You don't have to spend an elaborate amount of time in the kitchen making Teriyaki sauce from scratch and yes you can use frozen vegetables.


Recipe 3: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Not all meals need to be complex. This comfort food is a delicious and nutritious meal.


Two slices of bread

2 slices of cheese - Havarti, Swiss or cheddar will do

Butter or margarine

1 box of tomato soup


I'm sure you know how to make a grilled cheese....but if you do not here you go. Turn a frying pan on medium to low heat. Butter 2 sides of the bread slices, put one butter down into a pan. Add 2 cheese slices to the bread, put the other bread slice on top, butter facing up. Grill on one side until brown, flip and grill until brown. Heat the soup up in the microwave or a pot. Serve both immediately.


Remember Food = Comfort and Joy

This is a reminder that when times are stressful to make other parts of your life simple and also comforting. Food is an avenue of joy and comfort which we all need a little more of right now. If you are stressing out about making elaborate meals and feeling frustrated with missing ingredients it might be time to sit back, relax your food rules and expectations and just have a little more fun with it all.


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