Recipes to try during quarantine
April 29, 2020
Let’s be honest, we’re all bored. And what better way is there to stop being bored than getting off Tik Tok and making yourself a real meal? That’s right, a real meal. Your stomach deserves something more than Pringles that have been in the pantry for over a year. And while your pantry may not be abundant in fresh foods, there are still plenty of tasty things you can make with quarantine foods.
Banana bread has become a popular quarantine baked treat, and besides, how else were you going to use those blackened bananas anyway? The darker the bananas get in color as they ripen means the sweeter they are, so these types of bananas are perfect for baking. Besides bananas, you really don’t need too many ingredients to make banana bread, and you can add in a variety of mix-ins to make it taste however you want it to. Sophomore Tessa Reimer’s favorite part of making banana bread is how she can add whatever she feels like into the mix. “Sometimes I’m feeling chocolate, and sometimes I’m feeling nuts,” she says. “And sometimes I’m feeling nuts and chocolate! Banana bread is great no matter what you put in it.”
To make my favorite recipe of banana bread, you will need:
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bananas, mashed (about 2 or 3)
- ⅓ cup of milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ cup nuts (optional)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
The first thing you need to do for this recipe is to combine the milk and the lemon juice in a small bowl. This sours the milk which basically makes it taste like buttermilk. If you have buttermilk, then you could also just use that, but not very many people have buttermilk right now, and this is super easy. Also, don’t worry, it doesn’t taste weird once it’s in the batter. Next, you will need to mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Then, in a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and the butter. Then add the eggs and bananas and blend thoroughly. Next, slowly, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the banana bowl and stir until combined. Then add in whatever mix-ins you want, and pour the batter into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Voila! A great way to use up your overripe bananas.
While people may not have an abundance of fresh foods and veggies, it seems most people probably have more random things like beans than they know what to do with at the moment. A great way to use up beans and make a simple yet filling meal is to make beans and cornbread. This meal is super cheap, and the combination of the amino acids in beans and corn make a complete protein, so you don’t even need to add meat! Although if you’re feeling fancy you could make a batch of chili to go with your cornbread.
While you can just use canned beans to go with your cornbread, the best tasting beans come when you cook them yourself, and it’s super easy. All you have to do is give the raw beans a rinse and put them in the Crock Pot submerged under an inch or two of water. It doesn’t really matter the exact amount of water because if there’s not enough you can add more any time, and if there’s too much, you can drain them at the end. In the Crock Pot, you will need to cook the beans on high for 4 to 6 hours, and in an instant pot or pressure cooker it takes about 30 ish minutes. The secret to making stellar beans is to season them before you cook them with whatever you want. You could keep it simple with some salt and pepper, or add other spices too like garlic, chili powder and paprika. (Adding taco seasoning is also really good). Or if you don’t want to season them, they will still turn out super tasty. .
My mom and I have looked everywhere for a perfect cornbread recipe, and we kind of combined a few to make our own. Our family loves the taste of honey in our cornbread, so that’s what we use to sweeten ours, but you can also use sugar if you want to, just remember that a ½ cup of honey is equal to about a cup of granulated sugar. However, I would highly recommend using honey if you have it, because it adds really good flavor. Sophomore Mekenzie Clark loves this recipe too because of all the great honey flavor. “Personally, I love to put honey on everything, it is super delicious and a healthier sweetener than regular sugar,” she says. Whether or not you use honey is up to you, but you definitely should if you have some.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the cornbread:
- ½ cup melted butter
- ½ cup honey (or more if you’re like me and love honey)
- ½ cup applesauce (if you don’t have applesauce you can use sour cream, yogurt, or more butter)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of half and half (or milk works great too)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
- 1 ½ Tbsp baking powder
To make, simply combine your wet ingredients first, and then add your dry ingredients after. Pour the batter into a 9x9in pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Then, after it’s cooled, slice into squares and serve with the beans. To add a little color to this meal my family likes to top ours with freshly sliced avocado and a few sprigs of cilantro, but you can really add whatever sounds good to you!
Quarantine cooking does not have to be hard, and these recipes show how you can use everyday items that you have and maybe don’t know what to do with to make simple and delicious food. Hopefully you enjoy and can use these recipes while you’re stuck at home.