Home Cooking Recipe Ideas When Hunkering Down

Home cooking has become the norm. By now you are probably learning the ropes of Instacart, Amazon Prime lockers at the grocery store and restaurant curbside pickup meals. You may be wearing a store-bought or homemade mask with a clever saying on it and forging ahead to shop for what you need for a week.

What a world!

But being forced to stay at home does not mean you have to have frozen pizza and canned foods every night. Of course, planning meals for a week or two has become more important and more necessary than ever.

On the plus side, preparing foods at home can mean all of your ingredients can be all-natural which is not only healthy but good for the soul.

Here are some ideas to brighten your menus.

home cooking homemade granola

Homemade granola. Photo: CWIProphoto.com

Homemade Granola

Homemade granola is very easy to make, can definitely be all-natural since you are choosing the ingredients and will save you a trip to the grocery store. Here is the one we especially like but you can add anything you like to it such as raisins, dates or cranberries, pecans, walnuts or even pistachios. You may have to hide this because it goes fast!

Maple Almond Coconut Granola

Makes about 7 cups

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, coconut, almonds, dark brown sugar. Heat to simmer, maple syrup, vegetable oil, stir in vanilla. Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into 9 x 13 baking sheet spreading mixture to one layer.

Bake 35 minutes.

Braised Green Beans

Braised Green Beans. Photo: Mediterranean Cooking: More than 150 Favorites to Enjoy with Family and Friends

Healthy Salads and Sides

The supply of fresh vegetables and fruits still remains strong both at supermarkets and specialty grocers that are permitted to stay open. Continue to try to serve plenty of fresh vegetables if you can.

Here is a wonderful recipe for green beans, potatoes and Swiss chard from Pamela Clark’s Mediterranean Cooking: More than 150 Favorites to Enjoy with Family and Friends.

Braised Green Beans

Makes 6 servings

½ pound Swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small fresh red chili, thinly sliced
8 baby potatoes, quartered
½ pound baby green beans, trimmed
1 can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes

Wash and dry Swiss chard; chop leaves and stems.

Heat oil in medium heavy-based saucepan; cook Swiss chard stems, onion, garlic and
chili, stirring, about 10 minutes or until stems soften.

Add potatoes and undrained tomatoes; simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add beans; cook
about 5 minutes until potatoes are tender. Season to taste.

Just before serving, add Swiss chard leaves; cook about 3 minutes or until wilted.

Reprinted with permission from Mediterranean Cooking: More than 150 Favorites to Enjoy with Family and Friends by Pamela Clark, © 2014, Sterling Publishing Inc. Co.
homemade cooking sand dollar cookies

Sand Dollar Cookies. Photo: The Artist, the Cook, and the Gardener

Cookies to Dream of the Beach

Beaches closed? Spring break and summer (hopefully not!) plans dashed? Make sand dollar cookies and celebrate the beach anyway!

These fun Sand dollar cookies are from The Artist, the Cook, and the Gardener © 2013 by Maryjo Koch and Jennifer Barry.

Sand Dollar Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

½ cup (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 egg
1 3⁄4 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking pans with sheets of parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until smooth and blended. Add the egg and continue beating until light and creamy.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add them to the butter and egg mixture, beating well to form a smooth dough.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough 1⁄8-inch thick. Cut the dough into rounds with a 21⁄2-inch cookie cutter and place the rounds about 1 inch apart on the prepared pans. Gather up the scraps, reroll them, and cut into more cookies to use up all the dough. Chill the cookies on their baking pans in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Remove the chilled cookie pans from the refrigerator. Using the blunt edge of a butter knife, lightly press a five-legged star design onto each cookie round. Using a pastry brush, brush a little of the egg mixture lightly over the cookies. Sprinkle the reserved sugar over the tops.

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookie tops have a sheen and the edges are just slightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Reprinted with permission from The Artist, the Cook, and the Gardener © 2013 by Maryjo Koch and Jennifer Barry, Andrews McMeel Publishing.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to Healthy Aging® Magazine

The Premier Lifestyle Magazine for All Ages

Receive four digital issues delivered to your inbox. Just $24.95