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Quarantine Meals aka Food Tetris

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So I'm altering our menu slightly because of the crazy.  Since everyone is home ALL DAY EVERY DAY, I'm having serve more meals than usual.  No more packed lunches or snacks.   I'm trying to make a mix of healthy meals and fun/comforting things.  It is amazing how much joy a loaf of banana bread can bring.   This week, we are focusing on eating prepared items out of freezer so that more plain meat will fit, using up fresh produce, eating carby items stashed in the freezer, and using a few older odds and ends I found when I moved the pantry around.  


This week I need to use 1 extra- large cucumber, 1 sasquatch carrot, 1 lonely red bell pepper, a bag of red potatoes, 4 sweet potatoes, a bunch of celery, some apples, a pineapple, bananas, some hummus, Cajun turkey lunchmeat, a handful of leftovers,  half a pan of Mexican cornbread that was a bit spicy for one of the kids, and about 2 pieces of banana bread they are fighting over.  We should also get several strawberries, a lot of lettuce,  and a plenty of herbs from the garden this week.


Breakfasts:  I get up around 4-5am, but I do not like to cook in the morning so I usually try to have meals available that everyone can either grab or make themselves.  Protein shakes, poptarts, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, cold cereal, protein bars, frozen pancakes (homemade,) etc.  These options have been working well and I'll probably do a rotation where everyone can pick what they want each day, but they must choose a different option each day.  I may cook on Friday, but it is iffy.



'British tea' lunch with cucumber sandwiches, fruit, and homemade sweets

Grilled cheese & Cajun turkey sandwich and tomato soup

There are a few corndogs & chicken nuggets left in the freezer, and I can buy more smoked sausage if that room frees up.  Leftovers are always popular and the ever present sandwich: PB&J, Nutella, egg/chicken salad, or lunchmeat.  Salads or chips with hummus make good sides for them or a big main for me.  



Salsa chicken, pineapple, rice, zucchini fries, leftover green beans

Split pea soup w/ leftover Easter ham bone from freezer, leftover Mexican cornbread (potatoes, celery, carrot in soup) (2 dinners or 1 dinner and 2 lunches)

London broil, sweet potatoes, salad

French onion Chicken casserole, corn creole, rice, salad (uses celery, some bell pepper)

Teriyaki chicken stir-fry w/ veg and rice (everyone loves all smiles no complains, Asian veg frees up freezer space)

Hamburgers with either fries (from freezer if I can find them) or chips & hummus/salsa


Snacks: bananas, apples, cookies, leftover Easter candy, and later in the week whatever homemade dessert they beg the most for--I'm leaning towards either lemon poppy seed bread or oatmeal jam bars.    


It is all a giant game of food tetris trying to use up what we have without going to the store and without wasting anything.  I do not think the family actually appreciates how much thought and effort goes into lining everything up, but I know they all enjoy gobbling it down.  




Edited by euphrasyne
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Guest Joyfilled

I love that you have a plan!


I'm a menu maker....but am flexible. If bean soup is on the menu, it might happen on Thursday instead of Tuesday. 


Having hubby home has messed me up, though! Don't get me wrong....I love having him home, but I feel like my schedule is all mixed up! I need to do better at good, full sit down meals, though. Hard to do sometimes with planting season here!


Thanks for the encouragement!! :bouquet:

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I am SO glad i have learned over the years the frugal tricks of the trade so I waste as little as possible.  Cooking from scratch is a huge money saver and makes is much easier to be flexible when one thing or another is sold out at the grocers.  I feel so sorry for those who have never learned to cook from scratch, as the non-cooks scramble for comfort foods, familiar foods they know how to use, and the brand name items.   I find in the more rural stores the staples and generics sell out quicker, in the more urban ones it is the pre-packaged stuff.  Interesting.  

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