No classroom instruction + no after-school activities to run to = more meals made at home.

This equation adds up well in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. I always aim to make meals at home, but some days are better than others. Work gets busy, activities occur later some evenings and dinner preparations slip through the cracks. I then resort to ordering out, which isn’t always the most healthy or economic thing to do.

In the little more than a month that school has shuttered and activities have either ceased on gone online with meeting apps, meal planning has become more fun, a little easier and, actually, exciting. The past few evenings found the kiddos and I discussing ideas for the next day’s dinner. I’ve copied, pasted and printed many a recipe found on social media. I’ve been more attentive to jotting down ingredients and items for the grocery store trip and some new dishes tried have become keepers.

Case in point, Fridays during Lent mean no meat in my house. Two weeks ago, we bought fish sticks and  medium-sized shrimp. I sauteed the shrimp in olive oil, Old Bay seasoning and garlic, then added snap peas as the shrimp cooked. I also boiled a box of angel hair pasta and baked five-cheese Texas toast in the oven. It resulted in a delicious dish that even satisfied my daughter, who isn’t a big shrimp fan. We made it again on Good Friday, but this time with rice. Still delish!

Realizing I have an abundance of leafy greens left from Sunday’s Easter dinner salad, I searched the refrigerator last evening and realized I have the ingredients to make taco salad. I suggested the idea to my children, and they embraced it. Tonight (April 15, 2020), I will brown a pound of ground beef, drain it and add taco seasoning. I chopped tomatoes this morning before work and I have a bag of shredded cheddar, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips ready to go. Yay!

These are just two example of good eats happening at our house. Now I just need to stay the course in keeping up with planning, shopping and preparation through the shutdown/shelter in place and long after it ends.

Bon appetit!