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Top 11 Recipes to Try at Home

Rick Akura

As most of the world is recovering from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, some of us still decide to practice social distancing and remain under quarantine. Maybe, your country has already lifted the strict rules regarding the lockdown, but you fell in love with cooking at home. Whatever reason you have, the recipes below will spice up your day and bring you the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal. 

Keeping your body healthy is even more important than securing your computer from internet-viruses. In this article, I compiled 11 of my favorite recipes that I tried during the 2020 coronavirus quarantine. 

1. Tomato Basil Soup


Tomato Basil Soup
Let’s kick the list off with a healthy, vegan meal. The classic tomato soup is easy to make recipe for just about any home cook. Ready in just under half an hour, it’s a quick meal that can fill you up even before the main course. 

This recipe can be doubled for a larger group. If you want a lighter tomato soup, all you have to do is omit the cream. 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 8 ounces ravioli

 Directions

  1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and carrots, then let it cook while stirring occasionally until the vegetables turn soft and golden brown.
  2. Add garlic and cook until golden.
  3. Add your diced tomatoes, chicken broth, celery, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes.
  5. Add basil leaves.
  6. Purée the mixture until smooth using an immersion blender or a high-powered blender. If needed, return the mixture to the pot.
  7. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add ravioli to the pot and cook according to the package directions.
  8. Add cream if using and stir the soup to combine everything.
  9. Complete the garnish with basil leaves, parmesan cheese, or a little bit of cream. 

2. Faux Shoyu Ramen


Faux Shoyu Ramen

Instant ramen has saved many of us from starvation on those lazy days. However, I hate to tell you that you’ve been eating noodles wrong. This simple recipe expands on pre-made ramen noodles by simply adding some extra ingredients. Turn this cheap bag into a fulfilling meal with the recipe below. 

Ingredients

  • 1 package of instant ramen, prepared
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 2 sheets of toasted nori snacks
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions
  • Toasted black sesame seeds (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

 Directions

  1.  Prepare your instant ramen following the instructions on the package.
  2. Add soy sauce and stir to combine it with your soup.
  3. Top with bacon, egg, nori snacks, green onions, and/or sesame seeds.
  4. Season your egg with salt and pepper. 

3. Crock-Pot Beef Ragu


Crock-Pot Beef Ragu

Take your Italian cooking to the next level with this beef ragu recipe. It’s everything you need in a meal: easy to make and incredibly tasty.  

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. beef chuck
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock or red wine
  • 1 bag pappardelle pasta
  • Shaved parmesan (optional) 

Directions 

  1. Season beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Add your seasoned beef, tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, onion, and seasoning into a slow cooker.
  3. Pour in the beef stock or red wine.
  4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. Cook the pappardelle pasta according to package instructions in boiling water that has been lightly salted.
  6. Take the beef out of the cooker and shred it with forks. Place the shredded beef back in the sauce.
  7. Serve the beef ragu on prepared pappardelle pasta with optional shaved parmesan cheese on top. 

4. Chicken Curry


Chicken Curry

Although simple, curry is not a bland dish by all means. Despite using a small palette of ingredients, this dish is rich in flavors and will fill you up for sure. 

Ingredients 

  • Olive oil
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic, ginger, and onion to taste
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Coconut milk
  • Chicken thighs or breasts
  • Coriander and cilantro, chives or green onions
  • Peas, or any other diced vegetables
  • Rice, noodles, or any other side dish 

Directions 

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook garlic, ginger and onion for 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add your diced up chicken and cook until it changes from pink to white.
  4. Add curry powder and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and chicken stock.
  6. Stir everything together, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until sauce thickens.
  7. Add peas and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes, then taste to see if it needs more salt. Garnish with coriander.
  8. Serve over rice, noodles, or any other side dish of your choice. 

5. Oven-Baked French Bread Pizzas


Oven-Baked French Bread Pizzas

(Source: Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed)

An interesting take on combining pizza with sandwich goodness. What I like about this recipe is how customizable it is — build your own bread pizza however you want it! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce or 1 can tomato sauce
  • Rotisserie chicken, pepperoni, or any topping of your choice
  • 1,8 oz. bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1,8 oz. container mozzarella pearls
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Green onions, basil, red pepper flakes, and any additional toppings of your choice 

Directions 

  1. Cut baguette in half, then spread your desired sauce.
  2. Pile on the toppings and seasoning.
  3. Put in the oven and bake to taste. 

6. Sweet Milk Homemade Waffles


Sweet Milk Homemade Waffles

Craving something sweet? These waffles will satisfy your sweet tooth in under 20 minutes. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, yolks, and whites separated
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

 

Directions

 

  1. Mix and sift all of your dry ingredients.
  2. Add milk gradually and add well-beaten egg yolk.
  3. Fold in whites of eggs, which have been beaten stiff.
  4. Add in melted butter.
  5. Pour batter into a heated waffle maker and cook until golden.
  6. Top with more butter, honey, Nutella, or fruits. 

7. Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers with Chipotle-Honey Mustard

Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers with Chipotle-Honey Mustard
(Source: Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald) 

This iconic meal shaped many of our childhoods as one of the most desirable foods, which you can make at home right now! Follow the recipe below to bring this incredibly yummy chicken fingers recipe back from the good ol’ days. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper purée
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and black pepper to taste 

Directions 

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Separate the egg whites in a shallow bowl.
  4. Pour the crumbs on a plate and season to taste.
  5. Dip the chicken into the egg whites, then fully coat it in bread crumbs.
  6. Place the breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crumbs turn brown and the chicken is firm.
  8. Create the sauce by combining mustard, chipotle pepper purée, and honey in a bowl.
  9. Toss the baked chicken tenders in the sauce and coat evenly.
  10. Eat with any side you desire, such as rice or potatoes. 

8. Four ingredient vegan quinoa salad


Four ingredient vegan quinoa salad

(Source: Foodie Crush)

A simple, vegan meal to enjoy with your family. 

Ingredients 

  • Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 8 oz. red beans, canned or cooked
  • 1 lime 

Directions 

  1. Cook the quinoa according to instructions on the packaging.
  2. Mix the quinoa, red beans, coriander leaves.
  3. Add lime zest and juice and mix well.
  4. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

9. Healthier Mac and Cheese


Healthier Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to mac and cheese, stop right now and try this recipe. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups pasta (elbow macaroni, fusilli, or cavatappi)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 11⁄2 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Black pepper to taste 

Directions 

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook while stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Simmer the béchamel for 5 minutes until thicker.
  4. Stir in the Cheddar and 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan, cook until melted.
  5. Cut the heat and stir in the yogurt.
  6. Add and coat the pasta.
  7. Preheat the broiler.
  8. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish or into individual ramekins.
  9. Top with bread crumbs and the remaining Parmesan.
  10. Season with black pepper.
  11. Place on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 5 to 7 minutes. 

10. Chicken Pot Stickers


Chicken Pot Stickers

(Source: Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald)

This healthy appetizer will get you asking for more. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. 

Ingredients 

  • 24 frozen potstickers (chicken, pork, or vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
  • 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 2 cups sugar snap or snow peas, tough ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Sriracha to taste
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Sliced scallions (optional)

 

Directions

 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the potstickers, and cook until tender but not gummy. Drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned.
  4. Add the potstickers and cook until crispy and brown.
  5. Toss in the snap peas.
  6. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions (if using).

11. Nutella brownies
Nutella Brownies

If you want to make sure you don’t run out of snacks for a while, these brownies will save your life. Create a batch and save it for later — you won’t regret it. Just make sure you don’t eat the entire pan unless you want some serious sugar rush (and a plethora of health problems). 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 10 oz. chocolate chips (optional) 

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  1. Butter a baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure the mixture doesn’t get to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella until well mixed.
  4. Pour mixture into a bowl or stand mixer. Beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until combined.
  7. Spread into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out mostly clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Store well covered for up to 3 to 5 days.
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