2 weeks ago, you might’ve turned your nose up at the thought of stocking up on food in anticipation of being housebound due to Coronavirus.
Today, I’d consider it the wise thing to do. I don’t want to be overly dramatic or an alarmist, but these are uncertain times. But one thing we can do is give ourselves a sense of security is to stock our pantries with a sensible amount of food.
So here’s a 15 Day+ Menu Plan with a consolidated grocery list for a family of 4! This is what you’ll get:
- 15 dinner recipes – most will have some leftovers
- Long shelf life ingredients – all ingredients are freezable or kept in the pantry
- Family friendly – I’ve parked the more exotic / spicy dishes for another day!
- Common ingredients across recipes – for efficiency (cost and number of items)
- Highly versatile – substitute away!
- Easy to make, complete meals – so you don’t have to think about adding sides
Hope you find it useful! – Nagi x
Tip: Go to the grocery store as soon as it opens. Or ask them what days and when they do restocking of shelves!
Before you start…..
Here are universal changes I’ve made to the recipes that is reflected in the grocery list, aimed at efficiency and bearing in mind shortage of popular ingredients. I’ve also listed some useful substitutions:
- Stock cubes / powder instead of liquid broth/stock – use stock cubes / powder instead (bouillon cubes) instead of liquid stock sold in cartons. Dissolve 1 cube or 1 tsp of powder in 1 cup boiling water = 1 cup liquid stock. Much more space efficient than storing gallons of liquid stock;
- Can’t find crushed tomato? Here’s a substitute using tomato paste: Whisk 1.5 tbsp flour with 1/4 cup water until lump free. Then mix in another 1 1/4 cups water, 4 tbsp tomato paste and 1 tsp sugar. Bring to simmer on stove until it thickens to gravy consistency. Use in place of 1 can of crushed tomato;
- Switch short shelf life fresh ingredients for longer shelf life ingredients. For example, bean sprouts (lasts several days) switched for shredded cabbage (lasts 4+ weeks). These switches are specified in the list below.
- Skip insignificant garnishes;
- Be prepared to substitute depending on what you can get your hands on. Don’t get hung up on using the right beans or right pasta. Be flexible!
Click here to download and print the grocery list
15 Day Coronavirus Menu Plan
1. Beef Enchiladas
Filled with a juicy beef and bean filling and homemade Enchilada Sauce!
Sub options: switch beef for any other ground meat, use any beans you have – even lentils or chickpeas, or add diced frozen vegetables instead!
2. Creamy Chicken Pasta
Chicken, parmesan, garlic, creamy, sun dried tomatoes, and a sprinkle of bacon. Do you need anymore information?
Subs: Use any pasta you can find, long or short. Also – cream and parmesan are freezable! Use frozen spinach in place of baby spinach – or any vegetable you can get your hands on. Or just leave it out!
3. Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup
Slow cooked for fall apart beef! Magnificent stew-like soup that’s hearty with a flavourful broth.
Subs: Use any vegetables you can.
4. Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Tastes like a risotto…but so much easier to make!
Subs: Skip the chicken and double up on broccoli to make it meat free. Switch the broccoli for any vegetables you have.
5. Corn Chowder
Creamy corn chowder with potato and sprinkled with bacon bits… it’s all MINE!!!
Psst recipe recommends fresh corn, but just use canned or frozen (quantity is in the recipe
Subs: Switch the corn for anything you could add into soups. Diced vegetables, peas, even rice, quinoa or beans! (Ooooh…creamy bean soup….)
6. Creamy Tuna Mornay
The highest and best use for canned tuna, full stop! The creamy garlic parmesan sauce is 100% amazing (and no cream!)
Subs: Make this with any short pasta, switch tuna with canned salmon, use other chopped proteins OR stir in frozen veg and make it meat free!
7. Chicken Nachos
Imagine Friday nights in with THIS in front of Netflix……
8. Brazilian Coconut Chickpea Curry (vegetarian)
Chickpeas made amazing, thanks to the Brazilians!
Subs: This sauce works with everything, from Fish to shrimp/prawns, chicken, beef, vegetables, any bean.
9. Beef Ramen Noodles
One pot wonder! Psst Recipe calls for beansprouts, but we’re going to sub with cabbage instead cause it lasts forever in the fridge (ok ok, “forever” is a slight exaggeration – but upwards of 4 weeks for sure!)
Subs: Make this with any ground/mince meat. (Fellow Aussies, there was still plenty of KANGAROO meat at the store today even though everything else was gone!)
10. Cashew Chicken
Chinese takeout gold standard! (PS Loads of sauce to soak your rice. Promise.)
Subs: Make this with any vegetables or protein you have. The sauce will make anything taste great!
11. Chili Mac and Cheese
Nope, not spicy. Just loaded with flavour! Juicy, saucy, cheesy, beefy.
Subs: Make this with any ground/mince meat, switch the red kidney beans for any beans you have. Or sub with diced veg. This one’s all about the sauce (eeer….and cheese
12. Chicken Lo Mein Noodles
The beauty of these noodles? You could make it with just spaghetti and cabbage, and it’s still going to be delicious (I should know, I’ve done SO). That Lo Mein Sauce ROCKS.
13. Salmon Patties
Who knew you could make something so amazing with CANNED salmon!!?
Subs: Try this with any canned fish, especially tuna! Skip the fresh dill if you don’t have it, just add 1 tsp of any dried herbs you have.
14. Baked Spaghetti
A vision that makes me weak in the knees…
Subs: Make this with any pasta, and any ground/mince meat.
15. Mexican Beef Rice Casserole
This is how you take a packet of beef mince (ground beef) and a cup of rice and turn it into an amazing dinner.
Subs: Any ground/mince meat, any diced veg! Only rule – no skimping on the CHEESE
Here’s a grocery list for all the recipes above. I hope you find it useful!
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