12 Flexible Recipes to Cook Right Now

12 flexible recipes for being quarantined during the coronavirus

Flexibility. That’s a quality that I’ve found pretty essential in the past week as plans and circumstances have changed daily, if not hourly. I’m sure many of you have been in the same boat. Being flexible in the kitchen is proving pretty handy these days, too, since it’s not so easy to pop out to pick up whatever ingredient suits the moment. It’s with that in mind that I curated 12 endlessly flexible recipes from the Mom’s Kitchen Handbook archives. Each one can be adjusted based on the ingredients you have on hand. I’d love to hear about your flexible recipes as well, so feel free to share in the comments section below.

Grilled Cheese Bar

DIY Grilled Cheese Night

All you need to make this simple, crowd-pleasing dinner is a loaf of bread and pretty much any kind of melting cheese … Cheddar, Jack, Swiss, Havarti, Gruyere, and so on. Fill in your grilled cheese bar with whatever you have on hand — leafy greens, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, leftover vegetables, sliced ham. They sky is the limit. Pair it with a side of any vegetable or salad.

Roasted vegetable with lemon tahini dressing

Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Tahini Dressing

This tahini dressing goes with pretty much any vegetables you have on hand. The recipe is intended for roasted vegetables, but steamed or even raw will be tasty, too. It’s great for lunch or supper. Add chickpeas or any beans for a kick of protein and fiber.

Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Asian-Style Noodles with Peanut Sauce

The peanut sauce on these noodles is a snap to whisk together and can be tossed with virtually any type of noodle. Spaghetti, soba, or udon are my favorites. Pull out whatever veggies you have in the fridge that are tasty raw…or add steamed fresh or frozen broccoli.

How to make an omelet

A Simple Omelet

Eggs are one of the best things to keep stocked in the fridge for quick meals, since they last for several weeks beyond the purchase date. Transform them into delicate lunch or dinner omelets that you can enjoy deliciously plain or filled with cheese, greens, ham, mushrooms, and so on. Add a leafy salad on the side.

Meat and Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Meaty Mushroom Marinara

Lots of folks are stockpiling canned tomatoes and ground beef (or ground “meatless” meat) right now. Make the most of it in this marinara, which you can serve over pasta, cauliflower, brown rice, or baked potatoes. Add in fresh or frozen spinach, collards, kale, or other leafy greens for added nutrition.

Mac and Cheese in blue baking dish - Mom's Kitchen Handbook

Carrot Mac and Cheese

Comfort food feels like just what the doctor ordered right about now. Here’s a nourishing way to go when it comes to Mac and Cheese. Use any short shape pasta you have in the cupboard and feel free mix in other cheeses if you’re short on Cheddar, such as Jack or Gruyère.

easy fried rice

Weeknight Fried Rice

Fried rice is the ultimate example of flexible cooking. This one is designed for leftovers or making the most of what’s in your fridge. Any fresh or frozen vegetables will do, as well as pork, chicken, tofu, or beef.

Minestrone Soup in a big pot with Parmesan

Kitchen Sink Minestrone

This recipe was written for using what you have on hand. It can be made with any vegetables, any type of broth, any pasta, and leftover beans, meat, or poultry, if desired.

Easy Instant Pot Black Beans with cilantro

A Pot of Beans

A pot of beans will take you far when it comes to feeding a family. You can turn a pot of Instant Pot Black Beans or Slow Cooker Pinto Beans into tacos, to make grain bowls, make nachos, top sweet potatoes, or whirl up this 3-ingredient soup

Best Easiest Homemade Pizza Ever

Easy No-Knead Pizza

Since I’m not out hitting my favorite pizzeria right now, it’s a good time to DIY it. This is SUCH an easy pizza dough to make with great results. The flexibility comes in the toppings. Sauce it with marinara or pesto or ricotta. Top it with feta or Mozzarella, Parmesan or Cheddar. Add any extra fixings you love on your pie.

Chicken Adobo

Umami Chicken

This is such a simple recipe with pantry basics that you can pair with pretty much anything: any grain and any salad or vegetable — fresh, frozen, canned or otherwise. The extra sauce in the bottom of the pan will flavor up whatever you put on your plate.

Flourless peanut butter cookies

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

I can’t remember a better time than now to stress bake or procrastibake or whatever kind of bake you like. You only need four basics for these cookies: peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter), brown sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, cacao nibs, or none at all if you’re out!). Take a pause from homeschooling or home working and treat yourself.


03.18.2020 at3:46 AM #

Lisa Burke

Flexibility. I got to thinking about this. I made homemade broth and chicken and noodles. I really feel that from scratch cooking is flexible. We rely on processed food too much. I have several bags of chicken and turkey bones in my freezer. I put some bones, veggie scraps, herbs and water in my instant pot and had wonderful broth. I always have noodles. Put some chicken and add a slurry of cornstarch and water and we can eat multiple meals!

03.18.2020 at3:46 AM #

Katie Morford

Perfect flexible recipe! And sounds just like the kind of comfort food I want right now.

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