• Audra Krieg

Quarantine Meal Plan

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

A treasured friend of mine and I often discuss how much we hate germs. We are both quick to grab a hand sanitizer for each others kids and we're the ones sending in the extra cleaning supplies to the classroom. A few weeks ago when both of our oldest daughters were sharing flu germs we were texting back and forth about their symptoms and how we were trying to keep our younger kids from getting sick. A text came through from her as she jokingly said that sanitizing and cleaning felt like her “time to shine.” Her text had me laughing because I understand exactly what she meant.

Since the moment that COVID-19 became a part of the conversation in my family I have been reminded of that quote as I desperately try to keep my children and family healthy. “This is my time to shine.” One of my major efforts in our quest to stay healthy is to limit our outings. At this point, we have been home for 14 days and we are all in agreement that with the exception of our immediate family of 6, we are socially distancing. Maybe that's putting it lightly. We've cut off from socializing entirely! We’re taking the cautious route because we have a tiny 8 week old baby who has a fresh immune system and because we have lots of loved ones that we want to flatten the curve for. We are desperate to see our Grandmas and Grandpas again!

I came up with a meal plan that keeps us eating well and staying home in a full effort to flatten the curve and I’m sharing how I am feeding 5 people in 21 day stretches. We don’t have a deep freezer or an extra refrigerator so we are just making the most out of the space that we have.

Our breakfasts are basic like avocado toast, yogurt with granola or cereal. I grabbed a 2 boxes of frozen waffles for quick breakfasts too since our morning routine is so off right now. On the weekends we get a little wild and crazy and make eggs or pancakes but for the most part, we keep breakfast simple.

Our lunches are usually small salads, fruit and a small protein like a shredded chicken. Garbanzo beans are a fave around here too. I’ve been making a big pot of soup on Sunday’s that will serve for a few lunches and we also use our dinner leftovers for lunches. I picked up some frozen black bean burgers, Annie's Mac and Cheese and cheese cubes and turkey pepperoni for toddler charcuterie plates which I'm certain Lulu has on her mind from the moment she finishes her breakfast. ;)

Get snacks, snacks and more snacks! When you think you have enough snacks...get a few more snacks because #kids! Don't forget about the basics like bread and milk! We aren't huge milk drinkers but we use it for cereal and smoothies.

While I recognize that being able to purchase groceries in a 21 day haul is an incredible financial privilege, it is also much beyond our household budget so when I plan meals, I try to work on very affordable options. This is NOT a list of culinary masterpieces but they're basic crowd pleasers that teenagers and toddlers will eat without complaints! I also try to include a big variety of things so that I am not over buying on one thing causing the stores to run out. I stick to our local grocery store guidelines and only purchase the amount that we are currently allowed to purchase. I do my best to ration it all out to go as far as we can stretch it. We're all in this together!

Because we use our dinner leftovers for lunches, I make big dinners! All of our meals have a protein and veggies. Typically we only use fresh veggies but for this purpose of staying out of the stores, I'm using frozen veggies much more than usual. Another note is that if I’m making a meal twice in a 21 day period I will double the meals when I make them the first time and freeze like meatloaf or baked ziti. I save myself a few steps by doubling those recipes and break them out on nights that feel a little more crazy than others. I also portion out my chicken into freezer bags so that I am only taking the chicken bag out that I need for each meal. If you add some chicken salad nights onto the front of this menu or a frozen pizza night on night 1 you can make it even longer! Here is my full dinner meal plan:

1: Baked Ziti

(ziti noodles, bag of frozen peppers and onions, jar of our favorite sauce, ground turkey and 1/2 cup of Italian cheese.)

2: Ceasar Chicken Wraps, Fries and Raw Veggies

(Grilled chicken, lo carb tortillas, caesar dressing, sprinkle of parmesan cheese and chopped romaine.)

3: Meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts

(2 pounds of ground beef or turkey, seasonings for your favorite meatloaf recipe, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts.)

4: BBQ Chicken Crockpot Sandwiches and corn on the cob

(4 chicken breasts, 6 ears of corn on the cob, 2 cups of our favorite bbq sauce, potato style buns)

5: Chicken Fried Rice and potstickers

(5 chicken thighs, brown rice, soy sauce, 2 cups of frozen peas and carrots mix, 1 fried egg)

6: Black Bean Quesadillas

(lo carb tortillas, 2 cups of steamed black beans, 2 cups of corn, 1 bag of Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, salsa and arugula to top)

7: Sausage Tortelli Soup

(1 bag of frozen tortellini, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1lb of ground sweet Italian sausage, 2 zucchinis, 4 large carrots, 1 small package of frozen spinach, 4 cups of chicken broth)

8: Chicken Teriyaki and Rice

(1.5 pounds of chicken tenders, 2 cups of white rice, 1 bag of California blend veggies, 1 cup of teriyaki sauce)

9: Frozen Pizza Night!

(2-3 of your favorite brand! We add raw carrots and broccoli with ranch dip)

10: Pesto Chicken with balsamic zucchini and roma tomatoes

(4 chicken breasts, 1 small jar of pesto sauce, 2 Roma tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 box of pasta - we use angel hair)

11: Meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes and corn

(2 pounds of ground beef or turkey, seasonings for your favorite meatloaf recipe, sweet potatoes and 2 bags of frozen corn.)

12: Spaghetti and Asparagus

(Everyone knows how to make spaghetti! We roast asparagus with olive oil and sea salt.)

13: Chicken Enchiladas

(Probably our most ingredient heavy dish so I'm linking my favorite recipe.)

14: Wedding Soup

(1.5 ground chicken, large onion, large carrot, 2 cups of spinach, 8 cups of chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of orzo. I use this recipe.)

15: Roasted sausage, potatoes and corn on the cob

(1 package of sausage, 10 red potatoes and 6 corn on the cob. Cook the sausage half way, boil the potatoes, and break corn in half then toss it all in a little melted butter and water and throw some old bay on it. Roast!)

16: Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas

(lo carb tortillas, 2 cups of steamed black beans, 2 cups of corn, 2 cups of shredded chicken, 1 bag of Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, salsa and arugula to top)

17: Fetticini Alfredo with chicken and broccoli

(3 chicken breasts, sliced thin. 1 box of your favorite fettuccini noodles and sauce, 1 bag of frozen broccoli)

18: Chicken Pot Pie and cranberries

(1 box of pie crusts or make your own, Martha Stewart! I use this recipe because it doesn't ask for anything canned. Then, I turn around and grab a can of whole berry cranberries because Penny and I are obsessed with them. It's called balance! ha!)

20: Power Bowl

(1 bag of frozen broccoli, 2 cups of chick peas, 1.5 cups of quinoa, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 avocado. I follow this recipe minus the jalapeños because #kids.)

21: Baked Ziti

(ziti noodles, bag of frozen peppers and onions, jar of our favorite sauce, ground turkey and 1/2 cup of Italian cheese.)

Shewh! That's a lot of food! But, it keeps us out of the stores for 3 weeks so we can do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19. These are scary times. Get your kiddos into the kitchen and make a delicious mess! xo! -Audra

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