Tips for Cooking in Isolation

When shopping chose produce that keeps well at room temperature or refrigerated for an extended period of time like root vegetables, winter squash, celery, onions, garlic, citrus fruit, apples and cabbage.

Eat highly perishable produce like salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and soft fruits first.

Stock the pantry with dried or canned beans, rice, pasta, soup, canned tomatoes and tinned seafood like tuna or sardines.

Stock the freezer with frozen fish, frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. If buying prepared frozen items chose items that can be used multiple times like large bags of dumplings, pierogi, fish sticks, meatballs etc over single meal items like pizza.

Purchase fresh meat by the expiration date, the further the better. Cured meats like sausages, ham, bacon, and hot dogs will keep the longest–often the expiration date will be a month or two out from purchase.

Buy items like flour, butter (or vegan subs), sugar, baking chips, and yeast even if you are not a baker! Now is a great time to try your hand at a new skill. You also might want a treat after a long day.

Plan leftovers. You are home to cook so make the most of it. Don’t overeat and try to leave some leftovers for another meal. This will cut down on the amount of cooking you need to do each day and will stretch your fresh food reserves–cooked meat lasts longer than open packages of raw. I have a lot of recipes re-purposing all sorts of leftovers from chicken to pulled pork to rice to hard-boiled eggs to corned beef here.

Practice food safety! Leftovers should be promptly refrigerated and eaten within 3-4 days. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not on the counter. This is not the time to get food poisoning!

Serious Eats- Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

My tips for grocery shopping less frequently.