Welp, we’ve made it through six months of quarantine – but that doesn’t mean we have to keep stuffing ourselves with banana bread and sourdough (although, that was a pleasant stage, I have to admit). Despite having the luxury of my mom’s home cooked meals over the last three months, I totally missed cooking for myself. Now that I’m back in my apartment, doing my thing (AKA working from home and going on my daily walks around the neighborhood), I have been putting in work in the kitchen. And let me tell you, I’ve been eating real good.
If you feel like you’re in a rut or are just seeking that smidge of motivation to fuel your body with whole foods, look no further! These recipes are simple to make and will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied throughout the day. Whether you’re a college student returning to their apartment or a 20-something like me sorta getting the hang of this “adulting” thing, I hope that these meals spark your creativity in the kitchen or show you that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated (or scary for that matter).
Without further adieu, here’s what I typically eat in a day during quarantine.
Coconut Cold Brew Snickerdoodle Overnight Oats
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp Cold Brew
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla, maca powder
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- Topped with frozen raspberries & blueberries
- 2 tbsp raw almond butter
- Sprinkle of peanut butter chips (optional)
If you haven’t tried overnight oats yet, now’s the time! It’s super easy to prepare ahead of time and is a refreshing way to start the day. I highly recommend assembling this breakfast in a used glass or plastic jar the night before you plan on eating it. That way, the flavors can meld together and the chia seeds can thicken up the oat mixture.
To start, pour ½ cup oats, almond milk and cold brew into your jar. Then, mix in the chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and maca powder, ensuring that none of the components stick to the bottom. Cover the jar and set in the fridge overnight. The oats can be enjoyed in a jar on the go or emptied out into a bowl if you plan on eating them in the comfort of your own home. I spooned the thick oats into a bowl and then added my toppings. I love adding frozen berries and raw almond butter. I was feeling a little extra and added some peanut butter chips for fun. This step is totally optional, but highly encouraged for flavor overload!
Chickpea Greek Salad
- Handful of baby spinach
- ½ sliced heirloom tomato
- Chopped red onion
- 2 sliced Persian cucumbers
- ½ cup chickpeas
- Sprinkle feta cheese
- Pinch of dill
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Dash of black pepper
Lunch time is always interesting. Some days I’m not very hungry in between breakfast and dinner and other days, I’m ravenous. And to be honest, not all of my lunches look this put together. But lately, I’ve been enjoying this meal on repeat!
Before assembling, you’re going to want to get out your cutting board and do some chopping. After you’ve washed and dried your ingredients, slice the tomato and chop up the cucumbers. You might want to pause and think about protecting your eyes before cutting the onion- it’s not a fun time. If you want to avoid that overwhelming, eye watering situation after cutting into a pungent red onion, I highly recommend going into your swim bag and pulling out your favorite pair of goggles. Yes, I am telling you to wear your goggles in the kitchen (and snap a quick selfie). You can thank me later. After you’ve chopped the onion, fill a bowl with baby spinach as your base. Add in the tomato, cucumbers and onion then sprinkle the chickpeas and feta on top. Now, it’s time to assemble the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tahini and lemon juice with a fork. Next, whisk in the Dijon mustard and black pepper. Be sure to get rid of any clumps and stop whisking once the dressing is smooth. Pour this over the salad bowl and finish it off with a pinch of dill. Enjoy!
Wild Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Bowl
- Handful of baby spinach
- ½ sliced zucchini
- 1 bell pepper
- ½ avocado
- Wild salmon fillet
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Drizzle of olive oil
This one is perfect for when you’re feeling lazy and just want to throw everything in a bow and call it dinner! The secret here is to prepare the vegetables and fish ahead of time. I typically go food shopping at the beginning of the week and that same day, I’ll “meal prep”, or roast all the vegetables, cook the proteins and keep everything in a tupperware ready to go. It makes meal time so much easier. To roast the veggies, preheat your oven to 350 F and spread out the sliced bell pepper and zucchini on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, depending on how crisp you like them. For the fish, I pretty much do the same thing. Preheat your oven to 350 F, lay the salmon skin side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 mins. For ease, I sometimes place the fish and veggies on the same sheet and just remove the fish after it’s done cooking.
For this bowl, I started out with baby spinach as a base. Next, I threw in the roasted veggies, wild salmon and half of an avocado. For some zest, sprinkle smoked paprika over top and drizzle some olive oil over the veggies. And there you have it! Simple, nourishing, and possibly too gorgeous to eat!
Check out my page for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your quarantine eats with me @whatzoeeeats.
About Zoe Gregorace
Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.