Our lives have changed in the past month. We are sheltering in place in our homes due to the arrival of the coronavirus, so all work, school, cooking, and eating is now done at home. I no longer dash to get a poke bowl or go for lunch with a coworker, I don’t even really leave the house.
This comforting bowl of chickpeas and pasta, cooked in its own sauce, has become a weekly go-to lunch we can make quickly at home and eat while we work and help Leo do his schoolwork. Made entirely from pantry staples, it’s garlicky and satisfying, and is a small dose of reassurance in uncertain times.
A great strategy for getting dinner on the table fast is to prepare part of the meal in a pressure cooker, leaving your hands free to make one of the other dishes. This well-seasoned pork dish is quick to get into the pressure cooker. While it’s cooking, make some garlic broccolini and rice.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, try these grilled pork tenderloins.
Medium or medium-firm tofu can be hard to find, but it’s the perfect texture for this dish. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at making tofu at home, I found this recipe, which calls for soaking tofu in hot salted water ahead of rolling it in cornstarch and shallow-frying it. It’s crispy and delicious, and one of my son’s favorite dishes.
Serve with garlic broccolini.
A pressure cooker makes this classic Tex-Mex dish of pinto beans stewed with bacon, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and onion easy to serve alongside chicken fajitas.
(If you’re looking for a vegetarian recipe cooked on the stovetop, check out this recipe for vegetarian charro beans.)
I keep an eye on my smoke detectors when I cook these fajitas, but they’re worth a little unexpected excitement if you’re having friends over for dinner. Chicken marinated in lime and seared on the stovetop until juicy and delicious perfectly rounds out tortillas filled with shredded cheese and grilled peppers and onions.
To speed things up you can sauté the peppers first, while the chicken is marinating. They’ll have a little less chicken-y goodness, but if you’re hungry, you won’t miss it.
We make these fajitas all the time at home, but the pinnacle was grilling the chicken over a wood fire on our last vacation with friends to Big Bend National Park. I’ve never been so proud of a meal.
Serve with charro beans.
This is actually a recipe for yoga mat cleaner, but the original instructions said it could also be used as a room spray. We started using a spritz or two of “happy spray” in the air in Leo’s bedroom whenever he had trouble falling asleep, and now it’s part of his bedtime ritual. You’d usually opt for something less energizing than ginger at night, but the happy factor can’t be beat.