Even with the best-laid plans, cooking during these unprecedented times can be a challenge. So we've put together three recipe pairings, each with an entree and a side, that call for ingredients you may already have on hand. But if you don't have a particular ingredient or the supermarket is out of stock, don't worry; we've also provided ideas for subsitutions.
Dinner 1: Shredded Chicken Tacos and Sautéed Corn and Black Beans
Game Plan: Prep and start cooking the chicken. While the chicken simmers in step 3, prep the ingredients for the corn. While the chicken cooks in step 4, sauté the corn.
Shredded Chicken Tacos start with boneless, skinless chicken thighs simmered in a tomato-and-chipotle-based sauce. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a hint of smokiness, but regular canned diced tomatoes plus a pinch of smoked paprika will also work. The shredded chicken freezes well, so consider making a double batch. Fresh corn may not be available yet, but Sautéed Corn with Black Beans and Red Bell Pepper works well with 1 pound of frozen corn that has been thawed and dried well on paper towels.
Dinner 2: Omelet with Tomato and Bacon and Home Fries
Game Plan: Prep and start cooking the home fries through step 3. While the potatoes roast, prep the omelet ingredients and cook the filling (step 1). Cook the omelet once the onions have been stirred into the potatoes (step 5).
Breakfast for dinner starts with our Family-Sized Tomato, Bacon, and Garlic Omelet. Feel free to change up the filling to use what you have on hand, aiming for about ½ cup filling total. We like the spicy kick provided by pepper Jack cheese, but another good melting cheese can be swapped in. Our oven-cooked Home Fries are best with russet potatoes, but other varieties of potatoes can be substituted in a pinch. No matter what type of potato you use, don’t skip the baking soda: It's critical for the best texture.
Dinner 3: Spaghetti and Meatballs and Spicy Green Salad
Game Plan: Prep and cook the meatballs. As the meatballs simmer in the sauce (step 5), prep the salad. Toss the salad right before serving.
Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs uses a panade to keep the meatballs moist. If you don’t have white bread on hand, other types of bread can be substituted. Alternatively, ½ cup of panko bread crumbs can be used, but you will need ⅔ cup of buttermilk (or plain milk) to moisten them. We like to make our own tomato sauce, but a 24-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce can be substituted. Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette calls for a mix of spicy greens, like arugula and watercress, but feel free to use other boldly-flavored greens with the pungent mustard-based vinaigrette.