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
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
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
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.