Two months in to sheltering at home, here are some vegan food highlights & how we’re passing the time. Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while we’re cooking every meal at home.
Most years when the calendar opens to May, it’s a promise of adventures to come. The bi-weekly farmers market, art fairs, and road trips…
So this year, it feels simultaneously comforting and oddly out of place to see the harbingers of spring. There’s green grass, daffodils, and blossoming magnolias. But this summer will look different than any we’ve experienced before.
The art fairs are canceled. The farmers market is no contact. And road trips are off for the foreseeable future.
David and I are now entering week 8 of sheltering at home. Each day seems to last forever. Yet April was gone in a blink.
There’s an odd balance between the heaviness of what’s going on in the world along with the comfort of home – cozy clothes, favorite TV shows, cuddling cats…
We no longer have landmarks for the passage of time to hold our place – meet-ups with friends, birthday parties, or even the little thrill that usually comes on Friday for the weekend ahead. The days pass from one to the next in a watercolor blur.
At some point, this period will be a memory. So I wanted to write down what the last two months have looked like.
What we are eating
Breakfasts that were usually reserved for weekends in our pre-pandemic lives now get to see what Mondays and Tuesdays are like.
Since we haven’t been making any special trips for bagels, I’m using regular bread, buttering it, and then toasting the sandwiches in a skillet.
When the potatoes ran out, I air fried tater tots and made scrambles with Brussels sprouts.
Even in the old days (three months ago), we cooked 90% of our meals at home. Since that number has moved to 100%, the thing that gets tiresome isn’t so much the cooking per se as much as deciding what to cook. So I’ve been preparing double batches for easy leftovers later.
A couple of times I’ve made big batches of potato salad, because it tastes good at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s filling, and of course, good right out of the refrigerator.
I added shredded carrot & celery to this one, like the potato salad I had in Orlando.
Here I served the potato salad with air fried vegan chick’n strips, and a salad topped with non-dairy feta.
I’ve also been doing a lot of repurposing.
One thing that’s particularly good for repurposing in different ways is taco filling. If I make a batch for tacos one night, at subsequent meals the filling can be used in bowls, salads, and nachos. It uses leftovers without getting same-y.
I made bean burritos with soyrizo, tater tots, salsa, and guacamole.
(Individual packs of guacamole are coming in really handy for times when I’ve run out of avocados.)
Finally, I used the soyrizo & beans one last time on tater totchos.
I air fried the tater tots. Then I added shredded non-dairy cheese, salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, kalamata olives, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers. Easily one of my favorite meals of this time.
Would an official totcho recipe be handy for this? I’m only too happy to make it again if it would be useful.
(For more tater tot themed meals, check out these chili cheese tater tots.)
Wraps are also really easy to throw together, like the vegan chicken veggie wraps I shared recently or these falafel wraps.
Several months ago I made a huge batch of dukkah (nut and seed mixture). We are finally getting to the end of it. I like to dip warm bread into extra virgin olive oil, followed by dukkah (like a savory Lik-m-aid Fun Dip).
We had it with a romaine salad topped with kalamata olives, Herbivorous Butcher feta, grilled artichoke halves, and Brussels sprouts.
With more time on our hands and our serotonin receptors looking for little treats to make the days brighter, there was an increase in baking for a while (until we ran out of sugar & flour).
David made blueberry muffins from Vegan Brunch, which were exceptional. We’ll definitely be repeating those.
How we’re passing the time
Outside of curbside grocery pick-ups and a couple of grocery store visits wearing masks, we haven’t been going into any stores. No more walks around Target while sipping on a soy latte.
So we’ve been entertaining ourselves with drives to nowhere through the countryside. We’ve been taking walks around the neighborhood, and finding reasons to spend time in our yard.
We put up the badminton set that had been sitting in the garage for about 9 years. We threw around a frisbee.
I even brought out the hula hoop and Color Guard flag, doing tricks in the yard while listening to Lizzo.
It reminds me of being a kid again when the summers were long. We didn’t live in a neighborhood with other kids and my brothers are older, so I spent a lot of time entertaining myself.
David bought a retro Atari with games installed in it, and I already had a similar Nintendo console. So we’ve been playing Pitfall, River Raid, and plenty of old school Mario. The music and sound effects of the games may be the best part. So transportive.
We’ve also been playing piano every day. We started taking lessons for the first time back in the fall. But those are on hiatus for now. Instead, we’re just going through our piano books and working on whatever appeals.
Right now I’m honing Do-Re-Mi from Sound of Music. I’m also continuing to work at There’s No Business Like Show Business. I was in Annie Get Your Gun in high school, so that one has some nostalgia value. I went through phases of Tomorrow, Edelweiss, and Oh What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma.
We’ve also been watching our share of television. 30 Rock is getting yet another series re-watch. What We Do in the Shadows is new every week, so that’s something to look forward to. I’m watching The Tonight Show: At Home Edition during the week. And when I need to calm my mind before bed, watching an episode or two of Bob Ross is salve.
Staying in touch
Until recently, I’d only done video calls a handful of times. However, since we aren’t doing any in-person visits with friends or family, the computer has stepped up its game.
We’ve had happy hours with several sets of friends, coffee with my parents, and a tea break with my pal, Becky Striepe from Glue and Glitter.
I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe & well during this stressful time. I’d love to hear from you about how you’re staying occupied, and what you’re cooking. Also, let me know if there’s anything that would be particularly useful to you right now blog post or recipe-wise. Chime in below.