Make your own stock(pile).
Russell Berman, staff writer covering politics
Roasting a chicken—or a couple meals’ worth of bone-in parts—is a delicious two-for-one meal in a crisis. You could also just use a premade rotisserie chicken. I freeze the leftover carcass or bones and make a big pot of stock that can then be used for soups (matzo ball!), risotto, or any dish that calls for it. Homemade chicken stock is perfect for home arrest: It’s time-consuming but not labor-intensive. Just put the carcass and/or bones in a pot of water; add an onion, carrot, celery, and garlic head for flavor—whatever you can spare—and let it simmer on low for four to five hours. Yum!
Skill level: If you can boil water, you’re halfway there.
Shop at your local Asian grocer.
Ellen Cushing, special projects editor
They need you right now, but you also need them: These stores are likely to be cheaper and less crowded than chain supermarkets, and they carry a whole host of crunchy, ferment-y, intensely flavorful ingredients that will lend taste and texture to even the most boring work-from-home lunch. Fry up some kimchi with fresh or frozen vegetables and the cooked grain of your choosing, and you will have a very serviceable pantry meal, especially if you drizzle some of the kimchi brine on top.
Skill level: Putting on real shoes
Freeze fresh produce now.
Hannah Giorgis, staff writer covering culture
In recent weeks, I’ve gotten the most mileage out of freezing the ingredients I rely on as a flavor base for my sauces, soups, and meat dishes. Mirepoix—the unfailing mix of chopped onions, carrots, and celery—can be frozen as one combined entity. Whole garlic holds up well, too. Be sure to label the containers with their contents and the date they were prepped. The Kitchn has a great cheat sheet outlining how long many fruits and vegetables can safely be frozen.
Skill level: Just be careful getting your knives out.
Spice up your boring chickpeas.
Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor
Drain and salt and pepper (a lot). Add a pinch of sesame seeds and turmeric, four cloves of garlic, and a half glug of olive oil. Mash, heat to medium for four minutes; mash again. Heap on cracker or crusty bread; save the rest.
Skill level: Opening a can of chickpeas
Turn any can of beans into a great snack.
Vann R. Newkirk II, staff writer and host of our Floodlines podcast
You can really roast any large bean, the same way people make crunchy chickpeas. Kidney beans and black beans are delicious this way, and the basic formula is the same. Soak and pat dry the beans if you bought them dried, or rinse and pat dry if you bought them canned. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and your choice of seasoning (mine: chili powder and allspice for kidney beans; cumin, chili powder, and cayenne for black beans). Bake for 25–30-ish minutes on 425 degrees.