NYS Certified Nutritionist

Remaining Well Nourished While Confined to Your Home

As I write this entry, our citizens have been ordered to stay home, and keep a safe distance from others due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Solitary exercise is encouraged. And, if the weather cooperates, being outside is a mood-lifting bonus.

If you are running out of your food supply, I wonder if you actually have more than you know. We all need to learn from those storied Italian ladies of the evening who when confronted with the sudden need to provide dinner for a gentleman caller, came up with delicious Pasta Puttanesca… using staples they always had on hand: pasta, canned tomatoes or tomato sauce, jarred anchovies, brined olives and capers, garlic and pepper. In minutes, the lady would cook the pasta al dente, drain it and combine it with the other ingredients which she had sauteed. Topping her creation with grated Parmesan cheese, she could be proud of her hastily made, hearty dish.

If you scan your cabinets and refrigerator, you may discover you can combine things you always have on hand to make a satisfying dish. In the last week I did the following- in a saucepan I combined my staples: hummus, reduced sodium vegetable broth, a can of rinsed/drained chickpeas, a can of sliced/reduced sodium carrots with the juice, curry powder, cumin, lemon juice to taste. I added enough of the hummus to give this curried dish the consistency of a creamy soup, gently simmering and tasting, adding seasonings [as needed] over a couple of hours.

This steamy, comforting soup was ladled into a bowl containing cooked rice, thus yielding a satisfying, fragrant one-dish meal…a meal made out of almost nothing. I deliberately made too much, cooled it in the refrigerator, and froze it in portions in zip-lock freezer bags for future meals. Of course, other vegetables can be used in this soup or stew, as can other seasonings. If you think out of the box, you may be able to avoid going to the supermarket to restock for a longer time than you realize, thus avoiding potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Here’s to your good health during this trying time.

Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York