• Nadia

Back to Basics

Today's post is brought to you by Sam! Enjoy.

If you’re stuck at home, currently “working” in your closet or avoiding the rapidly growing dishes in your kitchen, I’ve got your back.  Full confession, until a few weeks ago, I was rarely home to do much more than sleep; between the juggling of multiple jobs, friends and activity in what was my regular life, this whole stay at home for a few weeks has given me a new perspective on how much extra work it is.

If you’re spending more time at home than usual, or have some guests that are normally not present you may be wondering how you’ve gone through all your spoons again, where the extra coffee is, or how to sneak a cookie without your co-workers judging or asking you to share.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve been very blessed during this outbreak. I have a support system, access to fresh produce, meat, etc. This is not by any means to brag, because access does not mean I can afford it. I was a restaurant manager and an afterschool teacher, and my industries are all but gone at this point, however, it has allowed me to enter my kitchen and turn out some surprisingly delicious recipes while exploring my freezer and pantry.

This being the first week that my roommates and I are home altogether, left us with an overfull fridge, a crap ton of dishes and the need to create a meal plan schedule so we can actually eat the food we made.  We aren’t normally home together, and definitely not for multiple hours of the day and while we have different eating schedules, we all have to share a fridge and pantry and most importantly, be conscious of others around us.

We decided to team up this week with our meals, for our sanity but also for the purpose of space. While we have plenty in the fridge and freezer, the goal is to make sure we waste as little as possible, and that everyone was fed, cause a hangry person is never a fun person to be around.

These recipes are classics, easy to make at home and if you have coworkers that need something to do, a great way to get them to help out in the kitchen. Ingredients can be easily subbed (I’ll put my recipe and suggestions for subbing for each but just use what you have, but please don’t make a special trip to the store for one item). Of course, you are welcome to comment or email for questions or suggestions as the Easy Kitchen team is always looking for more wonderful recipes.

This week’s menu included Shepard’s Pie, Apple Crisp, fancy frozen waffles and homemade ramen. The goal is always to use the least amount of plates and dishes possible, creating something nutritious and delicious, and recipes that allow for multiple members of your cohort to be involved.


Easy for breakfast, easy to get boring.

  • 2- Frozen Waffles- you can make these fresh if you have the mix, but also frozen work just fine

  • Assorted fruit- fresh or frozen

- If frozen, heat ¼ cup fruit until warm, top waffles

- If fresh, slice and dice. I used 1 medium-sized banana and 3 regular strawberries

  • Sliced nuts- walnuts or almonds (use whatever you have, this just adds some crunch)

  • Nut butter- extra protein and flavor

  • Honey OR Syrup- I personally am not a fan of syrup, so I usually drizzle some honey on top of my waffles

  • Cinnamon- add a dash to finish off your creation.

Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea or coffee. Stare longingly at a picture of the beach and imagine you’re at a resort and just bought some overpriced all-access breakfast package.

Shepard’s Pie

Comfort food at its finest. This meal has delighted crowds, is easy to make (the kids, I mean co-workers could totally help with this) and can feed many or be frozen in sections for those that just have to feed themselves.

Shopping list:

  • 9 x 13 baking pan

  • 1 skillet pan

  • 1 medium/large saucepot

  • 1 spatula


  • 4 cups of water

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef if you can find it, but chicken or turkey work just as well)

  • 2 pkg instant mashed potatoes

  • Assorted vegetables (I used the classic celery onion and carrot mix [mirepoix], but I also love adding in corn, green beans, peas or any other veggie you may have in the pantry or the freezer. The only vegetable I typically stay away from is potato because it ends up being potato overkill).

  • Sharp cheddar cheese

  • Salt

  • Pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. On the stovetop, cook 1lb of ground beef until brown (whatever your meat is, just make sure it is fully cooked). Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Grab a medium or large pot. Heat and cook your vegetables. You want your vegetables warmed, but not mushy. They should be just lightly browned, or able to cut into easily. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Use a 9 x 13 baking dish to start layering your pie. Ground meat first to cover the bottom of your dish, then cooked veggies on top of the meat. Just lay these in layers, don’t mix in your meat and veggies.

  5. Use the same pot from the veggies for your instant potatoes. Heat 2 cups water for every pouch of potatoes.

  6. Boil water, remove from heat, pour in your potatoes, mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Once mixed together, layer on top of your vegetables. Sprinkle cheddar on top.

  8. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

  9. Serve hot and fresh!

Lovely eating!

– EasyKitchen UnChef, Sam

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