Fool Proof Cacio e Pepe

Pantry Staple Weekly Meal Plan

With Coronavirus still plaguing our communities, most of us are (I hope) following the recommendations of the CDC and government officials and sheltering-in-place. If you enjoy cooking, good news! You probably have more free time on your hands to experiment with new recipes or rope family members into the fun. If you don’t typically like cooking, you might still be in need of a few new recipes as its becoming evident that staying at home as much as possible is preferable, if not necessary. 


While we are on the subject, I’d just like to do my part to encourage you to heed those warnings and stay put if at all possible. It’s imperative that we do our part to flatten the curve right now while we still can. 


On a happier note, if you have to be stuck at home, you can at least eat well. This week, we’ve prepared the recipe round-up + grocery list with quarantine in mind. The idea is that you should have most of all the ingredients on hand, and if you are missing something, it should just be a small grocery delivery order or a quick run to the store for a handful of items. Thankfully, there is no trade-off on taste. I know we are all missing our local haunts and meeting up with friends, but a home cooked meal is a nice consolation (as is keeping the most vulnerable of our communities well).


Pantry Staple Weeknight Favorites Menu:


Think comfort food that comes together quickly, really delicious and surprisingly simple. 


Smitten Kitchen's Pizza Beans


Pizza Beans


This is an absolute staple at our house, and I’d bet that if you have children, they will love this take on vegetables. What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. There are a few essential ingredients—beans, tomato paste, cheese—but the rest is pretty flexible. We typically throw in whatever vegetables we have. Anything is good smothered in tomato sauce and mozzarella. Add some crusty bread to your grocery list per Deb’s recommendation. 


Golden Rice with Spiced Chickpeas by Half Baked Harvest


Creamy Golden Rice with Spiced Chickpeas


Last week, when my husband was sent home to work while socially distancing, I found this recipe. I was avoiding the grocery store and Instacart was backed up. I looked at the ingredients list and had just about everything. This recipe is filling, comforting, and definitely one to keep in your back pocket when you need to throw something wonderful together. I left out the flaked coconut (because we didn’t have any) and served with greek yogurt + homemade naan


Fool Proof Cacio e Pepe


Foolproof Cacio e Pepe


For me, cacio e pepe is a reminder that good food doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need three ingredients to make this crowd-pleaser. Toss together a salad with whatever you have on hand to serve alongside it. 


Instapot Tandoori Chicken


Instant Pot Coconut Tandoori Chicken 


Throw everything in the instant pot, put some rice on the stove, and get back to your family game night or movie marathon. 


Greek-ish Crockpot Chicken by  Naptime Kitchen


Greek-ish Crockpot Chicken


This recipe on its own is a winner, but what I love about it is that you can serve it with just about anything. I’ve put this crockpot chicken over quinoa and roasted vegetables, a fresh salad, even on bread as an open-faced sandwich. Just throw it in the crockpot, and when it’s ready, serve it with whatever you have—bread, pasta, grains, vegetables, or a combination! Kate at Naptime Kitchen (where you’ll find the recipe) has a ton of other great hacks for easy food prep and even a guide for freezing if you want to be well-stocked for the weeks ahead. 


Pantry Staple Brunch: 


Pantry Staple Brunch Instant Pot Oatmeal


Instant Pot Oatmeal

Right now, I’m all about using what I have a surplus of so I can keep more food on the grocery store shelves for people who need it. For some reason, we have tons of oats lying around from recipes that didn’t require an entire container. Instant pot oats are a game changer. We like to keep them plain and let everyone choose their toppings! A few ideas: maple syrup, bananas, blueberries, toasted pecans or walnuts, flaxseed, dried cranberries, or whatever fruits you have on hand. Remember to add toppings to your grocery list if you don’t have any of those things at home. 


A Healthy Treat:


Green Smoothie using Pantry Staples


The Daily Green

A green smoothie might not be what you had in mind as a treat, but trust me, this one is good and packed with immunity-boosting ingredients. Now more than ever, it’s important that we prioritize our health and keeping up our good habits even if we can’t pop over to the nearest coffee shop for a juice or smoothie. I love the way Kate makes these in batches so that you can throw your ingredients in your blender without the chopping and measuring every day. So smart! If you want to do that, just multiply the necessary ingredients accordingly!


Bake for a friend:


In light of recommendations to stay home and keep our distance, we are recommending spending your money and energy donating to a cause of your choice! Call and check in with local food banks, order protective masks for healthcare workers, grab groceries for your elderly or immunocompromised neighbors, or write letters for nursing home residents. Stay healthy, friends!



Shopping List


We intentionally curated this week’s recipes with the shelter-in-place mandate in mind. We selected items with pantry staples, as most ingredients are things you likely have on hand. However, we understand you’ve been needing to be creative lately, and you might still need to go to the store. This list covers all ingredients for 4 dinners, the green smoothie and a brunch for the week.


2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs

2-3 chicken breasts



1 onion

4 celery stalks

1 or 2 large carrots

5-7 garlic cloves

2 heads kale or other greens

2 shallots

2 lemons (or lemon juice)

1 lime (or lime juice)

1 1/2 cup frozen mango


1 banana (put in the freezer once home!)

3 cups fresh or frozen spinach 



a bunch of parsley

a bunch of cilantro


Packaged Goods + Condiments

1/4 cup dry white or red wine (optional)

2 1/4 cups crushed tomatoes

2 cartons vegetable broth

large bag of long grain rice

2 cans coconut milk

1 can chickpeas

1 lb. white beans

unsweetened flaked coconut

8 oz. spaghetti


red wine vinegar

dijon mustard

2 cups rolled oats

2-3 cups coconut water




red pepper flakes


raw sesame seeds

black pepper

garam masala

chili powder

garlic powder


cayenne pepper



curry powder




1/2 lb. mozzarella

1/3 cup grated parmesan

4 oz. pecorino romano

unsalted butter (sub coconut oil if you want!)

1 1/2 cups milk or almond milk

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  1. Isabelle says:

    The link for the coconut tandoori chicken isn’t right! And that’s the one I want to try most 🙁







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