This week, I find myself spending more and more time at home as I distance myself from others. Due to Coronavirus concerns (and they are mighty concerns indeed), a growing number of individuals and communities are staying home. On this week’s show, I talk to fellow dietitian, Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD about how to stock a healthy quarantine kitchen as well as the importance of keeping your pantry, fridge, and freezer stocked to the brim with nourishing and delicious foods that fortify the body and the soul. Whether you are laying low to reduce the spread of the virus, are required to self-quarantine, or are not feeling well yourself, having healthy foods on hand that your family loves can help to carry all of us through this crisis. Don’t panic, my friends, but please be prepared.
Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD is the owner of Active Eating Advice, co-founder of Performance 365, sports dietitian to the Kansas City Chiefs, and a fellow Produce for Better Health Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action. She’s also one of the most clever, witty, and compassionate dietitians I know! Together, we tell you what we both have stocked in our pantries, refrigerators, and freezers, and we share easy meal ideas using what’s on hand. I’ve got a Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup recipe made with veggie broth, bell pepper, spices, canned tomato sauce, a can of chickpeas, and peanut butter that I can’t wait for you to try, and Leslie has all sorts of mealtime and snack inspiration including a trail mix made with dried fruit, nuts, and beef jerky and baked potatoes topped with homemade or canned chili.
I’m curious about what you’re making from your kitchen staples, so tell me about your recipe creations in the comments section at the end of this post.
“This is not the time to restrict calories. We need the energy that is critically important to our bodies. We also need to hydrate well and optimize protein intake, carbohydrate intake, and the phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables.” – Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN
Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup made with kitchen staples including canned chickpeas, canned tomato sauce, peanut butter, bell pepper, onion and garlic, whole grain brown rice, and spices.
If you’re making a meal for a friend, family member, or neighbor in need, be sure to check out these 40 nourishing Delivered Dinner Ideas from registered dietitians.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Before you cook a meal for someone else, check in first to make sure they (or their family) don’t have any allergies or intolerances. And when you deliver your meal, include a note with a list of all the ingredients used in the recipe.
Here’s what my freezer looks like right now. It’s stocked with frozen veggies of all kinds; frozen fruits for smoothies; and even nuts. Nuts last longer when they are refrigerated or frozen.
“My Quarantine Kitchen is packed with powerful produce. Fruits and veggies can’t keep you from getting sick, but they can help your immune system be prepared to fight.” – Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, host of Liz’s Healthy Table podcast
- Find out about Leslie, her work, her family, and the Super Bowl ring she hopes to have on her finger soon
- The bottom line on hand washing from the CDC
- Food safety guidelines for hot food, cold food, fresh produce, and food you might share with others
- Leslie’s favorite go-to recipe for lentil soup with mushrooms and tomatoes
- Liz’s Pantry Peanut Butter and Chickpea Soup made with bell pepper, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, spices, tomato sauce, peanut butter, chickpeas, and rice (it’s gluten-free AND vegan!)
- The importance of eating enough calories and drinking enough water to fortify your whole body
- The importance of phytonutrients found in fruits and veggies. Leslie calls them Fight-O nutrients. Learn more about Powerful Produce at Have A Plant
- The importance of minimizing food waste. Our pantries are so precious!
- 40 healthy dinners you can make, pack up, and deliver to a friend, family member, or neighbor in need
- Canned foods to keep on hand in your pantry: fruits, vegetables, tomatoes, beans, corn, tuna, sardines, salmon, and clams
- Other important pantry items: nut butters, whole grain pasta, rice, quinoa, broths, oils, shelf-stable milk, dried fruit, cereals, and oatmeal
- Refrigerator staples to keep on hand: eggs, cheese, juice, and milk
- Hearty produce to keep on hand: pears, grapefruit, oranges, apples, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, squashe, white potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots
- Don’t forget about comfort foods that your family loves, like chili and mac & cheese
- Leslie’s opinion about jerky, an on-the-go protein that’s lean and healthy and adheres to food safety guidelines
- Freezer staples to keep on hand: shrimp, edamame, veggie burgers, ground beef, tofu, fruits, vegetables, bananas, and even guacamole
- Liz’s Creamy Broccoli Soup Makeover made with frozen broccoli, canned cannellini beans, and broth
- Liz’s Tuscan Tuna Bean Salad, made with canned tuna, cannellini beans, capers, olives, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, and salad greens
- Leslie’s Vegetable Palooza made with black beans, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, and spices; add rice to make a meal bowl; use it to top a baked potato; or use as a dip
- The benefits of frozen veggie burgers and veggie crumbles, but look at the protein and calorie content. Liz prefers veggie burgers made with whole soy and beans
- Leslie’s final words of wisdom: “Control what you can with your eating plan. A healthy shelfie can be a healthy selfie. Do what you can do to keep yourself well and nourish those who gather around your table. Have a plant; incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet is one step we can take to keep ourselves well.”
LINKS and RESOURCES:
My email: [email protected]
- The Parents On Demand Network
For Powerful Produce advice and recipes, visit Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health
Important reminders from the Food Marketing Institute:
“Coronavirus is a respiratory virus – it is not considered to be a foodborne illness by the CDC or the FDA – but similar actions to prevent foodborne illness can be taken to minimize the risk of contracting coronavirus.”
1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water.
2. Ensure touch points are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
3. Do not show up to work when sick or when a family member is sick.
4. Scrub and rinse produce under running water (warm or cold) to help remove germs or contaminants from the surface.
Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup: https://www.lizshealthytable.com/2015/01/29/peanut-butter-chickpea-soup/
Produce for Better Health Foundation: https://fruitsandveggies.org/
Connect with Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN:
Instagram @Leslie Bonci
Twitter @lesliebonci #ActiveAdvice
Have a question about the show or a suggestion for a future show? Ask away by posting a comment below or joining my Podcast Posse
For other Liz’s Healthy Table Podcasts, check out: