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What to Do with All that Chicken? Social Distancing Menu Inspiration


empty shelves at the grocery store

Well, New Jersey. Judging by the empty cases in every grocery store I hit yesterday, we’ve all got a lot of cooking ahead of us. Restaurants are officially closed as of today. Some are still doing takeout, but I am also planning on cooking, especially with both of my boys home from college and constantly hungry. 

Preparation Time

I have to admit, I came late to the prepping party, holding onto my denial until I just couldn’t do it anymore. So, I was one of the lucky ones to get into Costco at 9:30 a.m. yesterday before they closed the doors and started to hold customers outside because the store was over capacity. 

My lateness to a Costco run resulted in limited choices but it didn’t stop me from spending over $400. This doomsday prepping is expensive. It also must be confusing for those of you who are not really keen on cooking.

And for me, with a fridge and freezer packed with stuff, my problem was simple, but big: Where do I start?

Answer: A two-week menu. 

It’s a fun way to plan your meals and even though my kids are older (18 and 22) they still enjoy being able to vote on a dinner option. It also helps me to visualize exactly what we have on hand, what I may need to freeze, and what I can do to plan ahead.

I’m still on the hunt for some pork to fill in this menu. There was none at Costco yesterday. Just a sea of ground beef, roaster chickens, and frozen food, so keep that in mind when you look at my meal plan. 

two week menu list

My family’s two-week social distancing “SD” menu

We’re all in the same boat so I figured you may be able to use some recipe inspiration to help keep things interesting. Below, I’ve put together a list of some of our most popular recipes. Please don’t judge me on my horrible food photos from back in the day. My photography skills have come a long way since then. 

Freezer Favorites

The Best Lamb Chili Recipe Ever

Turkey Chicken Chili

9 Soup Recipes from NJ Chefs

Have Some Fun

You’re cooped up at home—might as well make the best of it. Most of the ingredients here can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store.

50 Years of Big Game Fun

Leftovers

Making two meals from one is the goal with limited pantry and fridge space. Here are some of my favorite ideas. 

Pot Roast Enchiladas

Happy Leftovers Day

Mexican Lasagna

Dessert

I saw a lot of Nutella at Costco. If you scooped up a jar, this is a cute dessert idea. I’ve always got strawberries in the freezer so yay. And if you’re fresh out of pizza dough, tortillas will work great. 

Nutella Pizza

Switcheroo: Making Substitutions

When searching for recipe ideas to spice up your menu, you may find that you just don’t have the spices or ingredients you need. Have no fear. There are many ways to substitute ingredients. Here is a fantastic site for substitutions

We’re Here for You

Please take care of one another and yourself during this time of stress. We’re here for you at Jersey Bites. If you have a question on how to prepare that hunk of beef you picked up out of desperation or just want to share your own prepper tips and tricks, please post questions and your photos to our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram. We’d love to hear from you. Social distancing sucks, and we are in it together. Apart, but together.

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