Simple Recipes to Try During Social Distancing

April 14, 2020
Woman taking a selfie

Spending a lot of time at home means ample opportunity for spring cleaning, getting organized, and preparing your garden for the coming months. At OakwoodLife, you’ll find unique floorplans that feature energy-efficient and low-maintenance living to make your 55-and-better journey more enjoyable. While you’re staying productive on your indoor days, remember to have fun in the kitchen: We’ve rounded up several recipes that are as easy to make as they are delectable to eat.

New Mexican Hot Dish

When you’ve finished organizing your pantry, the New Mexican hot dish is perfect for improvising, using your imagination, and getting creative. Grab a casserole dish, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees, and simply sauté ground beef — or the protein of your choice — with onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Season with your favorite spices — such as cumin, chili powder, or oregano. This is where it gets fun — you can create a custom flavor profile for your dish based on how much of each ingredient you choose. Rolling enchiladas can be a long and tricky process, so if you’re feeling lazy you can stack each corn tortilla, your delicious mix, and whichever shredded cheese you prefer layer by layer — just like a lasagna. Don’t forget the cheese! Bake until you see tasty bubbles of cheese on top, and serve with chopped raw onions, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and whatever else you found while cleaning your pantry.

Chicken Pot Pie

Whip up this classic hearty meal in just under two hours — including making your crust from scratch. If you’re not in the mood to tackle the dough on your own or cook your own chicken, packaged pie crust and a rotisserie bird will do nicely. This recipe requires only sautéed carrots, peas, and onions in the vegetable category, plus a healthy dose of herbs and spices like salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, and thyme — all things you probably stored neatly in your newly-organized pantry. After you’ve combined your ingredients, roll out your raw dough, place it over the baking dish, and remove the excess with a paring knife or kitchen shears. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with flaky sea salt for a glamorous finish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes — and be sure to let cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in unless you wanted a burned mouth. Cooking your favorite meals is easy at SpringHouse Village in South Jordan, Utah, where you’ll find kitchens with modern design and ample storage space that allow you to cook from your soul.

Caprese Quinoa Bake

You’ll love how easy this dish is to assemble, but you’ll love how easy it is to clean up even more. In fact, Fairway Villas in Denver, Colorado features a collection of floorplans and quick move-in homes that are intelligently engineered to help you focus on cooking — not cleaning. This vegetarian recipe is healthy, simple, and tastes oh-so-good. With just 11 ingredients, you and your family can enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal in about an hour. Using vegetable stock, cook your quinoa according to the package instructions. Combine cooked quinoa, spinach, chopped tomatoes, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and garlic, then add salt and pepper to taste. Spread your mixture into a 9”x11” baking dish and layer with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese is melted to perfection, then scarf it up!

Cacio e Pepe

Literally translating to “cheese and pepper,” you’ll have a blast preparing this sophisticated mac n’ cheese dish. Using just six ingredients, start by cooking egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti until the pasta is about two minutes from tender — and save half a cup of pasta water for later. Melt butter in a large skillet and add pepper before pouring in the reserved pasta water and bringing to a simmer. Toss in the pasta, reduce to low heat, and sprinkle with Grana Padano — or Parmigiano-Reggiano to keep it simple. Stir and toss your mixture until a melty-cheesy goodness is achieved, then garnish with parsley — or any tasty herb — and serve immediately. A classic, romantic dish such as cacio e pepe is perfect for dining al fresco: At The Retreat in Colorado Springs, Colorado, you’ll find a beautiful master-planned community ideal for enjoying meals under the stars.

Salad, Glorious Salad

It doesn’t get much easier than salad! Tasty, fresh, and full of essential vitamins and nutrients, the best ones can help you eat your greens without even thinking about it. You’ll find hundreds of salad recipes that can get surprisingly technical, so explore these 50 recipes that require minimal preparation and effort while delivering maximum flavor. Start out slow with a classic Caesar — combine romaine lettuce, croutons, shaved parmesan cheese, and the iconic dressing. Get funky by creating a peach and tomato salad: Cut both fruits — yes, tomato is a fruit — into wedges and add thinly-sliced red onion. Drizzle olive oil and cider vinegar over your salad and season with salt, pepper, and sugar for a sweet and savory combination. Not just a side dish, salad is a splendid choice for days when you want to avoid using your home’s energy. In a beautiful OakwoodLife community — like The Reserve, nestled in Green Valley Ranch, Colorado — you’ll find energy-efficient options from Oakwood Homes that are easy on the environment and your pocketbook.

Fun and healthy activities like cooking your favorite comfort foods can help you relax and unwind during social distancing. You’ll find stunning kitchens, low-maintenance features, and energy-efficient options in a beautiful master-planned community. Designed to help you enjoy the better side of 55, staying active and healthy is easy at OakwoodLife — join our interest list to receive information about home site releases, events, and incentives.