Cooking While Socially Distancing

One thing has been on the minds of almost every person in the last few weeks, and no, I am not talking about toilet paper. Practicing social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus has become our new temporary lifestyle. With just about everything shut down, my big outing of the week is to the grocery store.

Typically- before this became a panic ridden place- I enjoyed my trips to the grocery store, but then again, I don’t have kids yet so this is still a leisurely activity. Unfortunately, in the last two weeks, a trip to the grocery store has somehow become this anxious, get in and get out while dodging germs, necessity. Rolling my sanitized cart down the frozen aisle to find shelves completely empty, gives me the most unsettling feeling.

I search for frozen vegetables to stock up on, knowing this is a great alternative when trying to avoid grocery trips every few days. I buy beans, canned tomatoes, rice, and whatever else I can find that I know I can stock in order to limit my trips to this once enjoyable place.

So now we have canned, boxed, and frozen foods, but what in the world can we make? The good news is it doesn’t have to be boxed mac and cheese, or cans of soup every night for the next month. There are still ways to make nutritious meals for you and your family from these non perishable foods. So what types of foods should you be looking for when you bravely enter the supermarket?

Here is a list of some of the ​best n​on perishable items you should keep on hand:

●  Bread (Stick it in the freezer and it’ll last months)

●  Frozen vegetables (Hard to come by right now, so grab them if you can)

●  Nut butters

●  Rice

●  Lentils

●  Beans (Dried or Low Sodium Canned)

●  Pasta (Whole grain, Pasta made from Quinoa, Brown Rice, Chick Pea, Vegetables, etc.)

●  Old Fashioned Oats and Steel Cut Oats

●  Fruits (Although fresh fruit doesn’t last more than a few days, you can slice up the fresh fruit and freeze it to use in smoothies, desserts, pancake batter, and waffle batter)

●  Canned Tomatoes (Low Sodium)

●  Eggs (Last 5 weeks in the refrigerator)

●  Applesauce (Sugar-free)

●  Other Grains: Quinoa, Buckwheat, Millet, Barley

●  Popcorn

●  Seeds: Pumpkin, Chia, Flax, Sunflower

●  Nuts (Dry, Roasted, No Salt Added)

●  Herbs, Spices, and Condiments (Adds variety to your meals)

●  Apples and Pears (Last up to 4 months)

●  Beets (Last 2-4 months)

●  Cabbage (Lasts 2 months)

●  Carrots (Keep dry using a paper towel and they will last a few weeks)

●  Onions and Garlic

●  Potatoes (Last 2-4 months)

●  Winter Squash (Lasts 2-6 months)

Now what? You drag your reusable bags filled with groceries into your home. (Am I the only one who is determined to do this all in one trip, no matter how many bags I have to carry?)

Now what? Unpack your items, look around, and think how in the world will I make meals out of these random ingredients?

It can be overwhelming, especially if you are not used to cooking with some of these items or you are not used to cooking this much in general. Slow Cookers and Instant Pot recipes are great for parents currently homeschooling their kids or those of us working from home.

With most of us home all day, why not try new recipes?

FitGuana is here to help! I have included in this blog, a few delicious recipes you can make using items you may have stored in your pantry.

I even included a slow cooker recipe because it is a staple in my home. Want more recipes? Visit the members only section of our website to find even more great recipes created by your FItGuana coaches.

Stuffed Butternut Squash


●  1 whole butternut squash

●  15 oz can of organic black beans

●  15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes

●  1/2 cup quinoa

●  1 cup vegetable stock

●  1 cup frozen corn

●  1 cup diced peppers (fresh or frozen)

●  1 tsp chili powder

●  1 tsp cumin

●  1/2 tsp garlic powder

●  1/2 tsp onion powder

●  Fresh cilantro (*optional: for topping)

●  Avocado (*optional: for topping)


Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut your butternut squash in half. Scoop pulp and seeds out of the center. Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (spray with non-stick cooking spray) or parchment paper cut side down. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

While butternut squash is baking, prepare the quinoa. In a saucepan bring 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of vegetable stock to a boil. Cover with lid. Simmer on low for 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large skillet combine black beans and fire roasted tomatoes on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add quinoa, frozen corn, peppers, and spices. Stir to combine. Heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.

When butternut squash is done roasting, remove from the oven. Let squash cool to room temperature. Scoop squash out of the center while still leaving a half inch border around the shell. (You can now save the scooped out squash for another recipe or tomorrow’s side dish!)

Spoon black bean quinoa filling into butternut squash halves. Serve topped with cilantro and avocado.

Dee’s Crockpot Chili


●  1 red bell pepper, diced

●  1 green bell pepper, diced

●  1 (2 if you like extra heat) jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds for less heat)

●  6 cloves garlic, minced

●  2 small red onions, diced

●  1/3 cup tomato paste

●  3 cup tomato sauce

●  1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

●  1 tablespoon granulated onion

●  2 teaspoon granulated garlic

●  3 tablespoon chili powder

●  2 tablespoon paprika

●  1 tablespoon ground cumin

●  2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

●  3 cup canned pinto beans (drained and rinsed)

●  3 cup canned kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

●  2 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)

●  *Optional: Ground Turkey (2-3lbs)


In a large skillet, add red pepper, green pepper, jalapeno, and onion over a medium-low heat. Cook until softened. Add garlic, and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add mixture to slow cooker.

If using ground turkey, cook turkey in skillet until brown. (You can add seasoning to your turkey to give the chili extra flavor: salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.) *Omit if making vegetarian chili.

Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours.

Optional: add toppings such as avocado, fresh jalapeno, fresh cilantro, or shredded cheese.

Banana Pancakes


2 cups ​rolled oats 1 small ripe banana (fresh or frozen) 1 egg 1 cup nut milk 1 tsp ​vanilla 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon *optional: blueberries, walnuts, almond butter, honey, maple syrup


In a high speed blender, grind oats until flour like consistency, making oat flour. (I have also used a coffee grinder to do this). Add all ingredients to the blender and blend just until combined stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes to thicken up, you want it to be pretty thick!

Pour 1/3 cup batter onto medium-low skillet that has been greased with butter or non-stick spray. Add optional ingredients such as blueberries or nuts.

Flip over once bubbles have formed and bottom is golden brown. Repeat until all pancakes are made. Top with optional ingredients. ENJOY!

Questions about these recipes or others on our website? Contact us! We are here to help.

By FitGuana trainer and ACE certified health coach Deanna Virtue.


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