Review: My mediocre quarantine meals

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

By Rachel Royster | News Editor

Instead of going to my classes this week, I’ve been laying in bed and creating below-average meals to fill the endless time I now have because of quarantine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve zoomed into a couple here and there and have watched my fair share of recorded lectures, but you can only do so much when most classes don’t offer an online option. Plus, that really only takes up about three to five hours out of the 15 hours I’m awake.

So, on my first day of quarantine, my very kind boyfriend retrieved my short list of groceries to get me through the week. With $32 worth of items, I’ve masterfully created these sub-par meals. Some of these meals were a pleasant surprise, while others made me wish I had lost my sense of taste and smell.

Ham & cheese sandwich

  • I started the day off with a classic lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich. Typically, I’ll add avocado and salt and pepper, but this week, we’re really balling on a budget. Instead, I added a thin layer of mustard to both slices of my honey wheat bread and added a slice of cheddar cheese and a few cuts of ham.

  • 1 out of 5 stars. It really just gets you by when you need something to do but you’re also very hungry.

Ground beef tacos with shredded cheese

  • This is a huge comfort food for me because my boyfriend will often make me tacos when I’m at his house. I made these with ground beef out of a tube — appetizing, I know. I seasoned the ground beef with the limited spices I have in my cabinet and it turned out awful, to be honest. I put the ground beef in corn tortillas I warmed up on my skillet and topped with shredded cheese.

    • -1 out of 5 stars. This meal HUMBLED me. Tacos are probably the easiest cooked meal you can make, and yet, I failed. It has been a struggle this week to eat this ground beef, I’m not kidding. As soon as I’m out of quarantine, I’m making a bee line for my boyfriend’s house and will be requesting tacos immediately.

Yogurt with strawberries, raspberries & granola

  • After the cooking fiasco, I opted out of cooking anything for the rest of the day and instead created a true masterpiece. While the added sugars in this yogurt is terrifying, I choose to write it off as my nightly dessert so it’s fine, right? I got my happy little red bowl and added in a helping of greek yogurt. I then washed and cut up some strawberries and raspberries to throw in along with granola.

    • 4 out of 5 stars. This was definitely one of my better creations. It’s super simple and makes you feel healthy as long you don’t look at the yogurt nutrition facts. I highly recommend it!

Spinach, strawberry & peach smoothie with granola

  • Once again, I’d like to stress that I simply am not one to cook except on special occasions. Thus, I make lots and lots of smoothies. I have a super handy Nutribullet that I use all the time and this week, I’ve stuck to using frozen strawberries and peaches. I always add in spinach for some protein and soy milk to help smooth it out.

    • I give this meal a 3 out of 5 stars given the ease of it. I would give it a four, but you just have to dock points for the noise. I feel awful for my roommates every time, but at least I’m not out here making smoothies at the crack of dawn.

Nachos with leftover ground beef & shredded cheese

  • I was sick and tired of the tacos that never ever gave me any joy, so I crafted a wonderful plate of nachos with the leftover ground beef and shredded cheese I had. I garnished my new meal with cholula, a dash of lime juice and salt.

  • These I would give a solid 1.75 stars only because when you’ve been having the same old thing over and over, anything new is exciting — even if it is made with the same things another meal was made from.

Fancy Lunchable snack

  • This darn thing takes the cake for best meal of quarantine. Yes, one can argue that I didn’t make this meal, but I sure as heck had to fight to pull the packaging off of it, so I deserve some recognition for that at least. I have no idea how much this fancy Lunchable cost, but I urge you to sprint to H.E.B. and get yourself one of these lovely little things. Think of the charcuterie version of your middle school lunches, minus the love letter from mom.

    • 5 out of 5 stars for sure. If you can get a friend to write on a sticky note and slap that sucker on your new favorite snack, you’ve got yourself a 10 out of 5 star meal, that’s unbeatable.