Best of the West: The Foods That Get Us Through
Diane Leppert Poss

We’re doing Best of the West a little differently this week: We asked you what recipes and foods are helping you get through the first few weeks of quarantine on Facebook. Here’s what you said:

Janine Tresidder: A good hearty bone broth for any variety of soups. Great for immunity, digestion, and joint inflammation, and it stretches out the groceries.

Meg Austin: Pantry soup! Whatever I’ve got goes in the soup: chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas, farro, barley, fire-roasted tomatoes, etc.!

More Videos From Sunset

Martha De Carbonel Patterson: Trying to eat more plant based meals, since we aren’t as active. Potato tacos were a nice surprise, kale salads, roasted beet hummus with mini peppers to dip.

RELATED: These 12 Easy Recipes Are Your Meatless Monday Go-Tos

Annabelle Breakey

RELATED: 11 Hearty & Healthy Soups

Jacqueline Davis Bremer: The thought of receiving a pound of See’s Nuts & Chews at the end of the week is keeping my spirits up. In between sanitizing everything I touch, sewing face masks, and keeping in touch with loved ones, knowing that See’s is coming is keeping me beyond excited!

Lyn Nichols: Shrimp is so versatile, quick, and light. Scampi with linguini and asparagus, shrimp and grits, shrimp roasted with cherry tomatoes, on orzo and spinach with feta, shrimp tacos, Mexican shrimp avocado and mango salad, shrimp curry, corn and shrimp chowder…endless possibilities.

Renee Farr: Fermented grape juice.

Tracy Antonioli: Bean and cheese enchiladas with super simple “home made” enchilada sauce––made from a taco seasoning packet.

Tracy Antonioli

Courtesy of Tracy Antonioli

Felicia Vallera: Garbanzo beans. You can travel the whole world from your kitchen with recipes from so many different countries, and be in a new place every week with them. Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern…and this week, my stash of good Rancho Gordo garbanzos is taking me to India for Chana Masala.

RELATED: Saffron Tomato Chickpeas with Spiced Freekeh and Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Iain Bagwell

Diane Leppert Poss: One skillet meals, chicken thighs with root vegetables.

Diane Leppert Poss

Courtesy of Diane Leppert Poss

Nicole Clausing: I’m finding that Trader Joe’s frozen rice is really a lifesaver these days. With a little butter, it effortlessly takes care of the carb portion of my plate. It makes an elegant bed for protein, it stretches dishes like soup and chili, and it’s a medium that in a wok elevates the mongrel vegetables at the bottom of the crisper into a passable stir-fry.  And I know rice is easy to cook but you know what’s even easier? Not cooking it. Lately I’ve discovered Trader Joe’s frozen rice and it’s a game changer, especially the brown variety. No more putting on a pot to boil an hour before dinner’s ready, setting up a rice cooker, or cleaning that extra pan. I just pop the bag in the microwave and in three minutes it’s done. I’m doing so much cooking and cleaning lately that I’m really appreciating the time this product gives back to me. 

Creative Commons photo by Robyn Lee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons photo by Robyn Lee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hugh Garvey: Cooking from my spice collection is how I travel these days: Dried fennel takes me back to my first trip to Tuscany, Pimenton de La Vera conjures the Boqueria market in Barcelona, and more than ever I’ve been loving my little glass jar of furikake, a salty, sweet, nutty, umami-packed flavor booster I can sprinkle on pretty much anything and feel like I’m making a late night stop at a Shinjuku izakaya: scrambled eggs, grilled shrimp, the last of the cucumbers dressed with rice vinegar. I’m down to the last few sprinkles and am already planning my next mealtime trip.

Matt Bean: I’m not going to exaggerate and say something irresponsible, like “chili crisp kills coronavirus.” But I’d be surprised if any of the bio-scourge could thrive in my system after the jarful of this delectable pantry staple I’ve consumed over the past week. Sure, most people mix it in with noodles or dumplings; a polite jar often sits with a tiny spoon on the table at many Chinese restaurants. But I consume military grade portions of the rich, deep, and oily red elixir, its charred shallots and vibrant chilis brought together by an underpinning of numbing Szechuan peppercorn. You can go two routes, if you’d like to follow in my footsteps: Buy a jar or three from Amazon of the original Lao Gan Ma product brimming with MSG, or go with the startup Fly By Jing, which offers a kinder—but not gentler—version of the classic. Either way, if you’re a spice fiend like me you’ll find yourself spooning it onto crackers, egg dishes, pizza, even occasionally your tongue just to get a fix. You’re welcome, or I’m sorry. Or both.

Kelly Facer: This old southern bourbon grilling recipe is a staple in my house. Flank steak is my meat of choice.

Courtesy of Kelly Facer

Keep sending us your tips, tricks, and recipes on Facebook and Instagram. We want to hear from you!