26 Easy Meals You Can Cook at Home (During the Apocalypse)

This photo is fitting for our article's title.

You’re stuck in the house and most businesses are closed.

Welp, looks like it’s time to learn how to cook (apocalypse style)!

We’ve been teaching folks how to feed their family with whatever resources they may have available in Nerd Fitness Prime

If you’re just learning how to cook while the pandemic is erupting around you, you’re in the right place! 

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s guide:

Grab your apron, ready the fire extinguisher, and let’s do this.

Rule #1 of Apocalypse Kitchen: Forgive Yourself (Do the Best You Can)

Do they sing when they cook?

The purpose of this section is given away in the title, but it’s worth exploring a bit.

With every recipe you try here, I want you to forgive yourself ahead of time if all doesn’t go according to plan. 

If you burn an entire meal to a crisp, as long as no one actually gets hurt, it’s okay.

These are stressful times. If you’ve never had to cook before, and are just learning how, you’ll probably screw up a little.

A gif of Homer somehow setting cereal on fire.

That’s fine. Good even, because it’s how you improve your cooking skills.

Everyone filmed in front of you today has at some point thrown away food because it turned out inedible. It happens.

Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Plus, with the food supply chain being thrown into chaos, you’ll likely be missing some key resources.

We’ll work around these issues together and do the best we can.


Apocalypse Cooking 101: Methods and Recipes

In this video from Nerd Fitness Prime, Coach Justin walks you through making a stir-fry.

Chicken stir-fry was one of the first meals I grew comfortable cooking, so it’s a great recipe to learn some basic chef skills. 

As Justin discusses, pretty much anything can be used in your stir-fry, which is why it’s great when resources are scarce. 

Normally, I cook mine with chicken, while Justin uses lamb in his meal. If you’re going the plant-based route, you could also use tofu for your protein source here. 

Again, you have a lot of options for stir-fry!

If you need a quick lesson on the basics of cooking, start with str-fry.

What Should I Have in My Pantry? How should I stock my pantry?

You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers:

What cooking tools should you have stocked? 

How about herbs and spices?

Do you need to worry about specific cooking oils?

In the lesson above, Coach Staci walks you through her exact pantry setup, so you’ll know how to build out your kitchen essentials

You can also check out our extensive “Nerd Fitness Pantry” guide too! 

If your Apocalypse Kitchen could use some inventory upgrades, give this class a watch.

How to Cook an Entire Meal With One Baking Sheet

Let’s be real here, cooking can be a pain.

Especially when you need to use multiple pots, pans, and strainers. 

Truth be told, it doesn’t need to be that complicated.

In our video above, Coach Staci walks you through cooking an entire meal with one single baking sheet.

If you want to cook along with Coach Staci: 

  • 2-3 lbs of your Favorite Protein (boneless, skinless chicken thighs are used in the video)
  • 1-2 lbs of Fresh Veggies (Staci uses broccoli)
  • 2-3 Sweet potatoes (medium size)
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Baking Sheet
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Medium Bowl

If you want to keep your Apocalypse Kitchen simple, learn to cook off one single sheet!

How to Prepare “No-Cook” Meals

Continuing on with “cooking can be a pain,” let’s learn how to prepare some meals that don’t need to be cooked at all.

Coach Justin walks you through preparing:

  • Egg and Avocado Rice Cakes
  • Cheese and Turkey Roll-ups
  • Chicken Pomegranate Salad
  • Shrimp Pineapple Salad
  • Smoked Salmon Wraps
  • Greek Yogurt (with Protein Powder)
  • Two-Ingredient Desserts

With a few ingredients “pre-cooked” when purchased, you have some quick and easy meals with only a little assembly required. 

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, give this lesson a watch.

Becoming a “Lazy Vegetarian” (Easy Plant-Based Meals)

If you follow a plant-based diet, check out this discussion on vegetarian cooking made easy. 

Coaches Kerry and Lauren discuss plant-based meal and snack ideas that take very little time to prepare but have a lot of flavors. Who doesn’t love lots of flavors?

Some highlights of their session:

  • How Kerry and Lauren each became vegetarians
  • Why Lauren prioritizes protein, vegetables, and grains in her meals
  • The joys of using an air frier
  • Why vegans/vegetarians should consider a protein smoothie
  • Quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas
  • And much more

If you want to learn how our two vegetarian coaches fuel themselves with plants, check out their wonderful discussion on how to become a “lazy vegetarian.”

The 5 Best Resources to Learn How to Cook

LEGOs in the apocalypse do look cool.

Outside of video tutorials in Nerd Fitness Prime, we have a ton of resources to help you level up your kitchen skills.

Let’s discuss some of the best:

#1) Our Guide to Healthy Eating. If you have no idea what a healthy meal even looks like, start here.

By the way, it looks something like this:

If your meal plate looks like this, you're doing a lot of the heavy lifting for weight loss.

Our resource for healthy eating will walk you through Nutrition 101, by explaining different macronutrients, proper portion sizes, eating for weight loss, and much more.

We also include a ton of recipes for you to try out. 

#2) A Step-By-Step Guide to Meal Planning and Prep. If you’re going to dirty up a bunch of dishes to cook a meal, you might as well cook meals for the entire week!

That way you only need a microwave going forward.

Coach Staci walks you through her Sunday evening meal prep ritual in this step-by-step guide.

#3) Batched Cooked Chicken for Lazy People. I’m lazy. Yet I need to eat every day.

Here’s my solution:

How lazy is my recipe? I don’t even use a knife or cutting board to make my chicken.

#4) 10 Minutes of Prep, 10 Amazing Meals. With less time than it takes to watch an episode of Rick and Morty, you can be staged to prepare 10 amazing meals. 

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all covered here, so jump in if you need some quick meal options.

#5) 5 Ways to Spice up Eggs and Bacon. Eggs are a great breakfast staple, as they have plenty of protein and healthy fat to help start your day.

However, they can start to get boring if they’re all your eating in the AM. 

We have a solution!

Coach Staci walks you through her favorite ways to spice up eggs (and bacon) for breakfast.

Building Your Apocalypse Kitchen (Next Steps)

There's always a barrel fire in the apocalypse.

It’s a stressful time in the world right now. Normal steps like “grabbing some food on the way back from work” might not be feasible anymore.

So I’m excited that you’re going to roll up your sleeves and give cooking a try.

The Swedish Chef knows how to eat a plant-based diet.

As always…DON’T PANIC.

There are lots of unique techniques to cooking and a zillion different recipes found online. It can all be a little overwhelming. 

My advice: pick a recipe and get going. 

You’re not going to learn to cook by strictly reading articles online. Eventually, you’re going to have to head into the kitchen and get your hands dirty.

So go do it. Grab a recipe from this guide and give it a try. Don’t even worry about anyone actually eating it at first, just get accustomed to turning on your stove and using your knife.

You’ll get better at it as you go, I promise. 

These are some impressive kitchen skills.

What recipe should you try?

They’ll all work, but give Staci’s “one cooking sheet meal” a whirl if you need a good place to start. You really only need some food, a knife, a baking sheet, and a bowl. 

Just make sure you start. We’ll course-correct together as you get going.

If you want some more help, Nerd Fitness is here for you.

We have three options on how to continue with us. Pick the option that best aligns with your goals:

Option #1) Liked the videos we showed in today’s guide? Join Nerd Fitness Prime!

Nerd Fitness Prime is our premium membership program that contains cooking classes with NF Coaches, healthy recipes, a supportive online community, group challenges, and much more! 

Option #2) Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching program: a coaching program for busy people to help them make better food choices, stay accountable, and get healthier, permanently.

All the coaches from our videos today are part of the program, and they’re ready to help you level up your kitchen skills, apocalypse or no apocalypse. 

You can schedule a free call with our team so we can get to know you and see if our coaching program is right for you:

Option #3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our Rebel Starter Kit, which includes all of our “work out at home” guides, the Nerd Fitness Diet Cheat Sheet, and much more!

Alright, I want to hear from you and your experience with cooking during the apocalypse! 

Are you a master of kitchen skills?

Just getting started since most businesses are closed?

Any simple recipes we missed?

Let me know in the comments!


P.S. If you’re struggling to keep a normal routine with COVID-19 chaos erupting, check out How to Stay in Shape (Without Leaving the House)


Photo Source: Potheads, Apocapella, We don’t need another hero portrait

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