For this week's Munching with Maggio feature, I wanted to highlight a few meals I had forgotten about until a few weeks ago when I was walking around the grocery store trying to think of more things to make at home during the pandemic. I was flooded with good ideas! However, most grocery stores have aisle-walking rules now, so be aware of those. Some are one way only, so plan accordingly when you are taking things off the shelves.
Here are five meals you can make in under 20 minutes. And don’t forget your vegetables!
No. 1: The Italian Deli Spread/Sandwich
This one is my favorite on this list, probably because it reminds me of home. When I was a kid, a lot of lunches at my Grandma’s house seemed like something straight out of Sicily. She’d go to the deli and pick up a few pounds of salami, prosciutto, capicola, provolone, olives, hot peppers, onion, Italian bread and just lay it out on the table. You can make sandwiches or pick at it. My guess is you will do both because it’s hard not eating a piece of prosciutto when it’s in your hand.
No. 2: Sloppy Joes
What a classic! I can’t believe I forgot about these. All you need is a can of Manwich ground beef and bread and you're set. Notable side dishes include potato salad, chips, actual salad and tater tots.
No. 3: Trader Joes Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Why spend all the time making a meatloaf when this one is better! If you are really lazy like me, you can get the Simply Potatoes that are pre-made and just microwave them. Saves you from cleaning a mixing pan! (Eat a vegetable with this.)
No. 4: Olive Oil Pasta w/Chicken
Remember, after you make this meal you will probably have some leftover chicken. Take some pasta and once it’s cooked, drain and add in some salt, pepper, lemon juice and oil. Cook for another minute or two under high heat, so the pasta adsorbs the flavor (just ask the Sopranos). However, don’t call it gravy or macaroni. That didn’t happen in my grandma’s kitchen, and she made her own sauce and meatballs for 60-plus years. Also, no firearms in the kitchen, please.
No. 5: Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich
You could just go with the grilled cheese, but ham makes it better. (Durrrrrrrr MEAT IS GOOD Durrrrrrrr.) The key is what kind of cheese you use, and I will leave that to you. For me, there’s no better cheese to use than this one, and feel free to eat some slices along the way. (Eat a vegetable with this, too. Obviously I like vegetables.)
This article is dedicated to my grandparents (pictured above), who were married 60-plus years and helped me be who I am today. I miss your sauce and meatballs, but what I miss most is you and the conversations we had around these meals. I love you guys and I know you are hanging with Dad up there eating all meatballs, stuffed peppers and ravioli. As grandma would say when the food was ready, "MANGIA!"
Ben Maggio is a sales manager for Nevada Sports Net and occasionally writes for the website. You contact him at email@example.com.