Quarantine Menu Vol. 1 – quick & easy meal ideas

quarantine easy cooking meal ideas recipes

We’ve been cooking up a storm these couple of weeks, so I wanted to recap a few meal ideas that you guys have been loving from Instagram! Each of the items on the “menu” in today’s post are not only delicious but also easy enough for beginners to cook, and some of these are freezer-friendly for later.

  • Breakfast: Quick 1-Banana Muffins
  • Lunch: Shaved brussels sprouts + chicken sausage bowl
  • Dinner: Easy & tender turkey meatballs (enjoy leftovers in a meatball sub!)
  • Dessert: Chewy oatmeal raisin chocolate chunk cookies

Breakfast: Quick 1-Banana Muffins

In the world of baking these are truly SO easy – a small batch portion, no beater/blender needed, no sifting, and can be done in one bowl. You can dress them up with different mix-ins / toppings, and I love seeing all the snaps y’all have shared of your little ones helping bake these!

We make these muffins with egg for Nori’s egg allergy challenge, as a way to incorporate baked egg into her diet, but let me know if anyone’s made this successfully with an egg substitute. I’ve been doubling this recipe to make breakfast for the week!

the best quick banana muffin recipes

Print Recipe
4.84 from 65 votes


Servings: 4 regular sized muffins


  • 1 large ripe & soft banana, mashed with a fork until most lumps are gone
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar* I do 1 spoon white, 1 brown
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon oil I’ve used vegetable, olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: Sprinkle of cinnamon chopped nuts, or chocolate chips (recommended ; )


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Stir together the mashed banana, sugar, egg, and oil using a fork or spoon until combined.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir well until combined.
  • Pour into a greased or lined muffin pan.
  • Bake for approximately 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. A couple of you mentioned using mini muffin tins and baking for 11-12 minutes. Cool & enjoy!


*Bananas get sweeter as they ripen, so if you have a very ripe, large banana you could get away with reducing the sugar a bit!
quick and moist banana muffins
easy banana muffin recipe


Lunch: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Bowl

I was inspired by Helena‘s IG stories to make this very easy but nutritious meal. You can enjoy it vegetarian with an egg, but we indulged a bit with sausage! I wanted to use chicken sausage links found in the refrigerated section, but only these frozen breakfast ones were available. It turned out quite tasty though and I liked the bit of sweetness added from the maple sausage paired with the mustard!

shaved brussels sprouts bowl

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 bag shaved brussels sprouts (these are from Wholefoods)
  • Your favorite mustard(s). We used a combo of dijon and honey!
  • Optional but recommended: sausage and/or egg, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar


  1. Sauté brussels sprouts with a bit of oil over low-medium heat until they’re as soft as you’d like. I like to cover the pan so the sprouts “steam” for a few minutes in there and get soft.
  2. If adding in sausage, I just push aside some sprouts to make room to sear the sausage in the same pan simultaneously.
  3. Stir in mustard + a little vinegar if desired, and taste. I start with a teaspoon of each, and go from there.
  4. When serving, top with optional egg and a squeeze of lemon. Nick topped his bowl with parmesan cheese and hot honey!
quick and healthy lunch ideas


Dinner: Mini turkey meatballs

For a healthier option compared to beef or pork, this recipe is an oldie but goodie from Giada De Laurentiis – I have made this COUNTLESS times over the years and the meatballs always come out nice and tender. Enjoy over zoodles for a lighter dinner, but I can’t resist my carbs with this. Below is the recipe with my modifications / simplifications, after making these so many times:

Print Recipe
4.72 from 28 votes

Mini Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 lb ground turkey preferably dark meat
  • half a large onion chopped small
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • generous handful chopped fresh herbs I love cilantro and use quite a bit


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Using a large spoon, stir together all the ingredients until well mixed.
  • Roll and shape into approx. 1″ to 1.25″ meatballs.
  • Place on a foil/parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approx 16 to 20 minutes – cut one open to test doneness.
  • OR you can just cook these on stovetop, simmering in your favorite sauce until cooked through. These also freeze well after being cooked.


*Freezing Tip: To prevent the meatballs from sticking together in one frozen clump, I first lay them out on a plate or baking sheet lined in parchment paper, and pop them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once they’ve begun to freeze over, you can then transfer them into one baggie or container. The meatballs are good for a few months and simply needs 1 extra minute while baking, no thawing necessary. 

My modifications from the original recipe: 

  • A full large onion made the mixture a bit watery so I use half, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be grated.
  • To simplify, I use all parmesan rather than a mix and reduced the amount from 1/2 cup.
  • As a personal preference, I can’t stand parsley but love cilantro so sub that in!
  • I bake these instead of pan sear, but you can certainly just cook on stovetop simmering in your favorite sauce.

delicious turkey meatball recipe

We also enjoy these on toasted bread with a little melted cheese for meatball “subs”!

homemade turkey meatball sub sandwich recipe

Dessert: Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Not quite healthy, but see the freezing tip which will allow you to enjoy just a few of these at a time! I’ve used this solid recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction several times. The cookies will seem a little undercooked when you take them out of the oven, but they’ll solidify more once cooled (important not to over-bake to get that chewiness). Here’s a few modifications I make:

  • Reduced the sugar by 25% (and still found the cookies to be plenty sweet)
  • Used maple syrup instead of molasses since that’s what I had in the pantry.
  • Added chocolate chunks by chopped up a chocolate bar into small pieces. Yum!

Freezing Tip: I have no self control so just bake a few at a time, and freeze the rest of the uncooked dough in balls. This makes it easy to pull them out of the freezer and bake up just a couple of fresh, warm cookies whenever my sweet tooth hits!

To prevent the dough balls from sticking together in one frozen clump, I first lay them out on a plate or baking sheet lined in parchment paper, and pop them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once they’ve begun to freeze over, you can then transfer them into one baggie or container (this is also how I freeze dumplings and meatballs without them clumping together). This cookie dough frozen is good for a few months and simply needs 1 extra minute while baking, no thawing necessary. 

chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe

For more recipes and meal ideas, be sure to check out our Extra (Ap)Petite archives!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Joanna wrote:

    Just tried the turkey meatballs recipe for the first time last night, and it was a huge hit with the family! So simple and tasty. It’ll definitely on repeat along with the adobo, garlic noodles and arroz caldo recipes! Thank you for sharing and can’t wait to try the other recipes.

    Posted 1.15.21 Reply
  2. Kim wrote:

    5 stars
    I just wanted to share how much my whole family enjoys all your recipes. My teenage girls love love love your garlic noodles and can’t stop making it. It’s so simple but super tasty! I have made your 1-banana muffins per the recipe and it’s super yummy. Today, I tried making it ‘healthier’ by subbing honey for the sugar, applesauce for the oil, and use whole wheat flour and it came out fantastic! Still moist & delicious! I know we shouldn’t rate a recipe once we’ve changed it but just wanted to let you & your readers know just in case anyone was curious about substitutions. We love baked goods so anytime I can cut down on the sugar, it’s always a plus. Can’t wait to try the other recipes.
    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Posted 6.27.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Kim, it makes me smile hearing that! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback, I especially love that your teenage daughters enjoy the noodles as well. We make the muffins often and will have to try some of your subs sometimes.

      Posted 6.28.20 Reply
  3. Bela Barbosa wrote:

    I cannot wait to try all these recipes, they look so delicious. I have a question about the meatballs, do you freeze them raw or after baking? Thank you!

    Posted 5.31.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I cook them before freezing!

      Posted 6.1.20 Reply
  4. Manica wrote:

    Can I replace All purpose flour with Oats flour?

    Posted 5.3.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Manica, I would be sure to look up a substitution chart first. We recently tried replacing a portion of the regular flour with oat flour for and it made the muffins denser (but still fine), so I wouldn’t recommend substituting entirely with oat flour.

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply
      • Jamie wrote:

        5 stars
        Hi Jean – thanks for these recipes! I have gestational diabetes so I’ve been making your muffins subbed entirely with almond flour and with an extra egg and they come out great! Maybe not as bready/muffiny – but still tastes great and does great for my glucose!

        Posted 6.8.20 Reply
  5. Shanshan wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    Thank you for sharing delicious recipes as always!

    Is there anywhere I could find your family/Nick’s homemade yeast starter recipe? =)

    Posted 4.20.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Unfortunately the homemade yeast wasn’t a success, but if you’re having trouble finding it at the store these days several people have shared they had luck finding yeast at smaller grocery stores locally! x Jean

      Posted 4.20.20 Reply
  6. LG wrote:

    I’ve been loving cooking with you! Your recipes are simple and delicious. Thank you for inspiring us always, in all situations of life.

    Posted 4.19.20 Reply
  7. Mary wrote:

    I love the idea to make the cookie dough and freeze it in balls to bake a few at a time! I will be doing this from now on (I also have no self control ha)

    Posted 4.18.20 Reply
  8. Doreen Dupuis wrote:

    My daughter told me about your receipts she love all your receipt !!

    Posted 4.16.20 Reply
  9. Maureen wrote:

    We just made banana muffins this past weekend and you are so right on ripe bananas. It made the muffins so much sweeter. It was delicious! I need to try your shaved Brussels sprouts bowl. It looks very healthy and yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    Posted 4.15.20 Reply
  10. Kara Wang wrote:

    I love your blog and these recipes! I am going to give them a try!! Your daughter is SO SO cute!!

    Posted 4.15.20 Reply
  11. Rhoda Bernard wrote:

    Made the shaved brussel sprouts bowl last night with a fried egg, feta cheese, olives, and chicken sausage. Dressing was mustard/lemon. Added a few hot chili flakes for a kick. Delicious!

    Posted 4.15.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Rhoda! That sounds delicious, we’ll have to give those toppings a try the next time we make the brussels sprouts bowl. xx Jean

      Posted 4.15.20 Reply
  12. Swarnali Das wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this post..

    Posted 4.14.20 Reply
  13. Mireia wrote:

    I’ll try this soon!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 4.12.20 Reply
  14. Angela wrote:

    Hi Jean! I love your recipes. Will you be linking your husbands hash browns? I can’t find them anywhere in your blog or insta 🙁
    Hope you do! Thanks love your little family.

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Angela! So sorry I just saw this message – I saved them on IG under Cooking # 2 story highlights! It’s just the process, not really a recipe as we just used potatoes, salt, and pepper : )

      Posted 4.14.20 Reply
  15. Tennile wrote:

    Jean I am really loving all of the recipes you’re sharing. Nom nom nom. Thank you so much.

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  16. Ghulam Mohyudin wrote:

    Good to know that works too! I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  17. Cat Bilodeau wrote:

    I love the new layout! Organized, easy to navigate and visually appealing.
    Your website is my go to for new wardrobe ideas. I’ve picked up quite a few cute things based on your recommendations and I love everything I’ve purchased.
    I’ve also been trying a few of your recipes, The garlic noodles are my favorite.
    Your site is a breath of fresh air during these challenging times.

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks so much, Cat! Still working on some fixes to make it more reader friendly. It’s wonderful to hear from you again and I hope you and your family are staying well and healthy during these times. xx

      Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  18. Regina wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! I was just racking my brain for ideas with my over-ripe bananas! Btw, how do you take care of your marble countertops? I recently renovated my kitchen using marble. I love the look but it’s so easy to stain, scratch, etc. Just curious how your manage yours. Thanks!

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Regina! I’ve been told it’s good to get them honed and re-sealed periodically, but honestly we haven’t been able to do that. We cook a LOT and it definitely shows on our marble counters. It was a little painful to see the initial few scratches, water marks, and chips, but as my husband like to say its just a sign of a well loved / well-cooked on counter!

      Posted 4.11.20 Reply

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