Great Tips and a Recipe from Your Friends at Wesley Enhanced Living

With the current situation in the world, there is no better time to be cozying up with a warm, delicious meal. It’s the perfect time to break out your favorite comfort food recipes and get cooking! Keeping a few staples on hand to whip up a tasty dish can work some magic in your day.

And enjoying a delicious meal doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. If you live in a Wesley Enhanced Living community, you can expect to enjoy continued engagement even during challenging times. Our caring team understands the needs of our seniors, and we go out of our way to ensure that you have everything you need, including nutritious meals, physical exercise, and opportunities to socialize safely. 

Make Yummy Comfort Foods with Basic Pantry Staples

When you cannot get out to dine at your favorite restaurant, turn to the best eatery on the planet – your kitchen! Keep these items handy to make your favorite comfort foods, and you may not miss going out to eat:

  1. Peanut Butter (or Other Nut Butter): Make a quick and filling snack with protein-rich peanut butter and apples or crackers. Make it fancy by bringing out your china and setting a place at the dining room table. Dial up a friend and have a virtual coffee chat.
  2. Rice: While long-grain brown rice is healthier and will not spike sugar levels, there are many different types you can try. Cook up a large batch on Sunday and eat a little throughout the week. Use it in fried rice with lots of veggies, curry, or as a burrito bowl.
  3. Beans: Nothing says comfort like a bowl of ham and beans with cornbread. Keep a variety on hand such as black, red, pinto, Great Northern, and chickpeas. They are high in protein and fiber.
  4. Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable Stock: Soup is the ultimate conductor of warm feelings. You can easily make chicken, vegetable, or any other soup you desire. This category of food is quite versatile.
  5. Canned Tomatoes and Sauce: Remember mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce recipe? You can remake it with some canned tomatoes. Add some whole wheat pasta, and you will quickly relive fond memories of Sunday dinners at home.

Pantry-Friendly Recipe from Wesley Enhanced Living

Wesley Enhanced Living’s own Hallie L. Klocek, MPH RD LDN, has a recipe for you that uses canned and non-perishable ingredients. You can also modify it to fit your preferences (i.e., vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or using chicken or turkey instead of red meat.) Make a large batch and enjoy it for several days!

Traditional Chili Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef (or meat of choice)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tablespoon garlic paste or puree)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce


1.  In a large stockpot, lightly brown ground beef, breaking up into small pieces. If there is a lot of additional fat, drain some so that the mixture isn’t too oily.

2.  Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently (make sure the heat isn’t too high, you don’t want to burn the garlic).

3. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, kidney beans, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.

4. Cook for at least 30 minutes and serve.  The longer it cooks/sits, the more the flavors will marry.

5.  If desired, serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, additional hot sauce, cornbread, or even over rice/pasta.

**If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 6-8 hours, or low for 4-6 hours**

Let Your Friends at Wesley Enhanced Living Do the Cooking

You don’t have to rely only on your pantry for wholesome, tasty dishes. The staff at Wesley Enhanced Living has a mission to give you the best in dining and overall living. Our residents choose from many living options, including independent living, personal care, and rehabilitation and skilled nursing. Contact us today to learn more and virtually tour one of our communities. 

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own, give you a tour and inform you of our range of services.