April Fools’: Recipes that work around the empty supermarket issue

Shelves at Mission Viejo supermarket completely devoid of food. (Chloe Hernandez/Lariat)

Picture it. You walk into the grocery store to see shelves completely empty. Bread, meat, pasta, dairy, and fresh vegetables have somehow completely sold out over the course of two days. What used to seem like a dream, or more likely a nightmare, is now the reality we are living.

If you are like me and did not stock up on months’ worth of food at the first sign of COVID-19 ravaging the United States, food supplies pretty limited.

Unfortunately, that means making meals at home is trickier than usual. Fortunately, it also means we have an excuse for getting creative in our meal preparations and brining some fun into our self-quarantined routine.

Here are some recipes you can make in a pinch with very limited ingredients to start and end your day right.

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast- Without Eggs or Toast

Upon walking into any grocery store lately, you can relate to being struck by an empty bread aisle. If this was not discouraging enough, you continued your journey deeper into the market, passing by the refrigerated meat section – which is also completely empty- and made your way to the dairy section. Milks, creams, and yogurts are all gone, save for a few unwanted or overpriced brands. Finally, you have made it to the opposite end of the store and are ready to grab a carton of eggs to take home and make your perfect breakfast. One problem – there are no eggs. Tragic.

But these unfortunate series of events should not keep you from making the meal you have been dreaming of all night.

Who says you need eggs and toast to properly prepare eggs and toast?


  • Some sort of refrigerated leftovers resembling sliced bread
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Step 1: Take a look into your fridge and try to find anything that remotely resembles sliced bread. Items that could work include but are not limited to a hamburger bun from yesterday’s takeout, or an almost expired tortilla you did not know you still had in the back corner of the fridge.

Step 2: Heat up your “bread.” It is difficult to use a toaster with the ingredients in this recipe, so fire up the stovetop to medium heat and place down a medium sized frying pan. Butter both sides of the sliced bread substitute and add to pan for 30 seconds on each side to get a good crisp.

Step 3: Now, if this was a time where grocery stores were not out of half of all their usual products, this would be the part where we cook our eggs and add them on top of our toast. This is not that time, so we will skip that step and hope for the best.

Step 4: Plate your food and enjoy.

Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so make sure you carve out time of your busy day to sit down and enjoy a plate of crispy leftover carbs, A.K.A eggs and toast without the eggs or the toast.

Dinner: Pantry Lasagna

Who doesn’t love lasagna? It is warm, comforting, and oh so heavenly cheesy – exactly what we need as we buckle down for months of social distancing and self-isolation. It is guaranteed that the usual lasagna ingredients – high quality pasta sauce, Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese – will not be readily available, but do not let that stop you! Pasta sauce is easily replaceable with ketchup and nobody can really tell the difference between mozzarella cheese and Kraft singles. The one ingredient that is absolutely irreplaceable is the lasagna noodles.

No worries finding those as they seem to always be in stock, no matter how desperate everyone is for pasta they leave those on the shelf.


  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 20 oz ketchup
  • 1 package Kraft singles
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Step 1: Boil lasagna noodles as directed on box. Preheat oven to 375º degrees.

Step 2: Build your layers. First layer will be ketchup, about 5 tbsp. per layer. Second layer is lasagna noodles, making sure they cover all edges of the 9 x 13 baking dish. Third layer will be the cheesy goodness of Kraft singles. Repeat these three layers until you reach the top of the dish. Finish off the top layer with cheese slices and sprinkle with salt.

Step 3: Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes, removing foil after this time is reached and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Step 4: Remove dish from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Serve, and take in the well-deserved praise from creating such a great dish in a pinch