UNews Cookbook: Our Go-To Recipes During Quarantine


Graphic by Grace Dunlavy

In the midst of quarantine, social distancing and a seemingly excess amount of time on our hands, individuals are turning to various hobbies and activities to stay busy. For me, cooking and baking helps me to relax and focus on something other than endless COVID-19 news. Once a busy college student, I have found happiness in having the time to try new recipes and enjoy them with my family. And many other University News staff writers felt the same wayso, we decided to compile a list of our favorite recipes we’ve been making during quarantine. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

Five recipes included: Chicken Parmesan, Creamy Lemon Chicken, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Banana Bread, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. 

1. Delicious Chicken Parmesan – Sam Glass (Sports Editor)


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green, red and yellow pepper (3 total)
  • A pinch of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • A pinch of salt 
  • A pinch of pepper 
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
  • Several slices of Mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Take a pan and heat it up to medium-high heat and throw some olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. While that heats up you’re gonna cut your chicken breast in half sideways so that it would look like a butterfly if you put the pieces next to each other.
  4. To quote Bob Ross, you’re going to “beat the devil out of it,” and make sure each half breast is thin and even.
  5. Go easy on your seasoning, the crust is the star. Just a generous coat of salt and pat it in there. 
  6. Now you’re gonna dredge your chicken.
    1. In one bowl, mix half a cup of flour and some pepper. 
    2. In another bowl, crack your egg and mix it up so your white and yolk are combined.
    3. In a third bowl, mix your quarter cup parmesan and breadcrumbs.
  7. To dredge, coat chicken in flour mixture. Next dip it into the egg wash. Finally, dip it into the breading mixture and make sure the whole chicken is covered.
  8. Now you’re gonna take the chicken and lay it into the hot oil and it should sizzle. You want to cook chicken for 4-7 minutes per side.
  9. While your chicken is cooking, cut up the onion and peppers.
  10. Add garlic and the vegetables to the pan and saute those. 
  11. Remove half the vegetables from the pan and then add in the tomato sauce.
  12. Add in a splash of cinnamon, the more you add the sweeter your sauce. 
  13. Stir that up and let it simmer while your chicken cooks.
  14. Once the breading is crispy and golden, you take it out of the pan and onto a baking sheet.
  15. Put some mozzarella slices on top and throw it in the oven for 5-8 minutes. This should be enough to melt the cheese and start to get a little crispiness on it.
  16. Take it out of the oven and throw a dollop of sauce onto your plate and place the chicken on top of it.
  17. Let the chicken rest on the plate and add some sauce on top and VIOLA!


2. Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken – Ashlee Kothenbeutel (Illustrator)

I recommend pairing it with pasta or oven roasted potatoes!

Recipe adopted from: https://dinnerthendessert.com/slow-cooker-creamy-lemon-chicken/

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 5 hrs

Serving size: 2-3


  • Crock pot
  • Teaspoon and tablespoon measurer
  • Grater to zest
  • Large Crock pot (can cup recipe in half for chicken but you will want all the sauce… I’d even recommend doubling the sauce as is)
  • Skillet/pan to cook the chicken in


  • 5 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter divided
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (not super important I just use a something with some spice)
  • 2 lemons juiced and zested
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup half and half (sub: use milk/sour cream)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken base (aka bouillon… optional, but adds flavor)


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter to melt on medium high heat. (or oil)
  2. Add salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning to the chicken and add it to the pan.
  3. Cook on each side for 4-6 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken to your slow cooker.
  5. Cover with lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and the rest of the butter in pieces 
  6. Cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
  7. In a large measuring cup add the half and half, cornstarch and chicken base and whisk well.
  8. Add the liquid, mix and cook an additional hour on high.


3. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese – Rebecca LiVigni (Managing Editor) 

The cheese sauce for this dish is the best homemade sauce ever! I recently tried it over elbow macaroni and it was absolutely delicious (but so is the cauliflower, trust me!)

Recipe adopted from: https://howtothisandthat.com/keto-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese/

Prep time: 20 min 

Cook time: 15-20 min 

Serving size: 2-3


  • 1 large head of cauliflower, steamed, rough chopped 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (Optional) crispy bacon to garnish


  1. Get started by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and then prepare a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Tip for cooking fresh cauliflower: Cut a head of cauliflower into florets. Steam or boil for approximately 5-7 minutes, until they are still crunchy but tender. 
  3. Strain the cauliflower, rough chop, set aside. (Or Start with microwave steam bags or frozen, rough chopped.)
  4. In a saucepan over low heat, add heavy whipping cream. Whisk in garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add cream cheese and stir until smooth, and then add cheddar cheese, heat and stir until melted. 
  6. Stir in cauliflower, mixing to fully coat and combine. Add to baking dish. Top with mozzarella and parmesan.  
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture is browned on top and bubbly. For a more browned appearance, cook in a broiler for the last few minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!


4. Banana Bread – Kelly Siempelkamp (Opinion Editor)

Growing up, my family couldn’t get enough of our mom’s banana bread recipe. After making it one time, we would always make it many more times soon after and eventually burn ourselves out—until making it again. Making banana bread has always been a consistent component during times of change. When moving to a new apartment to start off the academic school year, approaching spring season or having to move back home during a pandemic, making banana bread has always been how I maintained structure, and I hope now you will too!

Recipe adopted from Pampered Chef Recipe Book


  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup mashed ripe banana (add more to taste)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 ⅓ cup bisquick
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (adding more than this is preferred, but optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl. Mash bananas in a separate bowl before adding to the mixing bowl. Add vanilla and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips until everything is mixed well.
  3. Prepare a 9×5 inch loaf pan by  greasing the bottom and edges. Sprinkle flour and lightly shake in the pan so that all of the pan is dusted with flour. Pour the batter into the pan and wave a spoon through so that all of the air bubbles are out.
  4. Bake 55-60 minutes or until golden brown. Insert a knife into the center until it comes out clean. Cool loaf on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before eating. This is the most challenging part! Makes about one loaf. 


5. A healthy take on classic chocolate chip cookies – Claire Battista (Arts & Life Editor) 

Growing up, my two health-conscious parents tried to limit their use of vegetable oil and butter whenever possible. In their search of a healthier chocolate chip cookie recipe, they stumbled across this one and we’ve used it ever since! The oil and butter is replaced by applesauce. People are always skeptical at first, but trust me, you barely notice a difference! 

Recipe adopted from: https://lmld.org/applesauce-chocolate-chip-cookies/


  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour 
  • 1 cup oats 
  • ½ Tbsp cornstarch 
  • ¼ tsp. salt 
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips 


  1. Combine whole wheat flour, oats, cornstarch and salt in a medium sized bowl. 
  2. In another, larger bowl, combine sugars, applesauce, egg and vanilla.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients. 
  4. Pour in with the chocolate chips and mix well. 
  5. Chill cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  6. Scoop cookies out onto a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. 
  7. Enjoy!