How to Make Your Pandemic Pantry Mostly Vegetarian

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The foodpacalypse might just be nigh if you rely heavily on meat and poultry in your diet. Coronavirus fears (and sky-high numbers of cases) have shut down a number of beef and pork processing plants, while millions of chickens are due to be euthanized despite being healthy themselves. The food shortages are here, or at the very least, they're close.

Some of that may simply mean learning more about how to stretch the meat you have, whether by embracing Taco Tuesdays with a fervor or reducing your rotisserie bird to delicious homemade broth. It might also be time to look more widely at vegetarian and vegan dishes, including the humble bean. You might have seen (yes, really) bean influencers like Rancho Gordo, which supplies fresh dried beans so coveted, they're backordered for weeks, or cookbook author Joe Yonan extolling the joys of well-prepared beans. The wide variety of tasty, filling, and above all cheap menu options might surprise you; do some digging to see what's out there.

If you're not naturally inclined to focusing on vegetarian fare, you can actually trick yourself into craving more plant-based foods at the grocery store. It's perfectly fine to only want to go part-time vegetarian, which may help you find ways to appreciate meat in new ways. Mostly, however you're shopping, be sure you stay smart about stocking up. And hey, don't worry about it too much — it could always be weirder. After all, we're not eating bugs yet.