California, Washington, New York, and now Illinois have been issued stay-at-home orders.  With restaurants closed and the work from home rules in effect, gone is the easy access to the well-stocked office kitchens and pantries. We wondered how the RCM-X team of quants and engineers would survive.

Note: Our team of mathematicians, physicists, and engineers know algo execution strategies, but we also know quant + kitchen [can] = fire-y disaster… (especially when you reach out to your team and ask how they’re going to survive the COVID-pocalypse and the answers mostly consisted of Mac & Cheese, Frozen Pizza, and Ramen).

So, in order to lend a helping hand to our in-house quants as well as clients far and near, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite meal recipes to get you through these uncertain times.

Upgrade Your Ramen
$0.97 packs of ramen are a cult favorite, but let’s be honest, the chicken flavor can only get you so far for so long. It’s cheap and easy, but you know what makes it better? Actual chicken, a hard boiled egg, or real-life vegetables. Upgraded Ramen is super trendy right now for all the right reasons. It’s easy, healthy-ishh, affordable, and delicious. Follow these six steps to upgrade your ramen at home:

    1. Use your own broth: google bouillon cubes
    2. Add aromatics: think cilantro, ginger, green onion..
    3. Sauce it up: with garlic, sriracha, chili oil…..
    4. Add vegetables: mushrooms, spinach, anything green and healthy
    5. Add protein: the most delicious part; chicken, eggs, tofu, pork, etc..
    6. Top it off: make it look pretty with sesame seeds, lime, or chili flakes

Instant Pot Everything
Another trendy one, the Instant Pot has become a go-to for easy, quick meals that don’t take much thought or cooking expertise. AKA perfect for this blog post. There are HUNDREDS of blogs out there with Instant Pot meals complete with all the cooking instructions and ingredient lists your heart desires (like this list of 40+). Check out a few of our favorites:

Sheet Pan Dinners
Do you have access to 1. A cookie sheet (or any time of oven-safe pan) 2. A protein 3. A vegetable 4. Oil (olive, canola, sunflower, butter)? If you can check those four things off, you’re going to become a certified chef in no time. Sheet pan dinners are the definition of easy & delicious. Chop everything up, toss it in some oil, put it into the oven, and 20 mins later you’re eating a full meal. We’ve pulled out some of our favorite (& easiest recipes) below:

Set it & Forget it
This particular device is what we call old faithful: the crock pot. Main staple of the 50s come back into fashion, it’s nearly impossible to mess up a crock pot meal. Assemble the ingredients, throw them into the pot, turn it on in the morning, and by 5 pm you’ve got an entire dinner ready. If you’re looking for a full list of 365 days-worth of crock pot recipes, go here, or you can see some of our favorites linked below.

Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Sun Basket…
Almost as easy as delivery, these meal subscription boxes promise easy, convenience, and deliciousness in one easy package. There are now 10+ companies offering this type of service catering to every diet from no diet, to vegetarian/vegan, to keto and carb conscious. Here are a few options that come HIGHLY rated: HelloFreshMarley SpoonFreshlyBlue Apron, & Every PlateCheck out this list of 23 meal subscription box options.

If we haven’t convinced you thus far, we’ve heard that GrubHub in Chicago and New York will continue to deliver, so your access to late night insomnia cookies is safe for now…

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