Written by Anisha Saripalli

The start of quarantine was a happier time: whipped coffee was trending, people thought the virus would be gone by summer and baking bread became a new hobby. I decided to learn how to make treats for my friends and family with all the extra time on my hands. As a box cake mix and cookie dough aficionado, I started my endeavor into making creations from scratch. 

To add to the task at hand, I am going on 2 years of veganism, meaning that I had to find other ways to make moist and fluffy desserts. Baking soda and vinegar became my best friends. I learned how to cook a few items as well to accommodate this diet. 

Enjoy my go-to recipes that helped me survive quarantine: 

The Best (Vegan) Chocolate Chip Cookies

In sophomore year, I was addicted to Sweet Loren’s cookie dough. This vegan, nut-free, gluten-free pockets of joy cost me $6 for a dozen, money that I happily paid. Since I couldn’t justify that purchase in quarantine, I decided to make my own cookies for much cheaper. 

After scouring YouTube, I stumbled across a Tasty video. They proclaimed that the recipe was for the best vegan chocolate chip cookies, so I knew I had to try it. Once I ate these fresh-baked cookies, I knew that it was the best dessert I have ever made. It always comes out perfectly and has even managed to win over my non-vegan family members.

Here is the link to the recipe: https://tasty.co/recipe/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies

Keep in mind that you don’t have to follow the recipe exactly, as I changed the ratio of ingredients to fit my preferences and pantry contents. I don’t have brown sugar at home, so I put one cup of cane sugar with one tablespoon of maple syrup to replace both sugar quantities. I also halved the amount of chocolate chips.

The cookie dough right before it goes into the fridge.
The cookie dough before baking in the oven.
The cookies fresh out of the oven. They are not as brown due to lack of brown sugar.

Thai-inspired red curry

Another item that has become a staple of mine is Thai-inspired red curry. This recipe works with any vegetables, so it is a good way to finish off the veggies before they go bad.


Makes 5 servings

  • One block of extra firm tofu, cubed
  • As many vegetables as preferred (I used a broccoli normandy freezer blend that includes broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, and yellow squash)
  • ⅓ jar of Thai red curry paste
  • One can of full fat coconut milk
  • Water to thin out gravy
  • Oil, garlic powder and salt to taste


  1. Cut tofu into cubes and vegetables into similar size pieces
  2. Stir fry the tofu with some oil, salt and garlic powder. Transfer the tofu to another bowl and stir fry the vegetables. *Make sure the tofu and vegetables are fried separately
  3. Add the cooked tofu, curry paste, and coconut milk to the pan with the vegetables in it. Stir in water to make preferred consistency and add salt to taste.
  4. Serve with a cooked grain of choice.
The cooked thai curry in the wok.
The final product served with white rice.

Rosemary roasted potatoes

This is another food that there is no true recipe for. It can be made with whatever seasonings and potatoes that you have available to you. I love making it as a side dish for pasta, so I tend to keep the spices in an Italian theme. I cut the potatoes into bite size pieces, stir it around with oil, salt, garlic powder, basil, italian seasoning, and fresh rosemary. Then I put into my air fryer for 12 minutes at 380 degrees, stirring occasionally.

The rosemary roasted potatoes as a side dish.


The final recipe is another hashed recipe that my family makes. I love pizza and would order it occasionally before quarantine, but I never made it from scratch. I’m so proud of how it came out. When my family got pizza after making it from scratch, we all agreed that homemade tastes so much better (and is much cheaper). 

Makes 5 servings

  • One pack of dry yeast
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt, garlic powder, basil, and italian seasoning to taste
  • Sauce of choice
  • Cheese of choice
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Activate the yeast in a cup of warm water with sugar
  2. Combine flour with salt, garlic powder, basil, and italian seasoning in mixer
  3. Add the yeast mixture and keep mixing the dough
  4. Add water until it gets to the proper dough consistency and all of the flour is incorporated
  5. Let the dough rise for at least 45 minutes in a warm, dark place
  6. Grease pizza pans and flatten dough onto them
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes
  8. Add the sauce, cheese (or cheese alternative), and toppings and put the pizza back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  9. Let it cool until warm and eat!
The pizza out of the oven.

 I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did. With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s the time of year to celebrate and eat food with family and friends.