I don't know about any of you, but personally, I have been so sick of eating three home-cooked meals a day. Our family typically follows a rotation of seven meals for dinner—one for each night of the week. At the beginning of quarantine, it became routine that my brother and I expected some sort of meat on Mondays, fish (mostly salmon) on Tuesdays, a salad topped with protein on Wednesdays, and so-on. Heck, I even quit vegetarianism during this quarantine (with the exception of red meat) because I felt like I needed to bring some flavor back into my life. 

Now, thanks to the innovative solutions of my brother and my mom's amazing cooking skills (shoutout to Jared and Mama Jodi), our family has started doing themed nights featuring cuisines from around the world to keep our palates satisfied with different flavors. That simple salmon or salad I mentioned earlier can be elevated to the next level. Here's how: 

Mediterranean Night

Avery Paulen

I look forward to Mediterranean Night the most because it takes me back to my time in Israel. Israeli salad, made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and cilantro, was a staple of my diet in the Holy Land. This can also double as a Greek Shepherd's Salad if you add black olives, which takes your tastebuds on a trip to the island of Mykonos. Pair it with a spinach pie, or spanakopita (we bought ours premade from Trader Joe's, but homemade is an option as well), pearl couscous, and some falafel and hummus and you're good to go. 

Another option to spice up your Mediterranean Night is allowing table guests to build their own pita wrap. In my house, we use Lavash, which is Armenian flatbread, spread some tzatziki sauce on it, and top with falafel or lemon herb grilled chicken. 

Taco Tuesday

avocado, tacos
Caroline Early

Although this one's pretty much a given, it remains a classic and staple meal on every dinner table. My family turned Cinco De Mayo into a full-fledged fiesta night, featuring ground beef tacos (with meatless meat for me and non-vegetarian for the fam), rice, black beans, jalapeno nachos, and of course, GUAC. 

I can go on and on about how much I love guacamole. It's pretty much an on-going joke in my family at this point. Therefore, Taco Tuesdays are by far the night I look forward to most every week. I don't know what it is about Mexican food that makes it so comforting, but I feel like my tastebuds can never get sick of it. You can even bring this themed night to the next level by adding decorations to the table and playing Spanish-influenced music (my favorite song right now is Baila Conmigo by Dayvi and Victor Cardenas), which makes for a fun quarantine activity as well. Add some tequila to the occasion, if you're of age, of course, to take you right back to your college campus. 

Salmon Teriyaki

salmon, Cooking, Healthy
Amy Dong

Japanese is another one of my favorite food categories as well because I'm a huge fan of sushi. I never fully went vegetarian, only pescatarian, because I knew I could never actually give up fish. Sushi, however, can get expensive to order in once a week. Therefore, my mom curated a salmon teriyaki recipe that everyone in my family enjoys. 

Grilled to perfection and topped with a teriyaki glaze and sesame seeds, this salmon gets my mouth watering just from the aroma alone. 

Western Wednesday

pork, sauce, chicken, barbecue, baby back ribs
Cassidy Branco

This is a perfect theme to do when it's warm enough to eat outdoors. The charred aroma of the grill while I anxiously await my food on the outdoor patio always reminds me of summer. Though I don't personally condone eating red meat, there are several other options for vegetarians to indulge in, including veggie burgers. My favorite brand is Dr. Praeger's Kale Veggie Burgers. Pair these or any meat with a side of potatoes and some grilled corn on the cob for a delicious western-themed meal during quarantine. 

Thai Night

pad thai, pasta, spaghetti, chicken, noodle
Peaches Memishian

There's not a time that I don't look forward to this meal. Take the classic Pad Thai dish and elevate to the next level. Instead of using dense rice noodles, swap them out for spaghetti squash like my fabulous chef-of-a-mom does. It tastes exactly the same as regular Pad Thai with all the toppings, including peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds, except it leaves you feeling full without the added calories. 

Bonus: It's extremely easy to make. We use an Instant Pot so that it's ready in only a few minutes. The results are incredible; You can even add shredded broiled chicken to balance out the savory and the sweet. 

I hope this article has brought some inspiration back into your life. May your quarantine meals from now on be exciting, fun, and most importantly, DELISH!