I’ve decided to add some focus to this blog. On more of the same – eatin’ & cookin’ food! (Because what else really?) But I’ve decided to be more structured about it. I cook differently than I used to. I like to think better, but also more efficiently. So let’s write this thing similarly…
After working all day, who wants to come home and cook dinner? Like, every night? I think not. I started meal prepping a couple years ago and I think I’m starting to actually hit a stride. (Hey, some of us mature faster than others.) A night’s menu might be homemade or just semi. But all are designed to be 1) real/healthy food 2) and able to get on the table in half an hour after getting home. Because there’s no way the gym is happening if I don’t have a dish I can just shove in the oven.
So that’s what we’re going to talk here. Meal plan/meal prep fun.
To get started, I’ve been very into sheet pan meals lately. Turns out, so is half the food blog world. But here’s what gets me, half those recipes lie. You can’t put a potato in at the same time as some little chicken breasts and think they’re going to come out cooked perfectly. If you throw green beans in at the same time as the carrots, that’ll never turn out right. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. But there’s an easy fix, everything doesn’t have to go in the oven at the same time.
I’m a big fan of my potato pocket to get potatoes rolling. But for this, I tossed the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400º for 20 minutes before the rest of the food. Took the pan out and placed the broccoli on the sides and chicken on the potatoes, so they could sop up those good chicken juices. Cooked for another 40 minutes. Broiled for some extra crispy skin. And done!
I like sheet pans for the weekday because it’s so easy to cook AND clean up after. You can buy the veggies pre-cut or chop ahead. Pre-season the meat. Or don’t. I just tossed kosher salt, thyme and lemon on top of these chicken thighs and they were lovely. Put down some parchment paper and you may not even need to wash that pan.
Sheet pan meals are also great to get rid of random odds and ends of things. And you don’t really need a recipe. If you’re concerned about your timing, the Food Safety site here is a great starting point and a good meat thermometer never hurt anyone.
In closing, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to my food scrapper little girl. My sweet Sugarbear is turning 8. And don’t she look great!