A Sheet Pan Meal

When our little cowboy arrived last fall, family and friends so kindly dropped off meals. Frozen meals piled in the fridge to warm when ready. Lots of tasty food to help our growing family get through the next couple weeks. Our first baby, and we had NO idea what to expect.

One meal; however, was still in whole-food form. As in, the meat was still in the package, the vegetables hadn’t come in contact with a knife quite yet and a foil pan was nowhere in sight. This was a special delivery from my sister. What could it be?

With the best of intentions, she did plan on prepping and cooking a hot meal for us that night; however, she was a little busy holding a sleepy baby while I shut my eyes for a quick snooze that afternoon. That was that, and I was left to pull together supper that night.

How was I supposed to spend an hour tied up in an apron and stuck behind the stove when I had now had a million other things on my to-do list. As in, checking this new baby every minute (no joke) to make sure he was breathing, worrying over his temperature or if he was hungry, just staring at him swaddled and snug, etc. Motherhood got me good. Got me real good.

A pleasant surprise then, to find that this mystery meal was, in fact, as easy as it gets. Guess she knows a thing or two about feeding a family, three kids later 🙂 It was a sheet pan meal, and she nailed it.

The beauty of this recipe (can we even call it a recipe when it is this stinkin’ easy?) is the flexibility to toss any vegetables on that pan. Broccoli has only a few more hours before it’s going bad? Perfect, throw it in. Bell peppers were buy one, get one at the grocery store? Chop ’em up.

So here it is, the breakdown of a sheet pan meal.

Ingredients

1 pound kielbasa sausage (beef or pork), chopped in 2 inch pieces

3 cups fresh vegetables, chopped in large chunks

1 cup white or sweet potato, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (or lightly spray with oil).
  3. In a large bowl, toss kielbasa, vegetables and potatoes in oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
  4. Spread mixture evenly on sheet pan.
  5. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned.

Notes

Be sure there’s space between the meat, vegetables and potatoes. Packed together, the vegetables will steam, resulting in a different texture. Some prefer this, others (like me), enjoy a more crisp, roasted vegetable.


Chicken and Noodles

Picture this. Six years old, wandering my way through the lunch line. On the menu today: chicken and noodles. The cafeteria worker slops the delicious mess right on my plate, and to my surprise, a little pile of mashed potatoes is tucked under all that glory. So, I give it a try (my mother had taught me well, a “try” bite). Minutes later, the tray is empty. Years later, this is what chicken and noodles looks like at our house!

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups sweet yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 cups carrots, diced

1 1/2 cups celery, diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

32 oz water

6 bouillon chicken cubes

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed

2 cups frozen egg noodles

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Add butter and vegetables to dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Cook 3-5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add flour to vegetables, stir to coat and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add water, chicken cubes, chicken and egg noodles. Reduce the heat to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Here in the mid-west, we eat chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. Don’t knock it until you try it! Pairs well with a fruit and veggie of your choice 🙂

Quick & Easy Bierocks

Bierocks. Pronounced beer-rocks 🙂 But there is no beer in this recipe, only 8 simple ingredients, and that’s including the salt, pepper and water. As a child, ketchup would’ve HAD to be on that ingredient list. But my how the years have changed. These rolls are too darn delicious just as they are to need any dipping sauce, but I’ll leave that up to you!

Makes: 25 rolls

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound ground pork sausage

1 medium cabbage, sliced in short strips

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup water

25 frozen yeast dinner roll dough balls

Directions

  1. Proof dough according to directions on package.
  2. Combine and cook the beef and sausage in a large stockpot over medium heat.
  3. Add cabbage, onion, salt, pepper and water to meat for the filling. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove stockpot from heat and drain any excess liquid from the filling.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. When dough is proofed and ready, flatten each ball into a small circle. Place about 1/4 cup of filling in the center of the dough. Wrapping the dough around the filling, pinch the edges to seal tightly. Place the filled dough, seal-side down, on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough leaving 3 inches of space between rolls.
  7. Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

  1. After draining the filling, transfer to a bowl lined with several paper towels. The paper towels will soak up any remaining liquid, making it that much easier to seal the filled dough later.

2. Want to see this recipe in action? Visit Pastures and Plates on Facebook to view the cooking demonstration for bierocks!