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.


Hamburger Soup

Last weekend, I enjoyed demonstrating a few new looks to mix-up your leftovers at the Women in Ag event in Kansas. Today, I put one idea of repurposing leftovers into practice— making a soup. Throw together a few pantry and freezer staples into a large stockpot, and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 small potatoes, cubed
1 can corn, 15 ounces
1 can beans, drained, 15 ounces
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 ounces
2 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
2 cups frozen vegetables
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook beef and onion in large stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, water, beef cubes and frozen vegetables. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

My hamburger stew used Yukon gold potatoes, dark red kidney beans, stewed tomatoes in Italian seasoning and frozen carrots and green beans. Those just happen to be what was in our freezer drawer and on our pantry shelf 🙂 Think you could master this new look to your leftovers and make a soup? 

Check out other meal ideas and videos on the Pastures and Plates Facebook page.


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 🙂