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.


Thick & Creamy Gouda Macaroni

I know I say this farm family loves their meat & potatoes (which we do), but we also have a special place in our hearts for some good ol’ fashioned macaroni and cheese. A comfort food, perfect for any occasion. I took on the challenge to build mac & cheese into a bit more of a balanced plate by creating a Farm-Style Buddha Bowl– this deliciously cheesy pasta topped with protein and veggie. Yum! What would you top your bowl with?

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups dry pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups milk

5 slices of gouda cheese, 1/8″ thick and chopped into small pieces

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente and set aside.
  2. In the same stockpot (after pasta is removed), melt butter on medium heat. When melted, add flour and whisk together. This is a roux!
  3. Cook the roux on medium heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add milk to the roux and continue to stir. Let cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will slowly begin to thicken during this time.
  5.  Remove sauce from heat and add cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. When cheese is melted, fold pasta into the sauce.

Notes

Depending on the type of pasta you decide to use, you may need more or less milk. Also depends on how thick and creamy you prefer your mac & cheese 🙂

Gouda cheese can be substituted for just about any other cheese. Go ahead and get creative! I will usually purchase cheese sliced from the deli and chop this into small pieces at home before adding to the sauce.


Corned Beef Hash

When indulging at a local breakfast diner, you can pretty much guarantee either Scott or I will order the corned beef hash topped with fried eggs. Glorious! After our last breakfast date, I decided I needed to attempt a quick-and-easy corned beef hash skillet at home. Using corned beef sliced fresh from the deli saves LOTS of time, so the most effort for this treat is waiting for the skillet to cook, golden brown and crispy.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

3 cups potatoes, cubed

1 cup sweet onion, sliced

1 cup red bell pepper, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Beef Seasoning

1/2 pound corned beef, chopped thin

4 eggs, prepared any style

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the potatoes, onion, peppers and oil in a large cast iron skillet.
  3. Sprinkle with beef seasoning.
  4.  Fold in corned beef.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture once or twice before finished.
  6. Top skillet with eggs.

Notes

Eggs with a little ooze are just perfect plopped on top of this skillet. Bursting with flavor and a fantastic pair with the seasoned potatoes and beef. Still, I’m a dietitian and must recommend cooking to 160 degrees for food safety 🙂

Speaking of beef seasoning, check out this recipe from Kids, Cows and Grass. THE BEST, keep it stocked in your pantry. At. All. Times.

CornedBeefHash