“What should I cook?” Whether you’re asking yourself that question or your family is, fear no more! If you spend an hour on the weekend getting ready for your weekday lunches and dinners, you’ll always have key items on hand for a variety of menus in 15 minutes or less. Make as many or all of the suggested recipes below depending on how much time you have – with the oven at 425 F you can roast many things at once.
When it’s meal time, warm up prepared items that need heating. Meantime, you can defrost frozen cooked rice or quinoa, boil some noodles, steam or microwave some pre-cut & pre-washed veggies in bag, or throw some pre-cut and pre-washed salad greens in a bowl. Any combination works!
To add variety and flavor to your combinations, make liberal use of dried spices and herbs as well as tasty hot sauces, mustards, vinegars, salsas, teriyaki sauce, and other condiments to bring the meals together.
Trust me, a little planning and preparation goes a long way towards making weekday meals a cinch!
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place chunks of baby potatoes, purple onion, rutabaga, zucchini (cut out the middle seeded part so it’s not so watery), cauliflower, rutabaga, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and carrots on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Toss with a liberal amount of olive oil and garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste plus any other spices of your choice. Cook 45-60 minutes until desired doneness.
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Preheat oven to 425 F. In a baking dish lined with aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil on skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and toss with Italian herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Roast for 35 minutes or until cooked through.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place a large piece of salmon, skin side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Suggested spices: liberal paprika & cumin, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Roast 15-20 minutes until just cooked.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 425 F. Pierce a couple of large sweet potatoes and roast on a separate pan or simple on foil then placed directly on the oven rack. Try purple and white sweet varieties. Cook for an hour.
Easy Vegetable Soup
In a large pot over high heat, add 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock plus a total of 6 cups of chopped vegetables – for example, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, onion, garlic, carrots, cabbage, etc. – plus a heaping teaspoon of cumin. Bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree. Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with an optional dash of olive oil and/or grated parmesan cheese to each bowl when serving.
Ridiculously Easy Chick Pea Curry
Combine a jar of curry sauce (I love this one!) with 2 drained cans of chick peas in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on the chick peas when serving.
Balsamic Salad Dressing
Shake all ingredients in a jar with a tightly sealed lid: 1/2 cup olive oil, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper. Better than store-bought!
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