On busy days when you get home later than expected or have little time to spend in the kitchen cooking AND doing dishes, one pan meals come in very handy! I usually reserve more complex meals to the weekend when I have more time to cook and can indulge a little more. During the week I focus on pretty simple meals making sure I have protein, a little fat and lots of veggies, unless I am having leftovers from what I cooked on the weekend (see below for some decadent inspiration!). You don't have to slave away in the kitchen to come out with something delicious and nutritious.
For one pan meals, I think about 2 things - what protein do I want and what veggies go with that, including a green veggie of course. It is that simple! It helps to have a variety of spices in the cupboard to change things up, such as rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, basic chicken spice, curry. Below are two examples of one pan meals that I have been known to whip up. Honestly the best things about this are the few dishes you dirty and how easy it is to make leftovers. This is also a great grain free or paleo meal.
One game changer in making a delicious meal is roasted veggies. If you haven't roasted brussels sprouts, broccoli or beets before you are in for a treat! Beets would take the longest to roast but they are great with carrots and sweet potatoes. Check out this recipe to try that.
One Pan Meal #1: Chicken, Sweet potato, Brussel Sprouts
- 2 chicken breast, skinless, boneless
- chicken spice of your choice
- 2 handfuls brussel sprouts, cleaned and cut in halves
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1-2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- sweet potato spice options - cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, curry powder, paprika
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or nothing if you have a good non-stick pan. In one bowl, toss brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, salt & pepper to coat. In a second bowl, toss sweet potato wedges with cornstarch to lightly coat, salt then olive oil and spices of your choice. Spread veggies evenly on the pan and put in the oven. Depending on the size of your chicken breast, you may want to add chicken 5-10 minutes into cooking, it should take 18-20 minutes per 1.5in. Sprinkle chicken with chosen spice. After 15 minutes, flip veggies. They should be lightly browned on one side. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until tender and crispy and chicken in cooked through. Voila!
One Pan Meal #2: Salmon, Carrots, Asparagus
- 2 salmon fillet, skin on or off
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large rounds
- 1 bunch asparagus
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic reduction (homemade or store-bought) OR dried/fresh rosemary for salmon
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or nothing if you have a good non-stick pan. In one bowl, toss carrots with a little olive oil, salt & pepper to coat. Evenly spread asparagus on the pan and roll with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Add carrots and salmon to pan and drizzle a little olive oil over salmon and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. Asparagus should be slightly browned but not faded in colour, carrots should be slightly softened and salmon should be flaky. Add to plate and drizzle asparagus and salmon with balsamic reduction. Voila!
In health & happiness,