Sometimes you have a busy or challenging day and just can’t shake it. Most people call them Mondays. I jest, any day can be a challenge. Sometimes it starts out questionable and just never gets better. On days like that, especially on days like that, the last thing you want to think about is cooking a meal. You just want to pull in the closest drive thru and be done with the day. The drive thru is not always an easy option when you have food restrictions. In a town full of fast food there may only be a couple that you can safely eat at, and most likely only a couple of the items off the menu you can have or even like. That can make an already frustrating day even worse.
So… what to do? Some days you will absolutely go for the one drive thru near you, other days you will go home and make do. What does “Make Do” look like? Around our house, sometimes it looks like a frozen pizza and some Ben & Jerry’s. Other times it looks like a simple recipe. Something quick and easy. I try to keep ingredients around to pull from to make an easy meal. (I used to have a friend that would give me a hard time if I ate out or made something simple because, “You are a chef, you should be cooking gourmet dinners!”… not even a chef wants to cook big elaborate meals every day. Quick and easy recipes are important for anyone to have in your back pocket.) Pasta is always good to have on hand for a quick meal. You can throw anything in pasta. Experiment with it. The other night we made pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, that’s one of our go to easy meals, and the wife said, “Would these work in there?”, holding up a jar of ricotta stuffed peppers in oil. Truthfully, I was not sure if the flavor of the oil they were soaked in would work and the peppers can get quite strong. We are a pretty food adventurous family, so we decided to give it a go. It was delicious and we will definitely be eating it again. Experimenting can help you find some of your new favorite foods. Just always make sure to check labels to make sure it is safe for you to eat.
One easy meal we love is roasted potatoes and sausage with veggies. It is so easy to make and is completely adaptable to what you have on hand. For instance, if you don’t have potatoes you could use any kind of, or a mix of, root vegetables. We’ve made it with sweet potatoes a handful of times and loved it. You can trade out the sausage for a different type of meat, if you would like. Just be aware that with this recipe the meat is going in precooked. You can also trade out the vegetables included, we do that often depending on what we have on hand. The adaptability is one of my favorite things about this recipe. You can use your favorite seasonings and herbs. You can use fresh, frozen or canned ingredients. Make it fit your tastes. This recipe, as written, is how I prepare it for my family… feel free to change it up and make it your own!
When you look at the cooking time you will say, “Now, Jeani, I thought you said this was a QUICK and easy meal.” I will argue that it is both, kind of. It cooks for about an hour, but it goes together very quickly. Your hands on time is quick. I have used frozen vegetables for quick prep in this recipe.
Roasted Potatoes and Sausage with Veggies
3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (diced)
2 links Sausage (cooked and diced)
1/2 C Corn
1/2 C Carrots (diced)
1/2 C Green Peas
1/2 C Shredded Cheese
2 t Dried Thyme or Dill
1 T Onion Powder
1 T Garlic Powder
2 T Olive Oil
TT Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400f
Dice potatoes, add to large mixing bowl. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, stir to coat. Add seasonings to potatoes, mix well. Add sausage, peas, carrots and corn to the potatoes, stirring everything together. Pour mixture into a baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until potatoes are tender. Remove foil and top potato mixture with cheese. Cook and additional 12 minutes or until cheese has browned a bit.