It's been a few weeks since my last Meal Plan Monday, and in the interim, my fridge has become downright overwhelmed with vegetables. I stocked up on Wednesday, and my mother-in-law brought me a huge bag of green beans on Thursday. That left me with literal pounds of green beans, and not the foggiest of what to do with them! But then it occurred to me - they pair with nearly every protein. It should be easy to swap out protein types and seasonings - thank goodness I had also filled out my picked-over spice rack!
Here's the thing - I don't have any degree in culinary arts. I am not fancy - I'm just a regular, average, everyday mom. If I had to pick a motto, it would, "Low effort." That doesn't mean I don't care, or that I don't want to experience the finer things in life. It's that I don't like fussy things that require a lot of hand-holding. I already have two of those - my toddler and my baby. Simple as it is: I don't have time to deal with things that require a great deal of work on my part (for little payout). So, roasted veggies it is!
My proteins for the week are:
- Rotisserie Chicken
- Beef Round Roast
- Chicken Thighs
Rotisserie Chicken - I'll be honest - I can buy this one at the store, or make it at home, for almost completely equal costs. The difference is the amount of work that I want to put in. At home, I simply rub my spice blend onto a whole chicken, sear it in my Instant Pot on top and bottom, and then cook it for about 20-30 minutes in the Instant Pot.
I'll use the rest of the protein to make a pot roast (in the Instant Pot, natch), seasoned chicken thighs roasted on a sheet pan with veggies, and tuna cakes. My favorite hack for these tuna cakes - just use a flavored tuna! Add in egg, breadcrumbs, and form it into a patty. Then fry it on your stovetop! Serve it up with an aioli if you want - so simple! This week, I'm making a sesame chili tuna cake.
But the real star of the show this week are the roasted veggies!
To pair with my sesame chili tuna cakes, I'm roasting onions, mushrooms, and zucchini. I'll toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of turmeric. Once they're deliciously tender, I top them with sesame seeds and a dash of soy sauce. It's simple, but it's a great addition to many meals!
My chicken this week - both the rotisserie and the thighs - are going to have the same veggies. The chicken thighs are going to be roasted themselves, on the same sheet pan as the vegetables. It's a basic combination: potatoes, carrots, and onions. With the rotisserie chicken, I'll be using an Italian seasoning blend that I've thrown together. Once again, toss the veggies in oil, then spices, then roast. For the chicken thighs, I'll be doing something a bit closer to a smokey BBQ seasoning blend, starring my favorite: smoked paprika!
With the round roast and hamburgers, I'm serving up those delicious green beans! The roast will be cooked with potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery - because they act as both aromatics and as sustenance. But the green beans will be on the side. My mother-in-law suggested this, and it occurred to me that the flavors are perfect for what I'm looking for. BONUS: It takes a more-fussy recipe and simplifies it. Toss a few cloves of mashed garlic, some strips of bacon, and green beans into the crockpot with a little bit of water. You'll only need 2-3 hours in the crockpot to get them to that fork-tender deliciousness.
Enjoy this week's meals, y'all! And don't forget to eat your veggies!
What are your favorite roasted veggies this time of year? What theme would you like me to cook around next week? Hit me up with your ideas on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #MealPlanMonday