Like many of you, I love food. Unlike some, I have a bit of a preoccupation with grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking. I love to try new things, new ways of eating, usually all with a goal in mind of being a healthy, longer living, more productive human. I am constantly looking at food blogs and websites for new ideas and recipes.
My increasing training volume and calorie needs have made it even more mind consuming. Factor in the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, my inability to grocery shop weekly, and the likelihood that I will not get everything on my grocery order, and it actually started to cause me real stress. So, I had to get creative with my meal planning and dinner preparing.
For the better part of half a year, I have adopted a mostly plant-based eating style. I say “mostly” plant based because I can get a bit obsessive with commitments and rules sometimes. Giving myself some room, or leniency, helps me stay adaptive and flexible, thus relieving self imposed stress. Cause let’s be real, life is stressful enough sometimes without the need to create more.
One trick I have fallen in love with recently is sheet pan meals. I have found this to be a pretty simple way to make healthy, filling dinners with just about anything I find in the fridge or pantry. It’s fairly straight forward too. You grab a bunch of vegetables from the fridge or freezer, chop and season, then throw it on a baking sheet and in to the oven. I usually bake everything at 400°F for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring half way through. Take it out throw in to a bowl on top of a starch, I like quinoa or roasted potatoes/sweet potatoes, sprinkle on some beans, baked tofu or lentils and Ta Da, you have dinner.
Here are some ideas that I have tried lately:
Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Broccoli, Onions and Peppers. Toss the sweet potatoes with a mixture of olive oil, 1 tsp of cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp of smoked paprika, and ½ tsp salt. Toss broccoli with olive oil, chopped garlic and salt. Bake and serve.
Chickpeas, Zuccini, Sundried Tomatoes, Red Onions, Red Peppers. Toss everything with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and basil. Serve on quinoa. Top with cucumber, black olives and some hummus.
Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, Corn. Toss with olive oil and taco seasoning. Bake. Serve in a bowl with black beans, salsa and guacamole.
Realistically, you can use anything you have, season however you want, and top it with whatever is in the fridge. I’ve found it usually works out fairly well. To make it even better, my kids usually like it too.
Give it a try and let me know what you come up with!