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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Easy Sheet-Pan Meals to Lift Your Mood

I have an ongoing list of subjects that I like to discuss in my newsletter, and I had a couple of ideas in mind for this particular week’s issue. I need a breakfast that will motivate me to get out of bed in the morning! Recipes that really bring out the flavour of the spring food that’s starting to show up at the farmer’s markets!

But the fact is that I’ve been so depressed that I’ve been eating mozzarella sticks for lunch and cereal for supper. You could be familiar with it, and you might even be going through it right at this very now. Yet, one can only consume food in such a manner for a certain amount of time. Perhaps the depletion of your stock of frozen meals or the allure of fibre will pull you out of your gloom. Even so, you will demand meals that call for the barest minimum of your participation.

Because of how convenient it is, beginning with a dish that uses a sheet pan is the natural choice. You’ll have a hard time finding a home kitchen that doesn’t have at least one sheet pan. They are an essential component in a great number of simple dishes that can be prepared in less than forty minutes and need no more effort than throwing a few ingredients into a bowl and throwing the bowl into the oven.

You can make Ali Slagle’s roasted sweet potatoes and spinach with feta, an unexpected but delectable amalgamation of healthful foods, using only five ingredients* and one sheet pan. The dish is a joy since it contains feta. The brine from the pickled jalapeos is used as a type of spiced vinegar for the veggies. This is the kind of brilliant pantry hack that you appreciate when you’re in a tough spot.

You can create Hetty McKinnon’s vegan tofu and brussels sprouts with hoisin-tahini sauce using only five ingredients and two sheet pans (OK, and a little cup as well). If you are just cooking for one or two people, halving the recipe and using only one sheet pan will guarantee that the tofu and brussels sprouts cook equally. If you are cooking for a larger group, however, using two sheet pans will ensure that the tofu and brussels sprouts cook evenly. This is a recipe that makes a lot, but you’ll probably still end up with some leftovers.

You can easily prepare Susan Spungen’s bouncy gnocchi with asparagus, leeks, and peas using only eight ingredients and two sheet pans. This dish allows you a lot of leeway in terms of substitutions. Instead of gnocchi, you could use little pierogi or giant butter beans. You could also replace any of the veggies with green beans, broccolini, or scallions. Whatever it is that you have will be sufficient.

Not only is it possible to prepare a full dinner on a sheet pan, but you can also consume the food directly from the pan. You may cheer yourself up by lighting a taper candle in the middle of the table and perhaps bringing out a cloth napkin, but that should be the extent of your effort. After all, you are safe and sound in your own house, and life already presents enough challenges.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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