Quick, can anyone guess my least favorite thing to do after a long day, a delicious dinner I spent time cooking, and before bed?
For many people, that is one of the biggest barriers to entry for home cooking. Knowing that whatever dishes they dirty, they will have to clean up afterwards. And if you have more than one person to feed, it seems the dishes multiply exponentially. You’d think one more plate and fork is it, but no, somehow after 2 days there is Mount Dirty Dishes and a sink you can no longer see the bottom of.
Well, to solve this problem, we have started using several tricks, one of which I will share with you today: One Pan Meals!
It is exactly what it sounds like, you need only one pan in which to cook and serve your meal. It could be a sauce pan, a soup pot, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, an Instant Pot, a muffin tin, or a cookie tray. The point is, there is only one item to clean up afterwards! Brilliant.
A super-basic starter recipe that anyone can follow to create a meal such as this would be:
1 serving Protein + 2 servings Vegetable/Fruit + 1-2 servings Carb
This could be chicken stir fry over rice, or a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun with toppings and side salad, or a shrimp noodle soup. You should include a small amount of a healthy fat as well, like nuts, avocado, or olive oil, to help your body absorb those lovely vitamins and minerals.
The recipe here is for a simple steak and sides dinner, but looks quite impressive in its presentation. It can be as unassuming as a Tuesday night dinner, or as fancy as a Valentine’s Day dinner for your loved one. You can also easily change up the sides, if you don’t like broccoli try cubed sweet potato, cauliflower, diced carrots, or squash. If potatoes aren’t your thing, sweet potato fries are also awesome, or you could use another pan for rice or couscous. The choice is yours.
This meal was exceptionally affordable too, since I found a large 8.5 ounce steak on sale for about $5, and cut it in half for 2 servings. Broccoli was also on sale for 0.99/head, and potatoes 0.99 for a 5lb bag. That made this whole meal cost a grand total of about $7, or $3.50 per serving!
- 2 steaks, 3-4 ounces
- 1 large head broccoli or 10oz frozen
- 2-3 potatoes, slivered or cubed
- Spices to taste
- Olive oil to drizzle
Step 1: Cut your potatoes and broccoli into bite sized pieces. Lay everything out on a cookie tray, and sprinkle with spices of your choice.
I used McCormick “steak seasoning” because it’s a favorite around here, and I sprinkled it on the broccoli and potatoes too.
Step 2: Cover with foil, and roast at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. This cooks the potato and steak.
Step 3: Uncover, and bake another 10 minutes. This browns the potatoes and crisps the steak. Watch to make sure you don’t burn the broccoli though.
That’s all there is to it! You have a delicious, filling, and nutritious meal, and only one pan to wash afterwards. More time for cuddling and Netflix. 🙂