Everyone wants an easy homemade meal that is nutritious and filling. I used to take the time to find recipes, draw up a detailed shopping list, and spend countless amounts of time in the kitchen prepping for a recipe. I could chop for hours, I loved it – but then I had a child. The days where I could make recipes that I loved that took an hour and a half and used 20,000 bowls are gone, and for a long time I missed delicious food as much as I missed a good night’s sleep.
I pretty much taught myself to cook by following recipes from various library books and Cooking Light Magazine. But when I lost time and sleep I lost the ability to follow a recipe. To get my husband and I through the first year of parenthood we pretty much ate three meals: tacos, pizza, and pasta, selecting various sauce flavors to change things up a bit. It was easy…until it becomes boring…and then it’s awful. I had to change something, so I started looking up one-pot meals and easy recipes with only a few ingredients. I found comfort in more flavor, but standing in front of the stove tending to a pot was hard when my attention needed to be on my ever-moving child.
Now, more than a year later, my toddler and I have an understanding than involves patience and a bit of independence. That translates to: if you let Mommy chop you can have a piece of whatever she’s chopping and if I need an ingredient I have a helper to find it (and 20 other items 9 minutes later) out of the pantry.
I found Sheet Pan Suppers within a Wowbrary email and immediately reserved it at the library. It was January when I received it and the roasting recipes spoke to me. My favorite recipe from Molly’s Gilbert’s Sheet Pan Suppers is Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks and Charred Romaine. This recipe taught me that you can have a lovely winter salad by broiling romaine for 2 minutes-delicious! Another was Honey-Orange Shrimp with Baby Bok Choy, where you pretty much just mix up a sauce, toss it with the other ingredients and put it on a pan to roast. A third recipe I should mention is Roasted Sausage and Red Grapes with Polenta and Gorgonzola, a well-balanced satisfying meal that was unique and provided modifications if you didn’t like the idea of roasted grapes, but I had no trouble getting my child to eat grapes for dinner.
In addition to dinner recipes, Molly Gilbert provides awesome appetizers, snacks, and brunch recipes in chapters divided by proteins (or the lack thereof). One of my favorite things about this book is that you are making an entire meal with one process: meat and veggies on one pan divided by a wire rack. You can sit down, or have time with you kids when everything is roasting. I love it and would recommend this book to anyone looking for “120 recipes for simple, surprising hands-off meals straight from the oven”.