I implore you to come to your senses and realize this winter stuff is for the birds.
Honestly, I’ve had enough. If you need me to come right out and say it, then fine, I’ll say it:
I concede. I’m waving my white flag or really my twelve winter hats, six pairs of gloves, three sets of socks and double all other clothing because that’s how many layers I have to wear when I leave the house.
I’ll admit it. You win.
I’m tired of seeing this outside my front door.
Now please take your single digit temperatures, in March no less (negative if you’re rocking Celsius) and go already. If you need help packing, shoot me a text because I’m your girl.
I’d be more than happy to roll the red carpet back to Antarctica or wherever it is you depart to when winter isn’t here. Hell, if you want to hang out in the sewers with Pennywise the Clown, that’s cool; I don’t judge, just so long as it means YOU. AREN’T. HERE.
I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I can’t take anymore. I’m done with you. I’ve had more than my fair share of winter, and I’m absolutely ready to come out of hibernation. In fact, I need to come out of this cave where I spend my nights and weekends because honestly I’m going borderline stir crazy, trapped with three felines, who want outside worse than I do. We’re only a week away from them eating one another and once that’s done, they’ll probably start in on me.
These are the eyes of cat about to go crazy, while Max is in the background battling his depression. It’s rough being an all black cat.
I realize there’s probably some blips left in the road: some blustery weather, some fifty mile an hour winds, and even a few more snow showers. In the meantime though, I need a sign. Something to rest my hopes on, something that says the end is near, something that means the cats won’t eat me.
I’m ready for Spring.
I want to see green grass again, and I don’t mean the patch I accidentally snowblowed.
I’m ready for crocuses to spring up, followed shortly thereafter by daffodils and tulips.
I want to hear the birds sing; I’ll even take the damn neighborhood woodpecker who wakes us all up at 5 a.m. Alright scratch that last bit, you can leave him in Florida.
I want to eat springtime vegetables again.
Confession: I ate these for dinner last week.
I want to sleep with the window open, while a nice gentle breeze caresses my face.
I want to pull my peep toed pumps out of storage and rock some toe cleavage. You never know how many years my feet have left, so I have to take advantage while I can.
I’m ready to wear tank tops someplace other than the gym.
I want to dig in the dirt, even if it means my nails will never be the same.
I want to pick up my first CSA offerings of the season.
I want to eat Heirloom tomato salads and sop up the juices with delicious bread.
I’m even ready to find headless chipmunks at the back door, presents from my fighting, frisky felines.
I’m ready to eat gelato, without the fear of being frostbitten.
I’m ready to try this running business again.
Truly, I just want to sit outside in a sun patch, drinking beet juice mimosas and making my lists.
Look Mother Nature, I know I’m asking a lot. It’s a tall order, and I can appreciate that, but I’m asking nevertheless. Please send this Winter Shit away and bring on the Spring. I’d be forever grateful. Thanks.
What signs of Spring do you want to see the most? What are you looking forward to doing outside? What are you looking forward to eating? If Spring doesn’t come soon and you live in a warm climate, how do you feel about house guests that come with cats?
I feed the Hubby all week long, despite the fact he spends most days and nights living in a different state.
I feed myself too and our three ornery felines, one of whom is more food obsessed than me. I’m pretty sure feeding all these mouths on a regular basis makes me Superwoman. Then again, I have a high opinion of myself. Either way, I rock.
So I’m either a feminine superpower (insert superhero theme music here or the sound of an extra sharp whip cracking against your backside ) or I do a ton of food prepping on the weekends and willing take help from others whenever I can get it. While the former certainly sounds more exciting and obviously feeds my extra large ego, the latter might actually be more accurate. I still rock though.
Today I’m foregoing our traditional Week In Review recap, and instead I’m going to share how you can feed yourself and one other incredibly hungry human for an entire week. Of course I realize I’m breaking the rules of my own link up my party, but it’s my blog and I can cry if I want to, or switch the rules mid-post, sans crying. It’s so much less emotionally draining that way. Besides I did make and/or purchase an awful lot of this food in the past few days, and I’m still giving you a weeks worth of something. Fine, it’s a stretch; I’m doing it anyway.
I’m also going to link this up with one of my other favorite parties, What I Ate Wednesday. Yep I’m breaking more rules, throwing all caution to the wind and still justifying my errant behavior. I figure I’m doling out way more than a single day’s worth of eats, so it counts, and do you really want to argue with Superwoman?
I think not, but you totally want to know How To Prepare A Week’s Worth of Meals in a single weekend. I can’t say that I blame you.
Step One: Get Creative.
As much as I love lists and planning, I shockingly don’t create a formal meal plan every week. Instead I come up with some meal ideas loosely based on what ingredients I have on hand and what struck my fancy that week on the internet. For example, Saturday’s night Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala was inspired by the remnants in my fridge (half a can of garbanzo beans, about to expire cream, leftover lemon butter from Thursday night’s artichokes, an entire head of cauliflower, onions, carrots, bell peppers and a jar of Tikka Masala sauce), while Sunday night’s Crockpot Lasagna was something that simply caught my eye. It sounds fairly eye-catching, doesn’t it?
Step Two: Make A List and Shop.
You knew a list had to be a part of this. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a list and check it twice. Oh wait, that’s Santa, and I’m Superwoman today, although I’m fairly certain she had a pen and paper stashed in those boots. Either way, make a list. Scour your pantry, your fridge, and your rough meal ideas and write down any ingredients you need. Then get shopping.
Step Three: Get Cooking
Plan to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen over the course of the next day or so. It helps to have some tunes and perhaps a glass of wine handy. If you do your prep in the morning, a mimosa wouldn’t hurt. The point is to enjoy yourself, while trying to optimize your time. If you know you need carrots for more than one meal, cut up enough carrots for everything, even if you don’t plan on cooking it all up right away.
For example, this weekend, I cut up carrots for the Hubby’s lunchtime wraps, salad toppings, my Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala, and my Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables all at the same time. The same for the onions and bell peppers.
Now that my friends is how you prepare a week’s worth of meals in three easy steps.
While it sounds simple enough, I’m going to take it a notch further and share exactly what those meals look like when you put my 1-2-3 plan into play because visual stimulation is where it’s at.
I bought two bundles of bananas, a ginormous box of spinach, some blueberries, and a loaf of really good multi-grain bread. I also made a batch of Lemon Blueberry Granola, enough to get the Hubby and I through the majority of the week.
Therefore, breakfast options include bananas, smoothies with those same bananas, more fruit and buckets of spinach, toast with peanut butter or straight up cow butter, and granola with Greek yogurt and more fruit, this time of the berry variety. I eat some variation of this Monday through Friday and on weekends, when I have more time, I get extra indulgent and make omelets, pancakes, French toast, or a Breakfast Salad.
I get help here from my local grocery store, Nature’s Bin. The bottom line is I don’t like to spend a ton of money on lunches, and the idea of eating out daily doesn’t appeal to me because it leaves me feeling overtly full and dragging by the time three o’clock hits. Plus, lunches out mean I miss my sweat session at the gym and that’s no bueno. Yes, I’m a bilingual Superwoman, although sadly that is the extent of my Spanish.
I also recognize I can’t cook or prepare three square meals every single day for the Hubby and myself without losing my mind in the process, and we all know I need to keep whatever sanity I have left. Um hello, I think I’m Superwoman. Hallucinate much?
Which is where Nature’s Bin comes in. They have a fabulous catering section, so I get the ease and convenience of frozen meals, without all the garbage. They’re also way more creative than your typical Lean Crap-Sine. Oops, did I say that? Of course I did.
When we’re not eating Nature’s Bin lunches, the Hubby will have a wrap stuffed with veggies (cut up ahead of time on the weekend) and some blue cheese (his favorite) or hard-boiled eggs, and I’ll have a salad (hence the giant vat of spinach), leftovers or lots of snacky type foods. Super heroes should always be powered by spinach and hummus.
Speaking of, my snacks consist of fruit or nuts, maybe some cheese if I’m feeling lucky. I’m consume them with a side of coffee or a cup of tea and always an extra large glass of H2O. I drink enough water for Superwoman and Superman combined.
Dinner’s are either prepared or partially assembled on the weekend.
For example, this past weekend, I scored some baby red skinned potatoes at the store, specifically so I could whip up another batch of Oven Roasted Vegetables with bell peppers, sweet potatoes, garlic, tomatoes and carrots (all of which I had on hand). I also picked up some asparagus because it was the right price and I just so happen to love it. I’ll happily combine the two for dinner one night and top the roasted veggies with a fried egg another.
On Sunday, I made Crockpot Lasagna in a sizeable enough quantity that it fed us dinner that night, plus enough for at least three extra meals this week: two for me, one for the Hubby. That’s my kind of math right there. What? Superwoman needs her fuel.
In that same vein, I deliberately had enough leftover from Saturday night’s Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala to make another meal out of it, especially when I top it with some brown rice or pair it with a couple of Parmesan Rosemary Drop Biscuits from my deep freezer.
Because I like options, I also bought and baked four large russet potatoes over the weekend, which are essentially waiting for me to reheat them and stuff them with all sorts of veggie goodness; maybe even a little cheese because Superwoman needs her protein.
To recap (because I’ve typed long enough that we need one…my bad):
Things I Prepped Over The Weekend To Make All of the Above Possible
Lemon Blueberry Granola
Hard-Boiled Eggs (for the Hubby)
Cut Up Onions, Peppers, and Carrots for Salads, Wraps, Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala and Roasted Vegetables*
Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala*
*Items where I had the Hubby’s assistance. His knife skills are strong. Maybe I’ll let him into my superhero club.
Enough about me. Let’s hear from you.
Interested in participating in the Week In Review?
The Week In Review is a list, in its purest form, not of the things you still need to do, but of all the things you have done in the past seven days. It’s an achievement list and one with the sole purpose of bringing pleasure. Want in? Grab the Week in Reviewbutton for your post, link back to Clean Eats, Fast Feets and get your list on. For more details, click here.
I say almost because I have very little shame; that and it takes an awful lot to make me blush. Alright that’s not actually accurate. If you get offensive, I will laugh. If you get romantic, I will scoff. If you get really vulnerable, I will pat you on the back, while doling out words of comfort. If you get complimentary, towards me specifically, then I might blush. White wine will do it too, so if you looking to get my cheeks inflamed, without all the blustering, just pour me a glass. Matter of fact, I think you should just pour me a glass anyway.
Speaking of, a glass of wine would be a lovely accompaniment to the recipe I’m here to share today: Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables.
During the winter time, I make a pan of these on weekends in large enough quantities, specifically so I can live happily off them all week long. They’ve been an integral part of my evening meal on at least three occasions this week and since all I’m doing is rewarming them in the oven for a few minutes, it doesn’t get much easier.
Easy is particularly appealing at 7 o’clock on Wednesday night, when I finally drag my weary ass home from a long and emotionally fraught day at work, and the moment I walk in the door the cats are howling to be fed and there’s a ton of other little things that need doing. On those nights especially, Roasted Vegetables are my salvation.
They are great to have with breakfast, lunch, dinner or even for brinner. I think some of you strange food bloggers might prefer them cold, as a snack. Yes, I just called you strange and I’m fully aware that’s the pot calling the kettle black. I’m good with it.
You can eat these vegetables as a side dish or make them the star of the show. If you’re feeling creative, pop them in a wrap with a vinaigrette dressing and some goat cheese and toast it on a skillet or simply toss them on top of a bowl of greens and call it a Winter Salad.
Basically, you’d be hard pressed not to find a way to consume these.
Just as there is an infinite number of ways you can eat them, there are a 252,314 different ways to make oven roasted vegetables, and yes I did just pull that number out of my arse, which is why I’m almost hesitant to call this a recipe.
When it comes to cooking times and temperature, you can go hot and fast or low and slow. I prefer the latter because it gives my veggies a nice crispy crust, while still retaining a smooth and buttery interior.
When it comes to seasoning, you can go spicy, seasonal or casual and herbal. Yes, casual is absolutely a thing. It’s reserved for the laid back veggies; the hipsters of the bunch.
When it comes to choosing your actual vegetables, I say smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em. Dig around in your fridge, your root cellar, wherever you store you veggies and toss in what’s there. For this particular batch, I went with baby potatoes, sweet potatoes, shallots, carrots, bell peppers, garlic and cherry tomatoes, simply because that’s what I had on hand. I would have thrown in parsnips, beets, and squash if they were lying around too.
In my mind, all that really matters when it comes to Oven Roasted Vegetables is your cooking fat of choice (I use olive oil) and lots of seasoning. Vegetables are delicious, but they are also sponges, waiting to soak up flavors, so don’t be afraid to douse those bad boys. Unseasoned vegetables is partially to blame for giving healthy food it’s bad and boring rap, and believe you me, you don’t want that on your conscience.
Today, I don’t have a strange, but good twist, or an interesting caveat. I just have simple, well-prepared, and well-seasoned oven roasted vegetables, which make my work weeks run a little smoother and make my stomach a whole lot happier.
Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables
3 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced into largish chunks
3 Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into largish chunks
10 Baby Potatoes, diced into largish chunks
1 Bell Pepper, any color although red, orange or yellow would be rather pretty
6 cloves of Garlic, 3 cloves peeled and left whole and 3 cloves, peeled and chopped into largish chunks
10 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
4 Shallots, peeled & quartered or 1 Medium Onion, peeled and cut into largish chunks.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Rosemary Garlic Salt or Sea Salt
Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon minimum of a fresh herb such as Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme or any combination thereof.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and carrots. Chop into largish chunks. Wash and chop all other vegetables into largish chunks. Size consistency is key here so your veggies cook evenly. The bigger the size, the longer the cook time. I keep some garlic cloves whole and I chop some into larger pieces. If you go too small with the garlic, it will burn.
Combine all of your vegetables, including the onion and garlic into an appropriate sized roasting pan. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Stir to combine making sure all vegetables have been evenly and finely coated. If you use more vegetables than I did, add more olive oil and seasoning.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring at least once, at the thirty minute mark and again, every fifteen minutes thereafter. When you are stirring them, TASTE them. If they need more oil or seasoning, add it.
Remove from oven and give them one final good crank of salt and pepper. Yes, again.
To reheat: put them back into a 350 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
My name is Meghan, and I live in Cleveland. I love to eat fresh, seasonal, and local food, and I'm a fan of sweaty workouts. I'm an oxymoron, an enigma and a City Hippy all rolled into one. Plus, I have the maturity level of an eight year old boy, so that's fun. Questions? Feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.