My First Sheet Pan Meal

I’m so glad someone found a way to monetize the Tide Pod idiocy of a couple of years ago.

I love whiskey, but I think I’ll stick with sipping it out of a glass, thanks.

I also like my coffee black and my martinis sans frivolities. There’s no need for all these new-fangled concoctions like “mint mocha lattes” or “apple martini.” Back in my day…

******cue everyone to start snoring******

Right. Well. Onward.

One of my friends is an amazing cook. She doesn’t think she’s an amazing cook, but I know otherwise.

She has this habit, though, of calling the things she makes “easy.”

I get that the things she makes are relatively easy by her standards. There is a series of steps one follows, and the methods one uses are fairly basic.

However, when she describes what she has done it usually sounds something like this:

“Oh, it’s really simple. You just chop the xx and boil it for a while, then slice up the yy and salt it and let it sit, then make the sauce and put it on the stove to simmer, then cut up everything else except the xx, the yy, and the zz and…”

You probably get where I’m going with this.

Beyond, “cut everything up and throw it in an instant pot or slow cooker where it all will cook at the same time and not require much else from me,” I do not do much in the kitchen.

I summed up my cooking/meal prep strategies in a recent post titled, “Six ADHD Cooking Hacks,” which I hope some of you found helpful.

The idea for that post, though, came from a different one written by Black Girl, Lost Keys called, ” How To Cook When You Have Funky Executive Function.”

The writer extolled the virtues of sheet pan meals, which I had never heard of.

One sheet meals – These are the cousin of the one-pot meal, and I love them. I love foods with different textures so sometimes the soups and the one pots get a little boring. I want something with some crisp to it. Then I can chop up some veggies, season up some meat, toss it all on a baking sheet and run away. What more could a woman ask for?? I couldn’t ask for more than that at all.

Black Girl, Lost Keys: “How To Cook When You Have Funky Executive Function

I thought, okay, I could give that try. It could be easy and yummy, and I do get sick of soups sometimes.

“Get a sheet pan” was added to my mental to-do list and I subsequently forgot all about it.

Brussel sprouts were on my mind this week, though. And my favorite way to make Brussel sprouts is to roast them in the oven with bacon.

Eating my way through a whole pound of caramelized, well-salted Brussel sprouts with crisp chunks of bacon interspersed throughout is an indulgence I’ll permit once a year or so.

I knew doing so would be a high carb, high fat, low protein indulgence. I was sure I could find a recipe that would, somehow, help me make this treat conform to my 40% protein, 30% fat, 30% carbohydrate macro-nutrient goals.

It didn’t require much to find one. Wholesomedelicious has one for Rosemary Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken with Bacon and Apples that seemed like it would fit the bill.

There are a number of recipes I have already tweaked, but they were all ones I had made according to the recipe several times prior (Eight Easy High Protein, Low Carb, Low Fat, Whole Food, Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Meal Recipes). This would be the first that I would try to tweak without ever having made it the “right” way first.

It loaded into MyFitnessPal easily, and as expected, was higher in fat than the 40-30-30 ratio I was targeting.

I tweaked it every which way I could. I cut the olive oil to 1/4 cup. I doubled the chicken to 3 lbs. I couldn’t think of anything else that might get me where I wanted the ratios to be…

Except for cutting out the bacon.

Oh, how it makes my heart hurt to admit I omitted the bacon from this recipe, but omit it, I did.

To try to make up for this outrage, I removed one of the apples and added in a pound of sweet potato instead, because I love sweet potato.

Then I went out to buy a sheet pan. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where I got completely distracted and proceeded to buy a few wholly unnecessary items along with the sheet pan I went in to purchase.

A new coffee mug and two pounds of coffee. I could have been worse. And I love the coffee mug.

It was then time to hit the supermarket. I grabbed everything I needed and came home excited to make my first sheet pan recipe.

I preheated the oven, chopped everything up, and away we went.

Before cooking. I sprinkled some paprika on top because it was ugly without it.

Except… after I popped the pan in the oven and started to set the timer, I decided I wanted to use the timer on the microwave instead, and killed the timer on the oven. I set the microwave timer, waited 15 minutes, and then… nothing. I’d accidentally turned the oven off when I turned off the oven timer.

Take #2 went better. But after 15 minutes, things still weren’t cooked. So, back in it went for another 15 minutes. And then another 10 minutes on a higher temp to crisp everything up, except nothing really got crisp, and by then I was tired and hungry and sick of being in the kitchen.

The meal was fine. But I was tired and irrationally angry at the food, so I can’t say I enjoyed my first sheet meal to the extent I was hoping to.

After cooking

By the time I finished, divided the recipe into 8 servings, and sat down to eat, I was that type of totally spent I get sometimes where I just want to cry and sleep. After eating and cleaning up the kitchen a little, I went straight to bed and was asleep by 8:30.

The sheet meal recipe had taken far too much out of me. All told, it wound up requiring a lot longer in the kitchen, and a lot more effort, than I’m used to spending on my meals.

Would I do something like this again? I don’t know. Maybe. But it would have to be sometime when I’d built up my energy stores, and that was not the case yesterday.

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