Most days I like to cook.
No days do I like to clean.
Gone are the days (at least for now!) where I would luxuriously cook with music blasting, a glass of wine, eat dinner slowly with my husband after work and chat while he cleaned the kitchen. Nowadays, weekday cooking involves chopping/stirring/mixing while either a) listening to Disney theme music on the kid's karaoke speaker, b) listening to "Mommy's music" (aka slightly inappropriate 90's R&B/Hip Hop or Reggaeton music with edited cuts) while dancing with older Child A, and Child B on my chest in a carrier or c) the sweet serenades of "is it ready yet," or "can I have ANOTHER snack, please!" And cleaning? Well, I get most of it done while cooking, in between pot checks, or it's done after the kids go to bed. My favorite call from my husband: "Um, I'm tired and don't want to clean the kitchen. Neither should you. Please order out. I'll pick it up." But most days, I hold down the kitchen.
One of my favorite ways to minimize clean-up and also the time in the kitchen over the week is to chop and cook a bunch of vegetables at once. This usually involves:
- 3-4 baking sheets
- 1 or 2 mixing bowls
- chopping board + knife
- oven set to 400 degrees
I most definitely have a go to list of favorite vegetables that can be roasted altogether at the same temperature, and provide a variety of options for various meals throughout the week. These include, typically 3 at a time:
Brussel Sprouts: halved, drizzled with olive oil + salt & pepper or this awesome McCormick Mediterranean Salt (30+ minutes for crispy bites)
Beets: peeled, chopped + olive oil, salt & pepper (20+ minutes)*I keep disposable gloves and wear these when chopping beets because I love my light nail polish & that red beet juice ain't no joke!*
Sweet Potatoes: peeled, cubed + olive oil, salt & cinnamon (30ish minutes)
Butternut Squash: peeled, insides scooped out, chopped + olive oil, salt + drizzle of honey (25+ minutes)
Baby Carrots: tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper (20+ minutes)
Cauliflower: chopped + a) olive oil, salt, pepper or b) roasted with onions, olive oil and garam masala seasoning (25+ minutes)
Eat some, store some and easy clean up with the foil! Perfect for the toddler, as weeknight side dishes, or healthier lunch sides.
R&B jams in the background is optional.