I love food. I love all kinds of flavors, and when I have time to make up something wonderful and complicated I enjoy the process and the results. But sometimes it is Monday night, and I am hungry as hell, tired and in need of food. I fight the urge to grab something to go on these nights, but the only way I pull it off is by knowing that I always have the means to make a healthy meal that takes about ten minutes worth of work.
Here is one of those easy paleo meals: A simple name would be dead animal and plant roasted until they are done.
In this case, the animal is some high-quality sausage from a local farm, and the plant is broccoli from the nearest market. The only other ingredients are salt, pepper, olive oil and heat. Magical. The fact of the matter is that you could do the same thing with ground beef formed into small patties, chicken thighs (the best thing, ever!) or pork chops, along with cut up cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus (add the thin veggies later, or they will get cooked to oblivion). You could even combine a bunch of these things together, you crazy monkeys!
Below are step-by-step instructions and enough pictures to explain the process.
Turn on the oven
Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the veggies
Wash the veggies – it doesn’t matter if they are organic or even from your own backyard. We are not animals, so get them under water and get the nasty yuck off of them. Here’s Rob’s soak, spin and shake method, but you can also just rinse them under running water.
Cut them up so they are not too much larger than the pieces of meat you are using I cut the broccoli in half, but if it were bigger, I would have gone with quarters. Don’t panic (Petra, it is not an exact science, so put the digital scale away and relax), it will all be OK. A good sharp knife comes in very handy here, and almost every day in your kitchen. Get one of at least tolerable quality and keep it sharp.
Oil the pan
Prep your heavy enameled cast iron roaster or similar pan that can take the heat. Put olive oil on the bottom and spread it around. You can use a piece of veggie as the spreading tool.
Add the veggies and spices
Shake the veggies dry (yes, again, you want as little water as possible on them) and add them. Drizzle them with oil (don’t be shy, get them oily, and they will get a couple crispy spots, which is nice), and add salt and pepper. If you have chipotle powder, I would highly suggest using a little, as it is the grandest of spices.
Mix in the meat, put into heat
Add the meat to random spots in the pan, and stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes, give or take.
We’re ready to eat!
Pull it out of the oven, squeeze a little spicy mustard on your plate and eat.
You will be surprised how delicious this simple combination is.
Enjoy, and I promise that I will share something a little more complicated with you some day soon.