My Go-To Meals

I thought I would share a few of my go-to meals during the week. Because meals that are cheap, healthy and liked by picky husbands everyone are hard to come by. So, here are a few that we have frequently in the Gatlin home.

1. Pesto Corn Pasta (I got this from Blue Apron, so I can take no credit)
I know it sounds like a weird combo, but its actually really yummy. This recipe makes dinner for 2-3 people, so you might need to double it.

– Pasta (I prefer whole wheat, but you can use any kind that you want!)
–  2 tbsp of olive oil
– 1 ear of corn (or a small can of corn)
– 1 clove of garlic
– 2 roma tomatoes
– 1/4 cup of pesto
– Parmesan cheese – as a garnish

– Heat a large pot of water to boiling on high. Add pasta and cook until done.
– Cut the corn kernels off the cob/drain and rinse the can of corn. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Chop the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
– Heat  olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the corn and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the pesto and mix it in with all the ingredients.
– Add the cooked pasta and stir it all together. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional, but is cheese ever something that people opt out of?!) and ENJOY.

Seriously, we eat it a lot in this house.

2 – Chicken Apple Sausage and Roasted Veggies AKA “The Mixture” (thanks Katherine and Jonathan!)

Let me preface this with the fact that after I heard about this recipe I avoided it for a long time before ever trying it. I just don’t like the idea of chicken apple sausage. Sausage is made from pork and you have it on an occasional breakfast biscuit and then immediately regret all of your life choices. Despite my love of biscuits, I hardly ever have sausage, so I don’t even know why I felt to loyal to the OG breakfast meat, but it took me forever to make this. However, I tried in one fateful night when I was feeling desperate for a new dinner choice after eating the same 3 meals over and over brave, and I decided to give it a whirl. And SWEET HEAVENS I love it so much. When I made it the first time I didn’t tell Michael that it was chicken apple sausage, because when I tell him stuff like that he automatically writes it off as “not my thing.” Turns out he loves it as much as I do.

– Chicken apple sausage (I use Aidells – it’s all natural). I cook 3 sausages – 1 for me and 2 for Michael.
– Veggies of your choice (I add small red potatoes, broccoli and butternut squash)
– Olive oil
– Salt, pepper and any seasonings you want to add (I typically add a little bit of garlic powder)

– Heat oven to 375º
– Chop veggies into chunks and put them in a mixing bowl. Add just enough olive oil to coat them. Add salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste.
– Cut sausage (the thickness of the slice is up to you) and set aside.
– Take cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil (this is optional, but makes clean up a breeze!).
– Spray the surface with cooking spray (veggies can easily get stuck to the foil, causing it to rip with you stir them, i learned this the hard way).
– Put the veggies and sausage on the pan (I separate them because maybe I’m OCD) and put them in the oven
– Set the timer for 10 minutes. When it goes off take the pan out and stir/flip the veggies and sausage. Do this 3 times. (the total cooking time is 30 minutes).
– I take out the sausage after 20 minutes, but that’s a personal preference.
– Top with more seasonings, parmesan cheese, sriracha or any topping of your preference!

3. Mexican Dump/Taco Chili
This is an easy and budget friendly recipe that I cook year round. Sometimes make a batch of it on Sunday and can make it into a lunch for several days.

– 1 can of black beans
– 1 small can of corn
– 1 can of kidney beans
– 1 small can of pinto beans
– 1 small can of tomato paste
– 1 can of tomato sauce
– 1 packet of taco seasoning
– 1 pound of ground beef/turkey

– Brown and drain the meat, and season it with the taco packet as directed.
– Literally just dump everything into your crock pot (I wasn’t playing around when I said it was easy).
– Cook it on low for 6 hours.
– Top with cheese (do you notice a trend here?), sour cream, Scoops or whatever your soul desires.
– Enjoy dinner for the rest of time because this makes a lot!

So, there you have it, folks. My top 3 go-to meals. Easy, cheap and relatively healthy. Please share any go to meals that you and your family enjoy!

See you on Friday, friends!

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