What to do about dinner? Try a really quick one pan dinner. My criteria for these choices was that everything, protein, carbs, and vegetables has to be cooked in the same pan, without fuss. No taking things out and cleaning out the pan. The only concession is that you may want to add a salad or some bread.
The casserole is the tried and true, old school choice here, but there are casseroles and casseroles. Nothing wrong with your Mom’s chicken with noodles, mushroom soup and green beans. But there are also more modern choices. Quinoa, farro, chard, and spices have made their way into the casserole world.
Something fairly new these days is a sheet pan dinner. All the components are placed on a sheet pan and cooked in the oven. This can be pretty tricky. If you’re not careful you may end up with burnt brussels sprouts and tough chewy chicken. It was harder to stick to the criteria for this one because sometimes you just have to add something at a different time. But watch out; every time you open your oven, the temperature drops several degrees, which can increase the cooking time substantially. One way to get around this can be to wrap some delicate or messy items, like spinach or asparagus, in an aluminum foil package quickly placed on the sheet pan towards the end of cooking.
One thing which will speed up dinner is to do some of the prep beforehand, in the morning or even the night before. Items like bell peppers, onions and butternut squash can be cut up and placed in plastic bags in the refrigerator without loss of quality. Or you can even buy some already prepared if you are really pressed for time.
As always, prices are for this area and for Safeway and Fry's will require at least a Club Membership card. Some may require digital coupons as well. We try to indicate all restrictions, special conditions etc. Sprouts does not require any cards and does not have any special savings days. Sprouts does have double ad Wednesday, when you get last week’s and this week’s ad prices. All three stores have digital savings available to those with appropriate accounts, go to their web pages for details and directions. Fry’s at least will give you the advertised digital price if you state you do not have appropriate technology. Safeway sometimes has coupons which you can access digitally or clip out of the ad.
Deal of the Week
$.77/each—Blackberries, 6 oz box
$.88/lb—Tomatoes on the Vine, OR Green Beans
$.79/lb—Jalapeno Peppers $.99/each—Red Bell Peppers OR Eggplant
$.99/each—Carrots, mini peeled, 1 lb bag, AZ Grown
$2.00/each—Strawberries, 1 lb box
$1/99/lb—Pork, center cut loin chops, bone in
$1.99/lb—Beef, ground, 73% lean, 5 lb roll
$.99/lb— Turkey Breasts, frozen, bone in
$1/29/lb—Chicken, Thighs or Drumsticks, bone in, fresh Heritage Farms
$6.99/lb—Beef, Boneless Ribeye Steak, Super Value Pack
Other Good Deals
$.99/each (must buy 4 or more)—Campbell’s ChunkySoup, select varieties
$1/each—Kroger Brand, sour cream OR cottage cheese OR dip, select varieties
$2/dz—Eggs, Simple Truth, Cage Free OR Simply Orange Juice, 1.75 liter
$1.69/each (must buy 6 or more)—Frozen Dinners, Marie Callander’s select varieties
$1.49/each—Tortillas, Mission, 10-12 count, select varieties
Digital Coupons—Must use Digital Coupons to get these prices, see ad for directions
$1.99/each—Laundry detergent, 32-40 loads
$2.50/each—Dreyer’s Ice Cream, select varieties
$1.99/each—Almond Breeze, Blue Diamond, 64 fl oz, select varieties
Deal of the Week
$.88/lb—Tomatoes on theVine
$1.99/each—Grapes, Red or Green, seedless
$1.79/lb—Potatoes, Baby Red, Yukon or Fingerling
$.99/bunch—Kale, Organic, assorted varieties
$1.97/lb—Beef, London broil or top round roastt, or family pack steaks, boneless
$2.97/lb—Beef, ground, packages of 3 lb or more, in the meat case, 93%lean
Pork—Hog Wild Sale
$1.67/lb—Assorted loin chops, bone in, family pack
$1.69/lb—Sirloin Roasts, boneless, sold in the bag
$1.99/lb—Country Style shoulder ribs OR Sirloin chops, boneless, family pack
$2.99lb—Center cut loin roast, bone in
Other Good Deals
$1/each—Croissant Cinnamon Twists, 4 pack
$2/each—Frozen Fruit, Signature Kitchens, select varieties
$99/each—Eggs, Lucerne, large, 18 count, limit 2$1/67/each—Peanut Butter OR Preserves OR Grape Jelly, Signature Kitchens, select varieties
$1.67/each—Cheese, Lucerne, Shredded or sliced, select varieties
Coupon Savings - Click or Clip
$.99/each—Pineapple, limit 2
$1.67/each—Ketchup OR BBQ sauce OR Salad Dressing, select varieties, limit 4
$.88/each—Greek Yogurt, Dannon, limit 10
Just for U members only
Coupon for $5 off your next order when you spend $50 or more
$.99/24 pack—Refreshe purified drinking water
Deal of the Week
$.77/lb—Grapes, red or green
$1/each—Raspberries, 6 oz box
$.33/bunch—Cilantro OR Red Radishes OR Green Onions
$98/each—Red Mangos OR Hot House Cucumbers
$1.50/lb—Green Beans OR Brussels Sprouts
$.98/each—Beets, bunches, red or gold
$2.98/each—Organic cubed butternut squash, 15 oz pkg
$.99/lb—Chicken, thighs, boneless, skinless
$2.99/lb—Chicken, breast tenders, boneless, skinless
$1.29/lb—Pork, loin roast, boneless
$2.99/lb—Beef, Rump roast, Arizona Grown
$16.99/lb—Beef, Filet Mignon steaks, Arizona Grown
Super Sale on Lamb—20%off
Other Good Deals
$1.99/lb—Raisins, Thompson Seedless, bulk
$.69/lb—Rice, white or brown, bulk
$2/each—Frozen Fruit, Sprouts Brand, select varieties
$3/each—Talenti Gelato, 1 pt, select varieties
$2.99/lb—Butter, Sprouts brand
$1.99/each—Half and Half, Sprouts brand, 32 oz
$.99/each—Tofu, Sprouts brand, 14 oz, select varieties
$3.99/lb—Cheese, Pepper jack, bulk cut (in the cheese case)
Buy One Get One Free—Fresh Mozzarella cheese, Mauro and Gianni
Sheet Pan Chicken with Vegetables
Line a full size sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1 cup cut up butternut squash, about 1 to 1.5 inch dice (boxes on sale at Sprouts this week)
about 1/2 pound small tomatoes, mini heirloom are great
4 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
1 lb chicken breast, cut in bite sized pieces
about 3 to 4 Tablespoons Oilve Oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1 teaspoon Penzey”s Turkish seasoning (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425º
First of all, use whatever vegetables you like, just make sure that they will be cooked in the 20-25 minute cooking time. Possibilities might be, onions (strips, not diced), bell pepper strips, zucchini or yellow squash. Meat could be varied some too; bite size pieces of pork might be good. Seasonings—you ought to use some garlic powder, fresh garlic tends to burn. Salt and Pepper are also nearly essential. Beyond that, anything that seems good to you.
Fresh thyme leaves, chopped fresh rosemary, whatever, as long as it doesn’t burn. If you use some chili powder and the onions and bell peppers, you could serve with tortillas and call it fajitas.
Spread out the vegetables on the foil covered sheet pan. Don’t pile high, a single layer is best. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, salt, pepper and optional seasonings. Drizzle with a couple Tablespoons of olive oil. Mix this all up with your hands, or a utensil. Now add the chicken pieces. Spread around all over the pan on top of the veggies. Sprinkle on a little more salt and pepper.
Place the pan in the oven, middle or top rack. Let bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken is done. Serve hot. This can be served by itself, in which case there are about 2-3 servings. Add a salad and some bread and you can serve 3-4. This is not a dish to make for a crowd. If you try to pile too much on one pan, you will run into trouble as everything will not cook at the same rate. If you want more servings, add an extra pan full.
Think you are not going to have even 45 minutes to cook. Cut up the vegetables and meat the night before, store in sealed plastic bags, then mix up the seasonings in a little bowl. Prepare your pan. Then when you get back from soccer practice or choir practice or the City Council meeting, just heat up your oven, spread out the veggies and meat, sprinkle on the seasonings and oil, and Voila! Dinner in 30 minutes or less.
There are many variations using this technique. If you are willing to fuss a little more you can have a lot of fun with it.
For some other takes on the sheet pan dinner see these videos.
This is something between a sheet pan dinner and a one pot meal. But very tasty and not at all complicated. Serve with a good salad.
Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Chicken
Ingredients for Chicken
8-10 chicken wingettes or 4 small chicken thighs with bones and skin.
1/2 cup olive oil
t Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 Tablespoon whole fresh rosemary leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
t teaspoon dried mustard powder, or 1 Tablespoons prepared Dijon
1 Tablespoon paprika (Hungarian style)
1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (or to taste)
1 whole lemon juiced and cut up into 6 pieces.
For potatoes and carrots
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb baby potatoes, halved, or quartered, depending on size.
1/2 lb mini carrots, whole
1 cup frozen whole tiny onions, defrosted
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt to taste
Place all the marinade ingredients in a gallon bag. Squish it around to mix thoroughly Add the chicken and move and turn until all chicken is covered with marinade. Place in the refrigerator, let marinate at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to complete, heat oven to 400ºF Cut up potatoes if needed.
Prepare a baking dish or 1/4 sheet pan. Line with non-stick aluminum foil. Place potatoes, carrots and onions on pan, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Stir around to coat and spread across dish. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Remove chicken from marinade, making sure all pieces are well coated. Place chicken pieces among vegetables. If there is any leftover marinade, spoon over chicken pieces.
Place dish or pan in oven. Let bake for 30-40 minutes (for wingetts) or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft.
This recipe is based on one by Laura Vitale. http://laurainthekitchen.com
If you have kids, they would probably like it if you served this casserole. Serve with a salad, maybe follow with some fruit, or the nutrition police may be at your door.
Tater Tot Joes
Heat oven to 350º Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup mild salsa
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste (Go easy on the salt? Tater Tots™ have a lot.)
12 oz grated cheese, mild cheddar is always good. Could use Mexican mix or other.
1 lb package of Tater Tots™
First prepare Sloppy Joe.
In a skillet, brown ground beef and onion (does not have to be cooked through as it will be baked later.) Remove most of the fat.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the Tots. Cook a few minutes, should not be too runny, but should pour easily. Add a little stock or water if necessary.
Spread Meat mixture out in prepared dish. Spread out 8 oz of cheese over meat. Place Tater Tots™ in a nice pattern over the meat. Sprinkle remaining cheese over Tots.
Place in heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. Should be heated through and cheese should be melted and browned on top.
Or, if you’re looking for something tad more healthy in a casserole—