I enjoy a night off from cooking just as much as the next person -- but it often ends up costing me more in the long run: I spend more than what I would have if I'd have just cooked at home AND food at restaurants is not the healthiest, or the best quality, either. Sometimes I wonder why I did I just spend my hard earned money on this?? It didn't even taste good! (Or my digestion suffers later! Ugh!)
One of my goals with meal planning recently is to add more variety, fun and keep it healthy, simple and relatively easy! My kids seem to be loving the changes I've made AND they are WANTING to eat at home! (i.e. They have a little more enthusiasm for what mom is cooking! HAHA!)
One of the things I've implemented every week is "Sandwich Night". Now, this isn't where I just throw out some loaves of bread, cold cuts, lettuce, etc.. Although I'm not opposed to doing that on short notice or when something unexpected pops up, I am making sandwich night FUN and delicious while still staying within my focus and goal of my meals being more healthy than not! (I'm not 100% perfect at this by any means; I opt for an 80-90% ratio of healthy to not so healthy.)
Recently, I made 'Sloppy Joeys" and we had a 'Chik Fil A' night -- both went over very well!
**Forgive my lack of photography skills! I do the best I can! lol**
The 'Sloppy Joeys", featured on the red plate, were so easy! You need a good roast, sliced, with some marbling so the meat stays moist. I slow roasted mine in my oven in my large cast iron pot -- it was delicious! It helps if you go to a local butcher shop to get your meat. The butcher can slice it for you and it is usually a much better quality than at the grocery store (unless they have an amazing fresh meat department!)
Here is what you need to make your own:
**Don't let the amount of seasonings scare you! I promise it is delcious and it will be OK!**
~1 Beef Roast, 3-7lbs depending on your family size (or make extra and freeze for another time!)
~Garlic Powder, 1 TBSP per POUND of meat
~Onion Powder, 1 TBSP per POUND of meat
~Pepper, 1 TSP per pound of meat (Or Black Pepper Vitality Oil from Young Living -- you need about 3-5 drops depending on how much meat you are cooking)
~Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt, 2 TSP per POUND of meat
~Italian Seasoning, 1 TBSP per POUND of meat (or you can use Vitality Oils from Young Living like I do -- I use Oregano, Thyme and Basil Vitality oils, I use 3-6 drops of each depending on how much meat I'm cooking)
~1 Large Yellow onion, sliced thin
~1 Large can of Diced Tomatoes
~Several Banana Pepper, seeded and sliced (or you can use Green Bell Pepper if you're not a fan of Banana Peppers).
~Beef or Vegetable Broth, 1 carton, give or take, you want enough to cover the meat at least halfway
I throw it all in my cast iron pot, make sure it all gets covered and mixed into the broth, then cover and cook at 300 Degrees until done. It is super tender when done!
I had gluten free buns and regular wheat based buns which I lightly buttered, then toasted. I added a little bit of shredded mozzarella, or you could do provolone, on the bottom bun, then meat, a little more cheese and popped them back in the oven (still at 300) until the cheese was melted.
We had some raw veggies and chips with ours. Simple, quick and easy -- and not a lot of fuss or work! SO GOOD and satisfying!
Don't they look yummy!
Next up, we had a 'Chik Fil A" night -- this was so easy!
I got some gluten free chicken strips from my local Fresh Thyme Market. I had buns, lettuce, mayo, spinach, white cheddar cheese and bacon to top off our sandwiches. With it, I served raw carrots and cucumbers plus baked potato wedges! Super easy! This is a very quick and simple meal to throw together and it's FUN! My kids loved it and I had an easy night of "cooking". I had gluten and regular buns. We used them straight from the package but for a little extra, you could steam them to make them super soft and warm! I like the Caulipower brand of chicken strips because the breading has a lot of flavor AND they are thinner which works better on a sandwich.
I used my Vitality Oils to season my potato wedges too -- Black Pepper, Parsley and Rosemary Vitality Oils made my wedges POP with amazing flavor!
I'm sure I'll have more delicious sandwich night ideas for you in the future but these have been our favorite so far. I hope you enjoy them too!
P.S. If you want to know more about Vitality oils, send me an email!