When the long summer days fade into autumn, it can be difficult to get motivated to do even the simplest of tasks, especially when it comes to cooking. Planning, preparing, and cooking meals on a daily basis can be exhausting, especially after a full day of activity. An answer to this common issue is preparing your meals ahead of time. The reward? Meals that are ready to eat when you are! No additional work needed!
Need some meal prep motivation? Here’s an easy, delicious, and nutritious meal to get you started.
Garlic Sage Roasted Chicken Thighs
One of our favorite ways to cook chicken thighs is stuffed with greens. We purchased boneless and skinless chicken thighs for this recipe, which are perfect for stuffing. We added mixed power greens by placing a handful in the middle of the underside of the thighs, sandwiched the two ends together, and secured them with a toothpick. We substituted the lemon for 2 tsps of apple cider vinegar and followed the rest of the recipe as noted. Because the chicken thighs are boneless and skinless, we reduced the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and cooked for 25-30 minutes. Save the drippings from this dish and add them to the roasted butternut squash recipe below.
These chicken thighs pair nicely with this roasted butternut squash:
Recipe for roasting butternut squash: southernliving.com/recipes/roasted-butternut-squash
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe:
Preheat oven to 400 F
Wash the outside of the squash
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
1 medium butternut squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sprinkle with onion and or garlic powder (optional)
Cut off the stem of squash and carefully cut squash lengthwise creating two halves.
Scoop out the seeds – quick tip: do you have a grapefruit spoon? You know you do, and it’s probably buried in the back of your silverware drawer somewhere waiting to be rescued. Well, I have found that this type of spoon is PERFECT for scooping out squash seeds. It’s precise and quick. If you don’t have one, get one. It’s worth it.
Coat the cut side of each half with olive oil and season to taste. Place cut side down on the parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 50-55 minutes.
Keep that grapefruit spoon handy. Once the squash is done, carefully turn over each half and cool to handle and scoop away the squash from its outer skin. Of course if you don’t have a grapefruit spoon, any large spoon will do the job.
Place squash in a large bowl, add the drippings from the baked chicken thighs and mash together until well incorporated. Add butter, olive oil or any of your favorite liquids to reach the desired texture.
We paired the squash and chicken thighs with sautéed collard greens and roasted cloves of garlic.
There are several items in these meals that are roasted. To save time, prepare the items to be roasted first and roast at the same time (butternut squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and whole heads of garlic). They can all be roasted at the same temperature – you’ll remove each item at different times. First the broccoli, then the garlic, next the sweet potatoes, and lastly the squash.
To save time, plate your food prep meals in storage containers so you can just grab a meal, heat, and eat, with no fuss! For longer storage times, consider freezing the meals in a freezer safe container.
Story and photos by Melissa Donald