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If you are in Texas or another state that is opening up again, perhaps you have mixed feelings like I do. While I love the concept of dining out with family and friends, I have no confidence that it’s safe. To the contrary, I think May might turn out to be the riskiest month of all. I am looking forward to getting home to my well equipped kitchen and my garden, and I am mentally planning get-togethers on my porch with two or three socially distanced friends at a time, but I will still be home alone in my kitchen cooking most of my meals.

After 130 home-cooked meals in 45 days, I am running out of ideas, and maybe you are too. Here’s another sheet-pan dinner recipe for you, along with two more weeks of ideas from my coronavirus cooking journal. Yes, you will see some repeats from my earlier blog, because I’ve found a few things that are really good and really easy. I haven’t eaten a single dish two meals in a row. I pick up on Week 3, where I left off, so you will see references to leftovers from earlier meals.

I’ve never been a cook who made a stew and ate on it all week. I went to the other extreme and rarely had leftovers in my refrigerator or freezer. That was one of the adjustments I had to make several years into widowhood, when I decided to eat healthy and lose weight: I had to be willing to throw away fresh produce. Now, trying to avoid the grocery store, I have acquired new skills in the adaptive use and repurposing of whatever I have on hand. I’m a better cook as a result. Here’s a recent example.

Sheet-Pan Cooking

Sheet-Pan Sausage With Spring Onions, Potatoes and Mustard

Adapted from a recipe by Kay Chung, NYTimes Cooking

An hour or two before roasting, mix together

1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Add to the marinade, making sure all potato surfaces are coated with oil

6–8 fingerling potatoes, sliced in ¼-inch rings
½ cup sauerkraut, well drained
4 green onions, split lengthwise

Prepare and set aside a dressing for the dish:

1 tablespoon oil olive
1 tablespoon water
½ tablespoon Dijon or country mustard
1 green onion, minced
½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice or cider vinegar

1–2 Italian sausage or bratwurst

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove potato and sauerkraut mix from bowl with a fork or slotted spoon and spread across the bottom of the sheet pan. Roast on the bottom oven shelf for 20 minutes. Stir and turn. Prick sausage with a fork all over and place on top the vegetable mix. Roast an additional 20 minutes (a fat bratwurst may need to be added after 10 minutes), turning halfway through.

Remove from oven and pour the mustard dressing over the dish before transferring to a plate. Sprinkle the vegetables with additional chopped parsley if desired.

Serves 1.

Notes: Like most sheet-pan recipes, nothing is exact. Feel free to adjust amounts as you choose. This is a tart dish. If you prefer a sweet-and-sour flavor, experiment with adding a tablespoon of brown sugar or honey to the marinade. I think roasted carrots would add a nice flavor and color complement. My mother-in-law, a superb hostess and terrible cook, believed that if she set a pretty table and put parsley on the plate, everyone would think that dinner was delicious. And she was known to do that with TV dinners. But she had a good point. Parsley and other herbs definitely liven up a plate when meat and vegetables are all the same beige color.

Week 3  of Coronavirus Cooking
Day 15:

Breakfast: Leftover mushrooms and pancetta with spinach, goat cheese and egg on toast

Lunch: Grilled pimiento cheese sandwich

Dinner: Pesto chicken thigh and pasta tossed with spinach

Day 16:

Breakfast: Egg muffin with picante sauce

Lunch: Ham and cheese on toast with mayonnaise, mustard and tomato jam

Dinner: Italian sausage and frozen sweet potato fries

Day 17:

Breakfast: English breakfast—toast, fried deli ham and over-easy egg, beans and broiled tomato

Lunch: Sautéed leftover pork, red bell pepper and onions with mango salsa and picante sour cream in a soft tortilla

Dinner: Barbecue brisket on a whole wheat bun

Day 18:

Breakfast: Egg muffin with picante sauce

Sunday Lunch: Hamburger steak with mushroom, onion and gorgonzola cheese topping, fresh asparagus and hash-brown potatoes

Supper: Potato and sausage chowder. Yum!

Day 19:

Breakfast: Avocado toast with fried egg, bacon and goat cheese crumbles

Lunch: Cheeseburger with tomato jam, mayonnaise and mustard

Dinner: Brisket, sweet potato fries and red cabbage

Day 20:

Breakfast: Taquito omelet

Lunch: ½ pimento cheese sandwich with a cup of chowder

Snack: Homemade guacamole with tostados

Supper: Salad with spinach, antipasto and leftover chicken

Day 21:

Breakfast: Chopped hard-boiled egg, goat cheese and hummus on warm pita bread

Lunch: Peanut butter and crackers

Dinner: Pasta carbonara with asparagus

Week 4
Day 22:

Breakfast: Spinach and sausage omelet

Lunch: Takeout from La Duni

Dinner: Sheet-pan Italian sausage, hash-brown potatoes and cardamom pears

Day 23:

Breakfast: Egg muffin with picante sauce

Lunch: Grilled pimiento cheese sandwich with chowder

Dinner: Sheet-pan salmon with yogurt sauce, sweet potato fries and asparagus

Day 24:

Breakfast: Brisket omelet

Lunch: Deli ham sandwich with tomato jam and cup of chowder

Dinner: Homemade beef stew with sour dough baguette

Easter Sunday, Day 25:

Breakfast: Fried egg on hash-brown potatoes with bacon and roasted pears

Easter Tapas

Tapas while watching the Bocelli concert: olives, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, pickles, guacamole and almonds

Dinner: Baked ham with mango salsa, mashed potatoes, green beans and baguette

Day 26:

Breakfast: Egg muffin with picante sauce

Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich, with raw spinach, tomatoes, pickle relish, mayonnaise and mustard

Dinner: Trader Joe’s ravioli and marinara sauce with coarsely chopped chicken

Day 27:

Breakfast: Fried egg on a bed of sausage, mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese

Lunch: Italian bread salad with leftover salmon, antipasto, tomato, spinach and dill

Dinner: Hamburger patty with mushroom and gorgonzola sauce, sweet potato fries and cole slaw

Day 28:

Breakfast: Egg scrambled with cheese, bacon and picante on sliced avocado

Lunch: Grilled pimiento cheese and tomato sandwich with tostados and hummus

Dinner: Sheet-pan Italian sausage, cabbage and roasted grapes

Notes: Unless specified otherwise, bread and toast mean multigrain; egg means “fried” in a nonstick skillet with a little Pam; potatoes are fingerlings, hash-browned in a sheet pan; antipasto is a refrigerated mix of 3-bean salad, marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. My recipe for Gluten-Free Egg Muffins can be found on my blog. Unless otherwise noted, meals are cooked from scratch, though I use store-bought pimiento cheese, pesto sauce, broths and the like, as well as occasional frozen vegetables.

I have not provided recipes or extensive notes here, since I have been sharing recipes and tips regularly on Instagram and my Facebook page, and some of the recipes can be found in my blog archive. If you would like any recipes, cooking tips or preparation details, use the comment form below to make your request and I will post the information.

About the author:

Ella Wall Prichard blogs and posts on social media about her travel, food, cooking, gardening and life in general as a single. She is author of Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows, published in 2018 by 1845 Books, an imprint of the Baylor University Press, and co-editor of the top-selling Fiesta: Favorite Recipes of South Texas, first published in 1973 by the Junior League of Corpus Christi.