Don’t Forget…The Oven!

For a lot of people, the oven can evoke thoughts of baked goods like warm chocolate chip cookies and mom’s flaky pie crust, or bubbling cheeses and creamy casseroles.  Not exactly daily healthy foods. But the oven is one of my favorite modes of cooking.  Roasting, baking, broiling, braising…all amazingly simple ways to cook healthy foods.  The flavors become more concentrated and something like a sweet potato, that someone might normally throw a ton of butter or brown sugar on, if you roast them in the oven long enough, their own natural sugars start to caramelize and you don’t need all that extra stuff on top.  I usually just dash mine with some cinnamon and they’re good to go!

While it may seem like using the oven can take much longer than other ways to make food, that extra time is actually the best part about it!  You can essentially throw the food in the oven and continue to be productive around the house.  There’s no standing over the stove tossing or stirring.  Just be smart about planning your oven time and you’ll find that it can truly work in your favor.

A perfect example of this was my breakfast this morning.  I know, cooking breakfast? On a weekday? In the OVEN? Sounds crazy but its really not.  I was up at 6am to get to the gym and on my way home I was thinking about what to eat for breakfast.  I always have a smorgasbord or veggies in my fridge, always have eggs handy, so I decided to make some egg white muffins!  I’ll put the recipe in a separate post, but let me walk you through how easy this was.  I get home and turn the oven on.  While that’s preheating I grab a few veggies, chop them up; separate out my egg whites, and start assembling.  By that time the oven is pre-heated and I can just throw them in, set the timer and walk away! I was able to take a shower, and get completely ready for work while they were cooking.  The little delights ended up being ready about 10 minutes before I was going to leave so I took them out to cool off for a bit.  I tossed two of the muffins in a ziplock baggie on my way out the door, and breakfast is served! Plus I have 2 leftover for tomorrows breakfast too!

So don’t forget… the oven doesn’t have to just mean desserts, or savory dinners.  The oven is a lot more versatile and hectic life friendly than you’d think, you just have to know the right ways to utilize it!

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