One thing that I hear a lot of people say when it comes to cooking and making dinner is how they feel that it takes a long time to make something “really good” or that they don’t have the time to prepare a full meal.
One of the things I like to do when I grocery shop is to have a game-plan for the types of meals I would like to have over the course of the next several weeks and to buy accordingly. Even though I currently live by myself in my apartment I have a tendency to either buy items in bulk or buy larger pieces of meat (about getting the better price). Also having past experience working in a meat-room for a retail store I know that for a variety of items they just cut the same piece of meat different ways, i.e. boneless pork loin doubles as numerous types of chops as well as being country style ribs (also a very easy piece of meat to cut yourself at home).
Back to the point is that I plan a variety of meals because then when I get home and unpack, I like to prep a lot of meals right then and there and then individually freeze a large variety of meals because then with work and school, I can wake up every morning pull something out of the freezer and by nigh-time I can just put it in the oven and make a quick side dish.
For this particular instance I used a pork loin which I cut into what I like to call “mini-roasts.” When I’m at the store I see whats on sale and I will pick up different fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. This particular meal can be done to your own individual liking. I already happened to have crushed walnuts from something else I had made so I took my mini-roast, cut a slit into it, like a butterfly cut, then I stuffed it with apples, fontina cheese, and crushed walnut). This then gets sealed and goes into the freezer. With a variety of vegetables you can change it up, i.e. I have some that may have different types of squash or mushrooms in them as well as other cheeses such as cheddar.
Then when it comes time to cook, I just put some oil in an oven casserole dish, put it in the oven, and prepare my sides. Tonight I went with a yellow squash. Fairly simple, I just saute the squash in olive oil with some cracked pepper and some salt. Cook until tender. The optional addition I did was a balsamic reduction sauce I made to pour on the squash (In this instance I had used a juniper-berry infused balsamic.