In the Kitchen with Gwendolyn

In the Kitchen with Gwendolyn

Article written be Gwendolyn Rehm, Yellowbird Foodshed subscriber and fan

As a toddler mom, budding environmentalist, budget lover, and music teacher, my time in the kitchen has changed! Every meal I cook is more intentional with ingredients and waste. Yellowbird Foodshed makes the ingredient part simpler for sure! We try to prepare two vegan meals to lessen our carbon footprint. With any meat we do consume, we try and source locally and responsibly raised. 

Now for waste, this one is a toughie! I typically look for low-waste or recyclable packaging. I also cook as much as I can turning on the stove as few times as possible, especially in the summer. I always felt silly turning on the stove multiple times a week while my AC is running. So, here became one of my solutions; multi-layered cooking. 

Typically it would look something like the following recipe:

Chicken 

  • marinade in olive oil and seasoning of your choice for 20-30min.

  • Plan a mild enough seasoning to be flexible; you can add this to salads, make buffalo wraps, chicken sandwiches, etc. my goal is always enough chicken for 2-3 meals depending on the week’s meal plan.

Roasted Veggies 

  • prep while chicken marinades

  • This varies based on what is in season, eggplant, asparagus, tomatoes, you get the gist.

  • These go into a glass pan with very light olive oil, salt (we use pink Himalayan) and pepper

  • Cook potatoes - clean and poke; pick small ones so they will finish by the time the rest is done

Back to Chicken 

  • preheat oven *425

  • Put the chicken on a cookie sheet leaving off the extra oil.

  • cook chicken for about 24 min flipping halfway. Always check the internal temperature before finishing

  • When this goes in, put the veggies in too

While these are cooking prep your next meal. Could be sheet fajitas (onions, peppers, black beans with homemade taco seasoning all on a cookie sheet), chicken nuggets, homemade pizza (or store-bought, I don’t judge) or something else. This will go in whenever the veggies or chicken come out. 

When the fajita (or other meal is done) turn off your oven. I know what you’re thinking “Gwendolyn, you forgot about the potatoes!” Why yes, I did. It was very intentional! They will continue to cook as your oven cools without using more energy. Now, I will say, set an after dinner or bedtime reminder because If you’re like me you’ll forget to pull them the first time or two. 

Clean up will also be cut down because of consolidating the number of knives/dishes used in prep by reusing items to hold chopped veggies; you can even reuse the cookie sheet you cooked the chicken on for the fajita veggies. 

My goal is always to always have both racks utilized every time I turn on the oven. Sometimes it is cooking chicken nuggets while this process starts, sometimes it’s a pizza, but turning on the oven less typically equals less clean up, less prep time, and more prepared food so you are less likely to eat out/eat junk for meals!

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