What to Cook

When you don't feel like cooking!

Welcome to issue #31 of Susanality, a free weekly newsletter. Thanks for being here! If you’re loving this newsletter, please consider a paid subscription. Having your support would mean a lot to me, as I continue to work hard to bring you fresh content on a weekly basis with additional posts and recipes going out to paid subscribers at least twice a month. Thanks again!

This week’s Susanality is featuring a guest post from another Substack writer, Caroline Chambers, whose newsletter is called —you guessed it— What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking. Her mission is to help you out with this perennial dilemma by delivering “One ridiculously impressive complete meal recipe delivered to your inbox every Sunday morning that dirties minimal dishes and requires under an hour of time”. I think that makes it pretty clear, and based on the popularity of her newsletter, there are a lot of people who want this!

Even though I don’t have two small children at my feet like Caroline does, I am writing a cookbook, so my brain is filled with other creative thoughts and my day full of other cooking projects that don’t always translate to dinner. There are times (lately) where I’m grateful to have someone else tell me what to do. 

Last night I put one of Caroline’s recipes to the test. It didn’t take me long to find one that appealed (most did), but I settled on this “10-Ingredient Roasted chicken, Cauliflower, and Potatoes with a Ridiculously Tasty Green Sauce”. I did need two sheet pans (which she tells you you might) instead of one, because my head of cauliflower was pretty big, and I wanted to have leftovers. I also swapped out the chicken for salmon because I was in the mood, and that green sauce seemed like it would be a great match for the salmon, which it was. Just add it 5 minutes later than you would for the chicken, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done to your liking.

Caroline’s posts are full of suggestions for swaps and subs, making her recipes super user-friendly. As promised, this was a very easy recipe that dirtied minimal dishes! I lined my sheet pans with parchment as instructed, so they only needed a quick wash. I think if I’d used foil instead, I could have gotten away without doing ANY dishes aside from rinsing out the blender! After the vegetables were in the oven, and I whizzed up the sauce, I found myself standing in the kitchen, just waiting for it to finish, which rarely happens in this house! If I did have two small children tugging at my skirt (I wasn’t actually wearing a skirt), I would have been able to tend to them.

My husband and I loved this dinner, and I think you will too!

I was a guest writer on Caroline’s newsletter this week where she shared my really yummy Skillet Caramel Apple Crisp recipe, if you want to check it out. It’s perfect after a day of apple picking or a visit to the farmer’s market. Use a mix of any kind of apples if you want rather than just Granny Smiths.

PS - I wanted to remind you that all of the recipes in my newsletters live permanently here. You can also scroll through public recipes on my site or keep up with me on Instagram. Or better yet, you can support me by ordering my book, Open Kitchen.

10-Ingredient Roasted Chicken, Cauliflower, and Potatoes with a Ridiculously Tasty Green Sauce

Click here for a printable version

Serves 4
Time: 25 minutes

Recipe by Caroline Chambers

1 head of cauliflower 
1 1/2 pounds yellow baby Dutch potatoes
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each) 
1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, divided
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional: 1/4 cup water
4 cups spinach

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. 

I have a very specific way that I like to cut cauliflower (NO FLORETS!) so pay attention here. First, trim off the leaves and the very bottom of the cauliflower stem. Now slice it in half, through the stem. Place the two halves cut-side down on a cutting board, then slice it into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Cut or pull apart the individual florets. Place the cauliflower on half of the sheet pan

Halve 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes, then place them on the other half of the sheet pan. Drizzle the cauliflower and potatoes with 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, then season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, keeping the cauliflower and potatoes separate. Turn the potatoes to that they are all cut-side-down on the sheet pan, and spread the cauliflower into as even of a layer as possible. If the cauliflower is really piled high, consider adding a second sheet-pan so that it will roast more evenly.

Roast for 35 minutes on the center rack in the oven. The cauliflower and potatoes should be tender, and just beginning to brown around the edges. If they’re not, roast for another 5 to 10 minutes before continuing to the next step.

While the vegetables roast, season 2 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts with a thin layer of oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a sprinkle of pepper per breast. Set aside to come to room temperature while the vegetables cook. 

Make the green sauce by blending 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt until smooth. If it’s too thick (it should be drizzle-able) or your blender is having a hard time blending it, blend in 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste (always adjust seasoning for YOUR tastebuds!). Too tangy? Add another splash of oil. Need more flavor? Another pinch of salt. Love spice? Add some red pepper flakes! Pour the sauce into a bowl.

Roughly chop 4 cups of spinach. Finely chop 1/4 cup basil leaves. Keep them separate for later.

After 35 minutes, add the chicken breasts to the pan, on top of the vegetables is fine if there’s no space. No, you don’t need to stir the cauliflower or potatoes! Roast the chicken for 14 minutes, then check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. If it’s not finished, continue cooking, checking the temperature frequently, until the chicken reaches 160°F. 

Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board to rest while we fancy up the veggies. Stir the chopped spinach and the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon into the cauliflower until the spinach has wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Stir 1/4 cup finely chopped basil and 2 tablespoons grated parmesan into the potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed.

Slice the chicken breasts on the bias. Return the sliced chicken to the sheet pan along with the bowl of sauce, and serve dinner straight from the pan!

A guest post by
cookbook author, food writer, recipe developer, mom. passionate about creating delicious meals with as few dishes and ingredients as possible.
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