Brats on the Go: Fast food that's good for you

Fast-paced life, stuck at work, stuck in traffic, but the food needs to hit the table when everyone's hungry. What to do? Preparation is good, having certain items in the freezer ready to thaw and cook is very helpful, but often you need to throw something in a pan, pull together a salad and eat.

Brats are a lifesaver! I put six in a small roasting pan or glass baking dish, roast for 30 minutes and serve with this easy honey-mustard sauce and steamed broccoli or a refreshing green salad. Boom! Dinner's done!
Smoke gets in your eyes when you grill, so why cook your brats that way?

Yes, I cook bratwurst in the oven. Not on the grill, not in a pan on the stove. No coals to heat for grilling and no oil all over my stove to be cleaned up later. Preheat the oven to 400 F and place the bratwurst in a lightly oiled glass baking dish. * They don't burn, they brown evenly and clean up is a breeze.

If you're in need of something for a social event, pull the brats out of the oven when they're done and cut into thick diagonal slices (cut on the bias about 1" thick). Pile them up on a plate next to a big bunch of pickled okra with a little bowl of honey-mustard sauce in the center. By the time you've touched up your mascara or trimmed your cute little beard, everything is ready.

Of course, you can always eat the brats on a bun with mustard and sauerkraut or onions and peppers or whatever else you wish.

Shopping List:
6 bratwurst
3 T Dijon mustard
4 T honey
1 T mayonnaise

Mix well with a whisk and refrigerate.

Do you want another fast food dinner idea?  Roast a pork tenderloin, allow to rest for 10 minutes and slice. Serve with this sauce and steamed asparagus or green beans on the side. Delicious, fast and easy! Time to jazz things up? Put 1/8 of a stick of salted butter and 1 cup sliced almonds in a non-stick pan. Cook until butter is browned and foamy and almonds are toasty colored. Pour over the asparagus or green beans and toss.

*To give the appearance of grilled bratwurst, score each sausage diagonally before putting in the oven. Just run a very sharp knife across in a diagonal line and about an inch or so apart for the length of the sausages.