As I’m always saying, from a health and nutrition perspective, you can eat pretty much anything you want as long as you do it in moderation. While I myself have moved more and more away from all meat consumption and would not recommend eating any red meat on a regular basis, it’s perfectly fine every now and again.
So go right ahead and enjoy having beef, lamb, ham or pork on the menu during a couple of weeks out of the year if it’s a good buy.
As always, the key is to include salad and vegetables with the meal. That puts the focus where it should be and makes the meal a balanced one, with meat as a part, but not necessarily the main focus of the meal.
Of course, ham is a also a traditional Easter meal in many households, so it’s the perfect time of year to buy a roast, cook it for the celebratory meal on Sunday, and have it as leftovers for a meal or two with some different side dishes, and with a fresh salad each time you serve it. You can really stretch this meal quite a bit that way.
And once you're done with having it as straight up ham slices, don't throw away that extra meat or ham bone! You can use both to make a great split pea soup (My recipe for split pea soup can be found here), a budget-loving traditional meal, for later in the week, or as an ingredient in other recipes, such as Dirty Rice, or Lentil Soup.
The beauty of any roast meal is just how easy it is to get ready and onto the table. There is a minimum of prep involved, other than scrubbing and cutting up a few potatoes, and whatever vegetable you might choose to have with it.
And you can even eliminate that little prep if you serve it with brown rice cooked in a little of your own homemade, healthy, and low-sodium broth instead, and a frozen vegetable of your choosing. Or you might try these options for the second or third meal you get out of the ham, for a little variety.
But my family really loves oven-roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables, so for me it’s a no-brainer to incorporate them into the recipe.
A dinner of a roast, potatoes and squash makes for a really easy meal that gives you plenty of time to go about your business once it's in the oven. And there are few easier, sweeter, or more vitamin-packed vegetables to prepare than oven baked squash. I highly recommend it.
Sometimes for a change, I like to cook carrot and turnip puree. Mom made it a lot for us growing up, and the blend of sweet carrot with the slight tang of turnip makes for a tasty, economical vegetable dish that adds a bit of variety to the meal repertoire.
Some people like to glaze their hams. I don't bother. It's an extra step I don't need or want. Instead, I prefer to use the glaze as a condiment on the side, along with the mustard. I also love to serve chutney with my ham. But that's my personal taste.
So, by all means, if you'd like to glaze your ham, then you can easily do that. Once the ham is cooked, just go ahead and glaze it with whatever topping you'd like, or whichever one happens to come with it, and cook it for an additional 10 minutes or so at about 425º F.
Here’s my simple ham dinner recipe:
Makes 12+ servings, with leftovers for soup or other meals (Split Pea/Lentil/Dirty Rice)
Prep Time – Approx. 20 minutes
Start to finish time – Approx. 1-3 hours
Total recipe cost – Approx. $7-15
Total per person meal cost with salad, potatoes, vegetable, and bread – Approx. $1.50-$2.00
1 approximately 7-10 pound semi-boneless ham
1 3-5 pound boneless ham
8-12 medium potatoes (1-2 medium potatoes per adult, and 3-4 per teenage boy)
1 large butternut, acorn, or buttercup squash (approximately 3 pounds)
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt (approximately)
½ teaspoon pepper (approximately)
RECIPE CONTINUES AFTER THE PICTURES.
Procedure for Ham Roast (Bone-In):
- If you are using a smaller, boneless ham roast, start by pre-cooking the potatoes and squash for about 30 minutes before you add the ham.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425º F. Spread the potatoes in a single layer in a large roasting pan that’s large enough to accommodate the potatoes and the ham.
- Place them in the pre-heated oven and set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Follow the instructions for the squash prep in the recipe above and place the pan with the squash alongside the potato/ham pan in the oven. Or you can wait to microwave the squash per the instructions in the recipe above.
- When the timer for the potatoes goes off, turn the potatoes, reset the timers for 15 minutes, and return them to the oven once more.
- When the timer goes off a second time, again turn the potatoes with a spoon or spatula. Leave a space in the middle for the ham and place the ham there. Or you can bake the ham in a separate baking dish from the potatoes, if you have too many potatoes. Cover the ham loosely (optional).
- Turn the oven temperature down to 325ºF, and return the pan with the potatoes and ham to the oven. Set the timer for the necessary cook time for the ham.
- Follow the rest of the instructions in the recipe above.