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TFZ
05-06-2016, 03:03 PM
Anyone use One Pot type recipes? I friggin hate cleaning up, and my crock pot is buried in the low cabinet appliance graveyard.

I've made this twice now - without the cheese or red pepper flakes. It's too easy. Italian Wonderpot - Budget Bytes (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/05/italian-wonderpot/)

fastweedpuller
05-06-2016, 03:25 PM
Oh hell yeah! That's Martha Stewart's "genius recipe" and it was how I made pasta last summer with my fresh tomatoes and basil. Here is the backstory on it plus 6 other recipes. Food52 (http://food52.com/blog/13936-the-late-night-in-puglia-that-gave-us-martha-stewart-s-one-pan-pasta-7-new-ones)

TFZ
05-06-2016, 03:32 PM
Mmmmmm bolognese.

fastweedpuller
05-06-2016, 04:00 PM
So can you take things out of the pot, cook another thing, put the first thing back into the pot or is that creating the One Bowl Too Many thing ?? The reason I ask is I make a stewed chicken dish where I have to brown the meat (thigh/leg/breast chunk, skin on, of one of our birds), remove the meat to deglaze the pan with wine or balsamic, add onions/oil/garlic back into pan to brown, then add chicken to cook completely with some carrots, maybe some salsa if I have it. I add couscous near the end to soak up all the cooking liquid, sometimes some frozen peas. It ends up being one-pot(ish).

TFZ
05-06-2016, 06:24 PM
That sounds good. I make Mac and cheese every week and that's just one pot and the strainer. But even sometimes that feels like too much, lol. Yeah I wish I could just throw the Mac in with some milk and then 30 min later BAM mac&cheese.

RTB
05-06-2016, 06:49 PM
If you ever consider taking your slow cooker out again, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O'Dea actually makes me not hate slow cooker food. She is all about dump and go.

Mariam
05-06-2016, 08:34 PM
All of my one pot recipes are crock-pot ones. Though now that it is summer, the idea of cooking anything inside the house is too much. DH gets to BBQ once a week with the meat for the week and I will add it to salads.

alexsmom
05-07-2016, 12:20 PM
I bought this in ebook form:
One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More: Editors of Martha Stewart Living: 8601410690571: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/One-Pot-Skillet-Cooker-Stockpot/dp/0307954412/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1462637644&sr=8-2&keywords=one+pot)

I was dubious at first because I thought Martha Stewart would mean overly fussy and pretentious, but in this case, at least, it wasnt.

I was ebrowsing a Weight Watchers one pot cookbook this morning, and it seemed to have some tempting recipes too. (I dont care about weight watcher points, just was looking for healthier stuff.)
So check overdrive, too. :p

Jill_
05-07-2016, 12:56 PM
If you are interested in One Pot meals because of more than just the clean up issue (for example, speed of getting a meal together, no hassle cooking, etc) and you don't mind using a pressure cooker, I've had some luck adapting crock pot meals (like those by Stephanie O'Dea) to pressure cooker meals. It's a personal choice whether you like slow cookers or pressure cookers better (I don't like smelling dinner cooking all day) and the prep schedule is different (slow cooker at night or early morning, pressure cooker in afternoon before dinner although I also sometimes prep the night before if I can fit the prepped food into my fridge), but it might be worth considering. If you get an electric pressure cooker (something I swore I would never do until finally I gave in and got one last Thanksgiving) you can throw everything in, set it, go do other things, and never even turn on the stove. I carry it (very carefully) outside to vent if I am doing a quick release, so I don't even have the steam in the house. After wondering what the fuss was about electric pressure cookers for so long, now I completely understand why people love them - provided you don't mind the types of food you can produce in them (we do a lot with beans, vegetables, rice, pasta, only a little meat) they can really simplify your life. Many of the models sold today allow you to sear, simmer, etc in the pot (similar to the crockpot that Stephanie O'Dea recommends) so you can do more than pressure cook in it. You can even make one pot mac n cheese (you do have to stir in milk and cheese at end, but no straining). Instant Pot users have a facebook page where they post tons and tons of recipes if you wanted to see what people do with their pressure cookers.

TFZ
05-07-2016, 03:54 PM
AM if you want that WW one pot book, get it now on B&N. It's $4 because it's the old points system. They're rereleasing all the books with the new points a few at a time.

I really should pull out the crockpot. I had it on the counter for a while and used it at least once a week. If it's out, I'll use it.

Jill - I think the pressure cooker is beyond my skill level at this point. I have enough trouble trying to use a regular pot on the stove, lol. I've got a few go-tos now, but they're mostly kid food. We do love beans and rice here, though. I heart my rice cooker.

alexsmom
05-07-2016, 04:41 PM
Why is it that you want one-pot? Is it that you want easy to make food thats not messy in the kitchen? Because you have 3 littles and dont have the energy or enthusiasm to spend time in the kitchen?

And does pasta or rice cooked selarately still count as *more than one*?

TFZ
05-07-2016, 08:21 PM
I can't cook in more than one thing at a time without screwing it all up. And yes, I hate dishes. I'm a really bad timer. Like soup and grilled cheese. Two things. Either the sandwiches get burned or the soup is cold. I'm like the worst cook.

alexsmom
05-07-2016, 10:03 PM
Did you get those silpat baking sheet liners?

About once a month I sneak in *sausageinnabun* to DH - I take puff pastry or even those crescent rolls that come in a tube of dough, and wrapt it around some of those pretentious sausages from costco (I say pretentious, but its like Chicken Sausage with apparagus and snooty cheese).
Throw em in the oven for 15-20 mins, and you can pretend its fair food.

Then its just an easy wipe of the silmat and no mess.

I remember when I had the baby, I couldnt manage more than the simplest one-course meals. We did a lot of frozen lasagne, enchiladas, and skillet meals, too. They werent particularly good, but we got through it.
I certainly couldnt have done the fussy recipes I used to play around with, chopping, sauteeing, stirring, basting, tending.... I wanted recinpes where I just put it all in at once, then came back to it when it was time to serve it up.

What about gringo *spaniah rice* - ground beef, can or two of flavored diced tomatoes, onions n peppers if you have energy, some spices, rice, and cook for 20 mins?

ETA: And what about pizzas? Throw toppings on that, no mess. Just a pizza stone in your oven.

Mariam
05-07-2016, 10:29 PM
I can't cook in more than one thing at a time without screwing it all up. And yes, I hate dishes. I'm a really bad timer. Like soup and grilled cheese. Two things. Either the sandwiches get burned or the soup is cold. I'm like the worst cook.

Me too. That is why if I am cooking, I use the crock-pot. Throw everything in, let it cook. I may need to cook some pasta or rice to go with it and that is it.

TFZ
05-07-2016, 10:39 PM
We do a lot of beans and rice. Pasta all the time. I forgot about those mats. I had it on my Amazon list and they sold out or something. I'll look again. I make baked chicken breast, stuff like that. Try to stay healthy, but it just is so blah. Tuna melts on English muffins. Egg sandwiches. I'm like a low budget diner.

I love pizza and have a nice recipe for dough that I made once, but damn you gotta remember to make it like three hours beforehand. The store crusts are too many calories for not enough food. Dieting is hard. When we eat pizza now I'm usually grumpy after because I'm still hungry.

I swear I will teach these children how to cook. Just trying to learn myself.

TFZ
05-07-2016, 10:51 PM
The reason I out the crock pot away was because DH finally admitted that he didn't like what I was cooking. I was a little deflated. I put the effort in, I swear. Chicken is just naturally dry.

muddylilly
05-07-2016, 11:24 PM
I'd suggest soups, but you're in Florida, and that might not be something you want to do. I could do soups everyday, but I'm alone on that one. Talk about low budget.....my mom always had a pot of soup on the stove or in the fridge. There were 5 of us, and at one point it was 4 teenage boys. "You're hungry? Get some soup!" Usually beef veggie, but we had it all....so cheap too. When I was due with my first DS, my mom flew out and the first thing I did was take her to the grocery store to get the ingredients.....but I digress. And you don't need sandwiches, just have bread of crackers even!!!

How about salads....NO COOKING! I love a chef salad :) Kids can pick what they want and make their own at the table.

alexsmom
05-07-2016, 11:26 PM
My hubby had the same reaction to crock pot meals. He just didnt like them, either. :( We had maybe 3 recipes at the time he would eat, and I gave up and crock pot away. And they were work, searing the food and precooking, nothing sasy.

Mariam
05-08-2016, 10:21 AM
Yes, salads for when it is warm outside!

There are so many ways to make up a salad so it stays interesting. For the whole summer, we have salads or antipasto for dinner. The antipasto is usually different kinds of crackers, cheeses, lunchmeats and the small marinated vegetables. We rotate the kinds we use to keep it interesting. We do lots of cold sandwiches too.

Very little prep.

Here are some I like:
Chef salad egg, ham, tomatoes, avocado, cheese
Italian-style chef salad egg, salami, olives, avocado, mozzarella or parmesan cheese
Taco salad beans and/or ground beef, avocado/guac, tomatoes, black olives, cheddar or mex-mix shredded cheese, green onions, cabbage, sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips
Spanish salad with either cranberries, candies pecans, blue cheese, apple slices.
Cobb salad

Keep a variety of crumbled and shredded cheeses: blue and feta, as well as mdx-style, cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan
I also have pre-sliced cheddar and swiss for sandwiches


I will mix in a variety of marinated veg to change things up. Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, different kinds of olives, asparagus, spicy green beans. These can all be rotated in to salads or antipasto night.

Add dips are also good and many dips can easily use veggies instead of chips.


I buy a roasted chicken from the market and slice it up for salads too.

TFZ
05-08-2016, 03:54 PM
What's the deal with hard boiled eggs? Do you buy pickled eggs? Peeling them is such a pain. I used to love them before kids, but now I have to peel eight damn eggs every time.

I do love a chef salad. Do your kids eat them?

muddylilly
05-08-2016, 06:24 PM
Yep! Everyone eats what they want. Kitchen stays cool too :) I have to add though, that my boys have always preferred raw veggies over cooked ones.

Pickled eggs!!! My folks owned a bar when I was a kid. Always a jar of pickled eggs around, in fact, always several jars of different pickled "things" around. Haven't had one in a Looooong time.

And you're not alone on being over peeling everyone's eggs. I was so happy when they began to peel their own.

TFZ
05-08-2016, 09:15 PM
Oh yeah I forgot they'll be able to do that one day. Hahahaha I wonder if DS would be able to? He does oranges. I got the bag of pickleds when I was pregnant because I was craving hb eggs, but they were so small. I ate the dozen in two days. Just kept opening the fridge and popping.

alexsmom
05-08-2016, 10:06 PM
My boys love deviled eggs, and DS4 peels 'em as part of his *fine motor skills* work. He loves peeling the eggs, and sometimes is better than others. Sometimes he tears the eggs, sometimes he gouges them...

But yah, let your DS have a go at them!

Salads in the house, though? Only kind that even gets tasted is chicken salad.

muddylilly
05-08-2016, 10:58 PM
I put it out salad bar style....pick and choose....it's like heaven for my youngest :)

Oh Deviled Eggs.....how I love thee....but boy do you make me gassy!! LOL!!!

Jill_
05-08-2016, 11:37 PM
Oh my, you all are talking about such good sounding salads! If only I could convince my partner that salad or soup can actually be dinner, not just something you eat to hold you over until the "real" food shows up!

TFZ, will your family eat leftovers? Or leftovers creatively rearranged into something less leftover-y looking? My partner's mom basically followed the rule that if it wasn't eaten at dinner, it got chucked (I've seen her throw away whole leftover baked potatoes, salad, pasta, etc, at the end of a meal) so I had to work a while to convince him that leftovers actually were good things, but now we typically have at least one or 2 meals a week based solely off of leftovers. It doesn't really solve the one pot issue, but at least you'd get several nights out of cooking one meal.

As another suggestion (please ignore if it doesn't help you!) along kind of a leftover-y vein, what about cooking up a large amount of a number of basic components of meals (for example, chicken, pork, beef, several varieties of beans seasoned in various ways) whenever you get a free minute and then portioning it out and freezing them so that they were easy to pull out when needed? I'm not sure how old your kids are, and I did have some troubles pulling this off with a newborn (mine are now 5, almost 3, and 1.5ish), but I've turned to this method to try to address my inability to cook more than one thing at once. As you noted, TFZ, doing more than one thing at a time typically doesn't work so well for me either! As a disclaimer, this method works for several meals a week, but then I do need to do something else to keep people happy for a night or two, but I make enough for leftovers those other nights so even those more involved nights pay it forward on a later night.

When I realize my freezer supply is running low, I try to find time to replenish it. Since I'm not planning on eating whatever it is I'm cooking at exactly that time, I can cook the food whenever I have free time, no matter what time of day it is. So, for example, if your family likes chicken - buy a decent amount of it and chuck it in the crockpot to cook. If you want to get fancy, throw in a bottle of barbecue sauce or some other seasoning. Same for beans - another day when you have some free time throw them in the crockpot and let the crockpot do its thing. Don't worry about lining up the cooking with a meal time; just make sure you have some time once it is cooked to package it up in a serving size that fits your needs and then either refrigerate or freeze it.

When it's time for dinner, decide a little in advance what type of base you want (for example, rice, pasta, potatoes, lettuce, etc). We eat probably way too much brown rice (esp with the arsenic concerns) simply because it is so easy to throw it in the rice cooker and forget about it. While the base is cooking, pull out meat or beans and a veggie of your choice (I'm lazy and we typically do frozen veggies - no prep work - but if your kids don't like cooked then I guess you'd need to prep raw) and either reheat on stove or microwave your already cooked ingredients. Either let everybody assemble a plate or bowl with the items they want, or mix everything together into a rice or pasta or what have you casserole of sorts. Add a sauce or seasoning of your choice (pasta sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger sauce, any one of the multiple pre-made sauces you can buy in the store), sprinkle some cheese or sour cream or chopped olives, etc, on top if the meal would taste good with it, and voila, you're done. Definitely not 5 star cuisine and likely not even 3 star cuisine, but it is food, you've got most of the major food groups represented, and you haven't had to do anything more that night than cook the base, maybe boil some frozen veggies (or steam or roast them) and thaw anything else you might need.

ejsmom
05-08-2016, 11:48 PM
We live on crock pot and salads here. DH makes a fantastic Cobb salad. I try to pre chop raw veggies once or twice a week so I can make salads quickly and easily. I usually have leftover roast chicken and season it different ways to add to salads. I try to eat at least one meal as a large salad every day. And almost always have one with dinner. DS will eat a salad, but he drowns it in dressing. Hard boiled eggs are great snacks. We cook up at least a dozen or 2, every week (for 3 of us.) I love deviled eggs (with horseradish added to the yolk filling), but they are such a PITA to make, so I rarely do.

We buy our meat direct from the farm in CSA shares, so I get a ton of roasts, which do better in the crock pot and I love having leftover broth for soup base. I always brown the meat really good stove top first, though, and deglaze the pan to get that good stuff, and dump it in the crock pot. In the fall I like to do pork roasts with apples, onions, and sweet potatoes, bourbon to deglaze the pan, veggie broth, basil, garlic, smoked salt, and cinnamon.

I get tired of cooking 3 meals a day from scratch, day after day. So I like to do everything in the slow cooker early in the day, and then just do smoothies for breakfast and a salad for lunch and dinner is essentially ready (maybe some rice or baked potatoes) - less cooking! DS now cooks most of his breakfasts. He likes a full meal - sausage (I make patties from ground turkey and freeze them), eggs, fruit, or sometimes he uses leftover mashed potatoes to make egg/potato cakes. We usually have leftover roasted veggies that he can crisp up in a frying pan and put an over easy egg on top.

Leftover quiche is delicious and easy. Just slice and warm it up. If you are gluten-free use shredded potatoes for the crust. If not, crust is easy to make in big batches in the food processor and freeze ahead. Or use premade from the refrigerated grocery section. It's a cheap and easy way to use up whatever veg and meat you have leftover from anything else. Eggs, milk, cheese, and seasoning are things most people have on hand - and then ham and asparagus, chicken and tomato slices, bacon, onion, and peppers, crab and mushroom if you want to dial it up for guests - the options are endless. And quiche works for any meal - breakfast to dinner.

TFZ
05-09-2016, 01:12 AM
We do pretty well with leftovers. DH is only home three nights a week on average. So there are lots of nights when one kid gets leftover Mac and cheese, one wants pbj, I eat a turkey sandwich, and the baby gets a bit of everything.

Jill I love that idea of cooking extra meat. We get ground turkey a lot at Costco and only eat part of the little bag thing. Usually I just leave the rest raw, but I could cook it all and save it. Easy, thanks! Not too much freezer space, but I'll keep that in mind too.

Ejsmom, I gotta get on the meal prep bandwagon and start prepping and portioning veggies, at least. We go through so much produce. There are days I'd eat a side salad, but I can't fathom getting all the stuff out and fixing it up for myself (and the kids to push around on their plates).

I love deviled eggs. I can't figure out how to get the yolks in the middle. Mine are always way on one side. Last time I tried I ended up with half as many whites and a ton of yolk. Doesn't matter anyway. i won't be making them any time soon! Ha.

alexsmom
05-09-2016, 07:50 AM
Poke a tiny hole (I use tip of steak knife) at the skinny end of your eggs before you boil them, and make sure there is enough water to cover them. The hole lets the gases escape, and you get beautifully centered egg yolks.
if the hole is too big, a bit of the whites will stream out, which makes your water reminiscent of egg drop soup.

Happydays525
05-09-2016, 08:29 AM
My go-to meal when my DD and I are home alone is scrambled eggs and toast, quick and easy! Also, I got one of those little veggie spiral cutters and I've been spiraling zucchini and sautéing it in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper for 5 minutes and topping it off with spaghetti sauce and some Parmesan cheese. No waiting for the pasta to boil or straining, etc. Another quick and easy meal. Pick up some large baking potatoes and stuffings (bacon bits, broccoli, onions, cheese, etc.) have a baked potato night!