Quick & Healthy One-Pot Meals
Dinner in Under an Hour
By Elizabeth Yarnell
“I put a lot of energy into my job and then I get into my car at 5pm and realize that I have no idea what I’m going to feed three people for dinner in an hour,” she says. “That’s when a one-pot meal is just perfect.”
One-pot meals can be the solution to quick and easy cooking when no one really has the time to cook. There’s no fretting about getting the timing right so that your broccoli is perfectly steamed at the same time as the pot roast comes out of the oven medium-rare and the rice is ready to fluff, which is a boon for all those who aren’t wizards at culinary planning. And, perhaps best of all, rather than a sink full of dirty pots and pans to scrub after dinner, there is only one pot to clean.
One Pot Meals – Beautiful and Epic Meals That Anyone Can Create
To have a truly complete and balanced one-pot meal consider “infusion” cooking. Infused one-pot meals are made by layering whole foods into a closed container- either a foil or parchment pouch or a cast iron Dutch oven-and then baking the container in the oven at a very high heat for under an hour. These dinners can contain everything needed for a full and balanced one-pot meal without having to prepare rice or a salad separately.
Low in fat and high in nutrition, almost any ingredients can be added to an infused one-pot meal to meet personal dietary preferences. Infused one-pot meals prepared in a Dutch oven can even accept frozen elements without any change in cooking time or flavor.
“I love that I can make my infused one-pot meal up in advance,” enthuses Stephanie. “I put it all together in the morning, keep it in the fridge, and then pop it directly into the pre-heated oven when I get home from work. Instead of fussing over a hot stove, I get to play with my kid while our dinner cooks. And they’re so healthy and tasty that my husband loves them too!”
For the answer to the age-old question of “What’s for dinner?” consider an infused one-pot meal for a healthy, quick and easy way to feed your busy family. Here is a great recipe to get you started!
1/2 cup couscous, dry
2-3 pieces chicken
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
1 avocado, firm-ripe
2 tomatoes, cored, wedges
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, cut in wedges
1/2 cup olives, small, ripe, pitted, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. celery
1/4 tsp. basil, dried
1/4 tsp. marjoram, dried
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray the inside of a 2-quart cast iron Dutch oven and the lid with olive oil.
Pour dry couscous into pot. Add 1/2 cup water and evenly distribute grains across bottom. Arrange the chicken atop the couscous. Season lightly with salt and lemon pepper.
Add layers of green peppers, tomatoes and olives. Again, season lightly with salt and lemon pepper.
Halve, pit and peel the avocado. Then, layer it in slices or cubes on top of everything. In a small bowl, combine the onion, celery salt, basil, marjoram, sherry, and lemon juice and pour into pot over everything.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Be certain that your oven temperature is accurate and your oven is fully pre-heated before putting the pot inside it. An oven thermometer can help ensure your oven is on target.
For light and fluffy couscous, fluff it with a fork when serving and let sit for a few minutes before eating.
Elizabeth Yarnell is the author of www.GloriousOnePotMeals.com. The Glorious One-Pot Meal cooking method is unique and holds US patent 6,846,504.
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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