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Perfect One-Pot Meals
One-pot meals can be an easy way to get dinner on the table, and not using a whole bunch of pots and pans to cook dinner makes clean-up a breeze. Unfortunately, many one pot meal recipes aren't always the healthiest choices, with many being high in fat or sodium. If you're trying to eat healthier, but appreciate the convenience of one-pot meals, you should know that you don't need to sacrifice taste or nutrition by making a one-pot meal.
What is a "Perfect" One-Pot Meal?
To me, a perfect one-pot meal should:
- Be easy to prepare
- Use simple ingredients that you are easy to find
- Be nutritious
- Be easily adapted for smaller or larger families
- Incorporate a variety of food groups
- Allow for subsitutions of different ingredients depending on personal preferences and seasonal availability
Many one-pot meal recipes require you to brown or cook the meat before adding to the pot, but all of the recipes I've included here can be prepared from start to finish in one pot or pan.
Some of my top picks for nutritious and easy one-pot dinner recipes are:
- Roast Beef with Roast Potatoes and Vegetables
- Skillet Chicken Thighs and Couscous with Peppers and Onions
- Baked Chicken and Rice Casserole with Vegetables
Stew is a perfect one-pot meal. It's a hearty comfort food on a cold winter day, and leftovers make a delicious lunch the next day. You can cook stew in the oven, in a slow cooker or on the stove, and there are endless combinations of meat, vegetables and sauces to experiment with.
One of my favourite recipes for stew is a Slow Cooker Beef Stew, but it's equally delicious made with chicken or pork.
What is your favorite way to cook a one-pot meal?
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Roast Beef with Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables
- 1 Sirloin tip roast, approx 1.5 lbs
- 2-3 cups potatoes, scrubbed, skin on, in wedges
- 1 red onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 parsnip, chopped
- 1 red pepper, cut into strips
- 2 cloves or 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- Any other vegetables of your choice
- Mix together olive oil, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a small bowl. Pour approximately half of the mixture into a large roasting pan.
- Add the vegetables to the roasting pan and stir until they are well coated with the seasoned oil.
- Push vegetables to the sides of the roasting pan and add the beef. Add the dijon mustard to the remaining oil mixture from the bowl and rub mixture into the top of the roast.
- Cook at 400 degrees Farenheit until internal temperature of beef registers 145 degrees and the potatoes are tender (approximately 40 minutes).
- Transfer roast to cutting board and let stand for ten minutes. Spread vegetables in even layer in roasting pan and return to oven for about 10 minutes longer, until the potatoes start to crisp.
- Slice roast and serve with vegetables on a platter.
This recipe also works very well with a pork tenderloin or pork loin roast.
Skillet Chicken Thighs and Couscous with Peppers and Onions
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red or orange pepper, cut into strips
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 small zucchini, diced (optional)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook on each side for about six minutes.
2. Add garlic and vegetables and saute, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until onions and peppers are softened.
3. Add chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil for 3-5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through
4. Stir in couscous and cover. Let stand until liquid is absorbed, about five minutes.
5. Fluff couscous with a fork and serve.
Baked Chicken & Rice Casserole with Veggies
This baked chicken and rice casserole is quick and easy to prepare.
- 4 skinless,boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch slices
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (drained if using canned tomatoes)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups of assorted vegetables of your choice (such as peas, corn, mushrooms, small pieces of broccoli, chopped carrots, diced bell peppers or celery)
- 1 cup of white or brown instant rice, uncooked
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Add everything to a large casserole dish and mix lightly.
2. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
3. If desired, top with grated cheese during last 10 minutes of baking time.