Let’s face it, after months of holiday cooking, no one really feels like slaving over the stove for a week-night dinner. And with a new year beginning (and another tax season looming) it’s no secret that we’re all pinching pennies either. Paula believes one-pot meals are the best way to cut down on time and money. And, the best part –one pot cleanup!
One of the hurdles people face with one-pot dinners is uneven cooking. The potatoes aren’t done, but the celery is mushy. There are two ways to overcome this. One way is to add your veggies at different times. Stir in ingredients that have a longer cooking time first, then add the ingredients with a shorter cooking time later. Another way is to cut vegetables with a longer cooking time smaller than those with a shorter cooking time. This will allow you to add them all at once and get an even texture throughout. Keep these tips in mind while cooking Paula’s Pot Roast Soup or Gumbo and it’s sure to be a success!
Toppings are a great way to add texture, flavor, and a homemade touch to your dish. Don’t be scared to top your dish with something a little different. Instead of crackers try making your own jumbo croutons. Dice bread (to desired size), brush with olive oil, and bake at 300 degrees until toasty and golden brown. Adding minced tarragon to your croutons before baking makes them a great topping for our Lemon Tarragon Chicken Soup. Chopped peanuts are great sprinkled atop our Sweet and Mild Shrimp Stirfry. Thinking of topping our Speedy Veggie Chili with sour cream? Mix it up with some Greek yogurt, for a little added tart, or some ricotta cheese for smooth, mild cheesy flavor. Topping each bowl of Turkey Minestrone with a little fresh spinach will add a little crunch, and a fresh flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, a julienne of candied ginger is a great way to add some spice and crunch to Ham Fried Rice with Pineapple and Fried Egg.
With a dinner as good as this, always be prepared for unexpected guests. No need to thin out flavor by adding water or broth, one great way to stretch a soup or stew is to ladle it over prepared rice or noodles. No one leaves hungry, and clean up is still a breeze. Seafood Cioppino Stew is great over fettuccini or penne. Ladle Shaggy Man Split Pea Soup over long grain basmati, or your favorite rice for additional servings. For a twist, pour Tomato Soup over sautéed, ribbon-cut collards. This will add rich flavor, not to mention lots of iron, without adding lots of cost.
Minimal dishes, minimal time, minimal grocery tab – the only things there’s a lot of in these one-pot dishes is flavor. Try out our favorites!