Work beckons, kids have activities and places to be, you’ve got errands that still need to be run, and dinner isn’t going to cook itself. Am I right?
Though I will never sacrifice flavour and a good meal, I do have a little secret. I try not to spend hours in the kitchen. Who has the time, right? Don’t get me wrong. There are evenings when I love a slow cooked meal, but most nights I’m running around and rushing to get things done. I’m a huge believer in one pot meals for busy families.
Okay, I admit that I like one pot meals not only for the ease in prepping and cooking, but because though I enjoy cooking, I hate the clean up afterward. I’d rather only wash one pot than several!
Here are some of our favourite one pot meals:
What is it with kids and spaghetti? One of my daughter’s favourite dishes is spaghetti with meat balls. I have my own secret sauce that my Mom passed down to me. My mom doesn’t want anyone to have her recipe, so I won’t include it on the blog. I did find this quick and easy one pot spaghetti and meat sauce here.
Another one pot meal — this one’s got a lovely crunch to it with the wild rice and the nuts. You don’t have to include nuts, but because this is a veggie dish, I wanted my family to get some protein from the nuts.
- 1 c coconut milk
- 1 c water
- 1 c wild rice (or brown rice)
- 1/2 c carrots, grated or julienned thinly
- 1 c cucumber, sliced very thinly
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- coconut oil to cook with
- Herbamare and black pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Nuts of your choice (cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc)
- In the Circulon Covered Jumbo Cooker, combine all ingredients except for the nuts. Bring ingredients to a boil.
- Stir well, reduce heat, cover, simmer for 1 hr.
- Add toppings, serve and enjoy.
This is my standard Chili con Carne. It’s one of my six year old daughter’s favourites. Cooked in my Circulon Jumbo Cooker, I can make big batches of chili and save some for lunches or for freezer meals to keep on hand for later. Having said this, the chili doesn’t usually last long since it’s a favourite in this house. I love cooking chili because it’s an easy, hearty one pot dish that everyone in this house loves.
On days when I just want to eat vegetables and legumes, this Coconut Green Curry perfect. We have a rice cooker, so steaming rice takes less than 14 minutes. Sometimes I like eating the Coconut Green Curry as is. No rice or Naan. This recipe is similar to my Chicken Curry recipe in that it’s a one pot dish.
Coconut Green Curry
Dish serves 6 and is ready in 30 minutes.
- 1 c. chickpeas (soaked overnight or you can use canned chickpeas)
- 1 c. Lima beans (canned)
- 1 c. Pinto beans (canned)
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 c. cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 2 tsp Thai fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Heat oil in Circulon Jumbo Cooker. Add diced potatoes and cook until tender.
- Add garlic and onions. Cook until onion is translucent. Spoon in curry paste. Stir and let cook for a bit to release the flavours.
- Add beans and let cook for a few minutes. Add fish sauce and coconut milk. Add sugar and add cauliflower last (it cooks quickly).
- Cover and let simmer.
** You can garnish with cilantro. In the photo above, I also included bamboo shoots, which are optional.
I always thought pancit was a difficult dish to make because I often recalled hearing my mom and my aunts complain about how much chopping and cutting and prep work was entailed in making Filipino food. Then I discovered I could make the dish as a one pot dish. My Circulon Jumbo Cooker is big enough to do the job.
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
- 2 c shredded napa cabbage
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 orange pepper, sliced
- 1/2 c green onion, sliced
- lemon slices
- 1 package Pancit noodles
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- Herbamare and black pepper
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- oil for cooking
- Place noodles in a large bowl and cover noodles with warm water. When noodles become soft, drain water and set aside for later.
- Heat oil in Circulon Jumbo Cooker. Add onions, garlic and carrots. Cook until carrots become slightly tender. Add peppers and cabbage and let cook for about two minutes. (Original Filipino Pancit doesn’t have red, yellow or orange pepper. I added them because I like them). Remove vegetables and set aside.
- Add chicken pieces to Jumbo Cooker and cook until chicken is cooked through.
- Add noodles to hot cooker and add cooked vegetables. Add soy sauce and season according to your taste. Garnish with green onion and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over noodles.
Another dish when you need dinner on the table and FAST! Easy Pasta with Meat Sauce. Don’t tell anyone, but I call couscous my lazy mom dish. I know it’s a side dish, but on days when things are a bit too crazy, this is my go to because it doesn’t take long at all to make this! I have a Quinoa salad recipe that is similar to this couscous dish. It takes only minutes to cook couscous and then I just wilt the beet greens and season the couscous. I also add dried cranberries, chopped walnuts (optional) and add green onion. I make a Balsamic Vinaigrette to mix the salad with. It’s one part balsamic vinegar to three parts extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic (yes, I love garlic), 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard, 1.5 tsp local honey, Herbamare and black pepper to taste. I add all the dressing ingredients into a mason jar, close the lid and shake to emulsify the dressing. Pour it over your salad and toss to coat everything.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- 4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Herbamare (or salt)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 10 green onions, sliced
- parsley, chopped coarsely
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
1 In Jumbo Cooker, add broth, Jasmine rice and wild rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 40 minutes and remove from heat.
2 Whisk together the olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and sesame oil.
3 Carefully and gently mix together the cooled cooked rice, green onions, sugar snap peas, dried cranberries, and dressing in a large mixing bowl. Add Herbamare and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
This dish is best served cold, so chill completely before serving. Enjoy!
I keep mentioning my Circulon Covered Jumbo Cooker. To be honest, it’s what I’ve been using most to cook with these days. We always have a lot of dinner guests at our farm. I’d say about five out of seven nights a week we have friends and family over for meals. It’s 6 quarts (5.7 L), so it’s perfect for cooking for a crowd or making big batches of food. I like big batch cooking because we have food for dinner one night and for another day or two. When you’re busy, it’s always great to have leftovers the next day or have a batch in the freezer ready to be heated up when you’re completely out of time.
- 3-Layer Total Non-Stick System
- Metal Utensil Safe
- Suitable For All Stovetops
- Dishwasher Safe
- Oven Safe to 400°F/200°C
- Glass Lids
- PFOA, Lead and Cadmium Free
- Beautiful Red Silicone Polyester Exterior
Available Exclusively at Canadian Tire
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