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Is there a one-dish meal that you can't live without?

lifespan Nov 1, 2011 06:38 AM

I make an amazing soup (my spouse adores it above all else) with kale or sometimes swiss chard, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, green beans, turnips, chicken, and sometimes white beans. It is sooo nourishing and yet delicious. I call the dish "3-hour standing soup", because prep time is at least that long. On the lookout for other one-dish wonders. Do you have one?

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  1. LaLa RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 06:53 AM

    i dont think i could live without my favorite one dish wonder....chicken and dumplins!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LaLa
      lifespan RE: LaLa Nov 1, 2011 07:47 AM

      LaLa, please share?!

    2. c
      cheesecake17 RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 08:55 AM

      Vegetarian chili. I serve cornbread on the side, so not technically one dish, but still delicious. I usually make a ton because it freezes and reheats well. The chili has lots of vegetables and beans, and it's filling and satisfying.

      1. ROCKLES RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 09:10 AM

        mac n cheese!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ROCKLES
          sunflwrsdh RE: ROCKLES Nov 1, 2011 06:05 PM

          +1 on the mac and cheese:)

        2. biondanonima RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 09:13 AM

          My recipe for warm lentils with roasted butternut squash, fennel and kielbasa. Made it this past weekend for the first time in ages and was reminded all over again how much I adore it!

          6 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima
            TatyanaG RE: biondanonima Nov 1, 2011 10:43 AM


            Would you share the recipe, please?

            1. re: TatyanaG
              biondanonima RE: TatyanaG Nov 1, 2011 10:58 AM

              Sure! Here you go:

              1 smallish butternut squash (about 1.5 lbs)
              2-3 medium red onions
              1 large or 2 small bulbs fennel
              5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
              2 sprigs fresh rosemary
              20 stems thyme
              a handful of fennel fronds (if your fennel bulb has them)
              10 sage leaves
              2 cups pardina lentils (if you can't find them use regular brown lentils)
              1 bay leaf
              2 lbs kielbasa
              1/2 c. olive oil, divided
              1/4 c. vinegar (mix of sherry, red wine, cider, etc.)
              2 T. balsamic vinegar
              salt and pepper

              Cut the squash, onions and fennel (trimmed) into 1/2-1 inch cubes and toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on two rimmed baking sheets and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until deeply caramelized in places, about 40 mins, adding the chopped garlic about halfway through. When the vegetables are about 10 mins from being done, I transfer all of them to one tray and use the emptied tray for the sausage.

              Meanwhile, bring the lentils to a boil in plenty of salted water with the bay leaf and cook until tender, about 20-25 mins (regular brown lentils will take a bit longer than pardina lentils, but they tend to be mushier. Lentils du puy are a lot firmer and will take quite a bit longer. Whatever lentil you choose, just cook it to your taste - I prefer them a bit mushy for this but it does make the dish look a little less attractive.). Drain and keep warm.

              Slice the sausage thinly on the bias and place on the emptied rimmed baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack of your oven (gets the bottom brown faster) along with the veg for the last 10 mins-ish of cooking. Once the sausage is rendering and the bottom side is brown, turn the oven to broil and broil the top side of the sausage slices to your taste (I like it almost burnt, the crispy edges are amazing!).

              In a large bowl, combine the lentils, vegetables, sausages (including any rendered fat) and chopped herbs. Toss with the vinegars, oil, salt and pepper to taste (the vinegar blend I use really varies, but the dish does benefit from some sweetness, so balsamic is a must. However, the last time I made it my butternut squash was almost candy-sweet, so I used less balsamic than usual to compensate). Be generous with the dressing, as the lentils tend to soak it up quickly. Obviously, you can vary the herbs and vegetables to your taste, but I really love the combo as written. Wonderful with a glass of porter and a thick slice of fresh bread.

              1. re: biondanonima
                opinionatedchef RE: biondanonima Nov 1, 2011 11:25 PM

                what a terrific recipe; i'm going to try this, maybe w/ my beluga lentils (that have been waiting patiently for a year or so!) thanks so much for posting this.

                1. re: biondanonima
                  TatyanaG RE: biondanonima Nov 3, 2011 11:46 AM

                  Wow, thanks so much! Can't wait to try it!

                  1. re: biondanonima
                    melcarr RE: biondanonima Nov 3, 2011 07:59 PM

                    This sounds like heaven., Will try in the next week or so and report back. As a novice with the recipe and I'm cooking for one these days, does it freeze well?

                    1. re: melcarr
                      biondanonima RE: melcarr Nov 4, 2011 08:20 AM

                      You know, up until now I've never tried freezing it because there are rarely leftovers! However, I made it last weekend and we didn't quite finish it, so I have a serving in the freezer which will probably get eaten in the next couple of weeks - I'll be sure to report back when I try it. However, I can't see why it wouldn't reheat well, since all of its components freeze nicely.

              2. todao RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 02:33 PM

                Mizithra Veggie Pasta with Sheftalia

                1. goodhealthgourmet RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 02:45 PM

                  - frittate
                  - chana masala
                  - paella
                  - chicken cacciatore
                  - seafood soup or stew (e.g. cioppino or bouillabaisse)
                  - baked shrimp with feta
                  - curry - red, yellow or green, usually coconut milk-based

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    lifespan RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 1, 2011 03:42 PM

                    i wish there was a "like" button, because I loke so many of the ideas suggested here...

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      jencounter RE: goodhealthgourmet Nov 4, 2011 12:56 PM

                      Hi GHG! Care to share your shrimp and feta dish?

                    2. n
                      noodlepoodle RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 03:49 PM

                      Beef stew. I think it's Emeril's. I make it in the crockpot. It has allspice in it, along with his essence ingredients which I have put together myself in a jar. It has little boiling onions in it which really makes the dish. Hmm.

                      1. a
                        AdamD RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 04:26 PM

                        Nabe and Oden in all its wonderful variations.
                        Shabu Shabu, Sukiyaki and Yakiniku if they count as "one pot."

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AdamD
                          BigSal RE: AdamD Dec 7, 2011 05:33 PM


                        2. m
                          magiesmom RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 05:20 PM

                          beef stew,chicken and dumplings, paella, pilaf,

                          1. s
                            sunflwrsdh RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 06:08 PM

                            also +1 on the beef stew, mine is an oven beef stew recipe, and lasagna, and chicken and dumplings, and chili and home made pot pies. Also, Jambalaya. And quiche or frittata. Many soups. Spanish rice. Szkely goulash. Can you tell that I love one dish meals??

                            1. opinionatedchef RE: lifespan Nov 1, 2011 11:35 PM

                              Turkey pot pie filled with roasted turkey, roasted butternut squash, almond prune apple bread stuffing, mushrooms, gravy.



                              duck sausage and sweet potato hash

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                lifespan RE: opinionatedchef Nov 3, 2011 01:41 PM

                                Turkey pot pie sounds really good...

                              2. hill food RE: lifespan Nov 2, 2011 01:47 AM

                                one roasting dish, hot oven, olive oil and garlic. a layer of small potatoes (maybe quartered) later a layer of brussel sprouts (salt and pepper and a good shake) later a cheap shoulder cut lamb chop with rosemary

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hill food
                                  mcel215 RE: hill food Dec 8, 2011 03:51 AM

                                  What do you mean "later" a cheap shoulder cut lamb chop? And what temp is a hot oven to you?

                                2. Cynsa RE: lifespan Nov 2, 2011 06:50 AM

                                  Please share your amazing "3-hour standing soup" recipe. I like gumbo or cioppino for one-pot meals.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                    lifespan RE: Cynsa Nov 3, 2011 01:40 PM

                                    Hi Cynsa - Unfortunately, there is no recipe! I do it differently each time.

                                  2. Emme RE: lifespan Nov 3, 2011 07:42 PM

                                    Roast Chicken & veg
                                    Mexican Chicken Strata
                                    Big plate of roasted veggies... my "when no one's around" dinner

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Emme
                                      daniellempls RE: Emme Nov 4, 2011 11:35 AM

                                      Emme, funny! I will also do a large plate of sauteed veg if I am dining by myself! Usually just lots of one kind of veg- eggplant, bok choy and brussels are my favorites.

                                      Barszcz- Polish version of borscht with pork and lots of veg

                                    2. iL Divo RE: lifespan Dec 7, 2011 04:29 PM

                                      very plain meal/dish. one pot.

                                      it consists of hamburger meat, elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, onion and celery and mild cheddar cheese.

                                      nothing else, it's that plain and that simple, nothing fancy and nothing brilliant, just a perfect blend of mildly flavored comforting deliciousness.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                        Hank Hanover RE: iL Divo Dec 7, 2011 09:09 PM

                                        Yes, and you can change it with your mood. You can use hamburger half Italian, chorizo, or andouille and the appropriate spices depending on where you want to go.

                                        Your very own version of hamburger helper.

                                        1. re: Hank Hanover
                                          iL Divo RE: Hank Hanover Dec 8, 2011 07:30 AM

                                          HH, my mom made it, my grandmother made it [which was weird because she usually made pheasant or goose or duck or lamb type things]. my best junior high girlfriends mother made this dish often and it was always the same wherever I ate it. I am not a simple cook that uses simple ingredients but prefer to use things that most cooks don't. that's a reason I love this recipe, I have to corral my arms to not add more because I know it's perfect the way it is, simple and easy, so good.

                                      2. Hank Hanover RE: lifespan Dec 7, 2011 04:43 PM

                                        My "go to" 1 dish meals are as follows:
                                        Swiss Steak
                                        Skillet Lasagne
                                        Rice Casserole
                                        Pot Roast
                                        Shepherd's (cottage really) pie

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Hank Hanover
                                          iL Divo RE: Hank Hanover Dec 8, 2011 07:34 AM


                                          have you posted your cottage pie recipe anywhere?
                                          do you use lamb or ground beef?
                                          love cottage shepherds pie, again for me or us, it's comfort.

                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                            Hank Hanover RE: iL Divo Dec 8, 2011 08:47 AM

                                            I use ground beef because it is cheaper than ground lamb. I only put cottage pie in parenthenthesis to appease the purists, who get all riled up if you call it shepherd's pie and it doesn't have lamb in it. The only thing anybody needs to call it is good.

                                            I will have to think about it to write a recipe on it. I pretty much use whatever I have in the fridge and use those same guidlines for where I want to go as I described above. Sometimes, I add some kind of sausage and different spices.

                                            I did think it was interesting to learn that if you want to go Mexican with it, you have to ramp up the spices because the mashed potatoes on top have a very taming effect on the heat. I assume because of the combination of the starch, milk or cream and butter.

                                        2. m
                                          megjp RE: lifespan Dec 7, 2011 04:52 PM

                                          Roast chicken with the usual roasted vegetables.
                                          Red posole.
                                          Red lentil soup.

                                          1. l
                                            luciaannek RE: lifespan Dec 8, 2011 08:58 AM

                                            My think is braised chicken. You put a chicken, celery, onion, carrots, lemons and whatever herbs you have around in a dutch oven. Add a little white wine or stock or whatever to the bottom, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 3 hours.
                                            Serve with mashed potatoes, or don't.

                                            I know some people don't like the texture (it gets very soft), but I grew up with it so hey.

                                            1. prima RE: lifespan Dec 8, 2011 09:03 AM

                                              The already mentioned jambalaya, paella, borscht, mac & cheese, red curries-in-a-hurry using jarred red curry paste and canned coconut milk, aloo gobi, cioppino and frittata make up most of my repetoire.

                                              I also like moqueca, giouvetsi, West Indian chicken curry with potato, goulash, paprikash and Greek-style rice pilafi with calamari.

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