I love to cook. I love nothing more than to pull out every pot in my kitchen, every roasting pan, and dive in. Want to know what I hate doing? Cleaning up. My poor husband gets put on clean up duty every time I get a cooking muse, and he occasionally commends me for leaving one or two clean pots in the drawer.
Enter the magic of one pot meals.
My family loves to eat just as much as anyone else, but given our busy lifestyle, the last thing we want to be doing is spending half the day cleaning the kitchen and storing leftovers in multiple containers, etc. This was even more critical when we had two toddlers in the home. If it wasn't simple, it wasn't happening. Over the past 13 years, I've developed quite a repertoire of one pot meals that are filling, delicious, satisfy everyone, and best of all- leave only one pot to clean, one container of leftovers to store in the fridge or freezer. One pot meals are also often my immediate choice when cooking for a family with a new baby. It's easy to quickly fill a bowl and heat it up when you are too tired to think of anything more complicated.
One pot meals work better for us in the winter, when heavy soups and stews are comfort food we all crave. In the summer, we do a lot of fast and healthy meals by grilling proteins and veggies. By the time fall rolls around, we are ready to embrace the chill in the air with heaping bowls of soup. The best part is they last a good while in the fridge, so I always make a double portion and leave leftovers for hungry appetites later in the week (or for this doula mom who keeps strange hours). Of course you can always pair these with a fresh garden salad, and "go dipping" as my boys call it, with crusty bread, but one pot meals are an excellent way to simplify and have good nutritious food on hand for busy families.
Some of my one pot staples:
meat soup with beans
classic chicken soup
chicken tortilla soup
spaghetti meat sauce (okay, cheating for this one since most people eat it with pasta. I like it plain)
lamb and orzo
potato garlic soup
all in one pasta (cook raw pasta in pot with veggies and some liquid. Pinterest, my friends).