Tag Archives: one pot meal

Meat Chowder (serves 6) A Great Dinner Party Main Course!

I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time because frankly I either have made nothing that I haven’t posted already or, on a day when I made something perfectly splendid, I had not bothered to take pictures!

However, this dinner that I whipped up last night (whipped not really the right word here as it was a slight bit persnickety to prepare) was blog worthy and I knew this ahead of time so was also camera, and pen and paper ready!

Glorious Meat Gumbo

Glorious Meat Gumbo

It was wholly inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe for meat gumbo but as usual I changed things along the way to suit what I had on hand and because following a recipe to the letter is just not necessary. I think the one thing any chef will say about having to document a recipe is how they hate having to give exact ingredients and amounts and having to be super specific with instructions. Chefs don’t cook like that in real life and nor should you. Spontaneity is usually where the magic happens! In other words, consider my recipe here as a mere guideline and let your own culinary juices flow.

This is a great dish to make if you are throwing a dinner party as it can be made ahead of time and is so easy to serve!


What you need:

1 lb spicy sausage – cut into 1″ pieces (Italian, Chorizo, Andouille, or even a mild spicy sausage will do here)

4/5 chicken drumsticks

4/5 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t have smoked, use what you have got!)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

olive oil for frying everything

4/6 slices smokey bacon – cut into large strips (whatever bacon you have on hand will do)

1 med/lrg sweet onion or yellow onion – diced

1 green pepper – diced

1 red pepper  – diced

1 yellow pepper – diced

3 celery stalks – large dice or sliced

5 tbs all-purpose flour

2lbs sweet potatoes  – peeled & diced (about two large)

4 large garlic cloves – peeled and minced

6 (or so) springs fresh thyme (Jamie picked the leaves, I say there is no point as they come off during the cooking and it’s a pain to do!)

6 cups chicken broth (have two more cups on hand just in case)

Chopped parsley for garnish if you have it!

Pot of cooked basmati rice (enough for six people so about 6 to 8 cups cooked rice, which translates to about 3 1/2 to 4 cups raw)


1 – Prep Everything first!

Dice the veggies, season the chicken

Dice the veggies, season the chicken

Mince garlic and dice sweet potatoes

Mince garlic and dice sweet potatoes

2 – Season chicken with the salt, paprika and cayenne pepper flakes. Put large pan on high heat and add olive oil. Fry chicken in batches until golden brown. Remove to a plate or bowl.

Sear chicken in batches on hot pan

Sear chicken in batches on hot pan

3 – Sear the sausages. Remove to a plate or bowl.

Sear sausage pieces

Sear sausage pieces

3 – Add bacon and fry for about a minutes before adding the peppers and onions. cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Saute the pepper, onion & bacon

Saute the pepper, onion & bacon

4 – Add the flour and lower heat slightly. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly.

5 – Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, thyme stalks and broth and turn heat to high. Add the meat. When it boils, lower heat and cover. Simmer for about 1 hour (until chicken is fork tender and falling off the bone). Stir occasionally while it simmers.

Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, meat and broth

Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, thyme, meat and broth

Take the meat off the bone and return to gumbo (if you don’t want to do this, don’t bother!). Let this sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with rice and garnish with chopper parsley. This would also be good with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of hot sauce!

Serve Meat Gumbo with chopped parsley and a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce if you like

Serve Meat Gumbo with rice, chopped parsley and a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce if you like


Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth – This Was GOOD & FAST! (serves 6)

This is what I cooked for dinner last night and it was completely addictive. It could have served 6 people but the four of us couldn’t stop eating it until it was gone!

Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth

Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth

We are in the middle of a disgusting heat wave and I really did not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. We still needed to eat so I came up with something that was fresh tasting and very fast.

oregano, sage adn basil freshly snagged from my garden!

Oregano, sage and basil freshly snagged from my garden!

I spotted a jar of capers lurking in the pantry and figured I wouldn’t need to add much more if I wanted big flavors without much effort. I decided not to rinse them to give the broth a nice briny feel and it worked perfectly. That, along with choice herbs from my garden helped make this a very tasty meal which we enjoyed in front of the air conditioner!


* This is a good Blood Type A Diet recipe but you can either omit the capers or rinse them very well. It will taste dynamite either way!*

You will need:

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, sliced

1 medium/lrg sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbs capers, drained but not rinsed

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

4 basil leaves, chopped

1 to 2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped

4 cups baby kale OR 4 cups chopped regular kale

2 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 2 cups water and good quality bouillon cube

1 lb (box) medium pasta shells (I used Barilla Medium Shells)


1 – Place a tall saute pan or wide metal casserole or dutch oven on medium heat and add the oil. Wait for a minute to let the oil warm before adding the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the herbs.

*Put pot of water on for pasta and add some salt. When it comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions. Do Not Rinse drained pasta with cold water.Try to time this to coincide with the rest of the dish being done (Put the water on after you add the chicken to the pan)*

Saute onions and garlic

Saute onions and garlic

2 – Turn the heat up to medium/high and add more oil if necessary. Add the chopped chicken and saute for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the capers and stir.

add chicken and capers

Add chicken and capers

3 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon) and bring to a simmer. Add the kale and stir. It will wilt pretty quickly.

Add broth and kale

Add broth and kale

4 – Turn heat down and cover and simmer gently for between 5 to 7 minutes. Turn heat off. Taste broth for addition of extra seasoning (salt and/or black pepper)



5 – When pasta is drained add it directly to the broth and chicken.

Add pasta shells

Add pasta shells

Serve in shallow bowls and pass some Parmigiano Reggiano if you like. I added the cheese to my dish and it complimented the capers wonderfully!

Serve (with a grating of Parmiagiana Reggiana if you like!)

Serve (with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano if you like!)


Layered Turkey Curry: Great Dinner For Tired Swimmers and Hole Diggers! (serves 6 or more)

I make lots of dinners that can be classified as “curry”, and here is another one I made while at the beach a week ago!

Great Take on Turkey Curry

Great Take on Turkey Curry

Once you have a good curry powder you should feel free to use it in all kinds of dishes, either as the main flavor or used as a subtle background palate pleaser. I toss it into anything that might need a little boost of flavor or to add an aire of complexity to the dish. It has saved many a dinner for me, many a time!

Hole diggers

Hole diggers

For me the spices used to make curry powder are not so much about heat as they are about how they add an exotic twist to something ordinary. Of course you can use a blend that singes your taste buds and numbs your lips if it adds to your enjoyment, and I have certainly gone both ways depending on my mood.

Green Cardamum Pods

Green cardamom pods and seeds

The good thing is that I made sure to scoop a hefty handful of my favorite blend when I packed all things culinary for the beach a couple of weeks ago. I will admit to being one of those people who does not like flying-by-the seat-of-her-pants when it comes to arriving at a rental house for a week in the hopes that the person who stocked the kitchen is as passionate about food as I am. I have learned over the years what the essentials are, and besides coffee and Maldon salt, curry powder is another one of those can’t-live-without ingredients as far as I’m concerned!

Tired Swimmers

Tired Swimmers

I know, there is also a picture of just-opened cardamom pods, and this is because I have discovered how useful a flavor booster they can be when your pantry is paltry!  Anyway, about those little green pods…have you ever bashed one open with a mortar and pestle and taken a whiff? The smell sends you reeling to aromatic heaven. It has a distinctive minty fragrance with rich tar-like overtones. It feels like it gives balance to the heady-ness of curry spices and I love using these little black seeds in everything lately. In other words: they came along to the beach too.

I also packed a giant bag of herbs from my garden!

I also packed a giant bag of herbs from my garden!

The last thing I think is essential when leaving your kitchen for a week or so is a bag of fresh herbs. I find if I have fresh herbs, certain spices, salt and good stock cubes (I packed my trusty Rapunzel Vegetarian cubes with Herbs) I can make the saddest of meat and veggies taste good. Luckily the supermarket was not too shabby so we ate like kings every night.

the beach makes you hungry

The beach makes you hungry

This curry was a sort of experiment as the one thing I forgot was my big work horse of a pan for making one-pot meals. I wanted to make a curry type casserole but could only find a thin roasting/lasagna style pan. I made do, and cooked each thing separately in a small pan on the stove-top and then layered the ingredients as I would a lasagna into the cheap-o pan, topping the whole thing off with a broth-y sauce, and then baking it in the oven.

Hazy and hot

Hazy and hot weather also makes you thirsty!

The result surprised me. It was really an interesting way to cook everything and was supremely delicious. I was glad I had to compromise as it has now freed up my brain into thinking that you don’t have to have the best pan in the world to get great tasting food… although, I must say right now that I will only be parted from my stainless steel all-clad pans when prised from my cold dead fingers!


*This is a great Blood Type A diet Recipe EXCEPT omit the cream and add more broth – Yes there is curry powder but if you use something mild, I say it is fine, unless you are ultra sensitive*

You will need:

olive oil (for frying)

sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

2 lbs turkey breast, sliced

1 medium onion (white, yellow or sweet will do)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 zucchini, cut into large chunks

6 cups baby kale (or chopped regular kale)

10 mushrooms, sliced (white,  crimini or shiitake will work)

4 or so thyme sprigs

4 to 6 green cardamom pods (bashed open and seeds removed and reserved)

2 tbls good quality curry powder (if it has a lot of heat, reduce the amount)

2 tbs all-purpose four

3 cups broth (or 1 good quality bouillon cube, either chicken or vegetarian and water)

1 cup heavy cream

*serve with basmati rice – make enough for 6 people*


Preheat oven 400*

1 – Season meat lightly on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put a big saute pan on high heat and add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot brown the meat on both sides, making sure not to crowd the pan as you go. You will need to do this in batches and add more oil as needed.

Sear the turkey

Sear the turkey

2 – Layer the turkey in an evenly in the bottom of a roasting style pan or casserole dish. Scatter the zucchini on top.

Layer turkey, then zucchini

Layer turkey, then zucchini

3 – Turn pan down to medium and add a little more oil, followed by the onions and garlic. saute for 2 or so minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs.

Saute rest of veggies

Saute rest of veggies

4 – Add the curry powder and cardamom seeds and stir everything together for about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir well. Add the liquids 1 cup at a time, adding the cream last. Stir as you go and turn heat up slightly. Cook until mixture begins to bubble. Turn off heat. Taste sauce for addition of salt and pepper.

Add curry powder and liquids

Add curry powder and liquids

5 – Sprinkle kale in an even layer on top of the zucchini and then do the same with the onion and mushroom mixture. Pour the sauce over everything and place in preheated oven for about 40 to 45 minutes.

Add baby kale, then veggie mixture

Add baby kale, then veggie mixture

6 – Remove from oven and let the dish rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add sauce, then bake

Add sauce, then bake

Serve as is or with your favorite starch: bread, rice or pasta!

Serve on its own or with rice

Serve on its own or with rice

Roast Chicken with Parsnips and Black Olives for May Day! (serves 6)

May Day was yesterday and to me it represented the true beginning of Spring. After Christmas, the season of Winter looses it’s appeal and I begin longing for daffodils and cherry blossoms!

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!

A few days ago I couldn’t wait any longer and took a detour on my way home from school to buy herbs, even though I was warned not to plant until the 2nd of May (I was also told the 12th of May but I’m ignoring that one). I also couldn’t resisted some lovely wild-looking flowers called Sage Hot Trumpets, and another called  Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage, and bought those too! I now have everything either in the ground or a big pot and cannot wait  for them to grow so I can start plucking things right from the back door to throw into my saute pan!


“Pineapple Sage”, “Black & Blue Sage” & “Red Hot Trumpet Sage” ready to delight me every time I come in or out the whole Summer long!

I thought for a few more minutes about the chicken I was going to cook for last night’s dinner (being May Day and all!) and came up with this beauty of a dish. I decided to play with the bittersweet of parsnips with the slightly bitter/salty taste of black olives and it was a fantastic combination. The broth turned to a syrupy sweetness, and the roasted chicken with its crispy skin was juicy beyond belief.

amazingly flavorful Chicken dish

Amazingly flavorful Chicken Dish

Suffice is to say that dinner was heavenly on this beautiful May Day evening.


*This is a great Blood type A Diet Recipe BUT you need to Omit the sausages and substitute green olives for the black olives*

You will need:

sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 small cut-up chicken (cut into 8 pieces)

4 to 6 Spicy or Mild  Italian sausages (optional)

1 large sweet onion

1/2 cup small pitted good quality black olives (strong flavor like Kalamata)

3 parsnips, peeled, medium dice

6 single sprigs fresh thyme

3 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 1 good quality bouillon cube & water


Preheat oven 450*

1 – Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place all ingredients (besides the meat) into the bottom of a big saute or roasting pan and add the broth or crumbled bouillon cube and water.

Place all veggies in pan

Place all veggies in pan

2 – Arrange the chicken and sausages (if using) in an even snug layer on top. drizzle with olive oil and place in preheat oven for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

arrange meat on top

Arrange meat on top

*If you have sausages in the pan, remove pan from oven and turn them half way through the cooking time. Also my chicken cooked in 1 hour but if your chicken pieces are on the large side, you may need a longer cooking time. In any case, remover the breast after 1 hour and cover with foil and cook the dark meat until done*

roast in oven

Roast in oven

3 – Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5 or so minutes before serving.



Serve as is, giving everyone some chicken and sausage and a portion of veggies and broth. You can also serve this with a salad or a little rice or pasta.

The Slap-Dash Dinner instead of Eating Crap! (serves 4)

I just had to post this recipe, if for nothing else but to prove the point that you can make dinner without expending an ounce of energy or without dashing off to the supermarket for that missing ingredient!

yummy alternative to eating bad take-out

Yummy alternative to eating bad take-out

Have you ever been too tired to cook, but when you ordered out or drove 10 minutes each way for take-out, OR, stuck a frozen pizza in the oven and ending up being so dissatisfied with what you ate that you wished you had cooked something, or even settled for beans on toast: Of course you have!

The other night when it was time to make dinner my brain had stopped working and I started going through all of the ways I could get out of cooking dinner. Then I snapped out of it, that trap you get yourself into over what to eat and where to get it. If you live in a town as dismally lacking in food choices as I do, then you will have had the experience of settling for something, crossing your fingers it will be good, and then feel like you ate slop for dinner! That is when I figured out if I was going to eat slop, I might as well make it myself; it was bound to be better and I wouldn’t be charged for the pleasure.

It may look "thrown together" but don't let that fool you - it tasted delish!

It may look “thrown together” but don’t let that fool you – it tasted delish!

At that moment I put my trusty pan on the counter and started filling it with whatever came in contact with my hands. This is what we ended up with, a veritable smorgasbord of a feast, one I lapped up with immense satisfaction knowing I hadn’t wasted my money on what was sure to have been another disappointing dining experience.


You will need:

freshly ground pepper

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

2 chicken breast fillets (or some chicken thighs or drumsticks)

5 Italian sausages (or whatever sausages you happen to have on hand)

6 stripes bacon

4 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed (but saved)

2 celery ribs, chopped or diced

1 cup matchstick, or thinly sliced carrots

6 cloves garlic, with skin on

1 cup chopped cilantro (if you don’t have this and you have flat-leafed parsley, use this instead!

3 tbs capers, rinsed (if you don’t have capers, don’t worry)

3 cups chicken broth OR 1 good quality stock cube and 3 cups water


Preheat oven 425*

1 – Place all of the prepared veggies in the bottom of a roasting pan or saute pan or low rimmed casserole dish. If you are using a bouillon cube, crumble it over the veggies. Wrap 1 stripe of bacon around each chicken bread and place on top. Place Portobello mushrooms and sausages in pan and put a stripe of rolled bacon on each mushroom. Grind some pepper over entire dish and drizzle with the oil. Place in oven for 25 minutes.

place on ingredients in pan

Place on ingredients in pan

2 – Remove dish from oven and turn the sausages, the bacon on top of mushrooms and the chicken breasts. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

slap-dash dinner is ready to eat!

Slap-Dash dinner is ready to eat!

Serve with whatever you like: pasta, bread, rice or on its own.

Toad In The Hole in Vegetable Batter (serves 6)

If you don’t know what Toad in the Hole is, now is the time to find out. The reason is simple; you have got to try this!

A fabulous dinner for any day of the week!

A very strange name, and, the best explanation is that somehow (if you really stretch your imagination), the sausages resemble a toad or frog peeking out of a hole, the batter in this case! It is english and there are references to it being made in the mid 19th century, but who really knows?

Judging by the simple batter (same batter as Yorkshire pudding) and the inclusion of a very basic meat, it must have been a kind of make-the-most-of-not-much sort of meal.

The original Toad in the Hole is a simple batter poured over some par-cooked sausages, and then finished off in a hot oven. It has everything that is great about comfort food, a divine savouriness, mixed with a filling creaminess (yes, making up new adjectives is a hobby of mine!)

I also cooked a little sweet onions on the side (cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour)

If you feel a little lazy like me some evenings, a great way to turn this humble dish into a girth-y meal is to load it with vegetables. I love one-pot meals, whether it is a slow-cooked stew or a big pot of soup.

Everyday Toad in the Hole however did not satisfy the maternal need in me to make sure dinner had some sort of vegetable. This guilt led to the making of something that far surpassed cooking sausages in plain batter. The pudding picked up all the wonderful vegetable flavors, and I even got one of my kids to enjoy peppers more than he usually does.

I used peppers and broccoli, but I think you could use just about anything you can scrounge up. Also, if you don’t want any toads in the hole whatsoever, this is also splendid as a side dish or a vegetarian meal.


You will Need: 6 big sausages (Italian or country), 1/2 lb bacon, sliced,  1 green pepper, diced, 1 red pepper, diced, 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional; I always opt for heat!), 4 cups broccoli crowns, cut into medium segments, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven 400*
1 – Fry sausage on medium heat until brown on all sides (about 10 -12 minutes. Set aside.

Brown the sausages and place in a dish.

2 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add the bacon slices. Fry for 6 or 7 minutes. Drain off all but a couple of tbs of oil into a bowl and reserve. Add the peppers to the bacon and continue to cook for another 8 minutes or so, or, until the peppers have softened.

3 – While peppers are cooking, prep the broccoli and put pot of water on to boil. When it boils, add the broccoli and cook covered for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Saute veggies and bacon for pudding batter

4 – In a large bowl combine the flour, and salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add to the flour and mix together (it doesn’t matter if it is lumpy). Add the cooked vegetables to the batter and give everything a stir.

Make batter and add vegetables

5 – Put 3 tbs of the reserved bacon fat into the bottom of a casserole dish and place in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Take out and pour batter into dish, and arrange the sausages on top (be careful as the dish is very hot). Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until the top browns.

Stick in oven, and voila; dinner!

Serve as is, or with some carmelized onions, or atop a crunchy green salad. Hot sauce is also a good idea. Be prepared to dole out seconds!