You really can't beat the simplicity of one-pot meals. Fewer dishes, fewer things to stir, piece of cake.
Last weekend my one-pot meal was black bean soup. I flavored it with pork fat and stock leftover from a pork shoulder I'd cooked in the crockpot. It was some pork from a local farmer, and expensive, so I didn't want to waste the leftover juices!
I opted for black bean soup because I have a 10 lb bag of black beans. I've been working hard at losing weight, and have been cutting carbohydrates. I've given up bread and pasta for November. But I love beans, so I decided to make them a big part of my November diet. I try to eat about 2 servings of carbohydrate foods per day (grains, beans, potatoes), more beans than anything.
I also happened to get a lot of chicken this week from Zaycon chicken, in addition to the chicken I already had from Trader Joe's. So I've had to figure out a lot of chicken recipes. I was thinking chicken and rice, and remembered a dish I made from the newspaper years ago that was ground beef, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and instant rice. Oh how times have changed. I decided to combine that recipe with my "one-pot pasta" concept using brown rice.
First, the soup. This base of this soup came from The Pioneer Woman. Because, google took me there. I made mine in the pressure cooker because it was faster.
Black Bean Soup, adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1 lb dried black beans: 0.90
1 onion, diced: 0.50
2 peppers, chopped: 1.00 (one red, one yellow, farmer's market, smokin' hot deal!)
1 bunch cilantro: 1.00
3 stalks celery, chopped (because I had them): 0.20
3 cloves garlic, pressed: 0.15
1. 5 tsp each chili powder and cumin: 0.30
1 tsp salt
1 few tomatoes from my plant
2 pork fat: free (can use olive oil)
2-3 cups pork stock (use water or chicken stock): free
water: Your total liquid will be about 6 cups
Total: $4.05 for about 10 cups of soup, or $0.41 per cup
Soak the beans all day or overnight in water. Drain.
Heat the fat in a pot. Saute the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic until soft. Add the beans, stock + water. Bring to a boil, put lid on the pot, bring to pressure. Cook at pressure for 9 minutes. Remove from heat, allow pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid. Add the spices, salt, and tomatoes. Continue to cook for 30 minutes to an hour.
At this point, I used the immersion blender for a few seconds to grind up some of the beans and make the sauce "thicker".
I served this with some cheese and diced avocado - and some bread for the boys who aren't giving up bread.
Chicken and vegetable marinara rice
1 onion, chopped: 0.50
2 peppers: 1.34 (no smoking deal this time)
2 cloves garlic, pressed: 0.10
1 package sliced mushrooms: 2.29
1 jar marinara: 1.79
1 cup water
1.5 lb frozen chicken tenders; 3.50
1 Tbsp olive oil: 0.40
3 cubes homemade pesto: 1.00
1.5 c. brown rice: 0.95
10 kalamata olives: 0.50
4 oz shredded mozzarella: 1.00
7 small tomatoes from my plant
salt and pepper to taste
Total: $12.97 for about 10 cups, or about $1.30 per cup.
Saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil until soft and mushrooms have given up much of their liquid. I use my dutch oven. Add peppers, garlic, pesto, and tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, until they start to soften.
Add marinara and water and bring to a boil. Add rice and chicken tenders (yes, they can still be frozen). Stir, put lid on pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until rice is fully cooked. It took about an hour. At that point the rice was well cooked and the chicken was fully cooked. I used the spoon to cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
Add the olives and stir. Top with shredded cheese, put lid back on pot to let it melt. Serve!
I thought for sure that I took pictures of at least the soup, but no such luck. Anyway, you guys don't read my blog for my photos. They suck.