Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Throwback: 65 Cheap, Healthy, One-Dish Meals with Good Leftover Potential

Every Saturday, we post a piece from the CHG archives. This one is from January 2009.

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to CHG readers, asking what kind of posts y’all would like to see more of in 2009. Overwhelmingly, the response was: easy, one-dish meals that make excellent leftovers, posted alongside gratuitously good-looking pictures of George Clooney. (I may have added that last part.)

It was a challenge, but I think we may have come up with a few ideas, thus fulfilling your wildest frugal foodie dreams. (We’re also very modest.)

It’s a big internet out there, and there are several billion interpretations of “one-dish meal,” so our first step was narrowing the field. Here were our initial criteria:

  • The whole meal – vegetables, starch, and meat (if included) – had to come to the table in a single pot, skillet, bowl, or dish. This DOES NOT mean it was entirely prepared in one implement. (Though quite a few meals are, and those have a ** next to them.)
  • The meal shouldn’t require additional side dishes, breads, rice, or other accompaniment.
  • The meal had to be relatively balanced, meaning no all-vegetable, all-meat, or all-starch dishes, a la macaroni and cheese.
  • Preparation and dishes had to be kept to a reasonable minimum. Chopping an onion, salting an eggplant, or sautéing a chicken breast was allowed. Creating a from-scratch, two-hour tomato sauce before adding it to a dish: not so much. (This killed a lot of lasagnas.)
  • No Cream of Mushroom, Chicken, or Whatever soups allowed. Because I hate them.
  • No thin soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, or slow cooker dishes were included, mostly because they’re subjects for another post. Stews were okay. (Logic? Not allowed, either.)
  • If a recipe wouldn’t be any good the next day, it was disqualified. (This ruled out a lot of egg dishes.)
  • As always, if the dish came from an aggregate site with ratings (All Recipes, Epicurious, etc.), it must have had at least an 85% approval from reviewers.
  • “Cheap” and “healthy” parameters were determined however we usually do it on this blog. (Meaning: low fat, low calorie, and otherwise subject to our whims. Muahahahahahahaha!)
Needless to say, after hours of searching, we found a LOT of chilis and pasta dishes. They’re all listed below, along with various bakes, casseroles, rice dinners, meaty mains, full-on veggie deals, and quite a few bean-based meals. To reiterate, if a recipe can be prepared using just one heating implement (one pot, one pan, one skillet, etc.) there are two stars (**) next to it.

The list is by no means definitive, but it’s a nice start. Readers, please add your suggestions in the comments section, using the guidelines listed above. When we’re done, this is going to rule.


CHG/All Recipes: Meatless Shepherd’s Pie

CHG/Cooking Light: Baked Eggplant with Mushroom-Tomato Sauce

CHG/Bon Appetit: Ratatouille

CHG/All Recipes: Cheesy Eggplant Bake

**CHG/Weight Watchers Boards: Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Martha Stewart: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
(This looks GREAT. Use part-skim mozzarella for less fat.)


CHG: Garlicky Long Beans and Cannellini Beans

**CHG/Yeah That Vegan S***: Curried Apple and Lentil Dal

**CHG/International Vegetarian Union: Tunisian-Style Greens and Beans

**CHG/Amateur Gourmet: Bodega Beans

**Eating Well: Kale, Sausage, and Lentil Skillet

**Greedy Gourmet: Pork Sausage, Leek, Carrot, and Butter Bean Casserole
(I listed this because you might be able to pull it off with turkey sausage and a minimum of olive oil. And, the original post had a picture that looked REALLY good.)

** Beans and Greens


**All Recipes: Pumpkin Chili
(I would substitute ground turkey in here to keep the fat down.)

**CHG: Camp Stove Veggie Chili

**CHG/Cook’s Illustrated: Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili

**CHG: Leftover Turkey Chili

**CHG/Bon Appetit: Turkey Chili with Beans

**Epicurious: Chicken and White Bean Chili

** Santa Fe Chicken Chili


Eating Well: Chicken Tagine with Pomegranates

Eating Well: Honey-Mustard Turkey Cutlets and Potatoes

** Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

**Chicken Stir-Fry With Yams, Red Cabbage, and Hoisin

PASTA (Meatatarian)

CHG/Jenny Craig: Moroccan Chicken and Orzo

**CHG/Words to Eat By: American Chop Suey

CHG/Giada DeLaurentiis: Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes

CHG/Cooking Light: Noodle Salad with Shrimp, Chicken, and Mint

CHG: Whole Wheat Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Navy Beans, and Sausage

CHG/Cook’s Illustrated: Maque Choux with Chicken and Turkey Kielbasa

Serious Eats/All Recipes: Basil Chicken Pasta

PASTA (Vegetarian)

CHG/Weight Watchers: Angel Hair Pasta with Eggplant-Tomato Sauce

CHG/Ellie Krieger: Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce

CHG/Sara Moulton: Orecchiette (er, Macaroni) with Broccoli and Chickpeas

CHG/All Recipes: Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

CHG/Moosewood: Penne with Lemon, Potatoes, and Cannellini

CHG/Reluctant Gourmet: Pasta with Nettles, Sorrel, and Lemon

The Kitchn: Arugula with Orzo and Garden Tomatoes

The Kitchn: Israeli Couscous with Chard

The Kitchn: Velvety Broccoli and Feta Pasta

**Martha Stewart: Spaghetti with Pecorino and Black Pepper

**Martha Stewart: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Vegetables and Peanut Sauce

Serious Eats/Cook’s Illustrated: Baked Rotelle Puttanesca

RICE & GRAINS (Carnivore)
CHG/Betty Crocker: Stuffed Peppers

**Cooking Light: Louisiana Goulash

Cooking Light: Shrimp-and-Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

Cooking Light: Turkey Jambalaya

**Martha Stewart: Lemon Shrimp with Rice

** Lemon Chicken and Rice

RICE & GRAINS (Vegetarian)

All Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh
(I would halve the dressing here to keep the fat down.)

**CHG/Wildman Steve Brill: Sesame Rice with Burdock

CHG: Shredded Zucchini and Chickpeas Over Polenta

Epicurious: Quinoa with Corn, Scallions, and Mint Bulgur Pilaf with Broccoli and Peppers

Serious Eats/Cooking Light: Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomato, and Edamame

Serious Eats/Epicurious: Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
(You’re only cooking the quinoa here. Also, it’s FREAKING DELICIOUS.) 


Cooking Light: Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Tarragon Broth

Ellie Krieger: Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

**The Kitchn: Tomato and White Bean Panade

Martha Stewart: Quick Vegetable and Navy Bean Stew

Serious Eats/Jamie Oliver: Bread and Tomato Soup
(This has much more of a stew consistency, which is why it’s included here)


All Recipes: Vegetable Phyllo Pie
(Use low-fat feta crumbles to keep fat down.)

Cooking Light: Butternut-Cheese Pie

Serious Eats/The Kitchn: Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts

For kicks, these three cookbooks looked helpful, and garnered good ratings on Amazon:
Readers, I throw it back to you. Any suggestions?

(Photos courtesy of Live Journal, Bitten and Bound, and Contact Music.)

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