Temperatures are cooler, the smell of fallen leaves is in the air, and daylight hours are getting shorter. I confess–I love all of it! Fall is a time when locavore cooks (people who use only ingredients grown locally) begin to use the sturdier, late summer varieties and root vegetables as their central ingredients.
Root vegetables make a good foundation for one-pot meals. Their earthy taste combines well with other ingredients. Mix everything together, put them in the oven or a slow-cooker, and walk away. Come back later to wonderful aromas and hearty flavors.
Well-planned one-pot meals contain all the nutritional food groups you’d put into any meal–protein, carbohydrates, a little fat, and nutrient-rich vegetables. In the recipe below, eggs and cheese are included for the protein, potatoes and onions for the carbohydrates, butter for the fat, and broccoli for the texture and nutrition of green vegetables. I added a little vinegar and salt to enhance the taste, and that’s all it took. No further seasoning was necessary.
One-pot meals, in my opinion, should also taste even better as leftovers. Like soups, one-pot flavors will continue to meld when stored in the refrigerator for a day or two after cooking.
Finally, I like to be able to make double batches of one-pot meal recipes and freeze half for serving another day. Simplicity is the key word in most of my day-to-day cooking. When time is short it’s nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer and know I can look forward to the taste.
Start with a one-pot meal, add a fall fruit dessert, and you’ve got this week’s menu: