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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Wendy (The Local Cook) said...

Definitely bookmarking this for later! Thanks for reposting!

Lea said...

I love the Mayo Clinic's recipe for Arugula Parmesan Quinoa Risotto and then I add some grilled chicken breast on top.

Super quick, yummy and a tasty lunch the next day.

Deb Bixler said...

More people should invest in healthy food. Good natural food choices do not have to be expensive as you pointed out here, thanks. Deb

Zom G. said...

Uh how awesome are you?

Answer: Totally.

Linda Woodrow said...

How about pizza? It is definitely possible to make healthy pizza, makes awesome leftovers, and not only comes in one dish, it can be eaten with no utensils. Pumpkin Feta and Caramelized Onion Pizza fits the rules.

Cheap Thrills said...

Yummy! (And the recipes, too. These do look pretty healthy, and doable.) Thanks.

Steve-GettingShape said...

Heya i am new to your posts but certainly enjoyed reading it.

When you said "If a recipe wouldn’t be any good the next day, it was disqualified. (This ruled out a lot of egg dishes."

I love the rule. Fresh, quality and taste is the key!

Going to check out your list now :)

carter @ the kitchenette said...

You managed to mix my two favorite types of posts: the "round up of recipes" post and "includes gratuitous non-related pictures of hot guys" post.

You are truly making the world a better place, one blog post at a time.

The Happy Domestic said...

Hey, first off all, I love your site. Looked forward to reading your list, but was disappointed by the poliferation of seafood & poultry dishes. As yummy as they look, I would prefer more lean ground beef or pork, both of which CAN be healthy and are much cheaper. Is there an anti-red meat bias here of which I was unaware?

Sharon said...

Love the list, love the George Clooney! Gotta bookmark your site!