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Table Talk: One-pot dinner wonders

Chris Dorst
The chicken, carrots, celery and pasta in Buffalo Chicken Pasta are dressed in a Buffalo-wing red pepper sauce and tossed with blue cheese and green onions.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I recently received a phone message from Carl Wagonner, who said he lives alone and cooks for himself. He likes to eat well, but doesn't like complicated recipes that dirty a lot of pans.He described his method for preparing full meals in a single skillet. He simultaneously cooks different items in separate sections of the skillet. He puts the meat and potatoes, which usually takes more time to cook, on opposite sides of the pan, then moves them aside to make room for fresh vegetables that require less cooking time."I know it's probably not a new idea, but maybe some people who live alone haven't thought of it," he said. "I just thought I would pass the idea along in case it would help somebody."Carl's method works well for single servings because there's plenty of room in a single skillet to cook for one person.The idea of recipes that require only one pot or skillet has universal appeal, even for people cooking for large families or gatherings. I searched for one-pot meals, with an emphasis on healthy ingredients and minimal processed foods.I probably could have written the whole article based on the recipes from "Eat More of What You Love," a cookbook written by Marlene Koch. A contributor to various healthy eating publications and a registered dietitian, Koch features healthy recipes, many imitations of restaurant favorites that are high in calories and fat.Her 300-calorie version of P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef knocks out the restaurant's entrée, which clocks in at 1,011-calories and 45 grams of fat. The Cheesecake Factory's version of Chicken Madeira, served with mashed potatoes, is 1,420 calories. Koch's version has just 330 calories.Technically, Koch's Buffalo Chicken Pasta isn't a one-pot wonder because the pasta is cooked in a separate pot, but it looked too good not to include.Reach Julie Robinson at or 304-348-1230. Buffalo Chicken Pasta8                ounces dry penne pasta2                teaspoons canola oil1/2             medium onion, diced2                medium carrots, diced
3                ribs celery, diced2                large garlic cloves, minced1                pound skinless boneless chicken breast2                teaspoons paprika2                teaspoons all-purpose flour2                tablespoons hot sauce
1                14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice1                cup reduced sodium chicken broth2                teaspoons butter1/2             cup crumbled blue cheese1/4             cup sliced green onions, including green topsCOOK pasta according to package directions while preparing the sauce. Set asideHEAT oil in very large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and chicken and sauté for 4 to 5 more minutes or until chicken is almost cooked.SPRINKLE paprika and flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Add hot sauce, tomatoes and chicken broth, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through. Swirl the butter into the sauce.PLACE pasta in a large serving dish. Pour sauce on top and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle blue cheese and scallions over the pasta and serve.Nutrition information: Calories 290, Carbohydrate 35g, Total Fat 7g, Protein 25g, Fiber 6g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 540.Reprinted from "Eat More of What You Love" by Marlene Koch.  Published by Running Press.Cheesecake Factory-Style Chicken Madeira4                boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound1/4             teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided1/2             teaspoon black pepper, divided1                tablespoon canola oil, divided1                8-ounce package sliced mushrooms1/2             cup red onion, finely diced1                cup Madeira wine3/4             cup reduced sodium beef broth, divided2                teaspoons cornstarch2                teaspoons honey or brown sugar1                teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 1                teaspoon butter2                slices part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut in halfCOVER the chicken breasts in plastic wrap and gently pound flat to 1/2-inch thickness. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.HEAT 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until well browned. Turn the chicken and cook for 3 more minutes or until barely cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.REDUCE the heat to medium. Add the remaining teaspoon of oil and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 3 more minutes or until softened. Add the wine and 1/2 cup broth and simmer until three-quarters of the liquid evaporates.WHISK together the cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl and add to the skillet with the honey, Italian seasoning, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer for 1 minute or until thickened. Swirl in the butter, add the chicken back to the pan and top each breast with cheese. Turn the heat to low and cover skillet for 2 to 3 minutes to melt cheese. Place chicken on plates and top with sauce.Nutrition information: Calories 330, Carbohydrate 16g, Total Fat 10g, Protein 28g, Fiber 1g, Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 550.Reprinted from "Eat More of What You Love" by Marlene Koch.  Published by Running Press.Louisiana Goulash3 1/4      cups chopped tomato3/4         cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices celery1/2         cup water1/3         cup chopped onion1/2         teaspoon paprika1/2         teaspoon dried thyme1/2         teaspoon dried rubbed sage1/4         teaspoon ground red pepper1/4         teaspoon Cajun seasoning10          ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices1            14-ounce can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth1            garlic clove, minced1 1/4      cups uncooked long-grain brown rice1/2         pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
COMBINE the first 12 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.STIR in rice; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done.Nutritional Information per serving: Calories 245, Calories from fat: 29%, Fat 8g, Saturated fat: 2.8g, Monounsaturated fat 3.3g, Polyunsaturated fat 1.3g, Protein 15.2g, Carbohydrate 28.2g, Fiber 2.3g, Cholesterol 68mg, Iron 2.3mg, Sodium 451mg, Calcium 34mg.Source: cookinglight.comChicken and White Bean Chili1           tablespoon olive oil1 1/3     cups chopped onion1           large green bell pepper, chopped6           garlic cloves, chopped2 1/4     pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes3 1/2     tablespoons chili powder2           tablespoons tomato paste1           tablespoon ground cumin1           tablespoon dried oregano2           15- to 16-ounce cans white beans, drained, juices reserved2           15-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice1/2        cup chopped fresh cilantroHEAT oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until chicken is no longer pink outside, about 5 minutes.MIX in chili powder, tomato paste, cumin, and oregano. Add beans, 1 cup reserved bean juices, and canned tomatoes.SIMMER until chicken is cooked through and chili is thickened, about 25 minutes. If chili is too thick, add more bean juices by tablespoonfuls to thin. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper.MIX in cilantro and serve.Based on a recipe from Bon Appetit, October 2005Penne Puttanesca Serves: 41                 box whole wheat penne1                 tablespoon olive oil3                 cloves garlic, minced1                14-ounce can peeled tomatoes, chopped with their juices2                 dozen pitted black or green olives, halved1/2              teaspoon crushed red pepper1                 cup parsley, chopped                  Zest of 1 lemon2                 tablespoon capers1                 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated4                 ounces ricotta cheeseMAKE pasta according to directions and your preference. Strain pasta.ADD oil to pasta pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn. Add chopped tomatoes and juices, olives and chili peppers.ADD pasta back into pot. Add parsley, lemon zest and capers. Stir in Parmesan.DIVIDE into four bowls. Top with ricotta cheese.Source: learnvest.comPepper Avocado Omelet1          medium poblano or green sweet pepper, roasted (directions below), seeded and chopped2          tablespoons butter2          eggs, lightly beaten1/2       medium avocado, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped1/4       jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)1/4       cup manchego cheese, shredded            Crushed red pepper1          recipe Fresh Tomato Compote, recipe belowROAST poblano pepper (directions below); set aside. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add eggs; gently swirl to spread eggs to edge of skillet.WHEN eggs begin to bubble, sprinkle with poblano, avocado and jalapeno.WHEN omelet is very lightly brown at edges, add cheese. With spatula loosen egg from sides; fold half the omelet over filling. Season with black pepper and crushed red pepper.SERVE with Fresh Tomato Compote and toast.Fresh Tomato Compote1          tablespoon olive oil1/2       cup thinly sliced onion.1          cup halved cherry tomatoes1          tablespoon snipped fresh parsley1/8       teaspoon salt and ground black pepperHEAT olive oil in medium skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add cherry tomatoes, parsley, salt and ground black pepper. Heat through, serve with omelet.Roasted Poblano PepperMakes 2 servingsHEAT oven to 425 degrees.HALVE pepper lengthwise; remove stems and seeds. Place halves, cut sides down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes.WRAP pepper in foil; let stand 10 minutes. Gently pull off skin in strips, using a sharp knife to help loosen.Nutrition information per serving: Calories 509, Total Fat 37g, Saturated Fat 15g, Monounsaturated Fat 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 262mg, Sodium 703mg, Carbohydrate 3g, Total Sugar 8g Fiber 7g Protein 16g.Source: McClatchy-Tribune/
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