That’s what my kids call me.  When our youngest started 1st grade, my wife went back to school to get her second graduate degree.  They were no longer hiring teachers and she needed to re-tool.  Although she went to school during the day, so that she would be home in the evening with the kids, there were times that I became the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.  I was also Mr. Mom during the day while she was at school.  It was lucky that I worked locally and had a position that gave me a great deal of flexibility.  The school Nurse thought I was a single dad.

On those occasions that my wife was held up at school, I had to scrounge for dinner.  There were actually three choices:  (1) Pizza, (2) Roast chicken dinner with sides from the local deli, or (3) what ever was in the freezer or fridge.

Many times, that was a chunk of very frozen chopped meat.  I had a method.  I would boil up water in one pot to cook pasta or rice.  In a deep walled fry pan, I would add a little olive oil, chop up every veggie in the fridge and throw them into the pot.  In the center of the pan, I would roll around the frozen chopped meat, peeling it as it cooked.   Eventually, all the meat was dispersed and mixed with the veggies.  Time to season and add a cup or two of tomato sauce, drain the pasta and throw it into the pot.  Stir and let simmer.  When all the flavors had melded – serve.  It actually was a pretty healthy meal.  A goodly portion of protein, veggies and not all that much by the way of carbs.  The kids liked it – well – they tolerated it.

Last evening, my wife was super tired.  She laid down for a moment and was out.  Dinner was mine to make or starve.  Pizza is no longer an option.  Opened the fridge.  Ah ha!  Two super frozen chicken breasts – no chopped meat.  Nuked the chicken – on real low heat to defrost. 

Veggies – there was one large eggplant,  an onion, some mushrooms, some left over string beans and a zucchini.  There was also some whitefish salad.  I peeled the eggplant and cut it up into small chunks, sliced up the onion into long slivers, cut 4 large mushrooms in half, chopped up the string beans. and sliced the zucchini on the diagonal into 1/4 inch thick slices, setting aside 10 slices and cutting the rest into smaller pieces.

Heated some olive oil in a deep sided pan and dumped in all the veggies except the sliced zucchini.  Stirred around and put the top on to cook.  By then the chicken was defrosted.  That got cut up into 1 inch squares and set aside.  The 10 slices of zucchini were topped with a smear of whitefish salad (thank you Mrs. Costco), and put on the table as an appetizer.  I went back to the pot of cooking veggies and added a couple of splashes of Balsamic vinegar, a shake or three of Soy Sauce, a teaspoon or two of powdered Ginger, two large teaspoons of chopped garlic (again – thank you Mrs. Costco), a healthy shake of sesame seeds and two teaspoons of fake sugar.  Covered and let simmer. 

Set the table and poured two glasses of Shiraz.  Then I woke my wife.  When she came down stairs, I cleared an area in the center of the pot, added a bit more olive oil and dumped in the chicken – mixed it around and covered the pot.  We sat down and enjoyed the wine and the appetizer.  I did hit the stove at one point and mixed the mostly cooked chicken around with the veggies and returned to the table.  Finally served my one pot meal.  My wife loved it – I suspect more because she did not have to cook than because of its otherwise delectable taste.

And once again – proved my right to the title of King of the One Pot Meal.

Nutrition Note:  The eggplant appears to be very starchy.  When it cooks down, it does tend to thicken the dish.  The nutrients for that one peeled eggplant are:

Energy (kcal) 110
Protein (g) 4.63
Fat, total (g) 0.87
Carbohydrate (g) 26.11
Sugars, total (g) 10.76
Fiber, total dietary (g) 15.6

 

That was 6 net carbs per serving – not too shabby – not too shabby at all.

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