Our Best One-Pot Meals for Fall
We think eating a plant-based, veggie-centric diet is a great way to feel great and invest in long-term health. But with so many commitments competing for time, it’s really important to be strategic about cooking.
And at our house, batch cooking is what keeps all that on the rails.
If not for batch cooking, I’m pretty sure we’d either A) die of starvation or B) eat a lot more hot dogs. Embracing the idea of making large recipes to be used as leftovers throughout the week frees up time, simplifies decision making, and gets healthy foods “in” us all week long.
If we can do it, you can, too!
Here are a few of the greatest hits from our short list of one pot recipe favorites, as relevant to September, our favorite month to eat.
Each recipe uses a minimum of 4 items you might find in your CSA share right now, or approximately one half of a small summer share.
Big Batches of Vinaigrette
We often start cooking by making up a couple pints of vinaigrette.
If you’re eating a bunch of salads, these dressings keep fine right on the counter, not in the fridge. They’ll last at least a couple of weeks.
For balsamic vinaigrette, I use 1 part extra virgin olive oil to 2 parts balsamic vinegar. About half of the balsamic vinegar in our dressing is an aged vinegar from Sonoma, CA. (With apologies to Fustini’s, the one carried by Provisions is way better.) I add approximately 1/2 teaspoon Green Salt to the vinaigrette, along with about a tablespoon of prepared Dijon mustard.
Lemon vinaigrette for dressing raw kale salads is made with an assertively lemony vinaigrette. It’s true, this contravenes established wisdom about vinaigrette proportions. Use at least 1 part lemon juice, or even more, to 1 part olive oil.
This dressing is usually meant for raw kale salads, (but it’s also perfect for chunky big salads such as cauliflower slaw.) I normally salt the kale directly, while mashing it up in my hands, then incorporate the dressing in later, also with my hands. No extra salt goes into the dressing. It’s just half (or more) lemon juice, and half (or less) extra virgin olive oil.
Big Salad 1: Tender Greens
For tender leafy greens like Not So Spicy Mix, arugula, and red lettuce, I assemble a big salad in big glass bowls and keep them ready inside the fridge. Don’t put the salad in opaque bowl—it’s important to be able to access it visually. (You want to know it’s there so you can be sure to eat it.) Make the dressing ahead of the week, but keep it on the counter. Wait to dress the salad until it’s time to eat.
Number of vegetable share items you can use up in this type of salad: 4+
Big Salad 2: Raw Kale Salads
For raw kale salads, I prefer to tweak the classic 1:3 acid to vinegar ration by using a much more assertively lemon-based dressing. It’s about 1 part lemon juice to 1 part olive oil—but maybe more. (In the photo leading this post, this would be the lemony dressing on the right.)
At our farm, we almost always have a big salad on hand, and usually, it’s made with kale. Because it’s made with kale, it lasts all week, even though it has been pre-dressed. So good. So easy.
Here’s another take on the theme.
Number of vegetable share items you can use up in this type of salad: 4-5
To hold you steady throughout the week, you’re probably going to need some protein.
To this end, we love making great big, loaded fittatas.
But it is also a superlative idea to make up a batch of perfect hard-boiled eggs to slice into the above salads. Or make up a round of brined + spatchcocked chicken under a brick, cooked on the grill or in the oven.
Number of vegetable share items you can use up in this type of dish: 3-4
Soup 1: Gazpacho
If soup is more your thing, this is also great.
Gazpacho is 1000% in season, and you don’t even need to turn on an oven to make it.
Number of vegetable share items you can use up in this type of dish: 6+
Soup 2: Beet + Tomato Potage
Or perhaps you’re more in the mood for fall + beets. Why not make up a big hearty batch of borscht? If temperatures are up and down, rest easy in the knowledge that it’s equally wonderful to eat both hot + cool.
Number of vegetable share items you can use up in this type of dish: 5+