Winter Warmer Family One Pot
I am a huge fan of one pot meals, especially in the winter time. I cook them a lot, which means I’ve adapted and made up a few of my own recipes along the way. Being a family of four and having to please everyone, I have always had to remove ingredients or replace them with something else. My son hates mushrooms and peppers and my daughter just hates vegetables. Then my husband is lactose and soya intolerant. So I guess you can say I have my work cut out for me!
There are no ready meals in our house. I have to cook mostly from scratch just so I know what is in it.
However, I do enjoy cooking so it’s never a major issue.
I have also learned to cook using the basics in the cupboard and fridge. It may be the way I was brought up, but I do pride myself on being able to make a meal out of nothing – just about! Towards the end of the week is generally the time when I’m scrabbling around looking for food to cook for dinner.
The other thing I do more of in the winter is make a lot of puddings. It’s all about comfort food. When the oven is on, I will make a one pot or a pie, then stick an apple crumble or rice pudding in too. Anything hot and filling is perfect on a cold evening.
I do like to be careful though when it comes to over doing things. If I eat too many desserts or big portions, I develop a food baby! So I try my best to keep it simple and healthy. But this casserole is definitely comforting. A great winter warmer!
Cheap and Cheerful
One ingredient that we use a lot in our house is quinoa. It is a grain that goes really well in casseroles (as well as homemade bread). It’s a nice alternative to lentils and great to keep in the cupboard, next to the rice and pasta. It just makes a change and also makes your one pot go that little bit further.
It swells up in the same way as rice and lentils so is great for bulking out your dish, as well as being high in protein and fibre. It’ll fill you up!
It’s inexpensive (I buy it in Lidl) and this recipe only contains four main ingredients. Then I add chicken stock and seasoning. It’s so easy.
Adapt the Recipe
This was something I cooked one meal time, just using the ingredients I had. But it’s really easy to swap out the courgette for mushrooms or peppers, and you could use tinned tomatoes instead of passata. It’s versatile – like many of my recipes.
Chicken Casserole with Quinoa
Cooking time: 10 minutes preparation, 45 minutes in the oven
- 350g Chicken breast
- 500g Passata
- 100g Quinoa
- Half a medium courgette, diced
- 350ml Chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A pinch of dried thyme
- A drizzle of vegetable oil
Pre-heat the oven to 220°c
On a chopping board, dice the chicken breast then heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Add the chicken and cook for five minutes, until browned.
Add 350ml of water to a pan and add a chicken stock cube. Simmer and stir until the stock cube has dissolve, and remove from the heat.
Dice up half a medium courgette, then add to to a casserole dish along with the cooked chicken. Pour in the passata, the chicken stock and sprinkle in the quinoa.
Combine gently in the dish, then add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of dried thyme.
Cover the dish with a lid or tin foil and put in the oven. Cook for around 45 minutes, but check and stir halfway through.
If it becomes dry towards the end of the cooking time, then add a dash of plain water.
After 45 minutes the quinoa should be softened. Cook for an extra five minutes if need be.
Serve alongside warm crusty bread, a side salad or steamed greens.