For the longest time I characterized the one-pot meal right up there with the Loch Ness monster—likely a figment of my imagination, but wouldn’t it be kind of cool if it did really exist? Most of the recipes I found that claimed to be one-pot called for a sauté step in one pan and a simmer in another, with everything ending up in the same casserole pan by the end of the night. Delicious, possibly, but a true one-pot meal? Not so much.
Then along came Martha Stewart’s one-pan pasta last summer and all of a sudden everything changed. Not only was the one-pot meal a real, tangible thing, but it could also be made in 30 minutes flat, including prep time. Whoa.
The more one-pot pastas I made (and there were many), the more I got to thinking: Why should pasta have all the one-pot fun? Other grains most certainly deserved their chance in the easy weeknight-meal spotlight.
This one-skillet curried quinoa was my first venture into the world of pasta-less one-pot meals, and it most certainly will not be my last. The beauty of this dish is that not only does it come together in one pot, but it makes use of all the bags of frozen veggies you stocked your freezer with ages ago and then promptly forgot about. (#winning!)
First, an onion and a few aromatic spices are sautéed together to enhance their flavor and texture. Then quinoa, coconut milk and water are added into the skillet and simmered together so the quinoa can fluff up and absorb all of that great curry flavor. Finally, frozen veggies are added to the pot during the last few minutes of cooking to allow them to thaw and soften. Add in a dash of lemon juice for a hint of tang, give the whole pot a big stir, and all of a sudden dinner is served without having to dirty every pan in the kitchen. A much-welcomed weeknight rarity, if ever there was one.
Make this meal your own by using 2 pounds of whatever frozen veggies you happen to have in your freezer.
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