Posted by: thehungryrunner | January 21, 2008

My latest one-pot meal recipe: Italian Tomato “Veggie Meatball” Stew

A while back I returned to my use of skillet recipes, and posted a few that worked out particularly well.  I’m moving into another experiment, and that is, making one-pot meals that are based on three or so ingredients:  canned soup, some form of protein, and (usually frozen) vegetables.  Maybe some dried herb for added flavor.  Again, this keeps the convenience factor up while ensuring I’m at least attempting some good nutrition!

So Saturday I made a one-pot meal that worked out well, taking a small box of “gourmet” tomato-basil-garlic soup (the kind that comes in liquid form but in a box), frozen Italian flat green beans, and vegetarian “meatballs.”  I threw all ingredients into a pot, sprinkled some dried oregano and freshly ground pepper, and cooked it all until at least some of the water from the soup had evaporated.  Between the boiled-off water and the veggie meatballs’ (which almost always are on the dry side) soaking up some of the soup, it resulted in a hearty, satisfyingly thick stew.  VERY tasty and cozy on what was an extremely cold weekend.  Better still were the leftovers, which by the time I went to reheat them, had further reduced into more of a green-beans-and-veggie-meatballs-with-sauce.  I’ll defintely be doing this one again!

Recipe Update!  Added 2/17/08:

This has become one of my favorite quick dinners lately, but I’ve tweaked it and found a variation I like even more.  These days I’m using a can of Italian tomato-basil soup (Campbell’s Select), the same veggie “meatballs” as before (Gardenburger’s Mama Mia vegetarian meatballs), and a bag of “fancy” (as in, uncut) steam-in-bag frozen green beans.

I pop the green beans in the microwave and spray some cooking spray in a large saucepan, then throw the still-frozen veggie meatballs over medium heat, stirring them to begin thawing and browing them lightly.  Once the green beans are cooked, I add them (including whatever water has steamed into the bag) to the saucepan, sprinkling some fresh or dried oregano and freshly ground black pepper.  I then pour in the tomato-basil soup (I’m using Campbell’s these days), stir everything well, then put the lid on the saucepan.  About five minutes later, dinner is ready.  The texture of the long green beans — still quite crisp and al dente even after all that cooking — provides a nice counterbalance to the chewiness of the veggie meatballs, and the soup adds a warm, comforting and tasty sauce/moisture to round out the dish.  Fantastico! 

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