Even though I wrote Oven to Table: More Than 100 One Pot and One Pan Meals for Your Skillet, Sheet Pan, Dutch Oven, and More (and am probably a little biased), I truly believe this book couldn’t come at a better time.
With an increase in obligations and a plethora of digital distractions that tempt us away from the kitchen, a healthy, homemade meal is one of the sacrifices modern families are making today. Fortunately, I have a solution for the time-challenged home cook to make mess-free, stress-free meals a reality: one pot or one pan cooking.
It’s no secret I gravitate to this type of cooking to keep my brood of boys well fed. I’ve been sharing a variety of skillet dinners and sheet pan meals here for years – so writing a book on the topic was a natural progression for me. After all, what could be simpler than putting a few preferred ingredients into a chosen vessel, applying heat and watching everything magically come together?
Speaking of vessels, I focused on a selection six – skillets, sheet pans, Dutch ovens, everyday baking pans, enamel roasting pans and stoneware casserole dishes – for the book, and the recipes are designed to bring a complete dish to the table using easy-to-source ingredients and a variety of foolproof cooking techniques. Can you imagine anything better suited to busy parents?
One of the breakouts from the book comes from the breakfast chapter:
Sheet Pan Breakfast with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
There’s a lot to love about chickpeas, not the least of which is their versatility. These fibrous, protein-laden legumes surprisingly shine on the breakfast table, and their wholesome makeup will keep everyone feeling full until lunchtime. Add in some eggs and cubed sweet potatoes and you’re left with a simple meal the whole family will love. I should also add, this is a great recipe for young eaters who are just starting to get the hang of fingers foods. Feel free to omit the paprika, if you prefer, but otherwise, I think you’ll find this is a winning option even babies can enjoy. Find the full recipe here.
Muffin Pan Tuna Melts
Another family-favourite are the Muffin Pan Tuna Melts. Perfect for winter weekend lunches, or a simple weeknight dinner, making these sandwiches in a muffin tin is a fun twist on an otherwise classic creation. Your little ones will have fun measuring and mixing the ingredients to make these sandwiches with you. Find the full recipe here.
Baked Risotto with Chicken, Leeks and Lemon
This is one of my boys’ favourite recipes from the book. It’s perfect to serve at the end of winter when the weather still has you craving comfort food but the thoughts of finding another root vegetable on your dinner plate leaves you feeling a little glum. The leeks and lemon lighten the dish and if you want to boost the vegetable content you add a cup or two of frozen peas to the rice before baking it. Find the full recipe here.
My hope is that Oven to Table will show less experienced cooks just how easy it is to create simple, wholesome meals while inspiring more seasoned ones to try their hand at new recipes and simplified techniques. Uncomplicated food can be the best to eat, the most fun to share, and certainly the most enjoyable to cook.