This year, the Fun Food Feed will be sharing our most loved whole-plant recipes, we’ve developed over the years. Each month, we will publish a favorite recipe.
March’s featured recipe is for Savory Skillets.
There is a beautiful balance of simplicity and complexity in a single-skillet meal. Simple and speedy preparation, balanced by a limitless number of flavor themes.
Braising a foundation of onions, garlic, mushrooms and spices.
Next dry-sauteing vegetables, like spiralized zucchini, and a sauce, like marinara or enchilada.
Finishing with fresh vegetables, like greens and herbs.
Eating straight from the skillet.
I enjoy the lightness of simply vegetables at the dawning of my day, saving cooked beans, grains, tubers, nuts and seeds for lunch, but these could easily be thrown into the skillet, as well.
One could also create a sweet skillet, with a foundation of a braised rolled grain, steamed grain and/or beans, like oats or millet, adukis, black soybeans or cannellinis, dry-sauteing a fruit, like apples or peaches, and finishing with a fresh fruit, like blackberries, maybe a splash of plant-milk. Garnishing with a handful of spinach, a dash of cinnamon or cardamom.
Batch cooking is tempting, but lacks the vitality of a freshly prepared skillet. To minimize preparation time, recommend batch cutting vegetables, and batch preparing beans and grains (which can be stored frozen), then cooking up fresh skillets to order.
The flavor possibilities are infinite!
New Mexico-inspired “Enchilada”
Thai-inspired “Tom Yum”
Chinese-inspired “Moo Shu”
Ethiopian-inspired “Misir Wat”
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 serving
Skillet with lid
Ingredients Enhanced by Moist Cooking:
Onions, like walla walla, spring, leeks, green garlic
Mushrooms, like maitake, shiitaki, king oyster or button
Brassicas, like broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, thick greens
Roots & tubers, like beets, sunchokes, carrots, potatoes
Winter squashes, like delicata, butternut
Green jack fruit and bamboo shoots
Grains, cooked or rolled, like millet, quinoa, teff, korasan, barley, oats, rice
Beans, cooked, like ayocotes, black, pintos, cannellinis, mung, edamame, tofu, tempeh
Ingredients Enhanced by Dry Cooking:
Zucchinis, bells, chilies, enokis, cabbage, water chestnuts
Sauce Enhanced by Warming:
Sauce, like tomato, enchilada, chili, gochujang, teriyaki, katzu, hoisin, miso paste, tom yum paste, curry, wat, gravy, barbecue, ketchup, queso
Ingredients Best Uncooked & Garnishes:
Leafy greens, like lettuces, cabbage, baby kale
Herbs, like cilantro, parsley, dill, thyme, oregano
Sauce, like chimichurri, pesto, tabouli, salsa, chutney, hot sauce, tamari, aminos, dressing, vinegar
Pickle, like sauerkraut, kimchi, relish, olives, capers, escabeche, sumonono, achar
Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, flax, sesame
Salt & black pepper to taste
- Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
- Optional: Spiralize zucchini.
- In skillet, on medium-low heat, lid on, braise in just enough water or broth to cover skillet bottom, ingredients enhanced by cooking, until preferred tenderness.
- With spatula, push braised ingredients to one side of skillet.
- Position the empty side of skillet over burner.
- In empty side of skillet, dry-saute ingredients (enhanced by dry cooking), stirring with spatula as needed, to prevent over-browning.
- With spatula, push dry-sauted ingredients to own section of skillet (or mix with braised ingredients, if preferred).
- Add any sauces enhanced by warming, and heat over burner until desired temperature
- Turn off burner.
- Clear a section of the pan, and add spiralized zucchini or chiffonaded cabbage, (allowing residual pan heat to warm, preventing over-softening and maintaining adente texture).
- In empty section of skillet, arrange uncooked ingredients.
- Add garnishes and seasonings to taste.
- Place skillet on trivet or dry towel, or sit at warm stove.
- Enjoy directly from skillet.