Entries in one bowl dinner (4)


pasta with salmon and peas

This is one of my kids' favorite dinners and you can make the whole thing in the time it takes to cook the pasta. I buy smoked salmon in the refrigerated section of the grocery store so I can have the ingredients waiting in the fridge anytime...if you cannot find it you can also use leftover salmon, or roast an 8 ounce fillet in a 450 degree oven until cooked through - about 10 minutes. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta, and cook until al dente. In the meantime, chop a small onion and saute in olive oil. Add a bag of frozen peas, and a pint of half and half. Break 8 ounces of smoked salmon into little pieces and stir into pan with cream and peas. Simmer until heated through. Drain pasta, return to pot, and toss with salmon mixture. Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper and serve.




thai coconut curry


Inspired by the delicious flavors of Tom Kha Gai Soup, I wanted to make a dish hearty enough to be a complete dinner. This broth is quite versatile...I used ingredients that my family enjoys but I have tried many variations: You can substitute shrimp or tofu for the chicken, try fingerling potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, or add broccoli, spinach, or green beans. One thing I have found is that sauteing the green vegetables separately ensures that they are cooked the way I like them - with a little bite. However, if you prefer to keep the dish washing to a minimum you can just add them to the broth for the last few minutes of cooking. I often make some brown rice and stir that in when serving.



1 32 ounce box chicken stock (about 4 cups)

2 cans coconut milk

1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 stalks lemon grass, tender center part only, cut into 3-inch lengths and smashed

3 kafir lime leaves (can substitute curry leaves)

1 chili pepper (seeds removed)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/3 cup fish sauce

cilantro stems (save leaves for use as garnish)

1 tablespoon sugar (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes. Strain and return to pot. This step can be done ahead.



olive oil or butter for sauteeing

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks

2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces 

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

8 ounces snow peas

cilantro leaves for garnish


Bring broth to a simmer on stove. Saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper in a little olive oil or butter and add to the broth. Add sweet potatoes and cook 8-10 minutes, until almost cooked through. Add chicken and simmer 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.


In the meantime, saute zucchini until just starting to brown. Add snowpeas and cook until bright green. Add to curry and serve. Garnish with cilantro leaves. 





tortilla soup


I used to live near City Bakery in Manhattan, which, in addition to being famous for its delicious cookies and croissants, happens to make a delicious tortilla soup. I wanted it more often than they sold it and had to learn to make my own. This version is creamier than City Bakery’s but more than satisfied my addiction. While the spicy chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are available in most supermarkets, they might be too spicy for some budding palates. You could minimize or omit the peppers entirely, depending on your family’s spice threshold, and let people add tobasco (or any hot sauce) to taste. I like to serve the soup with the avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and chips in separate bowls so everyone can add their own -- my kids always love to have that little bit of control!


1 poblano pepper
1 28 ounce can tomatoes 
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters 
3 cloves garlic  
1 cup cilantro 
1 teaspoon dried epazote (optional, you can substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano)
1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
1 8 ounce container sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar 
2 teaspoons salt
1 32 ounce box chicken broth 
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 cups finely grated chihuahua cheese (can substitute monterey jack)
   diced avocados
   tortilla chips 
   lime wedges


Roast poblano pepper over the flame of a gas burner until charred. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic; let sit 10 minutes. Remove and discard charred skin, seeds, and core.


In blender combine poblano pepper, tomatoes and their liquid, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, epazote, chipotle peppers, sour cream, sugar, and salt. Cover and blend until nearly smooth. Put mixture into a large pot and add chicken broth and chicken breasts. Bring to simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. 


Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to pot. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with grated cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, remaining cilantro, and lime wedges.


lamb stew


This stew is a hearty one pot dinner that is a cold day favorite in our house. And although it takes a couple hours from start to finish, very little of that is active prep time. It’s also very flexible—you can substitute sweet potatoes for the butternut squash, or add in zucchini if you have it (just add it to the pot about 10 minutes before it’s time to pull it off the stove).


2 1/2  pounds lamb stew meat 

Flour seasoned with salt for dredging

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3/4 inch dice
1 cup dried apricots cut in half or quarters depending on size
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Zest of one lemon, finely grated
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley


Dredge lamb in flour mixture.  Heat oil in a large pot and brown lamb well on all sides, working in batches. Remove lamb and set aside. Add onions to pan and saute over medium heat until translucent.


Return lamb to pot and add stock, rosemary, basil, thyme and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, covered, for 1-2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.


Add butternut squash and dried apricots and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and cook 5 minutes more.


Just before serving stir in lemon zest and parsley.


Serve with couscous, rice, or noodles.