October's Blog Bites challenge was to look through your favorite blogs and try a recipe for a one dish meal. Here it is, a big dose of tasty comfort in six different categories. Please click through and read the entries and their sources of inspiration- you might find some terrific new blogs to follow.
The goodness of grains and beans can be the base for so many hearty one pot meals.
Anu makes Hawaiian-style chickpeas with harvest grain blend, a sweet-spicy combination so tasty that she swears they "could not get enough". And go and see for yourself if this is not the easiest recipe ever: marinate everything overnight, then fry in a wok and you have dinner.
Janet wants to feed us booger salad, with barbecued worms and muddy caterpillar hotdogs, but luckily ends up giving us a gorgeous bowl of bulgur and grape salad with nuts and cranberries instead. They say you eat with your eyes first, and this picture just filled me up.
Sharan declares that "we need to chaat" (yes, we absolutely do) and proceeds to assemble leftover sundal (dressed up lentils) with herbs, chutneys, onions, tomatoes and crunchy sev into an irresistible bowl of chaat.
Mimi's Mommy combines rice and sprouts and lots of fried onions to make mujadarah, and praises this Middle-Eastern dish saying, "I don’t know if I should praise the aroma of the ingredients more than the outcome or if I should praise how quick the dish is to make or how tasty and filling it is."
Rice is very nice, indeed, the grain that immediately comes to my mind when I think of comfort food. Plain rice can be dressed up with a infinite variety of spices and vegetables. Priya makes two mixed rice recipes, pepper rice and radish rice.
Boil water and cook up some pasta- add some vegetables and dress with a sauce or some cheese, and you have a one dish meal that can hold all the major food groups and then some.
Megha beats the heat and humidity of Mumbai by making a batch of summer vegetable pasta with pesto, with a tangy and rich almond sauce, vegetables and short pasta.
Satya loves tiny shell pasta because it cooks up in no time and is perfect for kids. She uses plenty of vegetables to make a colorful platter of mini shell pasta with tomato basil sauce.
Suparna says that her family is not really a pasta-eating one, but she tries stuffed pasta for the first time in agnolotti with roasted red pepper sauce and is very happy with the results.
A pot of stew bubbling away on the stove is a picture of domestic bliss and home-cooked love.
Amruta packs in "proteins from the beans; carbs, vitamins and fibers from veggies and whole grain bread/pasta" and shares a recipe for one pot vegetable stew.
There is the dramatic moment when a heavy casserole is lifted out of the oven, when savory vapors envelope the kitchen and you just can't wait to dig in. Casseroles are a great way to use up ingredients and minimize waste by being forgiving in terms of what can go into them.
As Shobana says, she started with an inspiring recipe, and then "halved, changed, added, deleted, all at once" to make a rice and mixed vegetable bake studded with colorful cubes of vegetables and topped with a tempting layer of melted cheese.
Tanvi combines the comfort of an American classic with the complex flavors of Thai cuisine with a tiny bit of cheating as she calls it, using store-bought pie crust to make a beautiful red curry chicken pot pie.
Corina bakes Greek lemon chicken, with potatoes baked in the casserole to soak up the complex flavors of oregano, lemon and garlic. She says it is absolutely delicious, and a keeper.
The Cooker finds a recipe for a samosa casserole, confesses that it had her at "samosa" and makes her own version of Bengali-ishtyle potato-cauliflower samosa casserole which was gobbled up in a single sitting.
Bala used literally one pan, a marvel of technology that goes from microwave to stove to oven to table, to make brussels sprouts au gratin with unusual (to me) vegetables like parsnips and chestnuts and lots of creamy cheese.
Johanna finds that inclement weather makes grocery shopping difficult, but she manages to use what she has at home, "forgotten vegetarian sausage I found at the back of the fridge, some leftover sundried tomato pasta sauce that had not been a hit, wilted spring onions, a heel of parmesan cheese that was drying out", to make a wonderful spinach rice gratin.
Sometimes life calls for mix and match to make something unique to fit your needs.
SS reveals her complicated inner monologue about foods that are and aren't appropriate for lunch boxes (e.g. too-green stuff and too-brown stuff is a no-no) and discovers a new dabba candidate in parotta salad, with a torn-up paratha, fresh crunchy veggies, protein patty and a sauce to bring it all together.
Supriya goes blog-hopping and borrows components from different blogs- Mexican rice from one place and fajita vegetables from another, then layers them in a crisp shell to make an impressive taco salad in tortilla bowl.
Just because it is a one dish meal does not mean it cannot also be an elaborate masterpiece.
Satya puts layers of love and care, even making tortillas from scratch, and comes up with a multilayered quesadilla- beans, vegetables and cheese nestled in layers of fresh tortillas.
Miri's description ("not too cloyingly thick, not too sweet, not bland at all - a perfect blend of flavours which pleases the palate") brings alive a wonderful Burmese dish, and then she put a lot of TLC into making a spread of noodles, creamy curry and an array of delightful toppings to make her version of Burmese Khow Suey.
Jayasri battles a migraine and makes it to the one-dish party with a beautiful platter of Hyderabadi vegetable biryani, a labor of love involving a dozen warm spices, plenty of vegetables and several tasty ingredients including cashews, raisins, fried onions and herbs.
Finally, JK says that much as she appreciates the routine of roti-subzi-dal-chawal, sometimes she needs a break and turns to one dish meals instead. She posts three one-dish meals, including handvo, a savory vegetable cake, methi theplas and pan pizza.
A huge thank you to all the participants for playing along. As you might have noticed, time slipped past me and I did not get around to participating in my own event- oh well, there's always a next time.
Please check back on Thursday for the next theme (clue: there won't be much of a theme per se) and for a bonus soup recipe in that same post.