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5 dinners without the cleanup

By Hilary Meyer, April 5, 2010 - 11:17am

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Let’s face it, a quick dinner isn’t so quick if you’re stuck washing a dozen pots and pans when you’re through. To me, nothing is worse than facing a mountain of dishes in the sink when dinner is over. But I’ve figured out a way to keep that mountain to a minimum.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve blogged about some of my favorite meals—One-Dish Dinners, 4 Simple One-Skillet Suppers and One-Pot Dinners I Wouldn’t Live Without. I guess you could say I like to keep my dinner contained in one bowl, one skillet or one pot. That’s the secret to my super-easy cleanup. Meals cooked in one pot, one pan, or put together in one dish keep my cleanup as quick as my dinner. I like that.

Here are a few of my favorite quick, easy-cleanup dinners:

Brothy Chinese Noodles This dish was inspired by Chinese Dan Dan noodles—ground pork and noodles in a spicy broth. We use ground turkey and omit the traditional Sichuan peppercorns for convenience, but add hot sesame oil. Use toasted sesame oil instead if you want mild noodles.

Kale Sausage & Lentil Skillet Supper Cooking the lentils in red wine adds rich, earthy flavor to this one-dish skillet supper. We prefer French green lentils in this dish—they're smaller, cook faster and hold their shape better than brown lentils. Look for them in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.

Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Hilary’s Heavenly Eggs Our easy version of shakshuka features eggs cooked in tomato sauce and served on crusty bread. Also try it over angel hair pasta. Serve with: Steamed broccolini.



What are your tricks for keeping dirty dishes to a minimum? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals, Quick meals

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What are your tricks for keeping dirty dishes to a minimum?

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