I'm looking for your input, again.
I'm going to be totally honest here. Preparing for Shabbos wipes me out. I still have not mastered the art.
I know that many women prepare a little bit each night. That won't fly in my home for various reasons.
I have simplified my shabbos menus, but now I'm looking to simplify even further.
I am trying to think of one dish shabbos meals that my family will enjoy. (We usually don't have guests on Friday night so I don't have to worry about impressing guests and I'm betting my family will gladly trade a well-rested mother for several fancy dishes.)
By "one dish meal" I mean that everything has to cook together -- the chicken (I'm not a big red meat fan and my husband won't go for vegetarian meals on shabbos), vegetables and a grain/starch. I'd love be able to prepare ONE dish instead of three! Then I just have to make (or buy) challah, dips, fish and dessert.
Here are our family's food quirks that make this quest seem like mission impossible:
1) No one in the family, except me, likes cooked or canned tomatoes, which eliminates many options.
2) My kids prefer food on the bland side. They seem to be spice-phobic, so no excessively exotic flavors like curry. (BUMMER!)
3) My kids seem to like their food seperated, so nothing that ends up being a "stew" (My hubby doesn't like that either)
4) We have a TON of whole, frozen chickens and I'm looking to save money (but not drive myself crazy with extra prep work) so I'm looking for recipes that use whole or cut-up chickens.
Our usual "one dish meal" is Roasted Chicken with potatoes and vegetables for Friday night -- but that gets boring after a while.(And I end up using several pans!)
I'd be open to using a crockpot for Friday night dinner. I have an extra one. I could just put everything in on Thursday night and put in the fridge. Then I'd just put it in the crockpot on Friday morning. However, because we so often make "Hot Pot Chicken" for shabbos lunch, it would have be something really distinct for Friday Night...but how do you make something distinct from hot-pot chicken, (that is -- a whole meal with veg and starch) without making some form of chicken stew?
I had an idea tonight -- maybe chicken-pot-pie for Friday night. I used to make an easy seitan-pot-pie that my kids LOVED, but that was a long time ago. Perhaps I will try it again with chicken one night for dinner. If they like it that can be moved into the shabbos rotation.
If I could just find 4 one-dish-meals to rotate on Friday nights, I'd be happy camper!
I am also considering trying to adapt a recipe or two from Glorious One Pot Meals (GOPM) to my family's tastes for a one pot-shabbos meal. For those of you who don't know GOPM is a patented cooking technique which allows you to cook a FULL meal (starch/grain, animal or vegetarian protein & lots of veggies) in one pot. Is that it DOES NOT come out like a traditional casserole or crockpot meal - where the ingredients break down an become mushy and soupy and the flavors blend together. You can get more information about this great technique at my full review here.
Anyway, I'm open to suggestions and recipes, if you've got any.
If you have an idea for a "one dish shabbos meal" Please let me know by leaving comment, or better yet, a recipe.
If you have ideas that don't agree with my family's picky preferences, please post them as well. You just might help some other frazzled mother!