One-Pot Wednesdays: Elizabeth Yarnell

Kim Conte

I'm ecstatic today because Elizabeth Yarnell (CafeMom OnePotMealsLady), the author of Glorious One-Pot Meals, has agreed to guest blog on Daily Buzz.

Keep reading to learn how Elizabeth's diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis led to the creation of her healthy and hugely successful Glorious One-Pot Meals method. She even shares with us a recipe from her new book due out in January!

By Elizabeth Yarnell

With the plethora of easy-to-fix kiddie foods like frozen chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and microwavable macaroni and cheese, it can be too easy to slide into a rut when it comes to feeding your kids. Let's face it: Being a mom, taking care of kid(s) and a household, and maybe even balancing is enough to push anybody over into the fast food zone.

I've been there, too, girlfriend, when cooking a dinner from scratch was the furthest thing from my mind, and I felt overwhelmed by life. Fortunately, I've found a way to cook real food that is almost as easy as tossing a frozen TV dinner into the oven—but a lot healthier. It's called infusion cooking.

It all started 10 years ago when I woke up blind in one eye. Turned out I had Multiple Sclerosis. Not content to wait for the disease to work its havoc, I researched what I could do to help my body be healthy. Everything seemed to come down to diet and the link between what you eat and how you feel.

Great, I thought, I don't know how to cook, and I know even less about what it means to eat healthily.

Plato noted that necessity is the mother of invention. It certainly was for me as I needed to find an effortless way to eat healthy, whole foods that didn't require spending all day in the kitchen. I bumbled ahead and accidentally invented a brand new cooking method, got it patented, and called my recipes "Glorious One-Pot Meals."

My new cookbook, an expanded and revised version of the independently-published award-winning Glorious One-Pot Meals: A Revolutionary New Quick and Healthy Approach to Dutch Oven Cooking, will be released by Broadway Books in just a few weeks. The new book, Glorious One-Pot Meals, contains more than 100 hundred recipes, each offering a complete meal in a single pot.

I think of Glorious One-Pot Meals as the "anti-crock pot" cooking method since it doesn't take all day to simmer, you don't end up with a stew, and every bite doesn't taste the same.

Not that I don't like my crock pot—there's a time and a place for everything—but this is different. Ingredients are layered in a cast iron Dutch oven in a specific order then covered and flash-cooked inside a super-hot oven. In the end you get tastes, textures, and foods that you can separate for serving.

Here's a quick and easy Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe from the upcoming book that you can toss together in about five minutes with ingredients from your freezer and then bake unattended. It's a healthy feast the whole family will enjoy.

garlic fish

Garlic Fish

The first time I presented this recipe to my children, then 4 and 2, my older son threw a fit, said it looked "disgusting," and refused to eat it. I calmly reminded him of our rule for new (or forgotten!) foods: You must eat three bites of each item, and then if you still don't like anything on the plate you can have something else. Within minutes they both had polished off full plates and asked for seconds!

Garlic is a favorite flavor for my kids, and when the whole garlic cloves come into contact with the spray of oil, they take on a mellow, sauteed taste. Try a less fishy fish for unenthusiastic fish eaters; consider choosing sole, flounder, or tilapia.

Garlic Fish
Serves 2 adults (or 2 adults and a preschooler or two!)

8 garlic cloves, peeled
12 ounces  frozen hash browns (not the patties)
pinch sea salt
1/2 to 3/4 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets, or about 2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 cup  frozen corn kernels      

1.    Preheat the oven to 450° F. 
2.    Spray the inside of a cast iron Dutch oven and lid with canola oil.
3.    Lay the garlic cloves in the pot.
4.    Shake the hash browns into the bottom of the pot in a thick layer and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
5.    Add the fish fillets and pour in the carrots, broccoli, and corn on top.
6.    Cover and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately.

Glorious One-Pot Meals will be released on Jan. 6, 2009. You can pre-order it on Amazon. Visit for free video cooking demonstrations, Elizabeth's blog, and more information.

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