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Old 02-28-2017, 02:02 PM   #1
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How many items on a plate?

I recently spent a few days visiting an old friend who is a great cook. She made some delicious meals but I noticed that most of them were one dish meals. In other words - there was one item to eat. As an example one night there was a pasta dish that was pasta tossed with some veggies, sauced and topped with a little parm. I found that I actually ate more at these meals than I might is there were more and varied items on my plate.


So I 'm taking note and making a personal pledge to always have 3 items (or more) at a meal even if it's just a side salad and an extra veg.

How often do you make a one dish meal?

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Old 02-28-2017, 02:08 PM   #2
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I can see where an Italian meal might be a one dish meal when a meat, pasta, and marinara are combined but then usually there will be bread and a salad. The same can be said for soups and stews. It wouldn't be for every meal, would it then? Of late, I'm trying to add more greens to the meal. Tonight will be an exception.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:12 PM   #3
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I rarely make a meal like that. Even if we're having soup or stew, I make something to go on the side.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:34 PM   #4
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When we make one pot meals, such as pot roast, there is meat and veges on the plate. Bibimbap, for example, is served in a single bowl, but there are many garnishes to go with it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:41 PM   #5
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When we make one pot meals, such as pot roast, there is meat and veges on the plate. Bibimbap, for example, is served in a single bowl, but there are many garnishes to go with it.
I don't put potatoes in my pot roast anymore. I never liked them cooked that way growing up, but it never occurred to me to do it differently till someone here mentioned serving pot roast with mashed potatoes. So now I do that
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:56 PM   #6
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I'm one of those three-things-on-a-plate people. Protein++. The "++" used to be potato (or pasta) and a veggie, but more often it's been two veggies. I've even been moving toward four items on the plate, allowing even less space to the protein. I like different colored foods on our plates. Sometimes, though, the plate ends up looking pretty blonde in spite of my best efforts.

Salad, BTW, is always on its own plate. Ideally served before the entree plate, but that usually doesn't happen for "the cook" in this house. I just don't like salad dressing encroaching into my hot foods.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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I don't put potatoes in my pot roast anymore. I never liked them cooked that way growing up, but it never occurred to me to do it differently till someone here mentioned serving pot roast with mashed potatoes. So now I do that
That may have been me. I make mashed potatoes for pot roast too.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:44 PM   #8
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The majority of my meals are one dish meal, simply because I need to be fairly frugal with food. So if I say I'm having mashed potatoes for dinner, that's really all I'm having.

But like Janet, I've noticed that when I have two or more items to eat with a main meal, I do tend to eat less. So I am trying to include more sides. It isn't easy for me as it's hard in my kitchen to cook several things simultaneously (sometimes I can't even fit two pans on burners next to each other) and also, I'm the sort of person who can eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not mind it. I also don't mind eating the same thing two or three days in a row, as long as I like what I'm eating.

All of that really contributes to me overeating and it's something I'm trying to stop by having more variety in my meals.
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #9
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Depending on what's for dinner, there could be anywhere from one to four things at a place setting:

Meat, starch, veggie
Pasta with sauce/meat, salad
Chili and cornbread
Stew is a complete meal as is.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:03 PM   #10
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I too am a three or more items to a plate. Along with potatoes and protein with gravy, I like to serve two veggies.

I very seldom serve a dessert, so I want the family to leave the table satisfied. My family was never much for a salad. Yet I would keep pieces of cut up celery or carrots in the fridge for snacking. A daily routine of making sure they were there in the fridge when they got home from school.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:16 PM   #11
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I don't put potatoes in my pot roast anymore. I never liked them cooked that way growing up, but it never occurred to me to do it differently till someone here mentioned serving pot roast with mashed potatoes. So now I do that
So, what do you do with the parsnips, turnips and rutabagas?
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:51 PM   #12
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I have always been an at least "three on the plate" person but that can be as simple as a one-dish recipe to a main with sides.

When I was raising children (8) I made it a point to have one protein source, along with at least one veggie (sometimes 2) and a fruit. Depending on what the main course was or the theme, if you will, we'd have salad and/or bread.

For example, when I made lasagna, a substantial romaine salad was always part of the menu and I never got away without serving hot garlic bread.

My lasagna recipe is one that has been handed down for many generations and is pretty hearty on its own. The salad helps to balance that. As for the bread, my family thought it was illegal not to have some form of Italian meal without garlic bread.

Our all-in-one meals almost always will have a green veggie or small side salad along with them. Depending on what's on hand or how I've been baking, bread may be an additional accompaniment. Glenn loves bread and would probably love a meal of bread, with a bread for a side. Never mind.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:55 PM   #13
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So, what do you do with the parsnips, turnips and rutabagas?
I never use those in stew. Neither of us likes turnips or rutabagas and when I use parsnips in addition to carrots, the result is too sweet.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:33 PM   #14
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I never use those in stew. Neither of us likes turnips or rutabagas and when I use parsnips in addition to carrots, the result is too sweet.
Sorry for your lose!
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:48 PM   #15
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It's three or one for me. Some meals are inherently one dish meals. The dish IS the meal: pizza?

But mostly my meals are meat, starch, vegetable. Chicken with rice and lima beans.

My own single dish meals are usually quick and dirty: a hamburger. Two tacos. A sandwich. When you get right down to it a taco is a Mexican sandwich.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:13 PM   #16
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I'll trade for your rutabagas. It's good raw &thin sliced for veggies and dip too.

Gah! It's hard enough coming up with a main dish plan, and now you want side dishes too. Well, Actually, I do!

I make a lot of casseroles, and I like to have at least one veggie on the side, preferably something green, which usually turns out to be green beans, broc or peas, the occasional stray zuke, and never enough Brussel sprouts or asparagus when you want some. Not too fond of lima beans, but I would eat if someone else served them. If we are having carrots, we love cooked carrots, then I may skip the greenery. Usually there is a salad of some kind, not always lettuce.

When I make a hearty main dish soup or a stew w veggies, there is not usually anything else, except bread of some kind/ crackers/ cornbread/ biscuits.

An exception is lunch, that might be a one dish meal, like tuna/ chicken/ pasta salad or leftovers from last night. Not the whole sh'bang.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:37 PM   #17
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We have something called a Bento Box Lunch

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[Zippy's ZipPac-Fried Chicken, Panko Crusted Fried White Fish, Teri Beef, Spam, Pickled Daikon, steamed White Rice with Furikake...I'm in heaven]

You'll find something similar it this just about anywhere... fast food joints ...7/11 ... gas stations ... and they're all very good. For the 7/11 as well as the gas stations, there's a company in Hawaii that exclusively makes this sort of Bento for them and they are VERY good.
Gimme a packet of Shoyu and a chopsticks and I'm set!
(oh, there's some shredded cabbage under the meats ... that's your veg )
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:57 PM   #18
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Most of my meals are one-pot wonders. First, I like them, and second, the leftovers are easy to deal with.

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:03 PM   #19
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We have something called a Bento Box Lunch

You'll find something similar it this just about anywhere... fast food joints ...7/11 ... gas stations ... and they're all very good. For the 7/11 as well as the gas stations, there's a company in Hawaii that exclusively makes this sort of Bento for them and they are VERY good.
Gimme a packet of Shoyu and a chopsticks and I'm set!
(oh, there's some shredded cabbage under the meats ... that's your veg )
Don't Hawaiians also call that a "plate lunch?"

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:25 PM   #20
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I would cook a larger variety if I weren't cooking for one. It will happen one day--even if it's just me and my dog!

SRSLY I cook more variety when I'm entertaining. When I'm cooking for myself I can get pretty basic.

In thinking about it my biggest category of one dish meals is Asian--main dish plus jasmine rice. If I had company I might cook 2 main dishes, maybe even add egg rolls or spring rolls.
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