In Amanda’s final Galley Essentials column she offers up tips and advice for creating delicious meals when space is at a premium.

The convenience of easy one-pot meals is no secret. At the end of a long day if you’re cooking in a small space on the go, or perhaps multitasking, the last thing you want after dinner is a galley sink full of dirty pots and pans to clean up. I’m a big fan of easy one-pot meals because I like to spend as little time as possible doing the dishes. 

One-pot meals are simple because all the ingredients come together in a skillet or pot to create a delicious meal cooked on a single burner, campfire or in an oven. This doesn’t mean that just because one-pot meals are straightforward they need to be veggie-free fast food. They should be full of great nutrients to help you refuel, so generally they only require a few refrigerated ingredients like shrimp, cheese, and vegetables while often the remaining ingredients can include canned products or shelf-stable items. Since they’re all-in-one meals, they also help prevent food waste.

To make the mealtimes quicker and to avoid cooking when you’re very hungry or if you’re underway to your dinner destination consider doing some of the preparation ahead of time such as chopping the vegetables and if possible measuring out the ingredients. When there’s bad weather one-pot meals again hit the mark whether you’re outdoors on a kayak adventure and desire a hearty meal or you’re on rocking boat and wish to be spared the effort of mixing and stirring ingredients in various bowls or possibly juggling several pots on the stove top.

I’ve created numerous ingenious one-pot concoctions with the most unlikely ingredients. This often occurs when I’m assembling something tasty from whatever is fading in the fridge or an item discovered buried in a locker that’s soon to be beyond its expiration date. Guaranteed to be new to the taste buds, it’s proven a good endeavor to discover unique and scrumptious meals.


2 tablespoons avocado or coconut oil

6 chicken drumsticks

2 medium acorn squash

3 cups arugula

6 chicken drumsticks

2 medium acorn squash

3 cups arugula

1 lemon

salt and pepper

Place 1 tablespoon oil on the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken drumsticks and cook for about 10 minutes on each side. While the chicken is cooking, slice or cube the acorn squash.

When the chicken is about 80% cooked through, set aside, and add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Cook the squash for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add the chicken back into the skillet and season to taste. Place a lid on the skillet and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Add in the arugula and squeeze lemon over the entire dish. 


New Mexico chili powder gives this dish a smokey flavor with just a hint of spice. If you use a different chili variety, you may need to scale the measurement back according to your heat preferences.

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion – diced

2 clove garlic – minced

1 medium sweet potato – chopped into ¼ inch cubes

2 cups broth

1 14oz can diced tomatoes

¼ cup peanut butter

2 teaspoons New Mexico chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 14oz can chickpeas – drained

2 cups chopped Tuscan kale

Heat the oil in a Dutch-oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes, until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add sweet potato, broth, tomatoes & their juices, peanut butter, chili powder, and salt. Stir well to ensure the peanut butter is thoroughly mixed. Simmer, uncovered, for15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add chickpeas and kale. Stir to combine and heat until the chickpeas have warmed through and the kale has wilted. Serves 4.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced button mushrooms

1 small onion – finely diced

2 cloves garlic – minced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

¾ cup dried quinoa

1½ cups chicken broth

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

salt and pepper

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until shimmery. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic and sauté 5-8 minutes until mushrooms and onion are softened. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 1 minute. Remove mushrooms from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a medium bowl and keep warm. In same skillet, bring quinoa and broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer quinoa 15-20 minutes or until most of liquid is evaporated and quinoa is fluffy. Stir mushroom mixture into quinoa. Stir in Parmesan and parsley and season to taste. Serves 4.


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 large onion – diced

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 green bell pepper – diced

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis

1 cup salsa

1 cup dry brown rice

1 cup water

1 cup low-sodium beef stock

2 teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 green onions – sliced

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add beef and cook until little pink remains, breaking up with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Add onion and diced bell peppers, cook until softened and beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, salsa, rice; cook 2 minutes, while stirring. Stir in beef stock, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Cover and cook 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Garnish with cheese and green onions. Serves 4.


½ package of rice noodles

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

1 packet soy sauce 

sriracha sauce

1 cup mixed chopped vegetables – bell peppers, asparagus, brussel sprouts or kale

½ cup protein – shrimp, diced chicken, smoked salmon, or tofu

In a pot over a camping stove or campfire bring 12 ounces of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add rice noodles, and let sit 10 minutes. Dispose of most of the water, leaving about 4 ounces. Stir in peanut butter then add soy sauce and a healthy squeeze of sriracha to desired taste. Add raw vegetables and protein, heat through and serve.