Some girls scour fashion magazines and watch the latest TV shows to keep up with what’s in style. Others spend hours in front of their bathroom mirrors matching the perfect shade of eyeshadow to their latest lipstick. Me? I follow food trends.
What are celebrity chefs whipping up in their test kitchens? What are this week’s secret ingredients on Iron Chef? What cookbooks are climbing their way to the top of the bestseller list?
It’s not that I want to be a copy-cat and steal other people’s great ideas. Instead, following the food trends is a sort of hobby for me. I like to keep abreast of what’s cooking (no pun intended…) in the culinary world.
In 2010, food trends that topped the list in popularity were things like meatballs, American comfort foods, cupcakes, two-bite desserts, and upscale vegetarian/vegan cuisine. I recently read a few predictions for 2011 trends to watch for among both restaurants and home cooks alike. Whoopie pies, pie in general, and macaroons made the list, as did Korean cuisine, the Meatless Monday movement, and—to my glee—sweet potatoes.
One trend that I think could be a big one in the coming year did not make the list I read, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: one-pot meals, commonly known as skillet suppers.
I really do hope that this trend catches on. I’m always amazed at just how much stellar nutrition you can cram into a one-dish dinner. Protein, veggies, complex carbs, healthy fats—all in one easy-to-clean-up pot. I’ve already seen a few cookbooks come out recently based on this concept, and I’m betting there will be a handful more in the coming months.
In the spirit of keeping up with the trends (or maybe trend setting, if this one dish dinner thing doesn’t catch on), here’s a recipe for a wholesome skillet supper that’s both nutritious and flavorful: Roasted Squash and White Bean Skillet. It technically cannot be called a “one dish dinner” because you need a baking sheet to roast the squash, but the bit of extra effort it takes to throw the squash in the oven for 25 minutes really is worth it. It becomes sweet and caramelized, a super tasty complement to the creamy white beans and slightly bitter kale.
Roasted Squash & White Bean Skillet
3-4 cups peeled, cubed (½-inch) butternut squash (from about 1 small squash)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to taste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
2 stalks celery, peeled and chopped small
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped small
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 cups stemmed, chopped kale
¼ cup raisins
½ cup water
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Roast until tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Add poultry seasoning, kale, raisins, and water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until kale is wilted and water has mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in cannellini beans and roasted squash cubes. Cook for several minutes to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.