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One Pot, One Planet The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

by Nicholas Borrell

Healthy, delicious, easy. One Pot, One Planet The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues Here is one man’s offering of a simple, delicious, nutritious meal. You may call it a “recipe ”, but this is more than just a cookbook. It is a perspective on nutrition, health, and the art of nurturing yourself and those in your care. If possible, visit the nearest farmers’ market to purchase fresh ingredients. Inhale the aromatic herbs, take a moment to chop the vegetables by hand. Cook it all in one pot on low heat to maintain the vitality of the ingredients. Add poultry, beef, tofu or fish if you wish. By adding liquids and layering the seasonings as you go, the broth alone from this method is life-sustaining! Serve the One Pot over grains or pasta, and you’ll enjoy a quick, savory meal.

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One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

One Pot, One Planet

Why an empty bowl, when we have so much to share? 6

One Pot, One Planet

It all began in San francisco – It was summertime in San Francisco, 1975. I was traveling the coast, guitar/backpack style, when I stopped at the artists’ co-op “Artaud” to visit my friends Barbara and Stuart. At the time I was still wet behind the ears. Some of the cultural context of an “artists’ community” was seriously eye-opening. Everyone shared the same two showers in a clothingoptional lifestyle ... Full moon rooftop soirées complete with home grown ... The nascent Castro district ... The City Lights Bookstore with the real Ferlingetti in residence. But the one memory that stands out in all of that clamor was the first meal we shared at Artaud. We cooked brown rice and sautéed veggies with the requisite salad bowl. When it came time to put out the dishes and silverware, I could only find one bowl and one fork. Innocently asking the obvious, “Where are the dishes?” Barbara answered, “We share the bounty by passing the bowl around the circle.” For some reason, this stopped my world and reset my margins forever. The not-so-obvious truth emerged: our personal boundaries keep us from true sharing ... sharing the earth and its bounty with all our relations.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


A spontaneous picnic can be a delightful pleasure shared among friends. Simplicity at its best!


One Pot, One Planet

Right then, I came to understand the meaning of, “What comes around, goes around.”

When the bowl returned to me nearly empty I realized that if I took the last forkful there would be nothing left for the next person. I put the bowl back in the center to be shared or refilled from what we had cooked earlier, continuing the cycle of sharing. We live in the most abundant of times, and yet, feel that there is never enough to satisfy our hunger. But what about the next stop around the wheel of life? In this most humble of books, I share some truths discovered over the years of cooking for my family and friends. It is a simple system of cooking that gives and gives, and never wastes. Preparing a One Pot meal is about caring for yourself by caring for others – even if the “other” is just the “you” of tomorrow at lunch! Namaste. Go in peace and abundant life.

~ Nicholas

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


A favorite One Pot is loaded with small slivers of boneless chicken, spinach, zucchini, red peppers, and mushrooms, topped with bits of fresh cilantro. The broth alone is life sustaining!

We are what we eat. 10

One Pot, One Planet

One Pot Meals Let’s keep this simple right from the start.

This cookbook is about our relationship with food. If we don’t feed ourselves well

– who will? It’s about a simple path to creating wholesome, delicious, and emotionally satisfying meals.

One of our most valuable resources is time. In a dense and hectic lifestyle we often

choose prepackaged, frozen, or over-the-counter prepared food. These do save time but at what cost? Most of these foods are factory products. Who made them? And under what conditions? How much of the original earth-based, solar-charged energy is still available in these products? Hard to tell. I know of no metering device for measuring “vital energy” in mass-produced food.

Let’s face it. We speed-eat for comfort and convenience. A donut and coffee for

breakfast; a burrito or a hero, or maybe a salad for lunch. Then use a microwave for dinner. Don’t get me started on microwaves. Where is this devitalized, unbalanced, un-loved food system taking us?

In our bodies are trillions of cells making trillions of new cells through the magic of life.

The building blocks for this reproductive process are the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the thoughts we feel.

It is certain that live foods are the best way to ensure that the cell building process has

the raw materials it needs to create and maintain superior cells.

What does this have to do with One Pot Cooking? Everything. Why not use or redirect

your time, maybe 30 minutes a day, to engage in a cell-building, self caring, system of feeding yourself and those you love?

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Wholesome, delicious,

Just as your Mother’s Love helped you to grow, your Self Love will help you produce

life-sustaining, soul satisfying meals to nourish yourself and your loved ones today!

We know a lot about various nutritional approaches to health: raw foods,

supplementation, herbs, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, etc.

Take heed: One Pot is not an “ism”! One Pot is just a simple way to prepare food that

will not cook away the vitality inherent in the foods you eat.

Here are a few guidelines we need before starting:

Go organic!

Buy or grow organic foods. This gets us closer to the soil and sun and the powerful

rebuilding cycle of nature. Why organic? The simple answer is toxicity and detoxification.


Our bodies are amazing organic chemical factories. Organic compounds are released

One Pot, One Planet

emotionally satisfying in the normal process of cellular energy production. In this contemporary environment we are constantly drinking, breathing, and eating toxic chemicals. The body, unable to expel these synthetic substances actually stores the excess! By eating organic, we build cells that are not burdened by toxic load and can actually help in the detoxification process. We build billions of new cells each day. Add clean water, clean air, good breathing habits, and clear intentions and we find ourselves back on the track Mother, Mother Earth that is, intended.

make your shopping experience “pleasure-full�

An adjustment in your attitude about food shopping is probably necessary to get the

most out of the One Pot process. Go to the best organic market you can find and take a good look at the food, pick it up, smell it, sense how energetic it is. When shopping for

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Enjoy food shopping. Black Pepper Turmeric Sea Salt Cayenne Pepper Curry Powders Ginger Fresh Cilantro Fresh Basil Fresh Parsley Garlic Onions Mushrooms Peppers Zucchini Cabbage Jicama Eggplant Spinach Cherry Tomatoes

produce, leave the list at home. Use your intuition to find what is fresh, flavorful, and in season. Get used to shopping for flavor and energy. Ask the produce person for guidance. If they care about selling quality produce the goods will be cleared of wilted leaves, bruised, and overripe items.

Look at labels to see where an item comes from. If it has traveled from half-way around

the world, chances are it is not fresh, or more likely, it has been coated in plastic to seal in the moisture. Want wax with your peppers? I think not! Not to mention the carbon footprint on such a veggie. This may mean the your One Pot won't have peppers all year round ... but eating a seasonal diet can serve to connect you more deeply with your local ecology and help you to feel more at home. Plus when the farmers’ market rolls around you can often speak to the person who grew the squash! How cool! Support your local food movement and eat food grown close to home!

Preparing a One Pot is easy when you have the ingredients on hand. So shop ahead of

time, preferably when you are in the mood to do it. Most of what you buy, if it is truly fresh, will keep for a few days. Some produce, like cabbage, onions, carrots, jicama, peppers, and potatoes will keep longer than others, such as mushrooms or tomatoes.


One Pot, One Planet

Get organized to cook.

So let’s assume you have the basics… What’s next?

fresh herbs and spices

I cook my One Pot meals with a simple list of spices and herbs: garlic (fresh or

prepared), curry powder, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, ginger (fresh or powdered), oregano flakes, sweet basil flakes, and sea salt. Fresh herbs are wonderful. My favorites to have on hand are cilantro, parsley and thyme.

Let your experience and inventiveness guide you. Remember you are servicing your

taste buds - not really following a recipe.

a few other things you will need:

Tofu chicken shrimp scallops beef a good quality stainless Pot 12” wide 3” deep with cover and clad bottom to disperse heat Sharp knife Knife sharpener Wooden spoons Cutting boards Fork herb snips

Extra virgin olive oil, tamari or soy sauce (low salt), agave nectar or honey, milk, plain

yogurt. Lemon is a great accent to enhance the flavors.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Here’s a story…

“Clover Market”

When I was in college I worked at a small specialty market on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. We sold and delivered gourmet foods to embassies and local households. Some Saturdays I got up early, drove over to the market to pick up a van and made my way downtown to the wholesale market. Benny, the 85-year-old produce man would leave a list on the engine. This list consisted of names of vendors I was to see at various fruit and vegetable stalls. Benny had prearranged with his old friends to obtain the best, and only the best, produce. By the time I returned to Clover, Benny would be waiting 16

to inspect and sample the goods. He would teach me a lesson that has served me well – to be able to touch and smell the produce in order to select what is ripe and alive. Melons: Press the navel to release a note of ripeness. If there is no odor, it is not ripe, and may never ripen! Oranges: Thick skin? Then there is too little juice and no flavor. The truth is, Benny could see the good stuff and would occasionally reject a box of grapes or peppers. And by some crazy osmotic process whereby we all learn from great teachers, I learned to see the energy of the food as well. d One Pot, One Planet

Let’s make a One Pot! I want to share two very important things:

Keep it mellow. This cooking is not about high heat. Everything is cooked

on low, except when wilting the greens with abundant liquid in the pot. This allows all of the moisture and nutrition in the food to stay in the pot. This goes for meat and poultry as well: cut it into small slivers and then brown the exterior over medium high heat for

Low heat cook slowly a Rustic chopping technique is preferred

two or three minutes, then turn it down. Have no fear! The heat of the broth will cook the meat to perfection.

The other thing is the slicing technique. This is a rustic meal. I cut by

hand and do not really worry about absolute consistency. The vegies and meat or poultry should be small enough to cook uniformly, and things like eggplant (which needs more time) should be small and thin.

Let's assume you have gone to the market and returned with a red onion, a yellow

pepper, button mushrooms, a zucchini, spinach, prepared diced garlic, and firm tofu, naturally raised chicken breast, or beef.

Cut up a medium sized onion. This seems like a lot but there is a bunch of water in

these amazing vegetables and flavor, flavor, flavor.

Start the pan on medium heat and spray with a light coat of oil.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Ready or not ...

Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions go in right away. This is the time to

put in the garlic … as much as you want. While the onions and garlic are slowly cooking I add the first round of seasoning: black pepper, a little sea salt and some shakes of cayenne pepper, ginger and curry. Not too much at this stage. Any seasoning that goes in now will blend with all the food flavors.

What we are looking for is deepening layers of flavor while not overpowering the

natural taste of the food. The slow-low cooking does the blending. So, while the onions are reducing, cut the peppers, squash, and mushrooms. By the time you have done this, the pot is ready for these ingredients to be added. This is all happening at medium heat. If you want to turn up the heat for 30 seconds or so and sauté these guys, go ahead. But turn the heat way down and let everything just sit for a minute. No rush! And no worries! I usually add a little more pepper and seasonings at this point. I’m also getting set to determine the final flavor outcome.

If you are doing chicken or beef, this is the time to cut it into small thin slices. Turn up

the heat to medium high and add it to the pot. Blend and cook until all of the pieces are brown on the surface only. Do not overcook. Remember: the meat will continue to cook in the broth and will be done tenderly by the end. Turn the heat down again.


One Pot, One Planet

here it comes!

At this stage we are ready to build the broth. It’s so easy to do! Remember all of the

juices in the ingredients are still in the pan and we are going to wake them up! Add ¼ cup of tamari, ½ cup of filtered water (or ¾ cup more if you want it brothy). Stir it all together, turn the heat up to a low boil and add the spinach to wilt on the top.

This is important. Cook only long enough to wilt and engage the greens. Then

turn off the heat. Things continue to cook in their own heat. The philosophy here is Low and Slow. You are definitely ready to taste and amp up the flavors in the direction of a final result. I usually taste a mushroom at this point, because they have a neutral flavor that absorbs a little bit of everything. If you are going for hot, add cayenne to taste. If you are going for curry, add curry, turmeric, and ginger. If you want it richer, add some milk or sour cream. If you want a Greek flavoring, add yogurt and lemon. If you like cherry tomatoes, cut 10 in half and add them in. If you want it cheesy, add grated asiago, parmesan or romano.

Cut fresh cilantro and sprinkle it on top. The heat of the One Pot wakes up herbal

flavors and releases aroma as an immediate sensation.

Spoon your One Pot creation onto your rice or pasta and enjoy!

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Another story…

“Thirst So Deep”

On a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon during the freewheeling 70’s, on the advice of a Ranger at the North Rim, my good friend Jon and I chose a little-used trail that led 20

down to the canyon floor at Deer Creek Falls. The young, fit Ranger advised us to cache water halfway down the rock face because it would take twice as long to One Pot, One Planet

ascend as it would to descend. What an understatement! It was a difficult trail to say the least. At some points we had to lower our packs by rope and scramble down the steepest points – packs laden with gear and two gallons of water each. Upon review of the topo map, we cached the water in the nook of what (I thought) was a very obvious rock shape. I took a mental snapshot of the location and continued on down. Deer Creek Canyon is a magnificent and sinuous cut in the sandstone layer of the Grand Canyon that leads to a 400 foot waterfall on the Colorado River. The Deer Creek area was winter shelter for the Anasazi tribe, providing clear cold water and protective overhangs for sleeping. The canyon has an abundance of ruins. We stayed in this Shangri-la for a couple of nights and then prepared for our return to the North Rim. However, it proved to be more challenging than expected. The first problem: Jon’s boots – which he’d purchased new before the trip, had cut his feet raw on the way down. They had not healed for the more difficult ascent. He was in agony and moved more slowly than normal. The second: We left at sunrise, which in canyon-time is much later than at the rim. We were 2000 feet below the rim with a difficult trek ahead – a steep, challenging trail which The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

would be tough enough with healthy feet. The third: We hit the first great wall with the sun directly on us. The place on the map was called Surprise Valley. It was a furnace of heat, with sunlight reflecting off of the sand and stone. That gallon of water per person was not sufficient to last all day. The fourth: Finding shade became imperative. Ignorant desert dogs were we! We chose a spot behind a large boulder. Just when we were cooling down, we realized that we were sitting in a nest of fire ants! When the first one bites it sends a message to the others to sting and attack. Needless to say, we took flight, driven from the only shelter near the trail for miles. We were forced back out into the glaring sun, up the steep, thirst-building slope out of Surprise Valley into the high area called the Esplanade. The fifth: In the heat of the day, our uphill trek took ten hours to return to where we thought our water had been stashed. By that point we had consumed almost all of our two gallons, restricting our intake to one sip each, every half an hour or so. By twilight, we reached the rock formation where I thought our precious liquid had been stashed. But we could not find it. Tricked by a canyon hoodoo! As the night sky opened before us, we made a truly “dry camp”, bandaged Jon’s toes, 21

and warily watched each other take smaller and smaller sips until scant ounces remained. The dehydrating qualities of heat in a desert environment require a bare minimum of one gallon per day per person. If you have never experienced this type of elemental thirst, it is a real awakening to your body’s needs. We got through the night thinking that we must have


passed the stash. At first light I went back down the trail a mile or two with no luck in the search. Upon my dismal return, we drank the last taste, shouldered our packs, and hit the trail. The path was a lightly used one at best, marked by cairns heading upward toward a milestone in the distance. We had little hope of finding our water – and faced an exhausting, full, day of steep, hot, climbing to the top of the canyon.

One Pot, One Planet

After two or three hours, we were parched, undernourished, with truly bad attitudes. And then to my relief, a rock formation ahead looked curiously familiar. We had found the two-gallon cache after all! No water, before or after that moment, has ever tasted so

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

sweet. Many, many times during my life, I have recalled the first blessed sip of that canyon cache. I have never taken water for granted again. d


The Healing Properties

OK! So I have laid out the basic steps for making a One Pot – made sweeter with a little

agave or honey. Made spicier and hotter (oh boy!) with just a little more cayenne.

What do I eat with it? Spoon it over brown or white rice, egg noodles, rice noodles,

quinoa, or another vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower. Add a side salad and your meal is complete.

I also like to add some cucumber, celery, water chestnut, radish, or jicama after the dish

is done to give it a crunchy texture. The warmth of the stewing food seems to wake up the raw flavors. Garlic

So much has been written about the health benefits of garlic. Most importantly,

garlic is an adaptogenic nutrient – meaning it fills in where it is needed – to balance and stimulate the system. It is, among other things:


Antibacterial and antiviral

Supportive of healthy immune function

Effective in lowering cholesterol

Effective in lowering blood pressure and thinning the blood

One Pot, One Planet

of Vital Ingredients Turmeric

Considered in India to be the "Mother of all Herbs". Its healing and

transformative powers are truly astounding! The active ingredient, curcumin, has the following (and more) properties: •

Antiseptic and antibacterial

Natural liver detoxifier

Supreme anti-inflammatory agent


Balances blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne brings passion and crispness to the dish as well as nutritional bounty.

If you add it early it will sublimate to the overall flavors of the One Pot. If you add it later it will bring more of the traditional heat to the flavor. Cayenne stimulates the digestive track to secrete digestive juices starting in the mouth and continuing into the colon. What a natural ally! •

Cures and reduces dyspepsia

Helps body create hydrochloric acid

Rich source of Vitamin A, C, and Complete B

A source of calcium and phosphorus

Boosts circulation and lowers blood pressure

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


The Healing Properties

When we cook with these rich foods and herbs, we support our health in incredible

ways. By combining the nutrient-rich components into a slow cooked meal we are giving ourselves complete alive nutrition. There is no doubt that the plant kingdom is one of our richest sources of life.

Then add the true magic ingredient:


When you cook for yourself with good intentions you actually...

e the energy s i a R of


the food One Pot, One Planet

of Vital Ingredients This means –


Synthesized Energy!

Creative Energy!

t n a d n u Ab


These energies create


expansion and growth Potential is awakened when we use raw materials in a loving, self-supporting way All that great natural vitality is just waiting

Flavor! Aroma!

for the chance to explode in

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

Lo v e 27

if it tastes good,

Aroma stimulates saliva in the mouth, getting the body ready to receive nourishment

which cascades in a series of chemical reactions throughout the entire digestive tract.

Aroma also surges neural/physical activity, switching on memories of places and

events. You can definitely take a trip off the aromatic sensation… that romantic meal in Zacatecas… or just the early childhood comfort of Mom’s cooking. So it’s not just the food?

Taste is the first opportunity to savor the meal. Why not just sample a taste at each

stage of the cooking process? Great cooks evolve the flavor through taste.

The recipe only guides the cook to the final result.

! y r r u C e r Mo isins. a R


Add s o

me l e

Raisins ?

m on . One Pot, One Planet

it is good! Why not munch the whole meal before it is done?

Just put onion and garlic in the pan and watch out!

Or just taste it and let it evolve.

What is evolution if not the opportunity for change?

Creative process!

You are the creator of your own little universe of change and nourishment ‌ your own little comfort and support system where you bring home the food for the tribe and conjure terrific mojo in the form of



The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


OD 29

OK, let’s talk

“YUM! ” as my daughter Zoë would say!

Rustic preparation. Don't spend lots of time chopping perfectly equal-size pieces of everything! Low temperature – except browning meat and wilting greens. Slow ... no rush – this is only going to take 15-20 minutes to prepare. Layers of flavor – start seasoning early … season by taste as you proceed. Broth – filtered water, tamari, wine, milk, yogurt, lemon, agave, honey. Truth. Aroma. Taste. Hunger. Satisfaction. Color. Memory.


and Underst e v o L , e anding eac ( The last three are optional but highly recommended!)


One Pot, One Planet

“process” again ... Go for it!

And just a little bit of time...

It probably takes 10 to 15 minutes of your time to stop at the coffee shop to get the

java/sugar fix that provides absolutely no positive nutritional value. It has a possibly negative value – but I won’t go there. Cook once, eat twice! It's delicious the second day!

For last minute touches add raw veggies, cheese on top, and sliced grape tomatoes for color

You go to the market at least once a week. With the One Pot recipe you get dinner

the first night, lunch the next day, and depending on the quantity prepared, enough for a beautiful casserole the next night.

This casserole (see recipe on page 42) is simply one cup of brown or white rice fully

cooked combined with the left over One Pot, adding more seasoning, more anything from the cupboard or fridge (like canned organic beans, peas or corn), leftover salad, tofu, shrimp, or salsa.

Heat and eat. “Yum!” again!

Taking care of yourself is so easy …

Déjà vu baby!

but some times we make it so hard.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Keep an open mind while I tell ...

Another Story

My mother Barbara was an incredible artist who had put her artistic inclinations on hold while raising four children. She did not begin her career as a print maker until she was 50 years old! From that point on she devoted her attention to fine art in earnest – moving from watercolors through oil and acrylic to her true passion, the monoprint. She held many private showings, won numerous awards, and was truly prolific. At the same time, while her artistic expression was in full bloom, she became a gourmet cook as well. Growing up, it was all meat and potatoes. My father Lenny died when I was nine. In her days as a young widow, Barbara had little time for anything more than to put basic food on the table. Barbara's second husband Charlie entered the scene with a gourmet palette, and the dutiful wife began to get creative in the kitchen too. At the end of my senior year in high school, although I wasn’t paying too much attention to family life, we did come together to share dinner.


One Pot, One Planet

And I remember the sands shifting… One night a full Chinese meal appeared – from dim sum dumplings through Hunan and Szechuan heat. Wow! I had never eaten like that before! At the time, I did not realize how important texture and flavor were. Soon the word got out in little-old Kinnelon, New Jersey. I was sitting with my guidance counselor discussing college prospects and he mentioned Barbara’s Chinese feasts. This came to that, and Mr. DeFrancis was invited over for dinner. The night of the invitation arrived and my counselor called to ask if he could bring a friend. When the doorbell rang and we opened the door, two men stood before us – youknow-who – and Craig Claiborne, the renowned food critic of the New York Times! Legacies, legends, and talent combined to wake up my taste buds. To this day I can taste the piquant dipping sauce. d The images on these two pages are from Barbara’s acrylic, “Agapanthus.” The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

Barbara’s art and genetic heritage are alive and well in the One Pot Revolution!!


Serve the One Pot over Brown rice 1 cup organic brown rice (Texmati or Basmati) 2Âź cups filtered water A pinch of sea salt (optional)

Place rice and water/salt in 2 quart sauce pan. Bring to full boil for 10 to 20 seconds.

Cover and reduce heat to low.

Very important! Do not stir until all water is gone. The cooking time depends on rice

variety and altitude.

Check rice at intervals, or wait approximately 15 minutes before observing. Do not stir!

When all liquid is gone, fluff rice with fork and season to taste.

White rice 1 cup organic white rice (Texmati or Basmati are wonderfully textural and nutty) 2 cups filtered water A pinch of sea salt (optional)

My cooking instructions are the same as brown rice with the exception of white rice

taking approximately half the cooking time.


One Pot, One Planet

brown or white rice ... Seasoning the rice

After the rice is fully cooked and all the liquid is gone, fluff the rice with a fork and

begin seasoning with 2 T of butter or some extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Add sea salt to taste if you haven’t already added it to the water. Add some freshly cracked black pepper.

I often add well-drained, canned organic kidney beans

or peas, small cubes of firm tofu, some grated parmesan or asiago. You can amp it up with some salsa too. Note:

1 cup of rice is probably 3-4 servings, more with

the other ingredients. Rice keeps well and will be good to mix in and re-heat with the One Pot for lunch the next day.

Bon Appetit!

The dish to the right is a Casserole of orange and yellow peppers, zucchini, red onions, and cilantro.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


or serve it over pasta ... Perfect Pasta

Over the years I have found my tolerance to wheat gluten has diminished and my

digestion remains better balanced if I enjoy it selectively. I now prefer brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta in lieu of the standard wheat varieties, but cook whichever kind you like. How to Cook Brown Rice Pasta

Bring 6 quarts of water to boil. Add a pinch of sea salt (optional).

Add a 12 ounce bag of brown rice pasta. Stir often until you are sure no pieces are

sticking together, then occasionally until cooked. Cooking time is noted on the product directions but I go by taste in all of my cooking – not by a timer.

When the pasta is fully cooked, not hard or too soft, drain and rinse with warm water

to remove the starchy residue. Seasoning the Pasta

Place the pasta back in the cooking pot, or other appropriately sized vessel.

Immediately add some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.

I often add organic cherry tomatoes cut in half, some freshly snipped cilantro or basil

or parsley or some cubed tofu. What else do we have to play with in the fridge? You get it now!


Do whatever your taste buds tell you to do. It is fun and easy with the One Pot style.

One Pot, One Planet

This One Pot is made with thin slivers of scallops, spinach, red peppers, and mushrooms in a milky broth and served over rice.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


fats, oils, sodium,

The One Pot solution depends upon the natural lubricating function of stored water in

the fresh foods as the cooking base.

We need good fats in our diet to keep the cell membranes flexible and porous. Use

only first cold-pressed oils, preferably sesame or extra virgin olive oil. Even good oils can go bad by overheating and oxidizing, so keep the heat low during the initial sautĂŠ.

More oil is not needed. If you choose to prepare meat, the natural oils will come out

and add their own juice to the mix.

This is not the French or Food Channel cooking style.

This is a low-key, nobody-is-watching,

l u o S r u o y d Fee food - cooking.


All of that adding oil over and over again is just a waste of good oil.

One Pot, One Planet

and potassium

We all need sodium in our systems for all sorts of biochemical work. We could not live

without it. But not too much. Just a shake early on with the black pepper, then later to taste. If you use tamari, buy the low sodium type. It will bring an earthy/saltiness all by itself. And if you add cheese, remember, this will add salt also.

Consider this: Most of us run into problems with sodium by not having enough

potassium to balance it. This has a lot to do with the intra/extra cellular transport. Research this just for your own interest.

Actually ‌ Research Everything.

Knowledge (aka Truth) is Power. Feeding yourself with wholesome, vibrant foods is

about powering UP.

OK, by now you get that you are what you eat.

(Most people – even the stubborn types understand this.)

A BIG, HIDDEN component of this process to



is our desire!

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


The whole is greater

So check your attitude: If you think cooking is too much work … It probably

IS! If you approach meal preparation as a fun-filled, learning experience … It IS! You make the choice. In fact our lives are all about the choices we make every day.

or Fresh Food Aisle Pre packaged food or Fresh prepared food Someone else’s Vibes or Your good intentions Frozen food aisle

Oops, I slipped in some very important, maybe the MOST important thing … and

something that has broad application throughout your lives:

You are what you think!

The attitude you take during the process of buying, cutting, heating, seasoning,

tasting, smelling, sharing, and loving add an intangible but totally energizing factor.


Add some balsamic vinegar. Add some mustard.

Oh, what the heck … add some ketchup if you want!

One Pot, One Planet

than the sum of the parts

Build the depth of flavor but don’t overcook. Let the natural flavors evolve. Taste,

smell, enjoy as you cook. Evolve the flavors for the next night’s stew or casserole. And add the LOVE.

By taking care of yourself, you are loving yourself.

By loving yourself, you are honoring the gift of life and the heritage of your ancestors – expanding the experience from a simple meal to a trans-cultural, possibly



This One Pot is made with tofu, red cabbage, orange peppers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes served over a bed of white rice.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


Thanks to the soul of the foods in this creation, Thanks to the Great Mother who supplies us with her abundance, And thanks to my hunger and thirst for allowing me the opportunity to feed and appreciate myself. Let’s Eat. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!


One Pot, One Planet

Quick Shopping List

All organic w hen po

One red onion, diced

Two cloves chopped garlic (or 2 T prepared)

Two zucchini thinly sliced and quartered

4 or 5 mushrooms sliced (any variety)

One red, yellow, or orange pepper roughly cut or


julienned •

Pre-washed baby spinach, 12 ounces

Extra virgin olive oil

Organic olive oil non-stick cooking spray

Sea salt

Curry powder

Black pepper

Powdered ginger

Cayenne pepper


Fresh cilantro

Grated cheese

Complementary dish of rice quinoa, pasta, or potatoes

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


These steps will help you make a totally satisfying vegetarian One Pot. Variations are indicated (*) if you would like to add beef, chicken, tofu or seafood to the basic recipe.

Make a One Pot in

7 easy steps

To begin, select several of your favorite vegetables. Let’s say, garlic, spinach, onion, peppers, and zucchini. You may refer to the shopping list on the previous page to help in your selection. Assemble your ingredients, including the herbs and spices.



Spray non-stick olive oil onto entire surface of large 3” by 12” wide sauté pan. Add 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil. Place

Start the seasoning with a little salt and pepper and a sprinkle of cayenne. When the

on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, spread evenly

onions are transparent add the mushrooms,

over the pan and simmer slowly. You can do the bulk of

then peppers and zucchini. Start a medium 1

the other cutting while these veggies are heating up.

heat sauté.


Add the next layer of seasoning with ½ t curry powder ½ t powdered ginger Stir gently.


Add the next layer of seasoning with ½ t curry powder ½ t powdered ginger

5) 2

* beef or chicken – Add thin slivers and brown on the surface only at medium high heat. The broth will cook it through completely.


One Pot, One Planet


Add ¼ c tamari and ¾ c of water. Turn up the heat. Place the spinach


When the spinach is soft turn the heat to low and blend all together.

over the top of the vegetables. Let it wilt.

Taste and then add any final seasoning you feel it needs. Turn off the heat! * tofu – add cubed pieces of the firm style at this point. The Finishing Touch: Add snipped cilantro, a little milk or yogurt,


some halved cherry tomatoes, and a bit of grated cheese. Variations with seafood: * Shrimp (either frozen or thawed) – Add shrimp at the VERY end and let the warm broth gently cook them until pink. * Scallops – Thinly slice and brown the surface in separate pan; then add the scallops and all of the pan juices to a completed One Pot allowing the warm broth to continue the cooking.


The One Pot pictured on the right is made with slivered scallops, mushrooms, red peppers, red onions, and cilantro.

” ! M U Y

P.S. If you are cooking ahead but plan to eat within an hour or so, re-heat the pot slowly on medium-low. Do not bring it to a boil. Save your leftovers for the Casserole recipe that follows.

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues


day two:

the casserole

Ok! In our busy lifestyles, most households depend on two incomes. So you have come home to the

question, “What’s for dinner?” Hamburger Helper? Frozen pizza? Scrambled eggs? These options are quick and easy, but not particularly nutritious or flavorful.

If the “you” of yesterday made a One Pot and you have leftovers sitting in the fridge, the answer to the

question is easy. Make a savory casserole. It will take – maybe – twenty minutes tops, because the broth-filled, slowly cooked ingredients are ready, still fresh, waiting to be enjoyed again. It is so easy! 1 to 1½ cups of One Pot leftovers will combine well with 2 to 2½ cups of cooked grains or potatoes.


You may have some grains left from the first meal. If not, cook another round of rice, pasta, quinoa, or potatoes according to directions. TIP: For variety, select a base (rice, pasta, potatoes, or quinoa) that differs from the first night’s meal.

2) Preset the oven to 300 degrees. 3) Prepare an oven-proof dish with a light spray of oil or butter.

Put the rice or pasta,

quinoa, potatoes, or pre-cooked lentils in the casserole dish. Add the leftover One Pot and stir.

4) If the overall quantity needs expanding, add some drained canned veggies. Peas, kidney beans or garbanzos work nicely!


One Pot, One Planet


Re-season to subtly wake up the flavor. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, more cayenne, a little yogurt, honey, or mustard, some freshly cut fragrant herbs. Add a bit of grated cheese if you like and stir gently.


Cover the casserole so it doesn’t dry out. Place it in the center of the pre-heated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes, but check it occasionally. When it is bubbling slowly, it is probably done. Because the One Pot was cold to start with, make sure it is heated all the way through. But remember, don’t overcook!


Serve it on a bed of greens. The heat of the casserole will slightly wilt them and add a delicious explosion of texture and fresh flavor. Mangia! These measurements are guidelines only ... so follow your instincts on proportions. How hungry are you? How many people are you feeding?

Go with th e

Fl o w

of the One Pot creative mind! Be inventive. Enjoy!

The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

43 47

One last story …

The apple fell at the most incredible moment.

And at that moment, an apple fell to the ground

between us. Coincidence? Synchronicity? I felt the

Chris and I, carpentry partners at the time, took

a break from our work … just two dharma bums

buzz of certainty from the big gears of the universe – a message that it is always the right time for Truth.

sitting under an apple tree. We contemplated an enlightenment teaching as were we inclined to do.

In my life, by my own actions, I am continually

learning – or not learning – the lessons I need to help

Chris asked, “How will we know when we are ready

me along the path of growth.

for the big truths?”

“I guess it will just happen at the right time and the

right place, and we’ll know,” I replied. 48

In moment the apple fell, I knew that I am always at

the right place at the right time. I suggest that it is true for you too. One Pot, One Planet

Whether it is cooking a One Pot, or walking in

the woods, taking time to arrive in the present is key.

Be Great! Be Ready! Be Happy!

Whether or not you choose to listen doesn’t change the fact that the apple will fall. That is for certain. But will you be ready?

These ah-ha moments are the jewels of our lives.

They are the moments when we finally get it – whether



Nicholas Cre ativ~ e

it is the right amount of curry, or the moment we meet

our one true love. Being available, present, to recognize

d a nt what is all around us is the opening to one’s ntrue u b A potential greatness. The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

Potential 49

about the author

photo credits

Nicholas Borrell (1975, at Zion Canyon), is a writer, poet, builder, designer, healer, hiker, husband, father, lover, grandfather. And, he loves to cook!

Jesse R. Borrell, Nicholas Borrell, Tobin Voggesser

Book Design

Anne Borrell is a graphic designer who enjoys the many pleasures of living with my wonderful husband and cook. 50

test kitchen assistants

Zoë Borrell McCaffrey Joseph McCaffrey (alias “Dos Santos”) proofreading

Kathryn Rothfeld, Satya Sherwin One Pot, One Planet

One Pot, One Planet The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues

Food is for nourishment, eating is for pleasure! Combine the two and create a healthy attitude about eating. Forgo stressful planning and shopping ... and enjoy a delicious, savory meal. Nicholas Borrell shares his thoughts on balanced living and holistic ideals in this home-spun, philosophical guide to cooking a “One Pot� sensation. With a playful perspective, simple directions, and a shopping list for ingredients, your meal preparation will be an enjoyable experience to share with friends and family.

One Pot, One Planet The One Pot Solution to the Cooking Blues  

Here is one man’s offering of a simple, delicious, nutritious meal. You may call it a “recipe ”, but this is more than just a cookbook. It i...

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