I love to cook. But honestly, I’m not always eager to chop, fry and wash everyday. Sometimes, I just want to have home-cooked meals without doing anything at all and wish that food can appear on the table out of thin air.
On days like that, I occasionally order meals from restaurants through Food Panda. However, I end up disappointed every single time. For sub-standard food, it’s just not worth the money (especially when you know you can make something much better at half the price).
So I told myself that every time I’m too lazy to cook, I’ll be content with simple home-made food. A 2 minutes egg sandwich will do. For something more wholesome, I will make one-pot meals like claypot chicken rice, imitation sharkfin soup or kimchi stew.
Another one-pot meal that my mother used to always make for me is macaroni soup. Though it might seem odd to westerners since macaroni is normally made with cheese, this warming pot of soup is comfort food for many Malaysians.
My mother used to make ikan bilis broth and flavour with minced pork with soy sauce. She’ll flavour it with crispy shallots too. At this moment, there’s nothing much left in my fridge and there’s heaps of work waiting for me. I really just want something fast, easy and nutritious. Nope, I don’t even want to use a pan or prepare any fancy side dishes. Everything has to be as easy and as fast as possible.
So I thought I’ll make this meal it in a rice cooker instead. Not having to check on the pot means I can slip in some work in between (while it’s cooking, I manage to write this recipe). The above photo is all that you need to cook this satisfying meal.
This wholesome one-pot dish consists of myriad vegetables: carrot, tomato, onions and potato. I like the vibrant red and orange hues and the nutrition that they bring i.e lycopene and carotenoids. The vegetables and macaroni are then cooked in homemade collagen broth (Recipe: Collagen-rich chicken bone broth). This delicious meal fuels my body and warms my tummy. It’s truly a pot of awesomeness!
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 – 40 minutes
Makes: 2 bowls
Macaroni x 1/4 cups
Chicken stock/ water x 2 1/2 cup
Shredded chicken x 1/4 cup
Carrot, small x 1
Tomato, small x 1
Onion, small x 1
Potato, small x 1
Salt to taste (Suggestion: 1 tsp salt)
Black pepper to taste
Spring onions (optional)
Knife and chopping board
- Gather all ingredients and tools.
- Wash produce.
- Chop carrot, potato, tomato and onions into 1 cm cubes. Add into rice cooker pot.
- Add shredded chicken, macaroni and chicken stock into rice cooker pot.
- Press cook. You can stop it from cooking and turn the function to keep warm when the pot is bubbling (i.e steam coming out of the pot). About 20 – 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Dish out and enjoy!
COOKING/ HEALTH NOTES
- I use the best quality seasonings I can get. In this meal, I use Himalayan rock salt and Sarawak black pepper.
- To make it even more nutritious, I’m thinking of getting whole grain macaroni instead. Though it will probably take a slightly longer time to cook.
- I like to make huge batch of chicken/vegetables stock, store in containers and freeze. I try to keep one or two containers in the fridge so I can use it anytime without having to defrost it.
- When I make roast chicken, I always shred chicken breast and keep it in small plastic container (Somehow I feel chicken breast can be rather bland and sometimes dry. I prefer wings, thigh and drumstick).
- Normally, I like to add more leafy vegetables in it e.g bok choy and kai lan. I do at it at the very end of cooking to retain the nutrition and slightly crunchy texture.
- Because I wanted to incorporate more fermented food into my diet, I sometimes eat this with a side of homemade kimchi.
- I think this meal is perfect to bring to work too. Pack it in a wide-mouth thermos to keep it warm until lunch time.
- If you want more protein and less carb, you use more chicken and less macaroni.
I love that this delicious one-pot meal takes very little time and effort, but supply me with abundant of energy and nutrient to do things I need to do.