Simple Skillet Suppers

If last winter was the winter of soup, this is the winter of the skillet.  All my meals lately seem to consist of whatever vegetables I have lying around tossed in a skillet and lightly seasoned.  Some of these meals turn out better than others for sure, but what I am really liking about them is how quickly they come together.  No need to simmer for hours at a time, hovering around near the kitchen lest it scorch or boil over.  Takes about 25 minutes if you chop as you go like I do (a good chef wouldn’t recommend that, but I’m not a chef, so there!)  Here’s one that was particularly delicious.

Southwest Skillet


2 medium red or other potato (not russets, they fall apart), scrubbed and diced

1 onion, diced

8 oz package mushrooms, sliced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1/4-1/2 cup your favorite salsa

salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high flame, heat enough water to cover the bottom.  Add the onions and potatoes, cover and cook about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the mushrooms and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

3.  Add the pepper, cover and cook 5 more minutes, adding a little more water if it’s starting to stick.

4.  Finally, add the beans and salsa, give it a good stir and heat through.  Depending on how big you chopped your potatoes, you may need a little more time with the lid on to get them cooked through.

What I liked most about this meal was its versatility.  It made an excellent reheat-able dinner at work, for one thing.  My boyfriend topped it with cheese and wrapped it in a tortilla, and I think he also added some kolbassy when I wasn’t home to wrinkle my nose at it.  I ate the last of it for breakfast today, topped with a fried egg.

Also, the variations are endless!  I’m seeing another version with sweet potatoes, red pepper, and black beans, finished with a squeeze of orange juice and maybe a handful of baby spinach. Yum.  Last week I made one with potatoes, leftover roasted squash, an apple, and some cabbage, finished with lemon juice.  Trust me, that one was much better than it sounds 😉

4 thoughts on “Simple Skillet Suppers

  1. Angela says:

    Whatever’s around in a skillet makes up about 80% of the meals I make. I’m always looking for different ways to season it though, so feel free to elaborate on seasoning options in future posts!

  2. Raymond says:

    When I glanced at the title I thought it said “simple skillet slippers” so I came right away to see if you’d lost your mind. Chopping as you go is the bomb, A+ for efficiency. Interesting that you did mushrooms ahead of peppers, I like my peppers a little softer so I’d probably flip flop those. This reminds me of my ongoing experiment with what I’ve been calling “gumbo”, where I’ve been doing a giant pot of rice and trying to get the timing right for adding the vegetables as the rice cooks so that nothing gets mushy.

    • Penny Parsnip says:

      To each his own. I like my mushrooms fully cooked, plus the extra time lets them release their juices, thus giving more flavorful cooking liquid.

      Your rice dish sounds great! Gumbo it is not…but it reminds me of when I had a rice cooker in college. I would put the rice on to cook after class and just steam some frozen vegetables over it. Or, put lentils in with the rice, since they cook about the same time. So good, and so cheap, and so easy.

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