Let’s look at the other “one-pot” cooking methods to compare:
Crock-pot/slow cooker method: This method produces stews or roasts of large cuts of meat. The roasting of large cuts of meat is not really a one-pot method, so I won’t directly address it. For a crock-pot stew, you place all the cut ingredients in the pot and must allow at least 6-10 hours for cooking. What you get is a goulash-type stew where all of the vegetables and other ingredients disintegrate down into a thick liquid with unidentifiable chunks. Many crock-pot creations taste alike, a natural limitation when food is overcooked. Beyond this, many vegetables lose much of their nutritional value when overcooked, leaving you with just a mush.
The only thing Glorious One-Pot Meals have in common with slow-cooking methods is the use of a Dutch oven. Beyond that they are as different as soup is from salad. The unique method is completely explained in the Glorious One-Pot Meals cookbook.
Casseroles: A very popular cooking style in the 1950s, casseroles came to the forefront as an easy way to cook using prepackaged foods. Many classic casserole recipes call for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, crushed potato chips, or canned stewed tomatoes. In my opinion, these were the forerunners of Hamburger Helper: designed to help the non-cook get something on the table for the family with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of prepared and processed ingredients. As a result of all the processed ingredients, casseroles are often high in sodium, fat, and undesirable additives.
Casseroles further fuse the ingredients into a layer-cake type of serving, unlike Glorious One-Pot Meals in which the ingredients remain separate and retain their integrity. With Glorious One-Pot Meals you get an entrée with sides of vegetables and grains, not a thick slab of melded foods.
Skillet meals and Wok cooking: One of the great drawbacks of a skillet meal is that, while the meat and the vegetables are cooking in the skillet, the pasta or rice is prepared separately, negating the point of a true “one-pot” meal. Woks use less fat for frying than skillets so that the meat and vegetables taste fresher with seared-in flavors, but you still have to make the rice separately and time it to be done at the same time. Additionally, woks and skillets require the full-time attention of the cook while on the stove; not the most relaxing way to prepare dinner.
Glorious One-Pot Meals are constructed from a starch in the form of a grain, pasta, or potatoes, your choice of protein, and a rainbow of vegetables for maximum nutritious content. Once everything has been placed within the pot, the cook is free to sit down until the telltale aromas escape from the oven to signal that dinner is ready. In fact, opening the lid during the infusion cooking process only delays the meal so the anxious cook has no choice but to step away from the oven until it is time to eat.