One Pan Annie Cooks for One

The Story of One Pan Annie

By Jan Jackson

One Pan Annie’s grocery cart.

It’s not hard to tell the story of One Pan Annie because she’s me. I became One Pan Annie shortly after I stumbled across a small line item in my doctor’s report that said I had stage three kidney disease.

I do understand that stage three kidney disease isn’t uncommon in 80 year olds but when it gets to stage five, you have to go on dialysis and I didn’t want that to happen. To that end, I did what any red-blooded person would do. I went on on Amazon and bought a book about kidney disease.

Next, I ordered a book about what to eat with kidney disease (and, by the way, the choices are drear).

After the kidney disease books, I bought “The Lucky Years, How to Survive in the Brave New World of Health,” by David B. Angus. Dr Angus  talked about how important it is to be the boss of your own health.

The fifth book I bought was “The Secret Life of Fat, The Science Behind the Body’s Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You,” by Sylvia Tara PhD.. From Dr. Tara, I learned to quit looking around and whining about what other people could eat but I couldn’t.

The sixth book, which got me off sugar for life, was called “Salt, Sugar and Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” by Michael Moss.

I looked to One Pan Annie to create me a limited diet that was tasty, cheap and quick (I don’t believe in spending more time preparing something than it takes to eat it). She didn’t let me down.

Since becoming One Pan Annie, in the last year and a half I dropped 55 pounds, reduced my blood pressure medication from 100 mis a day to 25 and exercise in the pool everyday.

Because One Pan Annie was so tired of seeing everyone around her eat out of boxes, bags and restaurant take out windows, she is writing a cookbook to show just how quick, cheap and brainlessly easy it is to eat healthy.

This is how she does it. *

She goes to the grocery store – doesn’t matter which one as long as it has real food.

Buys her favorite piece of meat, a golden thin-skinned potato and a carrot (not the sawed off rounded little carrots they refashion by honing down the old ones that should be saved for horses).

Goes home.

Washes, but doesn’t peel the potato and carrot (no need to throw away the nutrients she says). Drizzles some olive oil in a heavy old-fashioned skillet and turns it on high.

As soon as the pan heats up, she turns it down to four and adds her meat (photo shows thin cut in-bone pork chop), vegetables and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. She puts a lid on it.

In two or three minutes, she removes the lid, turns the food over and puts the lid back on. In another 3 or 4 minutes she turns the stove off and lets the food continue to cook for another minute or two. While she waits she gets out her plate and eating utensils.

She lifts the food onto her plate and rinses out the frying pan.

Dining ala living room chair.

She sits down and enjoys her dinner.

After she eats, she washes her plate and silverware.  Now she has the rest of the evening to do whatever she wants wherever she wants to do it.

She recommends repeating this nightly.

You see? No boxes, no cans and no bags. The meal cost her about $2.00, contained less than 300 calories and took her eight minutes.  You could be like One Pan Annie and eat healthy, cheap and in less time than you would spend getting takeout!

*This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

Photos by Jan Jackson

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