18 Healthy one-pot recipes for chilly January nights
It's cold, wet and grey outside - that's the weather here in London, at least - and we're feeling inspired to cook cosy, comforting yet healthy food this month, especially after we indulged at Christmas. We bet you're the same! One-pot meals are an easy way to create a delicious healthy meal, and you can add the vegetables of your choice, making them a great way to get your five-a-day. If you have a slow cooker, even better, as you can add the ingredients and set it to cook whilst you're at work, so you come home to a healthy dinner.
We've gathered together some of our favourite one-pot recipes from around the web - here at the Expertrain office we all have different tastes in food, so hopefully there's something here to suit everyone! Let us know which recipes you've tried, and which ones are your favourites.
#1. Minestrone Soup
Healthy, veggie, low in fat and naturally nutritious, minestrone soup is also super-simple to make! Most of the prep here is chopping up the veggies, and the recipe includes pepper, green beans, courgette, chopped tomatoes, beans and cabbage. This is a great way to eat more vegetables. Soup pasta can be found in most shops, but any pasta is okay to use here.
This hearty vegetarian main is loaded with protein and fibre packed lentils, and vitamin A packed sweet potatoes, plus kale, one of the vegetables containing the most vitamin C! Flavoured with coriander, curry powder, lime and garam masala, this is a great alternative to a chicken curry on cold, wintry nights, and it only uses one pot!
Dinner couldn't get much easier than this - pan-cooked salmon and sauteed potatoes. We like to throw in some chopped red pepper and use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Some fresh dill or parsley would also work well here! Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, good for both your heart and your brain, so this is the perfect dish to serve up the night before an important day at work or university.
You've got friends coming over for dinner and the last thing you want is a sink filled with pots and pans - we get it! This one pot tagine loaded with Moroccan flavours is sure to impress. Protein-packed lamb, veggies, chickpeas, antioxidant-loaded tomatoes and dried apricots with spices create a delicious dish that will go down a treat. If you have any leftovers (doubtful) they're great the next day as lunch at work.
A flavourful Spanish dish, we like to add a little smoked paprika to the tomatoes, for added spice. Prawns are low in fat and a great change from chicken. This easy, simple take on paella is ready in under 20 minutes.
Vegan, loaded with protein and gluten-free to boot, this Mexican bean and quinoa casserole is pretty tasty and a great way to keep up your healthy eating resolution this January! Use a hob-to-oven dish, if you have one, to minimise washing up. Adding some cubed avocado and a handful of spinach to serve makes this even healthier, and it's low-carb too.
Another dish that's ideal to serve to friends and family, the prawns, white fish and clams are a source of protein, whilst onion and garlic boost your immune system and smoked hot paprika adds a delicious flavour. Definitely one to try!
#8. Gardener's Pie
This vegan Shepherd's Pie recipe includes kidney beans as the main source of protein- they're packed with antioxidants and folate and can help to stabilise your blood sugar (1). You can add whatever veg you have to hand that's n season. The flavourful sauce with vegetable stock and tamari plus a creamy, dairy-free mashed potato topping made with almond milk really make the difference here.
Forget creamy, calorie-packed supermarket coleslaw; make your own at home with loads of fresh, shredded veggies. If you're making a big batch, we recommend preparing the vegetables yourself, but for speed you could buy pre-shredded. The nutty, spicy, salty Asian-style dressing is perfect, Use frozen edamame if fresh isn't available. This is perfect served as a main-course salad, side dish or lunch to fuel you after your lunchtime workout!
Most of us will have the basic ingredients for this at home, so you'll probably just need to buy chicken, peppers and sour cream. Chicken breast is the leanest option, but if you're on a tight budget, try chicken thighs. Serve with whole-wheat pasta, brown rice or quinoa; even a simple green salad works well.
Katie at the Kitchen Door's delicious, simple recipe serves four and is packed with goodness. It's also an affordable meal if you've spent too much at Christmas and find yourself on a tight budget this January. Making your own pesto is recommended, but you could always pick up store-bought. With loads of garlic, onions, herbs and kale, this vitamin-packed soup benefits your immune system and helps ward off the sniffles.
Vegan pesto uses nutritional yeast (instead of cheese), almonds, tofu, basil, garlic and lemon juice, but feel free to substitute regular home-made pesto if you're not vegan. The addition of broccoli and courgettes to the pasta boosts your vegetable intake and gives you a dose of vitamin C.
Kale is an underrated vegetable - it's also one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat! It's extremely high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and when combined with protein and fibre-packed red lentils, sausage and a red wine sauce, it's also one of the tastiest things you'll eat this winter! You could use any kind of sausages here, but turkey or chicken sausage will have the least fat. This simple dish is ready to serve in an hour.
Cooking fish in parchment seals in the moisture and flavour, but you could use cod if halibut is not available. Shredded vegetables add colour and nutrients so feel free to add whichever vegetables you feel like. For a mediterranean feel, chopped red peppers, onions and courgettes work well. This is simple to prepare and can be served alone or with leftover rice.
This North African-inspired one-pot dish is made with ginger, cumin, lime juice and tomatoes. Chickpeas are not only protein-rich, they're also ideal to fill you up, whilst the vitamin A from the carrots and squash is essential for healthy vision. This hearty dish will stop you reaching for those late night snacks!
We had to include a few easy-to-prepare dessert recipes in our collection and this mousse is super-simple to make. Just blend cocoa powder, coconut milk, dates and vanilla for a creamy, rich mousse with no added sugar that's an indulgent yet healthy treat!
#17. Nutty Energy Bites
These no-bake energy bites are mixed together in one bowl and then chilled to serve - what could be easier? Great as a post-workout snack or a sweet treat between meals, they can easily be frozen to keep for months, then defrosted as needed. Rolled oats, honey, nut butter, dessicated coconut, vanilla and the chopped seeds or nuts of your choice ensure these will fill you up and boost your energy!
This cake is made in a mug, in your microwave, so no washing up (well, just the mug!) Perfect if you need something small to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can use stevia or sugar to add sweetness. We recommend using coconut oil to bind the ingredients together, as it's a great source of healthy fats. Cocoa powder gives you that chocolate hit, yet this is still a far healthier alternative than shop-bought cakes or chocolate!
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