Healthy One Pot Meals
There’s just something so great about getting cozy with a warm bowl of soup or stew as the season turns colder. The best part is how easy it is to make these one-pot meals - in fact, it is easier than preparing your average dinner at home, which usually involves preparing multiple recipes to get a balanced meal.
In order for your one-pot meal to fill all of your nutritional needs, you will need to include a few key ingredients. Make sure your meals have one choice from each of these four categories:
There you have it — a well-rounded one-pot meal! These dishes make for a convenient and easy approach to dinnertime in the fall and winter months. You can make a large batch and take portions out as you need them throughout the week, or even warm some up and put it into a stainless steel thermos for you or your kids to take on the go for lunches.
Onions, carrots, and celery provide a great base for soup or stew by giving your water some flavour. Next, you can add in seasonal vegetables like squash, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. You can get really crazy here! Use as many vegetables as you’d like to include.
These are best when cooked from scratch. Legumes, like beans and lentils add a low-fat source of iron, fibre, and protein to your meal. Choose from chickpeas, black beans, white beans, lentils, yellow split peas, kidney beans, mung beans, or black-eyed peas.
- Herbs and spices
Make sure to have some basics on hand, including cumin, parsley, sage, oregano, garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram, turmeric.
- Whole grains
Using barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice, or millet can add a dose of complex carbohydrates, texture, and substance to your pot. Whole grains up your dish’s fibre content as well.
You can also freeze portions in glass containers and store them for a snowy day when you don’t feel like cooking or going anywhere.
Why not benefit from cooking some of your own meals at home? You get to be creative, you know what goes into it, it’s convenient, and you know it’s going to be delicious! You can start with this healthy recipe for minestrone soup, featuring seasonal chard and butternut squash!
New Age Minestrone
- 1 Spanish onion, cut into large cubes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 cups filtered water or stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium cubes
- 3 parsnips cut into medium cubes
- 1 glove garlic, chopped finely
- 1 sweet potato, cut into large cubes
- 3 ribs celery cut into large cubes
- 1 large zucchini or 2 small zucchini, cut into small chunks
- 1 bunch of chard, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup soaked and cooked kidney beans (optional)
- 1/2 cup cooked Tinkyada brown rice macaroni noodles (optional)
For a smoother texture, simmer squash separately until soft (in 1-2 cups of water), and puree in a food processor. Add squash to the soup for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- In a small pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil with salt until soft.
- Add oregano and sauté a few more minutes.
- Add water and bay leaf.
- Add vegetables in order given: squash, parsnips, sweet potato. Wait approx. 10 minutes, then add celery and zucchini.
- Turn up heat until water bubbles, then lower and simmer covered for 40-45 minutes.
- Stir vegetables until squash falls apart, or press squash up against side of pot to break it down.
- Add in chopped chard.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kidney beans and noodles. Stir a few more times and serve.
Source: Marni Wasserman