4 Healthy One Pot Meals to Try This Week

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Healthy One Pot Meals: healthy soups, chili and stew

Get the whole family back on track this month with these easy one-pot meals.

I noticed this morning that the Canadian Tire flyer was featuring a big sale on exercise equipment. (I didn’t even know that you could buy treadmills and such at Canadian Tire.)

It’s the time of year when “healthy” everything is top of mind. After the excesses of the holiday season people are ready for a change and I suspect most of us are craving comfort food, wholesome eating and simplicity in the kitchen.

That’s where these wholesome and healthy one pot meals come in handy. They’re satisfying in so many ways. One-pot meals are easy, can be very healthy, and are hearty too.

An easy way to eat more vegetables

I learned long ago that the best way to get my kids to eat more vegetables – to get us all eating more vegetables – was to serve stew or hearty soup for weeknight meals. You can stuff all sorts of vegetables into one-pot meals.

Here are four simple, healthy one-pot meals that are just right for January. All are good on their own but could also be served with a simple side salad and a biscuit or cornbread. Double the batch if you’d like to have lots of leftovers.

4 Healthy One Pot Meals

Roasted Red Pepper Lentil Soup

This is my mom’s recipe for lentil soup and one of the easiest soup recipes you’ll ever make. The recipe is versatile too – make the Moroccan flavoured version or the Mexican, depending on your mood and what’s in the cupboard.

Roasted red pepper lentil soup is ready in 30 minutes.

Black Bean Turkey Chili

This is another of my mom’s recipes and a family favourite in our house. It’s a great meal for a snowy Saturday.

Black bean turkey chili combines some sweet with heat.

Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry

This Thai-inspired recipe from my neighbour makes a satisfying vegetarian meal. One of my favourite ways to eat sweet potatoes.

Chickpea sweet potato curry

Simple Black Bean Chili

This is a basic chili recipe with great flavour and extra texture from corn kernels. And it isn’t too heavy. We love it served with nachos.

black bean chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili that Sticks to Your Ribs

Servings: 4-6 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili is hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.

There is nothing that I like better on a cold January night than a big bowl of vegetarian black bean chili. It’s hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.

I was given the idea to add molasses to my chili from one of our Facebook friends who balances the extreme heat and spice of her chili recipe with molasses. I also have a family friend who makes his chili with molasses baked beans so there is a good dose of sweet with the heat in his recipe too.

  • Black Bean Chili is hearty and warming and reminds you that a substantial meal does more than just fill the belly.
    Vegetarian black bean chili is hearty, warming and quick to prepare.

You’ll see that the tangy sweetness of molasses pairs beautifully with tomatoes. It softens their tart acidity and adds flavour with just the right substance.

This recipe is vegetarian but works with ground beef or ground turkey as well. Just add a bit more broth or even another can of tomatoes if you find yours too thick. As well, feel free to mix up the beans. Kidney beans or a blend of beans makes for a great variation.

Serve it with this cornbread for a delicious, filling meal.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Cayanne pepper to taste
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 1 28 oz can or 24 oz bottle of tomatoes (prepared tomato sauce will do)
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (about 1 ½ cans)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lime
  1. In a big pot over medium heat saute the onions in oil until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, spices, oregano and bay leaf and stir for a minute then add the carrots.
  3. Cover for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. (Add some of the broth if it seems too dry).
  4. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, broth and chipotle (if using) and let simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar and molasses. Thin with more broth if it’s too thick for your liking.
  6. Season with salt and decide if it needs more heat (cayenne) or sweet (molasses)
  7. Add the lime zest and juice and cilantro.

Serve with grated cheese and cornbread. Don’t forget to fish out the chipotle chili so nobody eats it whole.

Chili is adaptable so feel free to add any kind of beans or vegetables. Cubed sweet potato or squash are delicious too.

One more thing…

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Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe with Molasses Cider Glaze

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

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Roasted root vegetables recipe with molasses cider glaze. Served in a hollowed out roasted squash, it's impressive, and easy.

Roasted root vegetables recipe with molasses cider glaze is easy and impressive. 

Sometimes I aspire to be a bit like Martha Stewart; to take the time and attention to set a stunning table or arrange charming seasonal decorations outside the front door.

Truth is I can barely manage to vacuum up the dog hair and clear the dining table of clutter to make room for place settings before our guests land at the door. (Meanwhile my husband is getting the laundry out of view, rounding up the kids and making sure there are no Lego pieces in the path of sock-footed guests.)

My entertaining energy goes into creating a great meal and then relaxing to enjoy it with friends.

Every once in a while a dish comes along that by its very nature has that “Martha” look, and gives the appearance that you have outdone yourself, with really not a lot of effort.

This is that dish. And in spite of the number of steps listed below, it’s pretty easy.

Roasted root vegetables recipe with molasses cider glaze. Served in a hollowed out roasted squash, it's impressive, and easy.

Cider-glazed roasted root vegetables recipe (served in roasted winter squash)

Adapted from A Periodic Table

For the cider glaze:

  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

For the vegetables:

  • 1 medium-sized buttercup squash, top third cut off, and seeds removed
  • 4-6 cups of root vegetables, cut into one-inch dice (a mixture of carrots, parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, sweet potato, beets)
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 firm, tart apples, peeled and diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh sage or 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

For the cranberry pumpkin seed sprinkle:

  • 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch chili powder
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine apple cider and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat and simmer until it reduces to about 1/2 cup (15-20 minutes). Be careful not to overdo it.
  2. Remove from heat, add the molasses. Set aside.

Roast your veggies and apples:

  1. Place your choice of root vegetables, along with the apples, onion, garlic and herbs, into a large bowl and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and the sage or thyme.
  2. Turn your mixture out onto a large baking sheet or pan lined with parchment paper.
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Rub the inside of the squash, and the flesh side of the “lid”, with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place it on a baking sheet, flesh side down.
  6. Put both pans in the oven and roast at 400 F until tender and starting to brown a bit. About 25-35 minutes.
  7. (Toss the chopped veggies every 10  minutes or so)

Toast your pumpkin seeds:

  1. Melt the butter (or warm oil) in a small pan over medium heat.
  2. Add pumpkin seeds to the pan along with the chili powder and toss with the butter.
  3. Toast gently until they start to pop, stirring them around in the pan to ensue nothing burns or browns too much.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries.

To assemble your squash bowl:

  1. Place roasted quash on a warmed serving platter and fill with the roasted root vegetables.
  2. Pile extra roasted vegetables alongside the squash.
  3. Pour over the cider glaze and sprinkle with the roasted pumpkin seed cranberry mixture.
  4. To serve, slice squash into 4-6 wedges and plate, scooping up some extra root vegetables.

 

Molasses glazed stuffed mushrooms with feta and thyme

Servings: 4 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Molasses-glazed stuffed mushrooms make a satisfying meatless meal. Or serve them as a side dish alongside roast chicken or pork.

molasses glazed stuffed mushrooms with feta and thyme

I once went to a dinner party at a friend’s place where the theme was “stuffed”, so every course was, you guessed it, some sort of edible thing filled with something else edible: tomatoes stuffed with chevre, herbs and breadcrumbs, peppers stuffed with some delicious rice, spice, vegetable mixture, a homemade orange sorbet frozen into perfectly hollowed out orange peels. And by the end of the meal we were all stuffed.

This kind of stuffing requires a bit of knife skill and patience, which my friend Kate has in spades. I’m much better at the mushroom sort of stuffing, which is really more like piling things on. It’s effortless, like tossing clothes onto a chair in your room.

Pair these mushrooms with marinated tomatoes and a hearty grain salad for a delicious meatless meal.

Molasses Glazed Stuffed Mushrooms with feta and thyme

  • 6 portabella mushroom caps, stem bits trimmed

Marinade

  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or plum vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup panko or good quality bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or ½ tsp. dried
  • ½-3/4 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley to sprinkle over

Instructions:

  1. Place mushroom caps on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 10-20 minutes to sweat out some of the moisture (so they won’t be rubbery).
  2. Baste with the marinade and place in the oven for another five minutes. Remove from oven and baste again. Pop back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  3. Saute onion in oil until soft but not brown, adding garlic when the onion is just about ready. Add panko or bread crumbs and toss to coat. Add thyme, remove from heat and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Sprinkle feta over mushroom caps, dividing it evenly among them.
  5. Sprinkle over bread crumb mixture and return caps to the oven, baking just long enough to warm through (about 10 minutes).
  6. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.  By the way, marinated tomatoes are delicious alongside these mushrooms, and they look lovely on the plate together.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.