My slow cooker is officially my best friend in the kitchen when making family dinners, but sometimes the morning rush makes even the brief preparatory usage challenging. That’s when one-pot recipes come in handy. Besides saving time—and dishes to clean—most healthy one-pot meals lend themselves well to squeezing in plenty of nutritious vegetables. Here are two of my family’s favorite healthy one-pot meals to get you started.
Quinoa Minestrone Soup
Soups, stews, and chili all make easy one-pot healthy meals because it’s simple to add vegetables to many of these recipes. This minestrone soup recipe also swaps out the standard pasta for quinoa, which is a nutrient-rich, high-fiber whole grain. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 24 oz. can crushed tomatoes, with liquid
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 2 zucchinis, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 3 large kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
Add olive oil to a large pot and heat on medium-low. Add the onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover, letting the pot cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
Teriyaki Salmon and Roasted Vegetables
Pots and saucepans aren’t the only way to whip up an all-in-one dish. Healthy one-pot meals like this one can use a roasting pan to cook the main dish and sides all at once. I use asparagus and sweet potatoes, but any roasting vegetables that happen to be in season will work perfectly. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 to 4 pieces salmon fillet (depending on how many you’re feeding)
- Sheet of foil
- 1 cup teriyaki marinade
- 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 lb. asparagus spears
- 2 sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine your teriyaki marinade, ginger, and garlic in a bowl. Place the salmon on a sheet of foil and pour the teriyaki mixture on top. Pinch the foil together and fold over to create a closed (but not too tight) pouch. Place the foil pouch in the center of your roasting pan.
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small 1-inch cubes. Place the sweet potato cubes and asparagus on either side of the foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop the pan in the oven for 25 minutes, and enjoy!
Balancing work and family is tough, but making things easier in the kitchen can help reduce the stress of ensuring your kids eat healthy. one-pot meals, like these two, are a great way to get a healthy dinner on the table without a lot of work or mess to clean up before bedtime.
Image source: Sher Warkentin
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