When your life is always busy – and these days, whose isn’t? – very fast meals can make all the difference. That said, more often than not, the fastest meals mean processed products that simply aren’t all that good for you. Making healthy one-pan meals can make it possible to enjoy improved nutrition without sacrificing a lot of your time or causing a huge amount of cleanup.
It’s fantastic to be able to make healthy one-pan meals on weekdays when you have the least amount of time. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients in a pot, pan or casserole dish and let the stove or oven do the work. These recipes can be a real life-saver.
In fact, if you do the prep work the night before, they become even simpler. Sunday nights can be a particularly great time to get your meals together for Monday and Tuesday. That way, the entire start of the week will be covered and all you need to do is cook them. You’ll absolutely love yourself every week when you prepare your healthy one-pan meals in advance so all you need to do is cook them up, serve them and enjoy.
Then afterward, you won’t need to spend very much time on the dishes. There won’t be much for you to wash or to have to try to fit into the dishwasher.
The amazing thing about these dishes is that you can use this technique for every meal of the day. It’s not just something reserved for dinner. Breakfasts and lunches can also be a part of the one-pan strategy.
Consider your next breakfast in the form of a steel-cut oats and quinoa combination. Toss in some fruit for flavor, almond milk for creaminess and maple syrup or raw honey for a touch of sweetness and it will be your favorite meal of the day.
At lunchtime, try an asian slaw of your favorite veggies chopped up finely into matchsticks, then add edamame and peanuts along with a splash of ginger peanut dressing to top it off. Or, if you want something a little heartier for warmer weather, create a southwestern black bean salad with black beans, tomato, corn, scallions, red onion, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Add slices of avocado at the last moment to really top off the nutrient density and creamy flavor.
At dinnertime, consider your favorite stew, while substituting turkey for beef, sweet potatoes for potatoes and add some kale at the end to top it off.