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By: Rosemary Collins, RDN

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What’s to cook for dinner in January? 

The perfect thing to warm you up on a winter’s day is some comfort food! Even better is something that can be cooked in one dish, pot, pan or slow cooker. Just after the holiday season too, its nice to be inspired by some tasty but healthier choices. If you are cooking just for yourself don’t be put off by the larger quantities. A tasty soup prepared in a slow cooker can be put into batches for the week ahead or popped in the freezer for a ready to go meal!

I have had fun looking at all the creative and delicious ways that dinner can be cooked in one dish, skillet, Dutch oven, pot, pan or slow cooker. So these recipes are ready for you to cook up something delicious all in one go!

And only one pan to wash up!

potato skilletChili-Lime Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet
(Adapted from Sweet Peas and Saffron)
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

2 large chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes approx. 4 cups
2 bell peppers sliced or diced
1/2 red onion diced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
Grated zest from one lime
1 can black beans spicy, drained
Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish
Salt and pepper to season to taste
Lime wedges to garnish and a squeeze of lime juice

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large skillet or pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, and brown (approximately 6 minutes).
2. Remove the chicken and place on one side. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the sweet potato and cook for 10-12 minutes until gently browned. This gives a nice look to the finished dish.
3. Add the bell peppers, red onion, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until just soft. Return the chicken to the pan add the stock; stir until everything is well combined.
4. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring once or twice. Chicken and sweet potatoes should be cooked.
5. Add the black beans, grated lime zest and cook until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish with fresh coriander and lime slices.

cauliflower soupCauliflower, Leek and Cheddar Soup
(Recipe and photo courtesy of Cabot)
Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks sliced (use white part of the leek)
1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets about 9 ounces
3 cups of lower sodium vegetable broth
5 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
Black Pepper to taste
Handful of chopped chives to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a Dutch Casserole heat the olive oil and sauté leeks for 5-8 minutes until slightly browned.
2. Add cauliflower florets and broth, cover and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes until softened.
3. Allow to cool slightly and blend with a hand held blender to a velvety consistency.
4. Bring it back to a simmer and then add cheese letting it melt slowly. Once melted, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add a little extra broth to adjust the thickness if you wish. Garnish with chives just before serving.

This is a great recipe for Sundays in winter – a simple and easy roast that cooks in one pan. Leftovers make the perfect Monday meal or simply put in single portions and freeze.

One Pan Roast Tenderloin with Apple and Roasted Winter Vegetables
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1.5 lb. pork tenderloin
3 carrots & 3 medium parsnips peeled and chopped length ways
1 medium red onion coarsely sliced
1 medium apple coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
8 baby potatoes quartered
1 tbs. fresh chopped herbs or dried herbs if you don’t have any in the house
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbs. white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
RUB:
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic power
1/2 tsp. black pepper
GLAZE/SAUCE:
2 tbsp. applesauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Prepare the rub, cover the surface of the pork lightly with 1 tsp. olive oil then rub on the dry mixture.
3. Place the pork loin in the center of a 9 by 13 baking dish; fat side down.
4. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips and other vegetables with the cider vinegar, olive oil, salt pepper and white wine. Arrange in the baking dish around the sides of the pork. Cover the dish lightly with tin foil.
5. Roast pork and vegetables for 30 minutes, remove foil then flip the tenderloin over.
6. Mix the glaze ingredients; baste pork with most of the sauce and cook on for another 10-20 minutes until cooked, check temperature with meat probe 145 degrees F. Vegetables should be lightly browned.
7. Remove from oven, baste pork with the remaining sauce and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

This is an Indian inspired recipe easy to cook along in the slow cooker during a winter’s day to give a healthy and filling vegetarian dish. Give it a try!

dahlSlow Cooker Dahl
(Adapted from Holy Cow! vegan recipes)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup red lentils
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup tomato puree
4 packed cups of greens – kale or spinach
4 cups of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped coriander
A few drops of lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

1. Soak the lentils in enough water to cover them by an inch.
2. Put the crockpot on a high setting and once it is quite hot add the onions, garlic and ginger along with a couple of tablespoons of water.
3. Season with salt and pepper; cook until onions are translucent about 10 minutes. Put the lid on to hold the temperature and speed up cooking.
4. Add the greens and the tomato puree and mix well. Add the turmeric. Stir.
5. Drain the lentils and add them to the onions and greens and stir to mix well. Add 4 cups of vegetable stock and mix thoroughly.
6. Put the lid on the crockpot. Cook for about 3 hours on a high setting. If the mixture starts to dry add another 1-2 cups of vegetable stock. Cooking times will also vary depending on the size of crockpot.
7. When the lentils are thoroughly cooked and are at a thick soup like consistency stir well, taste and add any extra seasoning.
8. Squeeze on a few drops of lemon juice and garnish with some fresh chopped coriander.

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