Healthy Tip: One pot meal ideas for busy families - Heart Research UK
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Healthy Tip: One pot meal ideas for busy families

20 November, 2018

 

When it comes to eating healthily at home, you shouldn’t need to make a choice between cost and convenience and long term health.

At Heart Research UK we are always thinking about juggling busy lives while trying to keep a heart healthy lifestyle. To help, we’ve come up with tips to prepare a healthy meal for the family on those long winter nights using a slow cooker.

Add the ingredients to your pot in a morning, set the timer and come home to the smell of a delicious meal ready to eat. Super easy and yummy plus minimal washing up time – leaving you to enjoy the rest of your evening, so let’s get started…

    • Keep your heart tender
      You don’t need to spend a fortune on joints of meat to keep it tender. Avoid fatty cuts, opt for a low fat choice and add a splash of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon/orange juice – this will help loosen the meat and keep it juicy.
      Sarah’s favourite – pop some turkey breast in your slow cooker with a splash of orange juice, some orange slices and a scattering of thyme and cranberries for a festive delight that leaves you free for fun activities in the build up to Christmas.

 

    • Rub it in
      Tenderise your meat using a mallet or by giving it a gentle rub; go for herbs and spices which complement the recipe and appeal to your palate without using salt. Gently rubbing with ground ginger and adding crushed pineapple works well for a ‘sweet and sour’ style. Add some onions, a can of chopped tomatoes and cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours. Pop some frozen veg and bean sprouts in for the last 20 minutes of cooking and voila…a heart healthy pot of goodness.

 

    • Too much liquid?
      If you find you have too much liquid and want a thicker sauce, don’t be tempted to add high salt stock cubes or coconut milk that is high in saturated fat. You’d be much better creating a ‘slurry’ of equal amounts (approx.1 tbsp.) of water and corn starch and gently stirring through the liquid towards the end of cooking. Starch thickens a sauce very quickly when heated without causing harmful effects on your arteries.

 

    • Bulk up
      Veggie recipes are wonderful for adding crunch, texture, variety and heart healthy fibre and antioxidants. They also blend well if you want to make leftovers into a soup for the next day. Try a Moroccan style harira, a stew like thickened soup consisting of lentils, chickpeas, spices, passata, coriander, chunky vegetables and vegetable stock. Whilst harira is traditionally served to break the Ramadan fast, it can be blended to your liking and served up as a light and hearty meal any time of the year.

 

Convenient food doesn’t have to be fast food. Keep it low, slow and simple – your heart will be thankful too.