One-Pot Meals for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Cooking more of your meals is a good way to be healthier. Studies show that the more you cook, the healthier you eat and the fewer calories you consume. Interestingly, those who cook six to seven nights a week also take in fewer calories when they do go out to eat than those who are more frequent restaurant-goers. But even if you know all of that, it can be tough to convince yourself to whip up a from-scratch meal when you know the sink is going to be full of dirty dishes afterwards. That’s where these recipes come in. They all require just a single pot or pan to prepare, making clean-up a snap.

Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Southern Living
Serves 4
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
14.5-ounce can unsalted petite diced tomatoes
1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pour oil into a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat until hot. Cook onion and garlic in pan for 3 minutes, then add tomatoes, stock, oregano and pasta (make sure to do it in that order). Bring mixture to a boil and give a good stir to make sure the noodles are submerged. Cover, lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for another seven minutes or so (you want the pasta to be almost done). Take the lid off and add the spinach in handfuls, stirring each time and waiting until that spinach wilts before adding the next handful. Remove pan from heat, let stand five minutes and sprinkle with cheese.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 333 calories, 7.1g fat, 2g saturated fat, 538mg sodium, 55g carbohydrates, 15g protein 

Salmon with Red Cabbage and New Potatoes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4
4 cups shredded red cabbage
10 new potatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound skinless salmon fillet
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons bottled horseradish
Zest from 1 lemon plus lemon juice
In a roasting pan, mix together cabbage, potatoes and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, horseradish and lemon zest. Coat salmon with mustard mixture, place on top of cabbage and potatoes and cook for 15 more minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top and serve.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 326 calories, 14.9g fat, 2.1g saturated fat, 362mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates, 26g protein

Baked Chicken with Zucchini and Feta
Recipe adapted from Real Simple
Serves 4
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zest removed in thin strips
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium zucchini, sliced in half and then in ¼-inch-thick half-moons
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled Feta
Drizzle ½ tablespoon of the olive oil into a roasting pan. Slice the lemon in thin slices and put half of them in the pan. Put the chicken breasts on the lemon slices. In a medium bowl, mix together zucchini slices, parsley, black pepper, remaining olive oil and remaining lemon slices. Add the zucchini mixture to the pan (arrange it around the chicken) and sprinkle the Feta on top. Cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
Nutritional information per serving (yields 4 servings): 228 calories, 12.3g fat, 3.4g saturated fat, 873mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates, 17g protein

For other simple weeknight supper recipes, check out these blogs:

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Photo credit: Frederique Voisin-Demery

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