women

With minimum effort, you can get all your carbs, protein and nutrients in just one bowl

After a cold run there's nothing better than sitting down to a hot meal, ideally one that's easy to prepare. Without much time or effort you can produce tasty results using just one pot, says Chef Biju Thomas, co-author of The Feed Zone Cookbook. Add lean proteins, whole grains and vegetables, and 'one-pot meals supply all the nutrients runners need for training and recovery'. And, says Thomas, because you consume all the liquids in one-pot recipes, 'you don't lose any of the nutrients that leach out during cooking'. These recipes (each serves four) take 40 minutes or less to prepare and, once you get them going, they need little more than stirring. Make one before you run, and heat when you return for a tasty reward.

To shed pounds

Smoky black bean stew

Smoky black bean stew

Smoky black bean stew

A single serving (170g) of black beans packs 15g of fiber, plus an equal amount of muscle-building protein. Natural high-fiber foods help promote fullness, which can help reduce calorie intake at meals and curb cravings throughout the day. Recent research from Purdue University in the US shows that the compound that gives hot peppers their fiery kick may also boost calorie burning and temper appetite, further lowering your calorie intake.

Simmer this Heat two teaspoons of canola oil in a pot. Cook a diced onion and sliced carrot for five minutes. Add two 400g tins of drained black beans, two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 360ml of vegetable stock, one sliced roasted red pepper, one tablespoon of chipotle paste, one teaspoon of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the zest of one orange and one tablespoon of fresh thyme. Serve with diced avocado.

To boost health

Creamy cocoa oatmeal

Creamy cocoa oatmeal

Creamy cocoa oatmeal

Stick-to-your-ribs steel-cut oats are packed with Beta-Glucan. According to a Nutrition Journal study conducted in 2011, this soluble fiber can help slash your LDL (or so-called 'bad' cholesterol) levels. Research shows cocoa antioxidants help relax blood vessels, ease blood pressure and improve circulation. Ground flaxseed is rich in omega-3, which reduces inflammation in the arteries.

Simmer this In a pot, boil 250g of steel-cut oats and 480ml each of water and milk. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in one mashed banana, three tablespoons of ground flaxseed, one and a half tablespoons of cocoa powder, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a quarter of a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and 250ml of water. Cook for 10 minutes. Add a handful of walnuts and dried tart cherries. Serve with maple syrup and blueberries.

To recover faster

Chicken and quinoa soup

Chicken and quinoa soup

Chicken and quinoa soup

Chicken and quinoa is a dynamic duo: amino acids in chicken rebuild broken-down muscle tissue, while carbs in quinoa refuel your depleted tank, making this perfect for recovery. Quinoa provides magnesium, which may improve muscle strength in athletes, according to a study by the University of Lisbon in 2011.

Simmer this Heat two teaspoons of canola oil in a pot; fry one diced onion and two sliced carrots for six minutes. Add 450g of sliced boneless chicken thighs, 50g of sliced mushrooms, two sliced celery stalks and two chopped garlic cloves; cook for five minutes. Add 900ml of chicken stock, 130g of quinoa, four sprigs of thyme and seasoning. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Top with parsley and hot sauce.

To tame inflammation

Pork and brown rice

Pork and brown rice

Pork and brown rice

In a study published last year in the European Journal of Nutrition, people who ate diets high in whole grains, such as brown rice, showed lower signs of internal inflammation, which can hamper recovery and heart health. Lean pork tenderloin has a 6:1 protein to fat calorie ratio, along with a high amount of selenium, an antioxidant that may ease exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Simmer this Heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a pot. Cook one diced onion, 450g of sliced pork tenderloin and two chopped garlic cloves for five minutes. Add 250ml of red wine and simmer for five minutes. Add two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 250ml of water, 200g of brown rice, on diced pepper, two teaspoons of Dijon, one teaspoon of dried oregano, a pinch of cayenne, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

To reduce stress

Salmon and coconut curry

Salmon and coconut curry

Salmon and coconut curry

An upcoming race has you on edge? Eat salmon. It contains DHA and EPA, omega-3s that can reduce stress levels, according to scientists at Ohio State University. When study subjects took fish oil daily for 12 weeks, their anxiety levels dropped by 20 per cent.

Simmer this Heat two teaspoons of canola oil in a pot. Add two chopped shallot and two chopped garlic cloves; heat for two minutes. Add 480ml of chicken stock, one 400ml can of low-fat coconut milk, two diced sweet potatoes, two tablespoons of tomato puree, one tablespoon each of grated ginger and curry powder, one teaspoon of cumin and a quarter of a teaspoon each of cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 450g of skinless cubed raw salmon, 200g of frozen peas and the juice of one lime. Simmer for five minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve.

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