If you think you’re “too busy” to cook a healthy, cleanse-friendly meal, think again. One-pot cooking is exactly what your cleanse and busy life are calling for. Why? It saves you time, it takes almost zero effort, and you can combine all ingredients from the “Ideal Cleanse Plate” in one pot for ease. Not sold? Here are 5 more reasons to inspire you to get out your crockpot, pressure cooker, and stew pot for a hearty, delicious meal:
1. One prep = One clean.
How many of you have opted to not cook because you didn’t feel like prepping, cooking, and then cleaning after? Cooking multiple times a week can sometimes cause you to feel “lazy” and choose to order in or eat out. Looking for a solution to this familiar predicament? One pot cooking! Prep once, clean once, and have a stocked fridge all week.
2. You’re in control.
When you go out to eat, do you really know what you’re getting? Sure, the menu describes the dish you ordered, but what kind of oil do they use? Are the vegetables organic? Do they use high quality protein? It can really complicate your cleanse. But when you make your meal, you know you’re getting the most nutritious dish you can.
3. Leftovers don’t have to be boring.
We all want food to ignite excitement and satisfy our cravings. The good news is that if you do the hardest, bulkiest part of your cooking in one-pot, you can get creative the other days (if you want) with the leftovers! You can eat your meal hot or cold and over salad, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice. Or maybe you can eat it along side mashed sweet potatoes or top it with different herbs, nuts, or seeds. There is room for creativity if you want it for much less time and efforts the days following.
4. You connect with your food.
When you cook, you appreciate your ingredients. Alternatively when you eat out frequently, you aren’t connecting with your food intimately – which can lead to less mindful eating. I truly believe you digest your meals better when you can see, taste, and feel the labor of love you put into cooking them.
5. Anything goes!
Yes, you read that correctly. Anything can go into a one-pot meal. Choose your protein, choose your vegetables, choose your base, add healthy fats, spice it up, add anti-inflammatory ingredients – you name it. I often do a “kitchen sink” pot when I have a bunch of ingredients that I need to cook quickly. You can make it simple, or get creative with herbs and spices.
Give it a try: Easy Crockpot Coconut Curry Stew
This simple one-pot recipe recipe includes tons of anti-inflammatory spices for a noteworthy bonus. Make this cleanse-friendly by only choosing vegetables within the cleanse diet guidelines, and serve alone or with cauliflower rice, spiralized zucchini noodles, or salad. This yields about 6-7 servings. Enjoy!
Choose your protein: 2.5-3 lbs of high quality protein. (Buy a good cut for slow cooking – fatty and tougher meats are ideal)
-Organic lamb (shoulder, leg, or shank)
-Grass-fed beef (chuck roast or short rib)
-Organic/Pasture-raised chicken (boneless, skinless thighs or legs)
-Heritage/Pasture-raised pork (shoulder or butt)
Choose your vegetables: 10-11 cups of chopped organic vegetables. Use a variety! I suggest 1 1/2 – 2 cups of onions always as they add a nice sweet/umami flavor, and then a combination of leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and starchy vegetables. Choose crunchier vegetables and stronger leafy greens so they don’t turn to mush in the slow-cooking process. (Spinach and arugula, for example, are not ideal for a crockpot stew.)
My favorite combination:
4 cups collard greens (and/or bok-choy mixed)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups onion
2 cups carrot (and/or sweet potato mixed)
Other great options include: swiss chard, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, parsnips, mushrooms, leeks, daikon radish, turnips, and if not cleansing bell peppers and eggplant
2 cans of organic, full-fat coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 an onion
3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 inch piece of fresh turmeric (can substitute for 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt (start with 1/2 and add more if needed for taste preference)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or paprika
TIP: If you omit the garam masala, add a little more cinnamon and cardamom.
Fresh lime juice
Sprinkle of fresh cilantro (or parsley)
Pinch of sea salt
1) For even cooking, cut vegetables into uniform-size pieces. Larger is better for slow cooking. Place vegetables at the bottom of the crockpot, and pile the meat, whole, on top.
2) Blend all sauce and spice ingredients. Adjust salt seasoning if needed, and pour on top of vegetables and meat in crock-pot.
3) Turn crockpot on low heat, cover, and cook for 6-7 hours.
4) Remove meat from crockpot. Shred, then return and mix in crockpot before serving.
5) Serve mixture alone, with toppings, and/or over cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or salad. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.