As we head towards the shortest day of the year (yippee!) meal prep is all about simple, easy and tasty, and nothing says cosy comfort food like our 5 favourites below. Plus, as well as giving a decent dose of yum, each one contains hero ingredients that boost immunity. You’ll want to make these recipes again and again.
1. Macaroni and Broccoli Cheese Bake
There are few winter warmer crowd pleasers as pleasing as Macaroni and Broccoli Cheese Bake. This dish works as a heat ‘n’ eat prepared the night before, is perfect for a potluck dinner, and is an easy Sunday feast while binge watching Netflix. It’s been created by the talented @elleshungry and showcases this season’s most nutrient-dense ingredient, broccoli. Broccoli contains sulforophane which has shown in early studies to contain anti-cancer properties. Plus a cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange (who knew?), it is packed full of vitamin K to aid metabolism and regulate calcium, and is loaded with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, making it exceptional for healthy cells, and immunity support. Throw the raw stalk into your smoothie the next day for an easy vitamin hit!
2. Easy Chicken-Lick’n Pie
Just the word “pie” is soothing on a winter’s day and this Easy Chicken-Lick’n Pie will fast become a family fave. It’s chocka full of healthy vegetables onion, leek, carrot, capsicum and button mushrooms, making it great for kids too. Button mushroom are one of the stars of the show and are perfect during winter thanks to their immunity boosting properties. Alongside protein, essential B vitamins and fibre – great for gut health and digestion – mushrooms contain potent antioxidant selenium. Selenium is essential for the optimal functioning of the human body and is often lacking in our diet. It protects the body from disease and damage to healthy cells, and supports healthy metabolism through optimal thyroid function.
3. Tex Mex Veggie Chilli with Beans
You’ll want to double the recipe for this Tex Mex Veggie Chilli with Beans so there is enough for lunch leftovers the next day. The heroes of this dish are white beans and kidney beans. Beans are legumes and are very high in protein. Protein contains amino acids, the building blocks for the human body. Amino acids help grow, repair and heal our cells. Beans also contain folate for healthy red blood cells, disease-fighting antioxidants, are exceptional for heart health, can prevent a fatty liver, and can even stabilise blood sugars and regulate appetite.
4. Creamy Roasted Corn and Green Pepper Risotto
This Creamy Roasted Corn and Green Pepper Risotto is the risotto recipe you’ve been waiting for! Arborio rice is – naturally – the star ingredient. This short grain rice grown in Italy is full of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and carbohydrates. While carbohydrates have gained a bad rap since the Atkins Diet (remember that?), they’re actually critical for human functioning. Without them your brain, kidneys, heart muscles and central nervous system cannot thrive. In fact, research shows that eating moderate levels of carbohydrates as opposed to a low-carb diet can boost life longevity. One US study of 15,000 people found that people aged 50 and above who ingest a balanced diet including moderate levels of carbohydrates lived four years longer (to an average age of 83) than those who ate a low-carb diet (who reached an average age of 79).
5. Healing Turmeric Cauliflower Soup
This Healing Turmeric Cauliflower Soup is comfort food in a warming bowl. While the anti-inflammatory benefits of legendary spice turmeric are well known, thanks to its active compound curcumin, cauliflower is the unsung hero of this delicious soup. The high fibre vegetable is a potent prebiotic, the fertiliser that feeds the gut bacteria to product nutrients for the digestive system, which helps build a thriving immune system and helps with weight management. Plus cauliflower is packed full of antioxidants and B vitamins, and choline, which is essential for optimal brain function, a healthy central nervous system and memory.
From our love of Almond Breeze almond milk to yours…
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