One-pot wonders

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 (£17.95, Velo Press). Add lean proteins, wholegrains 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

A single serving (170g) of black beans packs 15g of fibre, plus an equal amount of muscle-building protein. Natural high-fibre 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

Stick-to-your-ribs steel-cut oats are packed with beta-glucan. According to a Nutrition Journal study conducted in 2011, this soluble fibre 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.