11 Home-Cooked Meals To Fight The January Blues (With Science)
Even if you love January, with its fresh starts and new calendars and crazy sale prices, it’s hard to keep that motivation going all month, especially if you’re not feeling it. This new year, we’re helping you do you. Whatever you want on your plate in 2020 – less meat, more vitamins, or no change at all – you’ll find it on our menu.
And because we want to help you have the best start to the year, our nutritionist is here. She’s arming you with delicious, nutritious recipes from our brand new Health Kitchen range, scientifically guaranteed (pretty much) to make you feel better. Take that, blues!
Support your gut
After a month (or more) of indulging and socialising, your digestive system probably needs some TLC. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish this January, there are some easy habits you can adopt which will give your gut a break.
First off, remember to chew your food properly! If you don’t want to count your chews or time your mouthfuls (understandable), try putting your knife and fork down between bites as a way of pacing yourself. Other things you can do? Stay hydrated, cut down on refined sugars, and get more fibre and calcium in your diet. All these things will put your digestion more at ease.
And the good news is, we’ve got some recipes in our new Health Kitchen range which are all high in fibre and a source of calcium to keep the digestive system healthy and happy.
1. Beetroot Hummus & Roast Veg Buddha Bowl
This dish is all about eating a rainbow! With more colours, come more vitamins and minerals, as well as more flavours! You’ll serve all your roasted veggies and beetroot hummus with freekeh and crispy roasted cumin chickpeas, for a great source of plant-based protein that’s high in fibre and calcium.
2. Curried Haddock With Spinach & Turmeric Dal
Full of high-fibre lentils, this spinach and turmeric dal is nourishing and wholesome. You’ll top it with curried haddock bites, coriander yoghurt and a crunchy mint and cucumber salad. With 2 of your 5-a-day, it’ll fill you up with good stuff!
3. Mushroom & Broccoli Bowl With Miso Dressing
You’ll roast mushrooms in tamari to bring out their delicious umami flavour. Fill up a bowlful with them, roasted broccoli, wholesome quinoa, pickled carrots for freshness and crunch and drizzle it all with a sweet miso dressing.
Rev your energy levels
Holidays are meant to rejuvenate, but who else has come back from Christmas feeling like they need another break? If you’re after some extra pep in your step, the best thing to do is – yes I’m going to say it – get enough sleep. The average recommended amount is 8 hours a night, but everyone’s different, so figure out your optimum amount and commit to those hours, every night, at a consistent time.
Another thing you can do to boost your energy is put the right kind of fuel in your tank. You’ve probably heard about protein, but this year we’re really excited about B vitamins (which support your metabolism), iron and magnesium (which help reduce tiredness and fatigue). Get some on your dinner table this January with these recipes from our Health Kitchen range…
4. Spicy Chicken, Green Quinoa & Avocado
You’ll whizz up spinach with coriander, chilli, spring onion and lime juice for this nutrient-packed green dressing! Mix some of it through quinoa and black beans and serve with spicy chicken and cooling avocado for a zesty, fresh meal jammed with iron, magnesium, and B vitamins like niacin and vitamin B6.
5. Chicken, Herby Bulgur & Honey Harissa Dressing
You’ll sweeten up spicy harissa paste by making it into a delicious dressing with honey, lemon and olive oil. Drizzle that all over ras-el-hanout spiced chicken breast and serve it alongside a mint and parsley-packed, chickpea bulgur salad that’s high in fatigue-reducing iron and B vitamins.
6. Lemony Basil Chicken & Wheat Berries
Wheat berries are unprocessed wheat grains, naturally higher in fibre, rich in folate, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, vitamin E and Bs. You’ll roast chicken breast, asparagus and cherry tomatoes to go alongside and drizzle over a zingy basil and lemon oil.
7. Indian Chicken & Grains With Turmeric Yoghurt
Spice up this super grain bowl (fibre-packed lentils and brown rice), with spinach, coriander, mint, chilli, pickled shallots and sweet sultanas. Topped with lean, curried chicken breast and drizzled with turmeric yoghurt dressing, this dinner is high in iron, magnesium, and a source of B vitamins.
8. Roasted Squash Grain Bowl, Miso-Tahini Dressing
With 50% of your daily fibre intake, loads of magnesium to fight fatigue, and heaps of B vitamins, this bowl full of good-for-you veg is also utterly delicious! Featuring golden-roasted squash smothered in a spicy herb rub, freekeh tossed with lentils, Tenderstem, kale and red onion in a richly umami and nutty miso-tahini dressing. Yum!
Boost your mood
It’s dark all the time. The weather is awful. Christmas is over. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – it can be steak and salmon instead. These recipes will hit the January blues with both canons – Magnesium and B vitamins to contribute to normal psychological function, and Niacin to make serotonin, the happy hormone.
9. Ginger Steak & Quinoa Lettuce Cups
As well as being protein packed, steak is a great source of magnesium and vitamin B12, playing an important role in your mood, as well as iron and vitamin B12 for energy levels and immunity support. Serve it over a quinoa salad and load it into lettuce cups. Drizzle with a ginger dressing for a delicious, nutritious dinner!
10. Salmon Salad With Orange-Miso Dressing
Full of healthy fats from salmon and avocado this salad is light and sophisticated. Packed with sweet orange slices, crunchy sugar snaps, coriander, rocket, spring onion and fibre-rich quinoa. All tossed in a subtle miso-orange dressing. Delicious and nutritious!
11. Spiced Aubergine With Mint & Pistachio Quinoa
Full of flavour and a source of mood-boosting B vitamins, this is sure to leave you feeling good. You’ll bake aubergine and courgette spiced with ras el hanout to serve over quinoa tossed with cherry tomatoes, feta, mint and rocket. Finished with a crunch from pistachios!