Recipes to Beat the January Blues
January is known as the Monday of the year for a reason. On the other side of all the celebrations and festivities throughout October, November and December, it can be tough to know what to do with ourselves – or what to make for dinner!
While we can’t change the dreary weather, we are experts at embracing the power of food to brighten the mood. From warming breakfasts to hearty one-pot dinners, all of the dishes we’ve talked about here are jam-packed with flavours you’ll look forward to enjoying. We’re talking plates wiped clean and smiles all round!
Have you got your copy of our Family Meal Planner? Inside you’ll find 26 planner-exclusive recipes that are surefire crowd-pleasers, as well as plenty of space to note down your slimming goals.
Alongside cut-out shopping lists and 3 months’ worth of meal-planning pages, it also has a handy freezer-tracker. We’ve included these tools to make reducing food waste and managing your budget even easier – it’s a win-win!
There’s nothing like Biscoff in the morning (or any time of day, really!) to lift our spirits. No matter how wet and windy it looks outside, the deliciousness in our Biscoff Banana Porridge is all the motivation you’ll need to get out of bed.
With rolled porridge oats, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and a dairy milk alternative – we usually use unsweetened oat milk – you can have your warming porridge rustled up in under 10 minutes.
We’re betting adding banana slices and dreamy spoonfuls of smooth Biscoff spread will wake you right up. Don’t worry if you’re not a morning person; you can outsmart morning grogginess by preparing your porridge in advance.
Pop any spare portions in the fridge or freezer without toppings – they’ll definitely taste better added fresh!
On the lookout for new ways to liven up your morning porridge? We’ve got plenty of slimming-friendly porridge toppings inspiration for you here.
You know you’re starting your day on a high when Marmite Mushrooms on Toast is on the menu. It’s the ultimate breakfast time comfort food (there’s a reason you can find it on pages 24-25 of our Comfort Food cookbook!), and you only need a handful of ingredients to put this oh-so-creamy toast topper together.
For only 187 calories per portion, it tastes like a luxurious restaurant-quality brunch.
We’re not knocking bacon sarnies, but since we figured out how speedy and effortless it is to prepare our Air Fryer Full English, we’d much rather treat ourselves to the full shebang. With our recipe, you’ll get bacon, eggs, beans, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes all cooked to perfection on your plate, with a fraction of the washing-up to do afterwards.
That means you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love – winner!
After a long, cold day, a flavour-loaded dinner is just the ticket to warm you right up. Serving up an Indian-inspired filling beneath a layer of fluffy mashed potatoes, our Chicken Korma Pie will brighten up your plate and your evening in an instant.
With tender chicken pieces and fresh veggies bathed in a rich, mildly-spiced Korma sauce, there’ll be rave reviews around the table.
The best part? This potato-topped wonder reheats like a dream, so you can batch cook extra portions ready to warm you up for the week ahead.
We’ve layered our cheese-covered pasta sheets with a heavenly trio of chicken, mushrooms and leeks. With a little help from store cupboard staples, herbs and spices, it’ll end your day on an indulgent note without a pot of cream in sight.
There’s nothing like a steaming hot pot of nutritious, wholesome goodness to blow away the cobwebs! Our Vegetable Stew with Cheesy Dumplings is the order of the day when it’s grey outside.
With onions, leeks, butternut squash, carrots and mushrooms, plus some protein-high cannellini beans, we feel better already once it’s bubbling away in the oven. Just wait until you try a bite of the gloriously cheesy dumplings…
Your January meal plan isn’t complete without treating yourself to a few fakeaway feasts. One of our easiest takeaway-inspired dinners, this Oven Baked Pasanda Curry is the way to go when you’re after mild yet satisfying flavours for next to no effort.
Simply pop all of your ingredients in a casserole dish and let the oven do the work for you. With velvety cream cheese and a nutty, almond crunch for texture, you don’t want to miss how good it is with rice.
If you prefer your curries bright and colourful, our Chicken Bhuna is almost as fun to look at as it is to eat. Using a combination of herbs and spices you’re likely to have on your spice rack already, it takes hardly any time at all to rustle up our homemade Bhuna-style sauce.
A longtime Pinch of Nom favourite, making our Diet Coke/Pepsi Max Chicken is the closest you can get to Chinese takeaway level flavours without ordering the real deal. When we’ve got this sweet and sticky dish on our meal plan, we like to chop up our veggies (including any stray leftovers from the fridge!) a day or so before cooking. That way it’s ready to throw straight in the pan when you’re hungry!
While it’s light enough to enjoy midweek, at just 217 calories per portion, we like to pencil it into our plan for the weekend. It has us counting down the days in anticipation…
Alongside our main meals, we find that having a steady supply of sweet treats can help us climb out of mid-afternoon slumps. Two bakery-inspired nibbles in one, you can get the best of both worlds with our Banana Bread Brownies. Finished with a sprinkling of white chocolate chips on top, each indulgent-tasting square comes in at 128 calories.
If you like your brownies squidgy, you’ll want to remove them from the oven while they’re still slightly undercooked. After they’ve been left to cool in the tin, you should find that every bite is loaded with gooey-in-the-middle magic. That’s our idea of a recipe for happiness!
Nutella lovers can’t get enough of our scrumptious Nutella Mousse. We’ve paired the spread’s signature hazelnut flavours with reduced-fat alternatives to keep the calories low, without compromising on velvety texture.
You can never have too much Nutella in your life, so we’ve finished off our airy pud with a crunchy topping of crushed Nutella B-wafer biscuits.
Ready in under 5 minutes, it’s perfect when you’re after a pick-me-up in a hurry.
You can find the full recipe for our Nutella-infused mousse, and so many other decadent delights, inside our newest cookbook, Pinch of Nom: Enjoy. It’s chock-full of epic mealtime ideas you’ll want to revisit time and again.
Ready to cook away those January blues?
We would LOVE to hear which of our mood-boosting meals you’ll be cooking up in our Facebook group. Did you know that we have almost 1 million members waiting to support you on your slimming journey?
When you’re on the lookout for hints, tips, quotes and photos – or looking to share some of your own! – you definitely want to stop by and look at our PON Gallery. Nothing makes us happier than looking through all of your submissions, that’s why we can’t resist giving out PON Swag at random to say thank you!