Healthy Winter Comfort Food

So winter has FINALLY descended on us, and all i want is buttered white bread… But this will not fulfil my nutritional needs, nor will it do my waistline any favours. So what is the answer?

Well, the obvious answer is an internet search! What did we do before the internet i will never know… So I searched “healthy winter comfort food” and got pages of recipes! My favourite lists are on Taste.com and Eating Well. My favourite healthy winter comfort recipe from both of these lists is the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli (recipe below) from Eating Well.

 

I have modified it from the original to make it even healthier. What I love about this recipe is that it has lots of veges and spices. Spices have been shown to have numerous healing benefits and reduce your risk of many cancers*; likewise, when vegetables are incorporated into your lifestyle they reduce your risk of developing digestive tract cancers**. There’s no added sugar or sweetener, which contribute to preventable diseases like diabetes, coronary disease and cancer***. This recipe is infinitely flexible, in that you can add an extra protein in the form of chicken, tofu or beef, or swap out one vege in exchange for another (eg. swap the sweet potato for carrot or cauliflower). I modified it so that you cook the food in water, rather than vegetable oil. Heating vegetable oils has been show to trigger changes in the oil that make it toxic****. Ironically, while these oils are great for you RAW, it is much healthier to cook with butter, coconut oil, or ghee (if you cook with oil at all). I tend to splash it on at the end of the cooking process before plating up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 400g cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh corriander

PREPARATION

  1. Heat half a cup of water in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corriander.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 307 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 14 g fiber; 494 mg sodium; 947 mg potassium.

 

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Photo credit: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/sweet_potato_black_bean_chili.html

So ENJOY this hearty, healthy, winter meal! And take home some of the tips above to make your other meals healthier too!

 

REFERENCES

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92774/

**http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet

***http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11795/

****https://theconversation.com/health-check-cooking-oils-to-eat-and-avoid-31346

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