It’s raining. It’s grey. It’s January in London.
At this time of year it’s so important to look after ourselves, physically and emotionally, because the shorter days and colder climate really do alter our physical wellbeing and emotional state. There is a reason that some animals hibernate during these months – protecting themselves from the harshness of the cold – and we could take a leaf out of their book by mimicking their actions slightly.
We can do this by listening to what our bodies are telling us to do on those cold, dark nights. For instance, staying in with a good book and a cup of hot cacao; keeping in the warm; long, hot baths; burning essential oils; meditating; and of course, nourishing our bodies with warming, comforting food.
If we look after ourselves in this time, we can emerge from the winter months nourished, healthy and ready for the gifts of spring.
In terms of warming, comforting food, there are so many incredible vegan and vegetarian options such as my Sweet Potato Coconut Lemongrass Curry, my Vegan Shepherds Pie, Vegan Lasagne and Mung Daal. And this is my latest addition.
I never thought my husband would enjoy a meat-free chilli but he really loved it. I used a heap of beans to up the ante on protein and nutrients, as well as sweet potato for added fibre. I really went wild with the spices and served it with quinoa instead of rice, making it a powerhouse of nutrients. This meal also has a low glycemic index, and is free of gluten and dairy. It’s an all-round winner!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tin black beans
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin mixed or cannellini beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Handful fresh coriander
Handful fresh parsley
Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste
First preheat the oven to 180*, coat the chopped sweet potatoes in a little olive oil, paprika, salt and cinnamon and put them in the oven for around 20 minutes or until softened.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onions, garlic and chopped peppers. Cook on a low heat until softening.
Throw in all the beans, chopped tomatoes and spices. I’ve put 1 tsp of each but add according to your own taste – I usually use a bit more.
Leave to simmer on a low to medium heat until it all starts softening.
After about 20 minutes, stir in the roasted sweet potato, parsley, coriander and add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with parsley and serve with quinoa, avocado salad and coconut yoghurt.
Love & health,