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Homemade Chilli Con Carne

Hello everyone.

Welcome to the third part in my series of blogs on healthy food for busy people. You maybe forgiven for thinking, why should I listen to you, I can just google the information. Well, here it is. The Roman philosopher Lucretius said in 50 BC “One man’s food, is another man’s poison”. There is no denying that there is an abundance of information on nutrition and healthy eating out there on the internet, along with various diets that people claim to work. They may work, but will the effects last? Is that diet right for you based on what you want to achieve, your current state of health, your starting point (current weight, age) etc? Everyone is different and nutrition is deeply personal. I can help guide and advice you through that maze, cutting the wheat from the chaff and showing you how to do it and how easy it can be based on your personal requirements.

As a Diet and Nutrition Adviser, I take into account the unique dietary needs of everyone, help identify any deficiencies, improve health symptoms and optimise your own health. I am a member of the British Dietetic Association and The Nutrition Society as well as a member of Complementary Medical Association (CMA). I am insured to practice through the CMA as well.

How many times have you got home at night after a long, hard day at work and thought, I am too tired to cook, I just can’t be bothered. I certainly have! Or got a takeaway on the way home, or grabbed a sandwich and eaten on the train home. Again, I will put my hands up and safely say that I am guilty of wanting a takeaway at the end of the day after working and dealing with kids! But it isn’t hard to eat well and on a budget. This blog will give you some tips on how to cope with dinner! All it takes is a little organisation! If you prepare and batch cook, your freezer will be your friend and a source of a healthy meals that will be ready quickly. After all, Virginia Woolf once said “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one hasn’t dined well”.

  1. Remember in my lunch blog, I mentioned the findings that Action on Salt had discovered when it came to Chinese Takeaways? Well, in no time at all you can whip up noodles and stir fry for your evening meal? Whole-wheat noodles cook in about 3 minutes in boiling water and a stir fry with chicken, lamb, fish, lean beef and veg can be made in less than 10 minutes. If you have brought vegetables for the soup from the lunch blog and have some left over, use these. Also, any left over meat from the Sunday Roast? Use this too. All you need are your favourite spices and some soy sauce. Use low salt versions of your favourite Chinese condiments to make it healthier. To top it off, you are making your food go further by using up leftovers.

  2. The picture at the top is my home made Chilli Con Carne with Rice. This can be batch made and frozen and the a portion with Rice works out at 595 calories. Low fat, healthy, source of protein and iron, vitamin B12, and perfect for a cold night, plus you can make it as spicy as you like! See the end of the blog for this recipe.

  3. Make sure you have a Roast on Sunday. That way you have left overs for week night suppers. Home make wraps or add some spices and make your own Fajitas, add some more veg to the gravy and meat, serve with rice for a home-made stew.

So, based on recipes from my previous blogs on healthy eating for busy people, if you have the following during a day:

  • Overnight Oats with dairy free plant alternative milk

  • Vegetable Soup

  • Chilli Con Carne with Rice

Your total calorific intake would be around 949 without snacks. Snack wise try dried fruit, rice cakes, even the odd home-made muffin. Even with a muffin the calories would only go up to 1074. So, with some organisation and preparing ahead, healthy nutritious meals can fit in with your busy lifestyles. What about healthy snacks, I hear you ask, well, there is too much to say about snacks to squeeze in here, so these will be a source of a future blog.

Recipe Here is the Chilli Con Carne recipe for you to try at home yourself.

  • Prep Time – 10 minutes

  • Cooking Time – 1 hour

  • Makes a large pot that freezes well or keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. This way, you make enough for a couple of dinners, or take a portion with you for lunch. You can have some with a jacket potato or try it with pasta?

  • Calories – 595 per portion with Brown Rice.

  • Peel and chop 1 onion and cook it gently in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You want the onion to cook gently for about 5 minutes until it goes golden.

  • Next add in 1 tablespoon of tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add in 400g of minced beef and cook until the beef has gone brown. Here is where you can take your day’s frustration out. Pound that beef to break it up!

  • Add in 1 chopped red pepper, 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin and ground coriander and stir through. Break up a beef stock cube and add that to the mix.

  • Add in 1 tin of kidney beans with chilli sauce and 1 tin of tomatoes and stir. Leave to simmer gently on the hob for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  • Serve with Brown Rice.

  • Tasty and keeps you full. Low fat, healthy, source of protein and iron, vitamin B12. Also fibre if you have brown rice.

  • Try adding in extra vegetables too or take out the beef and make a vegetarian version with chickpeas and lentils.

If you want any more information, please get in contact with Ridgeway Nutrition. Don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter! Details on how to sign up are on the homepage of the website.

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