Christmas followed by a weekend trip to Belgium – the home of chocolate, chips and waffles – was only going to mean one thing: some serious eats.
I binged on the festive treats and feasted on a traditional turkey dinner over Christmas and drank my body weight on New Year’s Eve, then sobered up for a few days just in time to jump on the Eurostar and indulge some more. It’s been a great month for my tastebuds, but not so great for my health.
I’ve noticed my skin starting to break out and a definite feeling of lethargy and I’m sure the recent lack of good nutrition is to blame. One of my goals this year is to adopt a long-term and consistently healthier lifestyle and benefit from it so, now our holidays are over, it’s time to really put that into practise.
Luckily, my first recipe of the year is perfect for just that. It’s brimming with chickpeas, veggies and beans, with a little spice to help unblock a stuffy nose (something I’m constantly stuck with this time of year) and all the rich flavour of a classic chilli.
Coming to just over a pound in our local supermarket for two large portions, it’s also great for that tight January budget.
400g Tin of Chickpeas
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Carrot, Sliced
400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
400g Tin of Kidney Beans
Heat a generous helping of garlic at the start of cooking along with the onion and carrot, then throw in plenty of paprika, cumin and cinnamon a little later. Add a touch of salt and pepper, and a few chilli flakes for a nice kick.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Using a small drop of oil or cooking spray, fry the garlic, onion and carrot together in a large pan for a couple minutes, just to soften them up a little.
2. Drain the tin of chickpeas and add them to the pan, along with the pepper and chopped tomatoes. Season with paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
3. Leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes.
4. Drain the kidney beans and throw them in for the final 5 minutes of cooking.
Tips & Tricks
- For a richer flavour, add in a teaspoon of tomato puree and a stock cube of your choice along with the chopped tomatoes.
- This recipe is wonderfully versatile, so don’t be afraid to try it in different ways; spooned over a jacket potato, mixed in with rice, rolled into a tortilla wrap… I like mine with some sour cream and a couple of pitta breads to dip.
- This would be heavenly bunged into a slow-cooked and left to gently heat for hours on end, so give it a go if you’ve got the time.