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Tag Archives: spicy

Serves 4

I ate a lovely, warming, filling brunch of huevos rancheros (or mexican ranch-style beans) in a Chiquitos restaurant near the O2 in London recently. This was in preparation for my ascent to the top of the O2 – that’s right, you can climb it to a viewing

Delicious, spicy mexican style ranch eggs.  Guaranteed to perk you up in the morning

Delicious, spicy mexican style ranch eggs. Guaranteed to perk you up in the morning

 platform mountaineering style and get fab views of London City and the river on a clear day (we got lucky with the weather)! Awesome fun, and the breakfast set me up a treat!

I digress!  This is my own home-cooked version that I have only just got round to making 2 weeks later because I’ve not had time to soak and boil my beans!

This is a well-balanced brekkie plate with plenty of fresh anti-oxidant-rich veggies for fibre and vitamins, black beans for muscle-building protein and a bit of a kick to wake you up for the day.  Who said hot breakfasts had to be bland, unhealthy, stodgy and full of saturated fat?! Black beans are high in fibre (aids weight loss because it fills you up, and boosts the health of the gut), low in fat, and contain a decent amount of iron (important for building red blood cells and preventing anaemia), folate (important for red blood cells and transport of oxygen to the muscles and prevents spina bifida in unborn children), magnesium and potassium.

If you have to get the dried black beans that need soaking I would recommend preparing more than you need as you can always freeze them once cooked for easy use at a later date.

INGREDIENTS:

BLACK BEANS

400g black beans, cooked (use canned pinto beans, drained, if you cannot find black beans)

200ml vegetable or chicken broth, made with ½ a 10g stock cube

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

 

THE SALSA

Black (turtle) beans. High in fibre and carbohydrate but low in fat.  Contain iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.

Black (turtle) beans. High in fibre and carbohydrate but low in fat. Contain iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.

1 large red onion, chopped (185g)

1 large red pepper, chopped (145g)

1 clove garlic, minced (4g)

1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (400g)

1 can of sweetcorn kernels (160g)

1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

2 tbsp. fresh coriander or cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

salt, to taste

 

4 tortillas (40g each)

4 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Soak the black beans in cold water overnight (24 hours). Place in a large saucepan, cover with double the amount of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and leave to cook for at least 2 hours or until the beans are softened but not breaking apart. Add more water if it starts to dry out. Drain and leave to cool.
  • To make the salsa, stir the tomatoes, red onions, red pepper, sweetcorn, coriander or cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, minced garlic, and salt to taste, together in a bowl until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed (at least 1 hour).
  • Place the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook 1 minute until light brown. Mix in the black beans or drained pinto beans if using these instead, the broth and 1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper. Simmer until beans are heated through (about 5 minutes). Turn off heat, and keep warm.
  • Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5. Place tortillas on a baking sheet with greaseproof paper underneath. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through and softened.  Alternatively, heat in microwave on full power for 30 – 45 seconds.
  • Poach or scramble the eggs and cook to desired firmness.
  • To assemble huevos rancheros, place a tortilla on each plate. Top each tortilla with black bean mixture, a layer of salsa, and an egg (or ¼ of the scrambled eggs). Serve immediately.

 

Healthy, nutritious and perfect for brunch

Healthy, nutritious and perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or tea

SUGGESTIONS

– Add 1 inch of chorizo, chopped into small squares = additional 68 kcal / 285 kJ

 For a main meal, per portion:

–       Add 20g of grated cheddar cheese = additional 83kcal / 347 kJ

and/or

– 50g of shredded roast chicken (instead of the eggs) = 89 kcal / 372 kJ

– 50g of shredded roast pork (instead of the eggs) = 91 kcal / 381 kJ

– 50g of shredded roast beef (instead of the eggs) = additional 110 kcal / 460 kJ

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

per whole recipe

 Energy                         1495 kcal / 6255 kJ

Carbohydrate              229.7g

Fat                               38.2g

Protein                         64.2g

Total sugar                  53.3g

Saturates                    12.0g

Fibre                            48.4g

Salt                              8.4g (check canned beans for added salt)

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

per serving (if serving 4)

 Energy                         374kcal / 1565 kJ

Carbohydrate              57.4g

Fat                               9.6g

Protein                         16.1g

Total sugar                  13.3g

Saturates                    3.0g

Fibre                            12.1g

Salt                              2.1g (check canned beans for added salt)

 

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Serves 6

Peanut & butternut squash soup 2 Peanut & butternut squash soup 3

Ingredients

1.5 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (15g)

1 x medium-large sized butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded, chopped into 2cm cubes (850g)

4 x cloves garlic, whole and peeled (13g)

½ – 1 x green or red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (4g)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped (8g)

1 x white onion, peeled and diced (165g)

2 x sticks of celery, thinly sliced (70g)

1.4 litre vegetable stock (1 x 10g cube)

200g canned tomatoes

100g peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

½ tsp. ground allspice

Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
  • Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a deep baking tray. Add the cubes of butternut squash and the 4 whole cloves of garlic. Roast for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic cloves, stir round and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until soft and slightly browned. Set aside for later.
  • Heat the rest of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chilli and ginger and fry for 30-60 seconds to infuse the oil with their flavour.
  • Add the chopped onion and celery and fry for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are softened and browned.
  • Add the roasted butternut squash and garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock, peanut butter, tomatoes, allspice and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Puree the soup using a hand blender.

Nutritional Information

Per Batch

Energy                  1000 kcal (4184 kJ)

Carbohydrate    54.8g

Total sugars        37.1g

Fat                          71.2g

Saturates             15.8g

Protein                 35.5g

Fibre                      18.9g

Salt                         5.4g

Per Serving (Serves 6)

Energy                  170 kcal (710 kJ)

Carbohydrate    9.1g

Total sugars        6.2g

Fat                          11.9g

Saturates             2.6g

Protein                 5.9g

Fibre                      3.2g

Salt                         0.9g

Suggested Additions

1 x tbsp. of reduced fat fromage frais = 30 kcal/ 125 kJ

1 x tbsp. of low fat natural yogurt = 25 kcal / 105 kJ

A crusty roll = 130 kcal / 545 kJ

Pitta bread (65g), toasted = 160 kcal / 670 kJ

40g roasted chicken strips = 70 kcal, 3g fat, 1.1g saturates, 10.9g protein

 

Suggested Ear Candy

I have just been bought a couple of tickets by my fabulous man to see one of my 90s faves Suede live in October – whoop whoop! 

After seeing them on Jools Holland at the weekend I had to have another nostalgia fest so I listened to Coming Up by Suede.

Suede – band website

 No idea why at all but the peanuts in this soup made me think of African cuisine so I also listened to Jungle Blues by C.W.Stoneking.

C.W.Stoneking – band website

Alternatively, let’s stick with a theme…


Serves 4

Love healthy eating

**WARNING TO OTHERS – DON’T DROP YOUR PLASTIC MEASURING SPOONS INTO THE FLAME ON YOUR GAS HOB, THEREBY RENDERING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO EVER MEASURE QUANTITIES OF HALF A TABLESPOON AGAIN – DURRR! **

Ingredients

½ – 1 x green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (4g)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (7g)

1 x white onion, peeled and roughly diced (140g)

1 x red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped (150g)

120g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 x sticks celery, sliced (70g)

1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)

2 tbsp. tomato puree (30g)

1 x can kidney beans, drained (240g)

400g can chopped tomatoes

600ml vegetable stock

1 tsp. cumin, powdered

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Black pepper to taste

 

Instructions

  • In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for 30-60 seconds to infuse the oil with their flavour. Add the onion, pepper, carrots and celery and fry for approximately 5 minutes, until softened.
  •  Add the tomato puree and fry this, stirring it in with the vegetables, for 1-2 minutes.
  •  Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, stock, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Mix all ingredients together.
  •  Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce has reduced down.

Nutritional Information

Per Batch

Energy                  580 kcal (2430 kJ)

Carbohydrate    96g

Total sugars        51g

Fat                          6.3g

Saturates             2.3g

Protein                 29.6g

Fibre                      26.8g

Salt                         7.0g

 

Per Serving (Serves 4)

Energy                  145kcal (608 kJ)

Carbohydrate    24g

Total sugars        12.8g

Fat                          1.6g

Saturates             0.6g

Protein                 7.4g

Fibre                      6.7g

Salt                         1.8g

 

Suggested Additions

1 x white crusty bread roll (50g) = 130kcal / 545 kJ

150g of boiled white/brown rice = 210kcal / 880 kJ

2 x taco shells = 140kcal / 587 kJ

1 x tbsp. of soured cream = 62kcal/ 260 kJ

chicken breasts

**If you want a more meaty feast in your belly try the following**

Fry 250g lean beef/steak mince, cooking the meat through until browned (you can skim off excess fat if you want to keep it healthy) before adding the vegetables.  This will add 450kcal/ 1885kJ per batch so if you are dividing your batch by 4 then this would be an additional 115kcal / 472 kJ per portion.

 Fry 2 x chicken breasts, chopped into chunks (300g), and cook until browned before adding the vegetables. This will add 330kcal/ 1382 kJ per batch so if you are dividing your batch by 4 then this would be an additional 85kcal / 346 kJ per portion.

Suggested Ear Candy

I gave my ears a bit of a fiesta with In the Reins by Calexico (with Iron & Wine) and Sonido Amazonico by Chicha Libre

Casa de Calexico – website

Chicha Libre – website

Suggested Alternatives

El Vez, the mexican Elvis is brilliant….he’s been around for years but I have only just got round to listening and he’s ace!

 


Chickpea curry

Serves 6 – can be served as a main meal too – how versatile is that?!!

**BE WARNED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD – THIS IS SPICY!!!  IF YOU PREFER A MILDER FLAVOR REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FRESH CHILLI AND CHILLI POWDER AND MAYBE EVEN THE PEPPERCORNS TO SUIT YOUR TONGUE-BUDS! **

Ingredients

2 x cans chickpeas, drained (480g)

1000ml water

3 x medium sized waxy potatoes, peeled, chopped into 2cm cubes (450g)

1 tbsp. vegetable/olive oil (10g)

 

*If you do not have access to the following 5 ingredients try using 1 heaped tbsp. of ready prepared garam masala*

1 cinnamon stick (7-8 cm long)

8 cloves

6 dried bay leaves

1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

15g coriander seeds

2 tsp. cumin seeds

 

1 x large white onion, peeled and finely diced (250g)

½ – 1 x red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (4g)

4 cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped (15g)

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chilli powder

1 tsp. sugar (brown or white)

1 tsp. turmeric

1 handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized pan bring 1 litre of water to a boil. Add the 2 drained cans of chickpeas and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for later.
  •  Boil the cubed potato for 15-20 minutes, until softened but still firm. Drain and set aside for later.
  • Heat ½ tbsp. of the oil in a saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat. Add the whole cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and 1 tsp. of the cumin seeds and fry for approximately 5 minutes, until browned, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning. Set aside until cooled and then grind to a powder – I use a coffee grinder from circa 1980 for this and it works just fine!
  •  Heat the remaining ½ tbsp. of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of cumin seeds and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning. Add the chopped onion and fry until softened and browned.
  •  Add the chopped chilli and ginger to the onion. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, chilli powder, sugar, turmeric and the ground spice mix.
  • Add the chickpeas and the water in which they cooked to the pan. Add the pre-cooked potatoes.
  •  Cover with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander and simmer for a further 10 minutes uncovered.

Nutritional Information

Per Batch

Energy                  1300 kcal (5460 kJ)

Carbohydrate    200g

Total sugars        35g

Fat                          29g

Saturates             2.6g

Protein                 54.8g

Fibre                      32.8g

Salt                         8.1g

Per Serving (Serves 6)

Energy                  220kcal (910 kJ)

Carbohydrate    33g

Total sugars        5.8g

Fat                          4.8g

Saturates             0.4g

Protein                 9.1g

Fibre                      5.5g

Salt                         1.4g

Suggested Additions

½ x naan bread (80g), toasted = 225kcal / 942 kJ

150g of boiled basmati rice – 200kcal / 840 kJ

*The following will help cool it down if you’ve gone full spice….

1 x tbsp. of reduced fat crème fraiche = 70kcal/ 293 kJ

1 x tbsp. of low fat natural yogurt = 25kcal / 105 kJ

Suggested Ear Candy

I treated my ears a la Bollywood with Mohammed Rafi (Golden Era) which includes this amazing song….

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik

  • Alternatives (spicy albums)…

Spice Girls (I do not own this and probably never will!)

The Chickpeas (an unsignd band from Austin, Tx that I just discovered today!  Have a wee listen – they’re dead easy on the ear and have lots of nice strings

The Chickpeas – myspace page

  • Alternatives (based on Southern Asian cuisine)…

Mohammed Rafi – Jaan Pehchaan Ho from Ghost World soundtrack (on repeat!) – I massively love this song and can dance around to it for hours