This is super-easy and works with turkey or beef mince. It tastes even better the next day and freezes brilliantly too. That’s why I always make enough for 4 and freeze half for one of those “don’t feel much like cooking” nights.
2 x 400g tins borlotti or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or soak 1 cup raw beans overnight, change water, then boil hard till ender)
2 medium onions (about 350g) chopped
500g lean turkey or beef mince
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1 heaped tsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
1 heaped tsp plain cocoa powder (optional)
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano (herb)
¼ – ½ tsp ground chilli or cayenne (optional)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes with their juice/400g sieved tomatoes (passata)
1 heaped tbs tomato puree
Good splash (about 60ml) red wine if you have it
1 tsp miso paste OR a beef stock cube, dissolved in 50ml boiling water
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch Himalayan/sea salt
Cauliflower “rice” (see recipe on blog) or if you don’t want weight loss you could use rice or millet (instructions on blog)
Steamed broccoli, green beans, peas or a green salad
Plus if you’re feeling fancy some roughly chopped coriander and some lime wedges
1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (with lid) on a medium heat.
2. Add the onions, olive oil, small splash (about 1 tbs) water, cover with a lid and “sweat” (cook gently) until the onions are softened, about 10 mins.
3. Add the mince and stir around for a minute to break it up a bit. There is no need to brown it. Then add the garlic, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, oregano chilli/cayenne, tomatoes with their juice and the miso/beef stock.
4. Cover and cook at a simmer for around 20 mins stirring occasionally, till the meat is cooked. If the sauce begins to dry out you can add a little water or vegetable stock. If theres more liquid then you like, simmer uncovered until until it reduces.
5. Add borlotti/kidney beans and tomato puree and cook for a further 10 mins.
6. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
Why this is good for you:
Turkey and beef are rich in amino acid tryptophan which is a building block of feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is one of the brain chemicals that makes you feel calm, happy and is essential for sleep (it gets converted to sleep-hormone melatonin). If you have a good balance of healthy gut bacteria AND good levels of certain vitamins and minerals your body will convert tryptophan to serotonin easily. Did you know that low serotonin in your gut can be a trigger for IBS? Not a lot of people know that.
Did you know that ALL herbs and spices have many effects – from helping you see off infections to helping you maintain a healthy weight and age agelessly? These magical taste-bombs also have anti-inflammatory effects, even in your brain (did you know that depression involves brain inflammation?). Herbs and spices selectively encourage growth of good bugs in your gut. AND they make your gut a hostile environment for disease-causing organisms.
When you cook meat WITH spices or herbs, you protect the meat (and whoever eats it) from much of the damage produced by heat. A study of diabetic people monitored blood samples for inflammatory markers before and after eating 2 different types of grilled beef patty. One cooked just with salt and pepper, the other mixed with at least 6 different herbs/spices before cooking. After eating the patties, guess which group had less inflammation in their blood – you guessed it, the herb and spice group. The WAY you cook your food has a massive effects on it’s power to help or derail your health.
This recipe also has onions, which contain the fibre inulin. Inulin feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut. Healthy gut, happy mind, happy life.