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Monday, 17 February 2014

Warm it up with Winter Spice

By Bronwyn ward

It's miserable out there and with the weather comes colds, stuffy noses, lethargy and general grumpiness. So what can be done? Including more chillies into your diet can have benefits for all of these common winter problems. They improve circulation, ease sinus congestion, help you sleep better and encourage the release of your body's natural feel-good chemicals. Try this simple, healthy mid week meal to give you a boost, also makes brilliant lunchbox meals with some brown rice or in wrap breads and freezes well so give it a go!

My Mum's 'Refried' Bean Taco

Serves 2-4 (depending on greediness!)

1 Tin black beans (drained)
1 Tin kidney Beans (drained)
2-3 carrots, diced
1-2 red onions, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chilli (hot or mild as you like)
1 dried whole chipottle chilli*
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 Cups water
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 Tsp red wine vinegar
Tabasco to taste
Seasoning to taste

To serve:
Taco shells
Diced fresh tomaotoes
Grated cheese
Gem lettuce
Greek yoghurt

In a large, heavy-based pot put the beans, carrots, onions, garlic, chillies, water and cumin seeds. Bring to the boil and then simmer with a lid half on for 20-30 minutes, add extra water if needed.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 10 minutes. The mixture should be fairly reduced and thick, add more water if sticking to the pot. Taste. If it's spicy enough, remove the chipottle chilli, if you like it hot, leave it in.  Blizz everything with a wand or food processor to a thick chunky consistency. Taste and season.

Serve in taco shells topped with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and maybe a little greek yoghurt to soothe younger palets.

*Found in the dried herbs section in most supermarkets. They have a wonderful smokey flavour and well worth getting. Great in soups, casseroles and all things tomato-ey!

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