Who said getting your 'five a day' was difficult?! With this recipe, we not only have 6 veg in the sauce, we also have another 3 greens in the salad! 9 in one meal? Well, I did say there was a sexy twist!
So, how did we do it? Well our sauce was made with grass fed beef (extra omega 3) along with
red peppers high in vitamin C so perfect to help absorb the Iron in the beef! The vitamin A in the pepper also improves night vision and the magnesium and B6 work together to help reduce anxiety. Interestingly, recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can increase thermogenesis and therefore metabolic rate. What? Burning calories? This meal just got sexier! But there's more...
The tomatoes are also high in vitamin C and the wonderful chemical which makes peppers and tomatoes red is lycopene which releases on heating. Lycopene has been shown in many studies to prevent many cancers and is well known for its protective effects against prostate cancer. We added a jar of Organic Passata along with a punnet of small tomatoes to add fibre and texture. Mushrooms are also known for their cancer protective effects as they are immuno-modulating and anti-inflammatory. The onion and garlic are from the allium family, much like leeks, scallions and chives which could also be used in this recipe! Onions also contain Vit C, B6, Folate, Iron and Potassium. But the super exciting ingredient is possibly the quercetin which has been found to act as a powerful anti-histamine and antioxidant! The popular use of onions in French cuisine has been suggested to be one of the reasons behind the French paradox as onions have been shown to improve blood lipids! Our advice is...add onion to everything! Then there's the garlic and we all know what a superfood it is in terms of taste and health benefits. This immune boosting superfood should also be included daily as it has been shown in countless studies to be cancer protective.
TOP TIP: Add garlic towards the end of cooking to maximine taste and enhance benefits. We also added spinach, again a wonderful nutrient dense vegetable with lots of folate, magnesium, Vit A, C, and calcium. Put a few handfuls in at the end and hide away the greens from small children (and not so small children!) to enhance their nourishment.
Our green salad was made with Romaine Lettuce which oddly enough is high in protein and an excellent source of calcium, so if you add it to calcium rich fruits like oranges you will have more calcium than a glass of milk! The little gem lettuce and coriander add yet more vit C and folate among other nutrients. The more greens the better!
I have to say, I rarely eat pasta. Most pastas are made from white bleached wheatflour which is great for weight gain but doesn't really pack a nutrient punch! This one is a gluten free brown rice option which is high in insoluble fibre but keep the portion size small, around a quarter of your plate. There are other good alternatives such as chickpea and buckwheat pasta which are better for fibre, nutrients and low glycaemic index, so have a look in your health store for options.
So.. there you have it. Buon appetito ( as they say in Italy!)
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