Now that we're at the back end of autumn and heading into winter, there is a tendency for people to turn to starchy and fatty foods during these colder, darker days as we increasingly yearn for comfort foods - that's why I call it 'stodge season'. So, how can we eat healthily during this colder time? Soup can be a nutritious way to fill the void.
Liquids are often considered as being less filling (or should I say fulfilling?), but the right kind of soup can be very satisfying if it is made up of the right components:
- plenty of protein (such as meat, tofu or lentils)
- lots of fibre (vegetables and legumes)
- a large amount of liquid (such as water, meat or vegetables-based stock, milk)
Blended soups (such as the onion and pumpkin soup in the picture) have a tendency to sit in the stomach for longer, which helps you to keep that satiated, full feeling for longer. Imagine two muslin cloths - one filled with liquid soup and the...
The 'It' word these days is Protein. I see it dotted about all over packaging in the supermarkets right now - even in the confectionery aisle.
So does this mean that chocolate bars give you muscles and keep you fuller for longer? Unfortunately not. This is often products packaged in shiny new ways, where food manufacturers use (or abuse?) nutritional information to make their products more appealing, or adapt their recipes to adhere to UK labelling laws. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!
In the UK, manufacturers have to follow certain rules in order to make health claims, such as 'source of protein' or 'high in protein'. For the former, this claim can only be made where at least 12% of the energy value (i.e. kilojoules/kilocalories) of the food is provided by protein. For a product to be high in protein, at least 20% of the kilojoules/kilocalories have to be provided by protein.
Okay, the Italians don't like the name "spaghetti bolognaise", but hopefully they'll forgive me as I am neither Italian or in Italy.
As the busy mum of two young kids, I know this healthy recipe never fails - they love it, my husband loves it and I love it. Hopefully you will too!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion - finely chopped
2 large carrots - finely chopped
1 stick celery - finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
500g 5% fat minced beef
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
2 low-sodium beef stock cubes
1 teaspoon onion marmalade
Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in deep pan and heat gently on the lowest heat setting - add the onion, carrots and celery and gently fry until the onions have softened. Add the dried herbs and tomato puree and stir again.
Next, add the mince and stir regularly to ensure the meat doesn't stick together. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, then fill the same tin with water and add to the pan. Stir, then add the stock cubes and the onion marmalade.