Last week I hosted a gritty and gruelling training session for my friends at Under Armour HQ to help launch their new A/W collection; ‘mission accomplished’ called for some celebrations! Now, since I hadn’t had the chance to eat my regular meals all day, and since I found myself next to a table that was generously overflowing with irresistible crisps, chips and dips, I sampled some (for essential electrolyte replenishment only, you understand… ahem). What really fascinated me though, was that the very next day, I had an overwhelming craving for more of the same, right out of the blue! Which got me thinking about a healthy alternative that could tick that crucial ‘craving’ box! The solution? My ‘dipping Chilli con Quorn-e’ dish can be eaten totally remotely from any guilt or reservations – it’s super healthy, all natural, quick and easy and I think it’s pretty yummy too! This post is all about the how-to and why…
Chilli Con Quorn-E Recipe
KEY COMPONENT 1 – SWEET POTATO
I once thought that anything with ‘sweet’ in its name, couldn’t possibly be healthy. I was quite wrong. Aside from being delicious, Sweet Potato’s also;
– a great source of beta-carotene (converts into vitamin A for healthy skin, an immune boost and strong vision)
– high in dietary fibre (for effective digestion and absorption, along with heart & blood benefits from the vitamin B6 content)
– super low GI, for slow-release energy throughout the day (with a glycemic load of 9, which is super-low for a food who’s calories come 93% from carbs!)
– very low in sodium, with practically no fat content (& 0g saturates).
– contains peonidins and cyanidins (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to maintain the body)
– high in potassium to lower blood pressure by banishing excess sodium, and regulating the body’s fluid balance
KEY COMPONENT 2 – QUORN
Once considered a little weird, hippy and almost taboo, it’s now properly mainstream as a healthy alternative to meat. But yet it’s not actually meat, rather part of the fungus family. The main ingredient is ‘mycoprotein’, a fungal spore, grown through fermentation, much like the process used in the production of yoghurt, bread and beer. Quorn ‘mince’ is low in fat (1.9g per 100g) and high in protein (14.5g per 100g) & packed with dietary fibre (22% of your GDA in 100g). In short, it’s a lean alternative to minced beef, at just 90 calories per 100g
PART 1) Sweet potato Chips
3 (orange) sweet potatoes,
3 tbsp coconut oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Start by peeling the sweet potatoes, give them a quick rinse and cut them into thin slices (personally I like them a bit crunchy so the thinner the better!)
3. Pop the slices into a large bowl and add the coconut oil.
4. Get a baking tray with a sheet of foil and lay the chips evenly on the tray.
5. Bake for 20 min in total – 10 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on them as you don’t want them to burn!
6. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down on a large plate. I prefer them cold and crisp with my quorn.
7. Optional: add a tiny pinch of pink salt. I personally don’t think it needs it.
PART 2) The Quorn (or meat)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red chili, diced
1 bag of quorn
1 garlic clove
1 red pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
12 oz. canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
200g red lentils
1. Melt the coconut oil in a pot. Add the chopped onion, chili and fry until super soft.
2. Add the quorn into the pot for about 3-4 minutes. Then add half a cup of water.
3. Add the crushed garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste.
4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir rgularly for about 20 minutes.
5. For the red lentils, cook them separately, and add them all together at the end: rinse and drain well, cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender
6. Add fresh herbs, basil, pepper and salt.
PART 3) FINAL TOUCHES
1. Grab a suitably sized display plate and elegantly piece it all together! Sweet potato nachos around the edge,
2. Decorate & garnish with your favourite veggies, herbs, spices – the choices are endless!
3. Optional (but, to my mind, compulsory, and one of the most important parts of the dish) – add some cottage cheese atop the Quorn, which totally mixes up the flavours, textures and tastes, & adds to the protein content!
Enjoy! Faya x