Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Leftover lamb and sweet potato soup

This is a wonderfully spicy, warming and filling soup ideal for winter evenings and it's pretty simple to make. You can make it as hot and spicy as you like it by adding more curry powder and black pepper. It's packed full of vitamins and minerals. I used lamb because that's what I had and I think lamb works really well with sweet potato but you could use any left over meat. You could also use savoy cabbage instead of the kale.

You will need:

Chopped cooked lamb (or other leftover meat)
1 sweet potato peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
500ml stock or vegetable boullion
1 tbsp (or to taste) medium curry powder 
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp (or to taste) garam masala
8 curry leaves (optional, I already had some so added them)
2 handfuls kale
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp natural yogurt or coconut milk/cream (optional)


Add lamb, sweet potato, carrot, stock and curry powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins.

Add the tin of tomatoes, bring back to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the curry leaves and kale and simmer for 10 mins. Turn off the heat, add the garam masala and black pepper, stir and leave to stand for 5 minutes with the lid on before serving to allow the flavours to develop.

Stir in yogurt or coconut milk if you like a creamy soup.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Why the paleo way of life isn't another fad low carb diet

I was recently reading a BBC news report on diets that dropped in a comment about low carbohydrate diets 'like Atkins and the Paleo diet'. I always cringe when I read something like this that is likely to put people off trying a paleo style diet, thinking they will be stuffing fat and protein down like crazy and not able to eat foods like vegetables, fruit and salads.

 A very low carbohydrate diet may be suitable for some people, those with high blood glucose levels and pre diabetes or those who are very obese and looking to drop weight without being permanently hungry. However my experience of a very low carb eating plan is that can be difficult to maintain and for me being able to stick to healthy eating long term is the most important thing when changing the way you eat.

My take on the paleo way of eating is to pack my diet full of starchy veggies such as potatoes, parsnips, squash, sweet potatoes, beetroots, carrots and non starchy veggies such as greens, cabbage, sprouts broccoli, cauliflower and salads. Eating plenty of these vegetables but cutting out (or cutting down) cereals, pasta, rice and bread that can irritate the gut lining and cause IBS as well as raising blood sugar levels leading to highs and lows of hunger and energy levels during the day will enable you to keep your carbohydrate levels to a mid range rather than very high or very low. 

If you keep it simple and clean by eating foods like meat, fish, eggs, all vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds in their natural state whenever possible, listening to your body and eating when you are hungry you will find you will look and feel better than you can imagine.