Since 2014, ‘Veganuary’ (pronounced vee-GA-nuary) has been a way of encouraging non-vegans to try a plant-based diet for the month of January.
There are lots of reasons why someone might decide to go vegan. Some people choose to do it for environmental or ethical reasons, while others opt for it as a way of harnessing health benefits such as lowering one’s risk of heart disease or weight loss. As with any diet, it’s important to make sure you are eating the right foods in right quantities, to make sure you’re getting sufficient vitamins and nutrients.
Meal plan ideas for Veganuary are everywhere… but here at Tonic, our top priority is making sure our immune systems have everything they need to function properly, so we decided to put together our favourite immune-friendly vegan recipes for you to try this month!
Recipe for Tonic’s Chilli Non Carne
- 1 large onion
- 2 peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500g vegan mince
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 410g mixed beans (kidney, pinto, black turtle beans)
- Brown rice, to serve
- Sour cream, to serve
- Coriander, to serve
- Dice the onion, cut the peppers into strips, and peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Place a pan over medium heat and add the oil. Wait a few minutes for it to heat up before adding the onion, and cook for roughly five minutes (until the onion is soft and slightly translucent), stirring regularly.
- Add in the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, paprika, and cumin, and stir well.
- Cook for an additional five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn up the heat slightly, add the mince to the pan, and cook until the mince has darkened in colour (roughly 10 minutes).
- In a bowl, crumble the vegetable stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.
- Add the can of tomatoes, dried marjoram, sugar, tomato puree, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well.
- Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick and juicy.
- Drain and rinse a 410g can of mixed beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Season the chilli to taste.
- Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. This is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle.
- Serve with brown rice, sour cream, and coriander.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Garlic has been shown to reduce the frequency and lengths of colds by more than 60%, so if you get sick often, try adding garlic to your meals (as well as having a high-dose immunity drink to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, D, and zinc!)
- Coriander is quite a divisive herb… and there’s a scientific reason why! Research has found that many people who dislike (or rather, despise) coriander have a gene which makes their brains perceive the flavour as soapy rather than fragrant and delicious. If you’re one of those people, it might be worth skipping the coriander in this recipe!