Eating well is a foundation stone for good health, especially in later life. If you can enjoy a wholesome balanced diet, with a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, you’ll have more energy, find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and generally feel better all round.
A great way to know exactly what you’re eating and avoid many of the additives, preservatives or high levels of salt and sugars in pre-prepared foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
This recipe for Spiced Chicken and Vegetable Soup is a good old-fashioned winter warmer with an added kick to spice up your life. Soups are a great way to help achieve your ‘five-a-day’ recommendation for plenty of fruit and veg in your diet.
This recipe is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. Serving four, it only takes around 15 minutes to prepare and a further 30 minutes’ cooking time. If you won’t eat it all at one meal, you can allow the rest to cool and them keep it in the fridge to reheat and enjoy again the next day.
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- I medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 250g swede or turnip, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
- 1 litre reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
- 400g tomatoes, chopped (tinned chopped tomatoes are fine)
- 200g cooked chicken (skin removed), chopped
- 50g frozen peas
- 4 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
- 1 pinch fresh mint (optional)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic for two to three minutes until softened. Add the carrots, swede or turnip, and apple and gently fry for another two minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder and cumin seeds (if using) and cook gently for a few more seconds before pouring in the reduced-salt stock and chopped tomatoes. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat and let the pot simmer, partially covered, for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetable are tender.
- Add the cooked chicken and peas and simmer gently for another four or five minutes. Ladle the soup into pre-warmed bowls and serve each portion topped with one tablespoon of the natural yoghurt and a few mint leaves (optional). Serve each portion with a wholemeal bread roll.
- For a vegetarian version of this recipe, make sure you use vegetable stock and replace the chicken with a 400g tin of chickpeas in water, draining the water before adding.
- You can easily vary this recipe to give a more Mediterranean flavour. Just leave out the curry powder and cumin seeds and use one tablespoon of mixed dried Italian hers instead, then serve with a pinch of fresh basil instead of the mint.
Each serving of this recipe contains: Energy 919kj/219kcal; protein 20.4g; carbohydrate 19.9g, of which sugars 17.4g; fat 4.9g, of which saturates 0.9g; fibre 6.7g; sodium 240mg, equivalent to 0.6g salt.