EATING well is one of the foundation stones for good health, especially in later life. If you can stick to a wholesome balanced diet, with a 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.
One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating, and avoid many of the artificial additives and preservatives in pre-prepared foods, is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Older people are generally better at home cooking than younger ones, not having grown up in the ‘fast food’ and ‘ready meals’ era, but some people still shy away from the stove. There’s really no reason to, as many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
This recipe for mouth-watering chilli beef and bean burgers is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. Serving up to four people, they’re a great alternative to standard beef burgers, which can be very fatty, and swapping some of the meat for beans saves money too. These would be perfect as part of a healthy summer barbecue and take only 15 minutes to prepare plus 15 minutes’ cooking time.
- 1 small onion, quartered
- Small can (about 210g) of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 250g lean beef mince
- Wholemeal breadcrumbs (from 1 slice of bread)
- 2tsp mild chilli powder, or to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 4 wholemeal bread rolls
- 1 extra-large tomato (beef tomato), sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- Lettuce leaves
- Chop the onion very finely in a food processor then add the beans, mince, breadcrumbs, chilli powder, beaten egg and tomato puree and mix again.
- Divide the mixture into 4 and shape into burger patties then chill in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them
- Cook on a barbecue or under the grill for about 5 to 7 minutes each side.
- Serve the burgers in the wholemeal rolls with lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and onion.
Tips: For a chunkier texture (or if you don’t have a food processor) chop the onion finely by hand, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher then combine with the other ingredients in a bowl by hand. You could serve the burgers with a healthy side salad to make a complete meal.
• Each burger contains: Energy 1240kj/294kcal; protein 22.4g; carbohydrate 35.7g, of which 5.6g sugars; fat 4.9g, of which 1.6g saturates; fibre 8.7g; sodium 0.5g, equivalent to 1.2g salt.