A recent study of half a million people confirmed that eating more than 20g of processed meat a day was linked to early death. Twenty grams! That’s a lick of chorizo. The research covered 10 European countries over 13 years. In other words, it’s fairly bulletproof.
This news was announced in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. The clamour of worried shoppers scrambling towards the vegetarian aisles in supermarkets is, frankly, unprecedented. Sales of tofu rocketed by 500%. It’s clear that our love affair with sausie sangers and shish kebabs has long needed a re-evaluation. And possibly even a P45. It takes up to seven fields of grain to feed one field of cows. No wonder there isn’t enough food to feed the world – Daisy’s scoffing most of it. With the intensification of global warming and the planet’s population ever escalating, never has the case for cutting down on meat been more compelling. But quitting altogether? No thank you.
This is our RDA curry, squeezing loads of nutrient-dense fruit and veg into one small pot. It’s enough for 5 tummies, freezes well and also keeps in the fridge for a few days. It’s pretty dishy served on a bed of wilted spinach and doesn’t require Birkenstocks to enjoy it. Beans are one of the most common foods found in a centenarian’s diet, so if you want to live longer and look like vegan superstar Alicia Silverstone, start by Sellotaping this recipe to your cupboard door.
– 1 large onion, diced
– 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
– 1 x 400g tin mixed beans
– 5 dried apricots, chopped
– 2 bananas, sliced into rounds
– 2 tablespoons raisins
– 2 tablespoons curry powder
– squeeze of lemon juice
– 2–3 garlic cloves, crushed
– great handful of fresh parsley, to garnish
– dollop of natural coconut yoghurt, to serve
– a few turns of the black pepper mill
– short grain or sweet brown rice, to serve
1. Normally the best way to begin a curry is by sweating the onion in olive oil on a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan until translucent, but on those seriously swift evenings, just bung it all in together.
2. Add the tomatoes to the onion and bring to a low simmer, at which point you can add the beans, apricots, bananas, raisins, curry powder and lemon juice. Cook for 15 minutes.
3. The key to this recipe is to stir through the crushed garlic as soon as the curry is ready, and not before.
4. Divide between 5 plates and drizzle reverently with extra virgin olive oil and torn parsley.
5. Crown with a dollop of live coconut yoghurt and maybe a few turns of the black pepper mill and serve with short grain or sweet brown rice. You will feel your toes sing.
As a student surviving on a diet of caffeine and refined white carbs, Susan Jane’s health took a sudden nosedive and she ended up in hospital. She eventually discovered that wheat and sugar were lethal to her system. When she cut them out and recovered, she realised the intimate connection between energy levels and the food we eat. As she expanded her repertoire to cater for her sensitivities, she was pleasantly surprised to find there was nothing restrictive about her new diet. Her food intolerances were, in fact, an opportunity to escape the shackles of energy-sapping processed food. Here she shares her much sought after, delicious recipes for sugar-free, dairy-free and wheat-free eating.
The Extra Virgin Kitchen is published by Gill & Macmillan and is available in stores nationwide and online, priced at €27.99.