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Natural immunity boosters and my store cupboard curry recipe.

Written by @hollyshealthykitchen - Holly Snowdon- Nutritional Therapist.

If there was ever a time to overhaul your diet, it’s now.

I’m not saying that healthy eating and good nutrition is going to make you immortal, but I promise you it’s going to give your immune system the best support it needs to help fight it off the virus. And, if you do contract the virus (or any virus for that matter), it will help to keep the symptoms to a minimum.

I’d highly recommend eating a diet rich in prebiotic foods such as garlic and onion, anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric and omega 3’s (found in oily fish) and copious amounts of immunity boosting fruits and veg that are packed with vitamins and minerals (broccoli, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, sweet potato, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes etc). Eating lots of wholefoods and ideally avoiding ultra-processed foods is also wise. 

And, whilst it might seem like the ideal time to drown your sorrows in booze or perhaps to sink a bottle to drink your troubles away, I’d highly advise against this as alcohol will only compromise your immune system. I personally didn’t take part in dry Jan this year but I am certainly going to be doing ‘dry corona’ until this all blows over.

It’s also so important to note that whilst eating good food will offer you a certain amount of protection, this is just one part of the puzzle. Making sure you’re getting in a good amount of sleep, keeping stress levels to a minimum (easier said than done I know), and moving your body, Beit through yoga, walking, home circuits or even dancing around your living room are all important when it comes to keeping as healthy as possible.

Check out the recipe below for my yummy, immunity boosting curry. Its plant based, cheap, easy to make, includes many of the foods listed above and is ideal to make in large batches and freeze if necessary. I used the veggies I had in the fridge/freezer but you can totally switch them out for any veg you fancy or have available.

I cooked mine in the slow cooker and left overnight but it tastes just as great when cooked in a large pan. The method is exactly the same in the slow cooker but you can just leave it to cook for longer :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of red lentils (or whatever lentils you have available)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 courgette, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into chunks
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets (including the leaves!)
  • Bang curry spice mix OR spices including: 2 tsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of coriander, 1-2 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp of paprika and 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cm of ginger grated
  • 1 cup of peas


Method:

Wash all vegetables thoroughly!

Pre heat the oven to 180C

Pop The sweet potato and cauliflower onto a baking tray with 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of turmeric and a drizzle or spray of olive oil and pop into the oven for around 30 mins

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and fry off the garlic, onion and ginger with the cumin, coriander and turmeric for around 5 mins

Then add the chopped tomatoes, stock, lentils, courgette, peas and leave to simmer for around 30 mins

When the sweet potato and cauliflower florets and leaves are ready (slightly soft), add to the mix and stir through

Leave for another 10-20 mins (the longer you leave it, the more the flavours infuse)

When it’s ready, I like to stir in a dollop or 2 of yoghurt (I used Alpro plain) for an extra creamy taste, but feel free to serve without.

Serve with your choice of brown rice, naan bread or on its own.