As a sun lover, winter can be particularly challenging – I wouldn’t identify myself as a SAD (1) sufferer, however, cold, gloomy days can trigger a craving for comfort food. Craving foods laden with fat and sugar can play havoc with January healthy eating plans, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Thankfully, this Vegan Ratatouille recipe from DW Fitness Clubs, is a great winter warmer and ideal for Veganuary.
Two aubergines (cut into wedges)
Three small courgettes (sliced)
Three red or green peppers (sliced)
Five large ripe tomatoes
Two cloves of garlic (finely sliced)
Two large red onions (chopped)
Two tbsp of olive oil
A small bunch of fresh basil
One tsp of salt
One tsp of black pepper
One tsp of sweetener
300ml of boiling water
Firstly, you’ll want to soften your tomatoes with the boiling water. Score them twice each and pour the water over them. Leave for two minutes and drain off the liquid. Peel away the skins and cut the tomatoes roughly into quarters.
Heat your oil in a casserole dish and add your red onions and sliced garlic. Cook them until they start to soften (around 10 minutes).
Add the aubergine and courgette and cook for another five minutes.
Throw in half of your fresh basil, season with salt, pepper and sweetener, and then cover the dish with a lid and leave to simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes.
Finally, add your chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further five minutes.
The health benefits:
This warming, low-calorie meal is highly nutritious. Aubergines are a great source of dietary fibre and offer a nice mix of vitamins B1, B3, B6 and K. (2) Courgette is also an under-appreciated ingredient. It is a good source of magnesium, which is needed for 300 biochemical reactions in the body (3)– not least muscle functionality.