Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Aromatic Spiced Mince with Couscous

This is a very quick, cheap and easy dish that is packed full of flavour. Any leftovers make a brilliant lunchbox salad the next day. Do give the Quorn mince a try - it works really well in this and takes up the flavours brilliantly. If you really don't like the idea, you can replace it with lean lamb or chicken mince but you will need to make sure your brown it first before you add the rest of the ingredients.

350g Quorn mince
160g dry weight couscous
2 courgettes
200g chopped carrots (substitute the same weight ready chopped or use frozen pre chopped carrots if you prefer)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or ordinary if you can't find it)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tsp dry chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

To serve:
2 good handfuls of chopped mint
Greek yoghurt or tzatiki
Lime wedges
1 tablespoon pinenuts

Serves 4

Put the dry couscous in a bowl and pour over 250ml of boiling water. Cover with clingfilm and microwave for 1 minute, then leave to stand.

Grate your courgette either by hand or in a food processor. Heat the oil in the pan and add your garlic and add your carrot. Cook over a low heat for about 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add your courgette and cook for a further 2 minutes. Finally add the spices, salt and Quorn mince and cook for 3 more minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cooked couscous. Dish up and garnish with the lime, mint, pine nuts and a good dollop of yoghurt.

Arthritis diet notes:
This recipe is a filling and well balanced meal, particularly for anyone who doesn't eat meat. The quorn and yoghurt provide high quality vegetarian protein sources (about a third of your daily needs). As a recipe it is also high in the anti-oxidant vitamins A,C and E.

 High intakes of red meat are linked to increased incidence of rheumatoid arthritis and some studies show that vegetarian diets are linked to less joint pain in arthritis, possibly due to both the greater amount of fruit and vegetables being eaten and the smaller amounts of saturated fat being consumed.

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