Health info

why is this meal good for me?

Make any weekend brunch one to remember with this beaut of a breaky burrito. The great thing about this recipe is that whatever leftover veg you have, just roast it instead of (or with) the pepper and potatoes. Make it yours. Add more spice if that’s your thing and just use it as a base for whatever needs using up. The colours and textures really come together and the tofu scramble was way easier than I first thought, just crumble it up and fry it with some spices, top-notch.

 

Clearly this munch can be used as dinner munch too, maybe chuck in some beans and sweet potatoes to mix it up a bit. The best thing about this is there’s no salt, it’s packed with veggies and due to the high protein content, it keeps you full for those weekend activities you’ve got planned. 

 

I know what you’re thinking, okay great but how does it actively benefit our bodies? 

 

As you will have read in the recipe vid, we’re getting all our vitamin A, C and K we need for the whole day from just this one meal. Not to mention most of our protein and iron needs for the day, making this meal an absolute plant-based powerhouse. 

 

In a world where lifestyle choices mainly drive diseases such as heart disease (1,2), which is responsible for killing more people than any other in the world (3,4), how does it help us prevent this?

 

It is well known that swapping red meats for plant proteins improves blood lipids such as cholesterol (5), and that’s exactly what we’ve done here. But we’re not stopping there. Tofu actively reduces cholesterol levels (6) so you’re not simply taking out a cholesterol promoter but replacing it with an active cholesterol destroyer: a double win!

 

This occurs with many plant foods as they are generally health-promoting rather than disease supporting. You deserve to eat tasty food that looks after your health, and in doing so you also look after the NHS by simply being responsible for your own wellbeing. All this by just choosing what you put on your plate. Animal products simply don’t contain many elements that build a longer stronger life, one with a lower risk of death and disease. These include fibre, antioxidants, polyphenols and phytonutrients (7). Luckily there’s a readily available source of these factors. Plants. 

 

What meat could you swap out for some potent plants, or if you’re munching the plants already are there any upgrades you could make? It might just help you live a longer and stronger life whilst looking after our NHS.

 
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Recipe

how do i cook it?

Serves: 4              Time: 30 minutes                  Difficulty: Medium              Keeps: 3-4 days

 

Munch
  • 1 block sliced extra firm tofu

  • 4 diced cloves garlic

  • Tofu scramble spices: 0.5 tsp cumin, 0.5 tsp turmeric, 0.5 teaspoon cayenne

  • Roast veg spices: 0.5 tsp cumin, 0.5 tsp paprika, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp thyme 

  • 5 small potatoes roughly cubed (upgrade to sweet potatoes for a nutrition boost)

  • 1 red bell pepper cut into strips

  • 2 cups kale roughly chopped

  • Whole wheat wraps

  • To serve: sliced avocado, fresh salsa or cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander

 

Method 
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

  • Chuck the peppers and potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle in oil.

  •  Add the roast veg spices and mix, then place in the oven for 15 minutes.

  • Take your sliced tofu and crumble it up into small pieces with your hands. 

  • In a pan fry the garlic for a minute and add the crumbled tofu with the spices and fry for 7 minutes. 

  • Take out the roasted veggies after 15 minutes and add the kale. Place in the oven for 7 minutes. 

  • Take a whole wheat wrap and add the tofu, roasted veg along with toppings. 

  • Toppings include sliced avocado, fresh salsa or cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander. 

 

Evidence

where is the science from?

1] Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, et al. Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): case control study. Lancet 2004;364(9438):937–52. 

2] Ford ES, Bergmann MM, Kröger J, Schienkiewitz A, Weikert C, Boeing H. Healthy living is the best revenge: findings from the European Prospective Investig. 

 3] Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network. Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Results. Seattle, United States: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 2018

4] World Health Organization, 2018, http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

5] Marta Guasch-Ferré, Ambika Satija, Stacy A. Blondin, Marie Janiszewski, Ester Emlen, Lauren E. O’Connor, Wayne W. Campbell, Frank B. Hu, Walter C. Willett, Meir J. Stampfer. Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials of Red Meat Consumption in Comparison With Various Comparison Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Circulation, 2019; 139 (15): 1828 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035225

6] Kendall, C. W. C., & Jenkins, D. J. A. (2004). A Dietary portfolio: Maximal reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with diet. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 6(6), 492–498. doi:10.1007/s11883-004-0091-9 

7] Hu FB. Plant-based foods and prevention of cardiovascular disease: an overview.Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; 78(3 suppl):544S–551S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/78.3.544S

 
Image by Mike Dorner