Here’s another of my ‘Good Mood Food’ recipes to help you hit your 5-a-day. This recipe makes a big old batch of stew that actually gets tastier as the week commences, it will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days and can be frozen too so it’s a brilliant recipe to keep you in lunches or dinner for a whole week. You might be put off by the idea of stew in the summer but the Mediterranean flavours and using turkey help to keep this dish lighter, more of a delicious chunky soup!
It’s great for clearing out the fridge of all your veg too, these vegetables and quantities are just a guide and you can substitute based on what you like or what you have in the fridge, chunks of potato or sweet potato would also be lovely. Not only is it a super tasty way to munch through all those veggies it’s incredibly good for your mind and body too.
Good nutrition is essential for mental health and increasing research is emerging highlighting the links between our diets and our mental health. There is strong evidence to suggest that food plays a really important role in the development, management and even prevention of certain mental health issues including anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s. With something so easy to control (and control isn’t something that us mental health sufferers find we have very often) we’d be fools not to make a conscious effort to feed our bodies and minds the correct foods.
Balance is the key, I believe in an 80/20 approach to the way I eat, I try to eat healthy, nutrient rich foods 80% of the time and allow myself treats the remaining 20%. That said the 80% isn’t a hardship at all, cooking nutritious meals is far from boring in fact that’s what half of the idea behind my blog is, to share my love of healthy food and help you create the dishes I love and my mind and body love in return. This recipe is a great way for you to swap ready-made sandwiches and fast food in your lunch hour for a dish that’s packed with a rainbow of veg, plus you’ll even save money too. If you don’t have a microwave at work then invest in a thermos and you’ll have a lovely warm lunch on hand when hunger strikes.
Big Batch Italian Vegetable & Turkey Stew
Makes 8 servings
Can be frozen
Drizzle olive or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large or 4 small carrots, chopped
3 sticks celery, diced
1 tbsp bullion veg stock powder
1 tbsp garlic puree
1 tbsp basil pesto
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp oregano
1 large leek or two small, chopped
100g mushrooms, chopped
2 large courgette, chopped
1 aubergine, chopped
1 large pepper or a few small peppers, deseeded and chopped
100g cherry tomatoes
800g diced turkey breast
Bouquet Garni (bundle of herbs tied together – bay, thyme, rosemary, fresh oregano if you can get it)
500ml passata with basil
200ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
75g light soft cheese
fresh basis and grated parmesan, to serve
Heat the oil along with a big pinch of salt in a VERY large saucepan or your pressure cooker and then add the onions, carrots celery and bullion. Cook for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic, pesto, Worcestershire sauce and oregano and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
The rest of the veggies go in now, add them one at a time and give everything a really good stir letting it reduce down a bit before adding the next lot. Now the stock, passata, wine, some salt and pepper and the bouqet garni. Stir well and bring up to a gentle boil, add the turkey chunks.
Pressure cooker: Once boiling put the lid on and lock, wait until it comes up to high pressure then turn down to the lowest heat and time 30 minutes, slowly reduce the pressure and then stir well, simmer for a few minutes uncovered if the mixture needs to thicken. Stir in the soft cheese and basil. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it. Remove the bouquet garni and bay leaves before serving.
Slow cooker: Transfer your mixture to a slow cooker cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Stir in the soft cheese and basil. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it. Remove the bouquet garni before serving.
Hob: Gently simmer, the mixture should only just bubble, stirring occasionally for at least 2 hours, or longer if you can. Stir in the soft cheese and basil. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it. Remove the bouquet garni before serving.
Serve with greens, pasta, rice or on It’s own with some grated parmesan on top.