When you read a lot about food like I do, especially about how it is linked to health, you quickly learn that most vegetables should be eaten raw for maximum nutrition. But there are exceptions. Like tomatoes, for examples, where one key nutrient is Lycopens, which is one of those rare antioxidants which apparently happens to only come to life properly when heated. Fantastic for all tomato sauce lovers out there, for example. Here is a study on the benefits of lycopene in tomatoes and its protective benefits towards for example some cancers.Cooking up this ultra quick lunch for two hungry people today (of which I was one), I kept this in mind. I therefore heated the tomatoes with the beans, but kept everything else raw. If I would let a professional nutritionist take a look at this I am pretty confident it would get five out of five points: lots of greens (the healthiest one can eat), lots of heated lycopene (tomatoes), good fats from the avocado, inflammation busting raw onion, garlic and ginger, and good proteins in the beans.Even if this is mainly raw, it feels both hearty and warming. Such a satisfying and delicious way of packing up on nutrients on a cold winter day.
- THE CHILI
- 1 can black beans
- 2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. cumin powder
- ½ cup water (a little more if needed)
- ⅓ tsp salt
- THE RAW SALAD
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, very finely chopped, or even better shredded
- Lots of baby spinach, approximately 125 grams/3 cups
- 1 large handful of coriander, finely chopped (stems included)
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped (the greens included)
- 1 avocado, chopped into chunks
- Juice from ½ lime
- Bring a pan or a pot to medium heat and add the beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin powder, water and salt. Let it boil for five minutes on low heat (until most water has evaporated). Add a little more water if needed for consistency.
- Add all the raw salad ingredients to a salad bowl apart from the lime. Top with the hot chili, toss, squeeze over the lime, and serve immediately.