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Good food with Callum Hann

two men cooking

 

Sprout Cooking School and Health Studio co-founders Callum Hann and Dietitian Themis Chryssidis share five tips to STAYING HEALTHY AND FEELING GREAT.

Variety

Variety is the spice of life but also the key to good health. Eating a wide, varied diet ensures your body receives all the nutrients it requires to function healthily without overdoing any particular nutrient. Variety ensures you meet your needs while reducing the health complications associated with over consuming specific foods. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, meats and dairy daily.

Eat colourful fruits and vegetables

The colour in fruits and vegetables translates to nutrition. Each colour contains unique health-promoting phytochemicals, including antioxidants. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables helps ensure you consume a range of phytonutrients daily, which are important for immune function, heart health, eye health and disease prevention.

Seasonality

Seasonality is nature’s way of keeping us healthy and ensuring our bodies receive the nutrients we need, when we need them. This time of year, firm, hearty root vegetables are readily available and these lend themselves well to braises, slow cooks, roasts and stews. Oranges, kiwi fruit, grape fruit and apples are full of vitamin C which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and is important for efficient metabolism, the absorption of plant-based iron and healthy wound healing.

Healthy fats

Don’t be afraid of fat, just choose the right type. Fat adds flavour to food but it also helps keep us feeling full and satisfied for longer. Try to eat small amounts of healthy fats from plant and seafood sources such as olive oil, nuts, avocado and oily fish. Healthy fats are important for healthy cardiovascular function and a healthy and functioning immune system.

Keep moving

Exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, strong heart, healthy immune system and strong bones. It’s also a great stress release and important for mental health. Ask, “am I getting my 30–45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily?” If not, you need to tie up those laces, put an extra jumper on and get outside or hit the gym or indoor exercise equipment. No matter what you choose, you have to keep moving.

 

Lamb tagine with pearl cous cous

(serves 4)

 

Ingredients

500g piece lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm–4cm cubes

2 tablespoons wholemeal plain flour

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons paprika (smoked or sweet)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

700g jar tomato passata

Thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled, finely grated or chopped

2 cinnamon quills (or substitute 1 tsp ground cinnamon)

1 cup low salt chicken stock

½ butternut pumpkin, diced

50g pitted fresh dates, chopped

²/³ cup pearl cous cous,

Zest and juice of an orange

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

2 cups baby spinach

¼ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140˚C. Place lamb pieces in a clean disposable sandwich bag. Add flour, cumin, and paprika to the bag. Twist bag closed and shake to cover the lamb in the spices and flour.
  2. Heat a large oven-proof crock pot or other suitable pot over high heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, then the lamb. Cook, for 1–2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn and cook until the other side is golden. Remove lamb from pan and set aside. Slice half the onion and add to the pan the lamb was cooked in. Add remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil and garlic. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until translucent. Dice remaining onion and set aside.
  3. Return lamb to the pot, along with tomato passata, ginger, cinnamon and stock. Stir briefly to evenly distribute ingredients. Cover with the lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 3–4 hours or until lamb is very tender.
  4. Carefully remove lid, then stir in pumpkin and dates. Return to the oven and cook without the lid for a further 20–30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
  5. Cook pearl cous cous in plenty of boiling water for 8–10 minutes or until just tender. Drain, transfer cous cous to a bowl and stir through orange zest and juice, parsley, spinach and diced red onion. Spoon onto a large serving platter, top with the tagine and roasted almonds then serve.

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