January is, of course, the time when trashy magazines peddle their fad diets and try to trick us into detoxing. Last year I managed to kick my magazine habit once and for all so I am managing to completely avoid all of their dubious weight loss tricks, but I still remember a lot of the nonsense they used to encourage. One that I remember was the “rainbow diet”, which urged dieters to incorporate all the colours of the rainbow into their meals. As meat and grains aren’t exactly multi-coloured, this basically translates to: “Eat more vegetables.” (Or rainbow cake.) And it’s hard to argue with that.
I may not have all seven colours in here, but there’s red peppers, orange sweet potatoes, green spinach and purpley-black beans. It is an extremely inviting dish, and tastes every bit as good as it looks.
Jerk Sweet Potato & Black Bean Curry
Serves 5, slightly adapted from BBC GoodFood
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp jerk seasoning (more if you can take the heat!)
1 tsp dried thyme
tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp demerera sugar
1 vegetable stock cube
500g sweet poatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 handfuls spinach
handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes.
2. Add the ginger, coriander and jerk seasoning. Fry for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the thyme, along with the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Crumble in the stock cube and pour in 300ml hot water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Carefully drop in the sweet potato chunks and simmer for 10 more minutes.
5. Add the pepper and black beans next.
6. After two minutes, add the spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Season, and serve scattered with fresh coriander leaves. This can be served with rice or bread.