The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (13): a comforting sweet potatoes recipe to prevent holiday stress weight gain

The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (13): a comforting sweet potatoes recipe to prevent holiday stress weight gain

I sometimes make this with organic pork mince – both are equally nourishing for winter. My recipe is mostly vegetables with beans. I add lots of different chillies (cayenne, chipotle and jalapeno), cumin, sage, black pepper, garlic and Himalayan salt, but do this to taste. Sage is renowned for its antioxidant and memory-enhancing properties. It also adds another layer of flavour to the dish.

Cumin is a lovely carminative spice, exceptionally good for enhancing nutrient absorption and relieving bloating. Chilli has pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory and thermogenic qualities to increase metabolism, promote fat-burning, stave off hunger and cravings, stimulate circulation and enhance digestion. It’s also very high in vitamin C, which is why I like to add it fresh as a garnish as well as dried.

This recipe makes about 6 large servings. Serve with chopped avocado and spring onions, covered with lime juice and heaps of fresh chopped coriander, which is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, iron and magnesium.


Coriander is also strongly antimicrobial and detoxifying. Lime juice increases absorption of non-heme iron, while avocado provides healthy anti-inflammatory fats, a good array of carotenoids and vitamin E. Simmer until there isn’t much liquid left – it usually takes about 45 minutes.

This dish is low in calories, high in fibre and gluten free. The sweet potato version is also vegan! If you want to add pork, use 500g of organic pork mince.


– 1 good slug of olive oil suitable for cooking
– 2 large organic onions chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
– 2 fresh chillies (hot as you like) chopped up
– 2 large organic Romano peppers (diced)
– 2 organic celery stalks (diced)
– 3 large organic carrots (diced)
– 2 medium organic sweet potatoes (peeled, diced)

The ‘get fit’ Christmas countdown (13): a comforting sweet potatoes recipe to prevent holiday stress weight gain

– 2 tins of organic chopped tomatoes (with juice)
– 1 tin organic cannellini beans (rinsed)
– 1 tin organic kidney beans (rinsed)
– 2 tsp cumin
– ½ tsp chipotle seeds
– ½ tsp jalapeno seeds
– ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
– 2 tablespoons organic cacao/cocoa
– ½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
– ½ pepper
– 1 large bunch chopped coriander (I use scissors)

For garnish

– 2 organic avocados – chopped
– 1 bunch spring onions (chopped) Juice of one organic lime

Heat olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and then throw in the sweet potato until the onion begins to soften. Add spices, then add the rest of the vegetables and after 10 minutes add the beans and chopped tomatoes. Cover and leave to simmer on a low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Then remove the pan lid and let the liquid evaporate a bit so the chilli becomes thick and flavoursome.

Leave to stand for 10 minutes, throw on the avocado,spring onion & lime garnish, cover with a large portion of cilantro and serve with some steamed greens or salad and you’re ready to go. You can also add some greek or coconut yogurt to add a cooling element to the dish. Chilli is great cold for lunch the next day too as the flavours become more noticeable.

Intrigued? Check out other healthy suggestions for the holiday season like these Christmas party food ideas that won’t pack on the pounds  and these Christmas starters you can use as a main meal pre-holiday time