Heat up winter with spicy foods
As polar vortexes come and go (and come again), it’s natural to crave a little heat. If you can’t escape to the Caribbean, try warming yourself up from the inside-out with a spicy meal. Incorporating some heat into your dinner can add a necessary sizzle to cold winter nights. And the best part is that while spicy foods taste delicious (in our opinion, at least!), they’re also great for your health.
- Eating a spicy dish can ease hunger pangs and temporarily boost your metabolism by up to eight percent.
- Hot and spicy foods help with sinus congestion and relieve clogged nasal passages – wonderful news for those suffering through cold season!
- Since they increase your body temperature, spicy foods may also be effective against fever and flu symptoms.
- Eating spicy foods can also help you sleep better, clear up severe acne and give you a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals ([pppers offer a variety of essential minerals plus lots of vitamin C).
To get you started, we found a tasty recipe that has a healthy dose of spice. Feel free to customize it depending on how much heat you can handle. Have a spicy dish you can’t get enough of? Let us know in the comments!
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 4 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained
- 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam-dry for a minute or two.
- Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about five minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger and salt; cook for two more minutes. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer five to 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information (Makes 6 servings)
Per serving: 347 calories; 10.3g total fat; 904mg sodium; 54g carbohydrates; 10.4g fiber; 9.6g protein
Recipe inspired by AllRecipes.com.
Photo credit: Delphine Ménard