This is super easy and nutritious meal takes only 20minutes to make and is perfect for those on the go that want something filling yet tasty!!
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 150g lean beef steak (3-5% fat)
- 90g curly kale
- teaspoon of honey
- teaspoon of soy sauce
- 65g sweet potato
- salt and pepper
- teaspoon of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC(fan)/220º/gas mark 9 (basically whack it up to the highest temperature).
- Cut the sweet potato into chips (it is up to you how thick you cut them – they may just have slightly different cooking times).
- Cover the chips in some olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and put into the oven for 15-20minutes – shake the pan halfway through.
- When there is 8minutes left until the chips are done, heat a small amount of the oil in two frying pans until hot (highest temperature on the hob again – we like speedy cooking here!).
- Season the steak and cook in one frying pan, turning halfway through. For rare – 3minutes each side, for medium – 4minutes each side and for well done – 5minutes each side.
- Meanwhile, add the kale to the other pan and stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the honey and soy sauce and mix into the kale whilst still in the frying pan to heat it through.
Looking at the nutritional content of the food actually surprised me quite a bit! I have narrowed down the main 5 nutrients which are in considerable abundance in this meal – and their contributing meal components (displayed in some pretty swish pie charts):
Folate is the ‘umbrella term’ for a group of chemicals which have significant benefits if eaten more often. It has been linked to decrease risk of heart disease, and in pregnant women to reduce the risk of birth defects in the baby (the recommended requirement of folate per day is therefore higher for pregnant women). This meal contributes just under half the daily requirement of folate expected for the average (non-pregnant) adult, so there is a HUGE amount considering this is only one meal!
Iron has a multitude of functions in the body, with the main one being the transport of oxygen. Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in humans, and can result in fatigue, struggling to breath and a decrease in immune function, to name a few. Iron deficiency (anaemia) is also more evident in women due to loss of iron because of the menstrual cycle. SO this meal is perfect in helping get more iron into the diet – with it containing 4.8mg per portion and the average reference intakes for males being 8.7mg/day and for females being 14.8mg/day.
Most red meats are high in iron therefore beef being the main contributor did not surprise me, and I know curly kale and dark green leafy vegetables are also relatively high in iron however I did not expect PAPRIKA to be this high in iron with just 3 grams containing 0.63mg of iron!
Vitamin B6 is used in the body for the release of glucose to use as energy and for protein metabolism, and although deficiency is rare it can result in sleepiness, changes in personality and impaired immunity. There is some research out there to suggest that may decrease PMS symptoms of the menstrual cycle (bloating, cramps, moodiness – we’ve all been there ladies), and this meal will provide you with roughly 80% of your daily B6 intake!
Vitamin B12 and folic acid work hand-in-hand in the body, so often it is hard to distinguish whether these benefits are from B12 or folic acid – BUT these benefits include helping to protect against chronic diseases and birth defects in pregnant women. AND THIS MEAL CONTAINS 192% OF YOUR DAILY B12 REQUIREMENT.
Vitamin C is commonly known to prevent the common cold – and I’m afraid that this information widely believed by the public has no sufficient information to back it up (sorry – I’m upset too) however it does prevent scurvy, so if you’re a pirate, you will want to read this. It also synthesises college which is a material in bones and tissue. This, my friends, is where the curly kale steps in, with it providing the majority of the vitamin C content of the meal which also happens to be 280% of your vitamin C daily requirement!!
SO!! We have established that this meal is VERY high in some major nutrients that our bodies need…. and is also delicious so it’s the best of both worlds really!!
Chan, Y. et al. (2013) ‘Folate’, Advances in Nutrition, 4(1), pp. 123-125.
Lippiatt, E. (2010) Vitamin C for the prevention and treatment of the common cold.’ The public’s perception on vitamin C, the effect on the common cold and the habits they undertake in terms of supplementation and dietary food choices. PhD thesis. University of Wales Institute.
MacPhail, A. (2012) ‘Iron’, in Mann, J. and Truswell, A (eds.) essentials of human nutrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 157-170.
McDermid, J. (2012) ‘Iron’, Advances in Nutrition, 3(4), pp. 523-533.
Ryan-Harshman, M. and Aldoori, W. (2008) ‘Vitamin B12 and Health’, Can Fam Physician, 54(4), pp. 536-541.
Truswell, S. (2012) ‘The B vitamins’, in Mann, J. and Truswell, A (eds.) essentials of human nutrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 217-235.
Truswell, S. and Mann, J. (2012) ‘Vitamins C and E’, in Mann, J. and Truswell, A (eds.) essentials of human nutrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 236-245.