Remember, remember the 5th November - Healthy Bonfire night tacos

This time of year is perfect for spending time outdoors wrapped up against the cold and the events of the next few months give us plenty of reasons to get together and enjoy quality time with our friends and family.
Tonight (the 5th November), is Bonfire night in the UK, an old tradition which celebrates the capture of Guy Fawkes preventing him from performing an act of treason on the King at the time – it’s actually quite an interesting story if you aren’t based in the UK where we tend to learn about it in school. 

To commemorate the occasion us Brits gather in parks and gardens to watch firework displays or create our own fairly disappointing but hilarious ones, and stand around bonfires for the 'burning of the guy'.
As a family we tend to get together in one of our back gardens and light a few fireworks as well as watching other peoples’ displays lighting up the night sky. But, in order to thoroughly enjoy ourselves in the cold it helps to have a hearty meal to keep us going.
I like to make a big pan of chilli with just enough spice to warm us up and serve in a variety of ways to suit our guests - chilli dogs, jacket potatoes, rice or my current favourite – lettuce leaf tacos. Served with a healthy portion of homemade salsa and guacamole on top of crisp lettuce leaves – it is warming, satisfying and feels naughty without any guilt what so ever, the perfect combination.
I’ve adapted mine very slightly from Madeleine Shaw’s book ‘Get the Glow’ – which by the way is a great introduction to clean, healthy eating and a good addition to any healthy cook book collection.
For enough Mexican mince to serve 4 you’ll need:
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 sticks celery finely chopped
1 white onion finely chopped
500g beef or lamb mince
1 400g can tomatoes
1 lime
In a large frying pan, dry-roast the cumin, paprika and chilli for 1 minute over a low-medium heat (be careful that they don’t burn) then turn down the heat and add the coconut oil, celery and onion and sauté over a medium heat for around 5 minutes.
Add the mince, breaking it up using a spoon, cook for a couple of minutes until browned and covered in those toasty spices.
Pour in the tomatoes, and add a good pinch of salt. At this point Madeleine recommends simmering for 1 hour but I find it impossible to wait that long for food so 20-30 minutes should do. Just make sure you stir it every so often. You want to make sure it’s not too watery, if it is turn the heat up a little and cook for a further 5 minutes, but be careful not to dry it out too much. You will stir through the lime juice just before serving.
While it’s cooking away you can make your salsa and guacamole.
For the salsa you need:
2 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes, diced
½ a red onion very finely diced
½ - a whole red chilli (depending on the amount of heat you want – deseed it if you don’t like too much spice), very finely diced
Juice of half a lime
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl – or whizz in a food processor if you like it less chunky. Mix well, add a splash of olive oil (olive oil is better for you in its raw form than when you cook with it), and a pinch of flaky sea salt and stir. Simple right?
Finally the guacamole – I feel I can barely call it this because it’s essentially mashed avocado:
1 avocado
Lemon or lime juice
Sea salt
Chili flakes
Squeeze your avocado in to a bowl and mash with the back of a fork, Add a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice – or both if you’re feeling fancy – sprinkle in some sea salt and a pinch of dried chili flakes to taste (I like a bit of heat in my guac) – and mix.
To serve you just need some large-ish crunchy lettuce leaves – I’m not a fan of iceberg, so we use either cos, little gem or even romaine.
Rinse them and either pat dry, or leave to air dry so they don’t go soggy, then top with the mince, add a spoonful of salsa, and a spoonful of guac, you can also add a drizzle of natural yoghurt or a tiny amount of grated cheese if you’re feeling sinful.
The good thing about a dish like this is it can be served with anything, you could make some sweet potato chips, baked potatoes or a bowl of wholegrain rice if you wanted to add some carbs.
There’s nothing better than coming in from the cold to a warming, healthy bowl of goodness.

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