Immune boosting chili and how to drink your 8 glasses of water!


Don’t you love it when someone pulls out in front of you in the car or nearly crashes into you or does something else equally stupid and then they turn away so you can’t make eye contact with them and give them the middle finger. Yes, it’s you I’m talking to. I know you saw me. Just because you turned away and chose to ignore me doesn’t mean you’re not really, really stupid! Reminds me of the time that I………..that’s for another day. I need to wait until you all know me a bit better before I tell you all of my secrets!

Now on to more important things……the belly…..grub. One of the few things in life that we need to survive and I like to make it tasty and nutritious!

So my girls each have a runny nose, a slight temperature  and a sore throat. You know the score! And all they want is love and attention (and Netflix…..yes, their cold coincided with mid term break from school….lucky me) because they don’t feel great (they are both like their mother, never get sick and are really awful patients). No matter how robust you are, I’ve read that the average person catches 3 colds per year, each lasting an average of 9 days…….that’s 27 days of my life that I won’t get back….each year. NO!!!!!!

Anyway, I suffer from………….wait for it………… ailment allergy. Not familiar with that?  I’m the person who uses bog roll to open and close toilet doors, who cleans the tables etc on planes with wipes, who checks the sheets on hotel room beds to make sure they are actually clean, who will hold her breath when I’m standing next to someone who is coughing and then breathe out deeply when I’ve walked away from them LOL, who makes excuses when they go to peoples houses for dinner because I worry about getting a belly ache LOL. Okay, is that ailment allergy or paranoia??? I hate sick people (and I’m touching wood as I say this!).

So back to my girls. They’re home this week spreading their germs around the house and I’m paranoid about that cold. So what does any loving mother do when the kids get sick…….wrap them up and hug them and let them slobber all over me…………no………she feeds them…..garlic, tumeric, chili, ginger……….. To quote my husband at dinner a last night..”geez Virginia, is there raw garlic in this”.  “Why honey, of course there is”. LOL! I even managed to get oregano oil down all of their throats by rubbing it on their toothbrushes before they used them. I think the husband was least happy about that one 🙂 I had to though as I know they wouldn’t have taken it voluntarily.

So what do I cook to boost our immune systems? I make bone broth, chicken soup, chilli and tonight I roasted some sweet potatoes in tumeric, garlic, ginger and a medium hot pepper and served these with grilled salmon and snapper and some greens.

I need to share my immune boasting chili with you as it’s soooooooo good. It’s great for dinner but even better the next day if you water it down and have it as soup. Reminds of my days working as a lawyer in Edinburgh. I didn’t care how cold or wet it was, I loved my lunch time soups. I went to a variety of places but I always loved the chili soup from Pret a Manger. I’d sit at the table with my long winter coat still white with snow, chowing down on my chili. Funny the things we remember.

So here it is……IMMUNE BOOSTING CHILI (I’ve used a mix of spices known for their immune boosting properties)


1/2 onion

1 red pepper (vit C)

4 medium carrots (beta-carotene and vit A)

6 mushrooms (potassium, B Vitamins and fibre)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)(anti-oxidant)

1 teaspoon of chili powder (I use mild and then I add chili flakes depending on taste. The kids don’t like it too hot)(if you put enough chili flakes in, you might drink the 8 glasses of water you’re meant to drink LOL)

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of all spice

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of tumeric or a thumb sized piece of fresh grated tumeric

3 tablespoons of oil (I use coconut oil)

1lb (500g)  of lean ground turkey

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

salt and black pepper to taste


Blitz the onion, pepper, mushrooms and carrots in a blender until very finely chopped (this allows you to feed the chili to the kids to with the benefit of hidden veggies. Mine hate mushrooms…..allegedly LOL) and sautee until soft (about 5 minutes).

Add all of the spices and the garlic and mix through.

Stir in the turkey and brown.

Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on the pan.

How easy is that!!!!


Add cilantro at the end.

Stir in some beans half way through the simmer period.

Serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice, avocado, a fennel salad…

Stir through some finely shredded spinach or kale about 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy and may you ward off the lurgy!

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