Statistics show that people in the United States make their share of life-threatening decisions when it comes to nutrition, often opting for food that makes them unhealthy, and overweight or obese. If you think it’s unfair to single out Americans, think again. Overall, the percentage of the world’s population that qualifies as obese has nearly tripled since 1975. However, of the 35 nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. tops the chart for obesity. In fact, it’s done so for many years. According to global statistics for 2015, more than 38 percent of the U.S. population is obese. Compare this to Southeast Asia (3 percent), Japan (3.7 percent) and Germany (23.6 percent).
Tipping the Scales
When the figures for being overweight and obese are combined, it accounts for some 70 percent of the U.S. adult population. Think about it: Fewer than one-third of adults living in the United States are at a weight considered healthy.
The typical American eats too much food, and more often than not, the wrong types of food. This, coupled with low levels of physical activity, is a formula for illness, disease and a shortened life expectancy. If that’s not enough to sound the alarm, perhaps this is: Obese people have eight percent less brain tissue than people of the same age with normal weight.
One of my favorite healthy, plant-based recipes calls for chickpeas and couscous. Below is the recipe–enjoy!
Green Chickpea Curry with Couscous
Start to finish: 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grate with the skin removed
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely diced
- One 15-ounce can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained
- Three 1/2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 2 1/2cups light coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock(if low sodium, add salt)
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 3/4 cup Israeli couscous, dry
- Baked or pan-fried crispy tofu
- Bean sprouts or shredded Brussels sprouts
- Lime juice
- Fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
- Sea salt to taste (optional)
Heat a pot, large saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the coconut oil, garlic, ginger, carrot and onion.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the curry paste and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the chickpeas and stir to coat once. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, coconut sugar (or maple syrup), lime zest and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a heavy simmer over medium-high heat.
Once simmering, add the couscous, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding fresh lime juice for tang, maple syrup or coconut sugar for added sweetness and salt for a depth of flavor.
Turn off the heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavor to further permeate the chickpeas and couscous.
Serve with fresh lime juice, fresh herbs, sriracha, and a sprinkle more coconut sugar. You can also add pan-seared tofu and bean sprouts or shredded Brussel sprouts.
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