Mexican-style Black Bean Bowl

Give fertility a boost with plant-based protein

Plant-based proteins are packed with fibre, fertility-boosting nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, selenium, choline and more.

Give fertility a boost with plant-based protein

Want to make one simple change to your diet to boost your fertility? Try replacing some meat with plant-based protein.

Wendy Fedele, a Fertility and Pre-natal Dietitian, says that studies on dietary patterns and fertility show that eating less red meat and more plant protein is associated with lower rates of infertility for both men and women.

“Now, we don’t need to go full Vegan to get the benefits, and animal proteins can be a great source of important fertility nutrients, but aiming for smaller serves of meat less often, and particularly limiting processed meats, is the way to go,” Wendy says. “In fact, a very large and well-known study, called the Nurses’ Health Study II, found that replacing just 5% of animal protein with plant-based protein was associated with a more than 50% reduction in ovulation-related infertility for women. Pretty impressive, huh?!”

So, what exactly is a plant-based protein? Think beans and legumes, soy foods like tofu, tempeh and edamame beans, as well as nuts and seeds – all of which are packed with fibre, fertility-boosting nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, selenium, choline and more.

If you’re not sure where to start with boosting your plant protein, try out these tips:

  • replace mince with lentils or tempeh in your pasta sauce
  • use tofu in your curries and stir-fry’s
  • use black beans in place of meat in your tacos and burrito bowls

Try our black-bean burrito bowl to get you started!

Mexican-style Black Bean Bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Black beans:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • ½ a jar of tomato sugo/ pasta sauce
  • 1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly (ideally BPA free tin)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • ½-1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (to taste)
  • Optional: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – to taste (or just chipotle sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Tomato salsa:

  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
  • Juice of ½ a lime

Smashed avocado:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of ½ a lime

Other toppings, as desired:

  • Cos lettuce leaves, washed thoroughly, leaves separated, tossed in a little olive oil and white wine vinegar
  • Frozen Corn, defrosted and heated
  • Fresh lime wedges, coriander leaves, sliced Jalapeños and chilli sauce to serve

Instructions:

  1. Start by making the black beans: In a large saucepan fry the onion and capsicum on medium heat until softened (stir regularly, be careful not to burn)
  2. Add spices, stirring regularly, and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute
  4. Stir in the black beans, pasta sauce/sugo, maple syrup and chipotles in adobo sauce/ chipotle sauce if using
  5. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 5-10 minutes until cooked.
  6. To make the fresh tomato salsa, combine the chopped tomatoes, red onion, juice of ½ a lime and season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. To make the smashed avocado, mash the avocado in a bowl, squeeze on the juice of ½ a lime (or to taste), season to taste and mix thoroughly
  8. Assemble the bowls: Divide the black beans, dressed cos leaves, heated corn and fresh tomato salsa across your serving bowls, top with smashed avocado, jalapenos, coriander and lime