Tag Archives: quick and easy meals

Warm Lamb Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

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IMG_3If you are looking to whip up some tasty salads this spring but are in need of some foodie inspiration then its time to jump on
the Beet train! Fast becoming one of the most fashionable vegetables of 2014 it’s not hard to see why the humble old beetroot is making a comeback. With a seriously impressive nutrient profile, beets offer a range of health benefits to keep you looking a feeling your best. Available just about all year round these colourful little flavour bombs are the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, give this recipe a go, it will not disappoint!

Warm Lamb and Veggie Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

(Serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh baby beetroots, peeled and trimmed
  • 200g pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slicesIMG_2
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1x red onion, quartered
  • 100g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 250g lamb loin (backstrap), trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g marinated labneh or fetta cheese
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.IMG_5

Place the lamb in a bowl and rub with olive oil and the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Top and tail and then peel the beets. Slice them in half and then add to a lined baking dish along with the sliced eggplant, pumpkin, red onion and cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves and place in the oven to cook for approximately 45mins or until the veggies are soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick fry pan over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When almost ready to serve, place a non-stick fry pan over med-high heat and cook the lamb. Approximately 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Once cooked to your liking remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5mins before slicing.

Meanwhile, layer the baby spinach leaves over a large serving platter and then top with the roasted vegetables. Finally add the sliced lamb and sprinkle over the candied walnuts and labneh.

Enjoy!

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Spicy Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

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pumpkin soupNow that winter is approaching my cravings for delicious hearty soups are ramping up quickly, so I thought I better get cracking on coming up with some tasty winter warmers! I have always LOVED pumpkin soup and I thought what better way to spice it up a bit than to throw a bit of chilli into the mix! Not only is this recipe SUPER quick and easy, it is also cheap to make and tastes ridiculously good…(if I may say so myself)!

What you need…(for 4 people)
1kg of jap or butternut pumpkin
3-4cups of vegetable stock
1 fresh red chili
1 heaped tsp of green curry paste (you can alter this to make it as spicey or mild as you like!)
1 large brown onion
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
100ml low fat coconut milk (or use coconut flavoured evaporated milk if you want to be extra weight/heart conscious as it contains for less saturated fat than coconut milk)
fresh coriander
nutmeg
low fat yoghurt and poppadums to serve

What to do…
Chop the pumpkin up into chunks and dice up your onion. Place a large saucepan over medium heat on your stove and add a splash of olive oil. Then, add your onion and saute until soft and transparent. Add your garlic, chopped chili, curry paste and ginger to the pan and saute for another 1 -2 minutes.

Add your cut up pumpkin to the pan and add enough stock to cover the pumpkin. Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer away until the pumpkin is soft and cooked through. I just used a hand held whiz stick to blend up my pumpkin soup mixture but you can transfer your mixture to a food processor if you have one! Either way, blend away until the soup mixture is smooth and relatively lump free!

Add your coconut milk and stir through before serving up into some nice soup bowls. To each bowl, add a sprinkling of nutmeg and some fresh coriander along with a good dollop of low fat natural yoghurt! And you’re ready to eat! Easy huh?

Enjoy!

A

Jamie’s jerk pork, grilled corn and crunchy tortilla salad

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jerkpork2Jamie Oliver…you did it again!! I have never been much of a pork fan and have rarely used it in my cooking, but as this week is all about experimenting and trying new things I decided to give his Jerk pork recipe a go..and I can tell you now I was not disappointed! Actually no, I would maybe even go as far as saying that the flavours in this dish blew my mind and I have no doubt it will be making an appearance on the dinner table at my place again soon!

Not only did I love the combination of flavours in this dish but when looking at it from a nutritional point of view, it ticks alot of boxes! Pork fillet for one, is one of the leanest cuts of pork with only around 1-2g of fat per 100g, making it a fantastic low fat source of quality protein.Pork also contains a range of other important nutrients including essential vitamins such as B12, B6, thiamin, niacin, as well as minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium.

With plenty of vitamin C from the chillies and coriander and an impressive dose of antioxidants from the tomatoes the Jerk sauce also certainly packs an impressive nutritional punch! And as for the salad? What’s not to love about a delicious combination of fresh salad veggies(full of important vitamins and minerals, avocado (rich in the “good” monounsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol) and the satisfying crunch of toasted low fat corn tortillas? Nothing! It was all delicious and I highly reccommmend you try this one!

Rather than re-writing out this whole delicious recipe I thought I would just share a link to Jamie’s 15 minute meals video which explains the whole recipe step by step by the king of healthy fast food himself! Thanks Jamie!

Enjoy!

My version of Jamie’s 15 minute Greek Feast!

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jamies greek feast 3 Another 15 minute meal done and dusted and believe it or not but I somehow managed to whip up this wickedly delicious (yet relatively healthy) Greek feast in less than 15minutes! 14mins and 39seconds to be exact!! Although Jamie uses lamb mince in his recipe to make Greek lamb koftas, I was lucky enough to find some lamb (home grown on my parents farm) hiding in the back of my freezer this morning! So, instead of going out and buying lamb mince, which is often quite high in fat (particularly saturated fat), I just cut off any excess fat and diced up my lamb into bite sized chunks. Then cooked it in much the same way as Jamie’s Koftas! I also left out the pita pockets as there seemed to be plenty of food to go round without them but they are definitely a nice addition when feeding a crew and are fun alternative for scooping up food than the boring old knife and fork!

What you need… (for 2 people)

1 lamb backstrap (or a shoulder or leg could also be used if you are feeding a crowd!)

small handful of raw pistachios

honey

1 glove garlic (crushed)

2 tsp garam massala

fresh thyme (or oregano)

1 small cos lettuce

handful of cherry tomatoes

1  tbs of low fat fetta or cottage cheese

1 lemon

1/2 small lebanese cucumber

1/2 small red onion

small handful of kalamata olives

olive oil

1/2 cup cous cous

large handful of mint

handful of parsley

1 chilli

1/2 cup fat free natural yoghurt

What to do….

Turn on your kettle and while the water is boiling add your handful of mint and the chilli to a food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. Remove the blade then throw in half a cup of cous cous and about half a cup of boiling water. Then cover with the lid and set aside.

Next, place a non-stick frying pan over high heat, and while it is heating up, add your lamb to a bowl along with the garam massala, season with salt and pepper and mix well to allow the spice to infuse into the meat. Once the pan is hot, add a dash of olive oil to the pan before throwing in your lamb, turning regularly so it browns nicely all over.

Meanwhile, quickly chop up your lettuce into chunks and throw onto to a serving board along with your cherry tomatoes (halved). Coarsely grate you cucumber and red onion, place in a bowl and then season lightly with salt. Then squeeze out the excess salty fluid before sprinkling over the lettuce, along with the your crumbled fetta/cottage cheese, chopped parsely and olives.

Bash the pistachios with a mortar and pestle and then throw them over your sizzling lamb along with a drizzle of honey, your chopped thyme or oregano leaves and I also added a sprinkling of sesame seeds for good measure then toss well to combine. Remove your lamb from the heat and assemble next to the salad on your serving board.

Fluff up your cous cous and transfer to a serving bowl. The last thing to do is to pour your yoghurt into a serving dish and squeeze over some lemon juice, mix through and you’re good to go!

Good Luck!

A

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My Quick Greek Feast!

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greek feastHave I ever said how much I love Greek food? Wellll now you know! I just love the combination of flavours and the tantalising mix of juicy, perfectly cooked meats, fresh salads, delicious dips and soft, fluffy flatbreads….mmm yum I am getting hungry again just thinking about it!

So, to cure my cravings for all things Greek, last night Mark and I whipped up a delicious, healthy Greek feast and I thought it was probably only fair that I shared it all with you! Loaded with fresh salad veggies, home grown lamb backstrap grilled to perfection on the barby and some tastey home made tzatziki, this Mediterranean inspired meal is not only delicious but it is super nutritious and heart healthy as well! Oh and did I mention it only takes about 20mins to prepare?? Healthy Fast Food at it’s best!

What you need…

1 lamb back strap

2 cloves garlic

fresh or dried oregano

olive oil

1 lemon

1-2 large roma tomatoesgreek salad

1/2 lebanese cucumber

handful of pitted kalamata olives

half a red onion

crumbled low fat fetta

handful of roquet

1/3 cup fat free natural yoghurt

store bought tabbouleh (from the deli section… OR if you have time you can make your own! All you need is some cooked burghul wheat or quinoa, a HEAP of chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, red onion, olive oil and some fresh lemon juice!)

What to do…

Crush your garlic and add most of it to a bowl with a handful of chopped fresh oregano (or good sprinkle of dried oregano), a squeeze of lemon juice, a good splash of olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Cut your lamb into thick slices and add to the bowl of marinade, mixing well. Set aside until ready to cook. Don’t forget to turn on your BBQ at least 10-15mins before you’re ready to cook!

Cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion into bite sized chunks and throw into a serving bowl along with the roquet leaves, a splash of olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Tzatziki mix your yoghurt with the remaining garlic and a small handful of diced cucumber. Feel free to throw in some fresh herbs too! I used parsely but you could use mint or coriander instead.

To cook your lamb, rub some olive oil over the hot plate and then cook the meat for about 1-2 mins on each side, or until cooked to your liking!

And you’re done! Delish!

A

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