Lamb, pumpkin and eggplant curry

We’re already into our last month of winter but I’ve been warned that Melbourne doesn’t actually get warm until November. So that means more curries, soups and stews for me. Which isn’t a bad idea as I haven’t been well … Continue reading

Chopped salad with spiced mint lamb

As mentioned in my last post, here is the dinner I made for guests Friday evening.

When entertaining I like my guests to feel relaxed. By allowing guests to serve themselves this creates an informal, casual atmosphere and also enables them to serve their own portion size.

Fresh herbs

Make sure you wash your fresh herbs as they can be quite sandy. By adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to the water it will remove most pesticides from the outside of the herbs.

Light salad dressing

This salad dressing is really light and fresh. The lemon provides a tanginess and mellows the pungent flavour of the garlic.

All dressed!

I love the bright reds and greens in the salad. The coriander and parsley really bring out the flavours of the salad ingredients.

Seasoned lamb

I seasoned the lamb with cumin and paprika just before cooking to ensure each piece was coated with the spices.

Cooked lamb topped with fresh mint

Lamb and mint go hand-in-hand, especially in this case as the lamb was seasoned.

Complementary condiments

These condiments improve the flavours of the main dish. By adding the spices to the coconut yoghurt and the pine nuts to the hummus, it really dresses up what could be quite plain condiments.

Dinner is served!

The salad and lamb will both keep in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.

Chopped salad with lamb

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients:

  • 6 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 1 cucumber, washed and diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, washed and diced
  • 1 green capsicum, washed and diced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, washed and chopped
Dressing
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Lamb
  • 2kg grass fed lamb, cubed
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, washed and chopped
To serve
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • Homemade spelt pita crisps or gluten free pita bread
  • Olives
  • Goat cheese
  • Hummus
  • Pine nuts, cumin and olive oil for topping hummus

Method:

  1. Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, capsicum, coriander and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and taste for seasoning.
  3. Add dressing to salad and toss well.
  4. Season lamb with cumin and paprika.
  5. Heat large frying pan over medium heat and cook seasoned lamb in macadamia oil for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Serve on a large dish and garnish with fresh mint.
  7. Sprinkle coconut yoghurt with chili flakes and sumac.
  8. Add pine nuts, cumin and olive oil to hummus.
  9. Serve salad and lamb with spelt pita bread, spiced coconut yoghurt, olives, goat cheese and hummus. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • When entertaining, you can cook the lamb just before your guests arrive and leave on a simmer covered whilst you wait till it’s time to serve.
  • Here’s the spelt pita crisp recipe will be posted tomorrow!

What do you like to make when entertaining guests?

Healthy beef burritos

Everyone seems to love burritos. I remember as a little girl getting so excited to have burritos for dinner, probably because we rarely had them and the fact that you can ‘make your own’.

It’s an easy yet tasty mid-week meal that requires little preparation.

Spiced beef mince

I used a combination of cumin and paprika to give the mince an earthy flavour. This is definitely a healthier alternative to the packaged spices you can buy.

Toppings to choose from

I believe everyone should eat a rainbow a day! I just love the fresh vibrant colours all the vegetables lend this dish.

My burrito bowl

All dishes will keep in the fridge for up to two days either in a sealed container or covered in plastic wrap. Enjoy as a salad for lunch the next day!

Healthy beef burritos

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1kg organic beef mince
  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Toppings and wraps/’bowls’
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce, washed and 1/2 shredded & 1/2 used as ‘bowls’
  • 1/2 red cabbage, washed and 1/2 shredded & 1/2 used as ‘bowls’
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 serving of this guacamole
  • 1/2 cup hummus (I used Yumi’s brand)
  • 4 gluten free wraps

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat place coconut oil, red onion and garlic cloves. Cook for 1 minute. Add mince and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, or until it is all cooked.
  3. Place wraps on lined baking tray and warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin, paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper to the mince and cook for 2 minutes. Place in a bowl to serve.
  5. Place all dishes on the table and enjoy a healthy meal!
What are your favourite healthy burrito toppings?

Lentil chickpea soup with quinoa, pumpkin and spinach

I am a sucker for a hearty soup and with winter fast approaching it definitely makes me want to start cooking them! I find them comforting, very filling and full of essential nutrients. My favourites are pumpkin soup and chicken and vegetable soup, but I think I now have a new favourite!

Pumpkin coated in spices

The spices provide this soup with a rich earthy flavour and when served with the guacamole, the lime really makes the flavours pop.

Full of vegetables

This soup is a great way to use up extra cooked quinoa. Quinoa is full of protein and has a low-GI which is beneficial in keeping blood sugar levels stable.

Winter warming soup

Lentil chickpea soup with quinoa, pumpkin and spinach

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP turmeric
  • 1 TBSP dried coriander leaves
  • 700g pumpkin, washed and diced
  • 6 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1 can green lentils, drained and washed
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Serve with guacamole

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add cumin, turmeric and coriander and cook until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat in spices.
  4. Stir in the vegetable stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add chickpeas and lentils and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft.
  6. Take off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves and quinoa.
  7. Serve with guacamole and enjoy!

Do you have a favourite winter soup flavour?