Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad
serves 4 (as a main)
This is such a tasty meal! If you don’t want to use meat it is delicious without the lamb as a vegetarian main meal or zesty side dish.
What you will need:
- 500 grams (1.5 pounds) diced lamb marinated for as long as possible (ideally overnight but 1-2 hours is fine) in the marinade listed below
- 1 eggplant (aubergine) diced
- 1 zucchini (courgette) diced
- 1 punnet (150 grams or 5 ounces) button mushrooms halved
- ¼ jap pumpkin (about 1 ½ cups) diced
- Olive oil for roasting
- Extra freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving (optional)
- 2 tablespoons pesto (see recipe below or you can find it on my website here.) It’s worth making your own – this has a delicious kick of lemon that goes beautifully with this salad.
- Baby spinach leaves
- Feta Cheese (optional)
For the Lamb Marinade
Shake or whisk the following ingredients together:
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon good quality minced garlic)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
How to pull it together:
Toss the eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin and mushrooms in a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.
When the veggies have about 10 minutes to go (i.e. after about 30 minutes) start cooking the lamb until browned. (you can either pan-fry or barbeque the lamb). It is best to do this in batches so it doesn’t stew in the marinade. When ready, toss with the roasted veggies and add a couple of tablespoons pesto and stir through.
Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves and top with some chopped feta cheese (if using)
If you like you can add an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.
The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto
- 1/4 cup pine nuts dry roasted (you can do this in the oven on some baking paper or in a non-oiled pan on the stove – keep an eye on them – they can burn quickly!)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 small garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons good quality organic minced garlic)
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
How to pull it together:
Place the pine nuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Gradually add the olive oil while the motor is running in a thin stream until well combined.
If using a Thermomix:
Put an approximately 65 gram (2 ounce) chunk of Parmesan into the mixing bowl and blitz, speed 10 for about 8 seconds or until evenly grated.
Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix speed 6 for about 3 seconds or until it reaches your preferred consistency.
You will end up with a deliciously chunky pesto.
The slow cooker is a brilliant invention – especially at this time of year when we are craving hearty stews and soups. You put everything in and it basically takes care of itself. Throw it together at breakfast time on a low heat or lunchtime on high heat, and then by dinner you have a delicious, healthy, home cooked meal and extra to freeze – such a bonus! If you don’t have a slow cooker though, you can still make these shanks (see below).
This is one of the first slow cooker meals I put together and incidentally one of the first recipes that we introduced whilst seeing the Food Coach in the early days of our lifestyle change (so it has her tick of approval too). It is simple, healthy and very tasty! I love serving this with a sweet potato mash and some greens e.g. asparagus. It is really so comforting during the winter months. This also freezes beautifully (we think it actually tastes better after being frozen) so I usually make with 4 shanks at a time. I won’t say the kids love it (my kids don’t really love much in the way of variety!) but they did eat it – which says something (I made my sneaky cauliflower and potato mash for them – see here!).
Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks
(serves 4 adults plus a few kids if they aren’t big eaters (or eat half and freeze half)
You will need
- 4 lamb shanks
- 2 can tomatoes (diced or whole – depending on how you like it)
- 2 tbs of fresh oregano leaves
- 2 cup of brown lentils
- 2 Cups stock (watch the cooker – if it gets dry then add some more). If you can make your own beef stock – perfect! I use my homemade chicken stock (which I also regularly make in the slow cooker – recipe here)
- 1-2 tbs of brown sugar (not necessary if you don’t want to use it – you could even try some raw honey for sweetness if you like)
- 4 carrots peeled and halved lengthwise or some halved button mushrooms (optional)
How to pull it together
Throw the whole lot in the cooker (you can brown the shanks if you like. I used to (it made me feel a bit domestic goddessy!!!) but I don’t bother anymore and they are just as good.
Cook on low all day or high from lunchtime until dinner.
(If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook these in a 200 oven. Add all ingredients except lentils – cook for 45 minutes, turn the shanks, add lentils and cook for further 45 minutes or until lamb is soft.)
Serve with mashed sweet potato, cauliflower rice and/or steamed greens and enjoy! XX
My friend Robyn runs a cooking demonstration/catering business called Mimi’s Kitchen – you can find her here. She has many delicious recipes in her repertoire but this tasty salad is truly sensational. I made it the first time for hubby a little while ago and he said it was one of the best things he’s ever eaten! If you don’t want to use yoghurt you can whisk up some hummus with lemon juice and a bit of tahini for a dairy free dressing.
Lamb, Lentil and Tahini Salad
What you will need:
400g lamb (either lamb steaks, loin or back straps)
1 leek, halved and finely sliced
250g sliced mushrooms
2 zucchini, halved and cut into crescents
1 bunch asparagus (chopped into 2 cm pieces)
1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed well
salt and pepepr
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
Juice of a lemon
Large handful of mixed leaves (spinach, rocket work well)
How to pull it together:
1. Generously sprinkle sumac, salt and pepper on both sides of the lamb.
2. In a large pan, heat some olive oil and garlic, then add the leek and fry until translucent and starting to brown. Add the zucchini, asparagus and mushrooms and continue to fry until they soften (about 10 minutes).
3. In a separate pan (or on the bbq – this is my preferred option) cook the lamb for a few minutes on either side until cooked through, but tender. Set aside and slice into thin pieces. (try not to eat it all at this stage – it is very yummy!)
4. Meanwhile, whisk the tahini yoghurt and lemon juice in a small bowl with some sumac, salt and pepper.
5. On a platter/in a largebowl place the mixed leaves, followed by the vegetables. Add the lentils, then the lamb. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.
Mmmm cooking up the veggies …
Enjoy – and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby and instagram @theshrinkinghubby!
I discussed some healthy snack options for our kids (here) a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be helpful to talk about some food ideas for us too! If you want to lose weight the worst thing you can do is stop eating. Our bodies need to be constantly fuelled to keep our metabolism going. A healthy day of eating would ideally involve lemon water upon waking followed by a hearty breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner. Don’t forget to keep drinking water – at least 2-3 litres a day – often your body mistakes thirst for hunger making you eat more …
I often get asked what Andrew and I eat so I thought I’d give you a brief overview. It seems like a lot of food but keep portion sizes small. Also keep in mind that we exercise almost every day so we need to replenish our bodies. It’s long but I thought it was important to get the full day in.
Starting your day with a big glass of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon in it is such a great way to flush out and detox your body. I must admit until I recently started drinking my lemon water I was sceptical. However I have definitely noticed higher energy levels since I have been doing this.
Breakfast is SO important. If you tell your body (by not eating when you wake up in the morning) that it needs to go into famine mode you will start the day feeling sluggish and tired as your metabolism slows right down leaving the path open for unhealthy food choices during the day as you try to eat some energy back. Much better to start with a hearty and healthy breakfast to get your energy levels going from the beginning of your day. You will feel satisfied which will make you less tempted to make unhealthy choices.
I’ve already given you some delicious suggestions for breakfast e.g. a toasted mountain bread wrap (see here), quinoa porridge (see here), or healthy pancakes (see here). Another great breakfast is an omelette (with 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites) or poached eggs with mushrooms, tomato, avocado and spinach.
You don’t have to make a big deal about breakfast though. A good quality muesli (preferably without dried fruit) topped with some greek yogurt and berries, or some rye or spelt toast with avocado, hummus or a healthy nut butter (check out your health food section in the supermarket) are also tasty and easy options.
Mid Morning and Mid afternoon Snacks
These snacks are great! Always try to incorporate protein in your snacks to help satisfy you for longer.
Here are my favourite snacks (note that they all contain some form of protein):
- 2 Brown rice cakes with avocado and cottage cheese or hummus and avocado. (choose the rice cakes that contain puffed brown rice only. NOT the flavoured ones that are full of artificial junk.
- A couple of hard boiled eggs.
- Some greek yoghurt and berries (fruit best consumed in the morning because of its sugar content)
- A good quality protein bar – I love the protein bars from 180 nutrition as they are made only from superfoods rather than artificial junk.
- Protein shake – again I try to avoid the protein powders that have chemicals in them. 180 nutrition has a great protein powder but I love the sunwarrior one – have 2 scoops of chocolate with a banana, a tablespoon of macca powder (another superfood) and water. (Sometimes I have this shake for breakfast)
- An apple and 10 almonds
- 100 grams of chicken or turkey breast or smoked salmon
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- A small tin of flavoured tuna (again make sure you choose the naturally flavoured ones – i.e. the chilli, lemon and cracked pepper and zesty vinegrette are all healthy options)
Here are some suggestions of things I like to eat for lunch:
- Chicken or tuna and salad
- Mountain bread wraps either my toasted chicken wrap (here) or tuna and salad
- My yummy chicken quinoa recipe (here)
- Tuna with ½ cup brown rice or quinoa and spinach, lemon and chilli
- Homemade soup
We try not to eat starchy carbohydrates for dinner most nights of the week – e.g. pasta, potatoes, rice etc. Once in a while we allow ourselves a treat such as my healthy lamb pizza (here) but most of the time dinner is protein and vegetables – think delicious marinades for your meat and big healthy salads, stir fries, soups, bakes. I have already shared some yummy dinners such as my spicy lamb mince (here), salmon with haloumi and lentil salad (here), and the delicious piri piri roast lamb (here). I have so many more yummy recipes to come – so stay tuned!!!
If you got through all of that – well done!!! Feel free to comment or ask any questions – I love hearing from you!
My sister sent me this amazing recipe which I made for friends on the weekend and then again last night. It is so healthy and delicious that I simply had to share! It’s quick, easy and will become part of your regular repertoire I promise!
Piri Piri Lamb with Eggplant and Pumpkin (serves 2)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Garlic cloves (crushed)
2 tsp piri piri seasoning (Keep in mind this is a spicy seasoning if you are doubling the marinade. I have used both Masterfoods piri piri seasoning and Herbies Peri Peri seasoning. The Herbies one was much hotter than Masterfoods so maybe only use 1 tsp if this is the one you want to use).
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
Whisk the above ingredients together (or shake up in a jar)
1 eggplant diced (I sliced the eggplant lengthwise and salted it for 10 minutes before patting dry and dicing – this drains the bitter juices)
1/4 Kent pumpkin diced (You could use Kumera/Sweet Potato instead of pumpkin)
1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)
Lamb rack (I usually serve 4 cutlets to a person)
(you could also use lamb cutlets, lamb chops, backstrap, lamb loin etc…)
Brush lamb with marinade.
Toss 1/2 of the marinade with eggplant and pumpkin.
Cook eggplant and pumpkin for 20 minutes at about 180 degrees.
At this point put the marinated lamb rack in the oven for 15 minutes (and cook the veggies for a further 15 minutes at the same time.) If using lamb cutlets/chops or back strap you could BBQ or pan fry at this point.
Take out the veggies (after total of 35 minutes) and toss with chickpeas then cook for further 5 mins.
(At this point I blanched a bunch of asparagus to go with it)
Serve lamb on bed of veggies and drizzle with remaining marinade (with added chopped parsley if desired) over top. Could serve with a dollop of hummus if you wanted to – we did and it was yummy!
So easy and so delicious – enjoy!