Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

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.

Enjoy!

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini ‘Noodles’

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini ‘Noodles’

This dish was seriously tasty and super quick and easy.  I’d been craving pesto spaghetti and this really did the trick without the refined carbs.  My pesto recipe uses lemon juice so the tangy flavour works brilliantly with the salmon, although if you didn’t want the fish you could have a bowl of the Pesto Zucchini noodles on their own too!

I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Serves 2

What you will need:

2 Salmon fillets

About 1 cup of the Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto (link here or see below) (you may wish to use more or less depending on your taste)

4 Zucchinis (courgettes) topped and tailed

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Lemon wedges (if using) to serve

How to bring it together

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser.  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.

When ready to prepare the meal, you can either barbeque or pan fry the salmon (brush with a little olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper).

Meanwhile heat the pesto in a fry pan or wok, when warm, add the noodles and toss until they are coated and the noodles are heated.

Place the noodles on a plate and top with the salmon.  Sprinkle with some chilli and serve with a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Enjoy!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto

What you will need:

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 (I used my Thermomix) and process until finely chopped.  Gradually add the olive oil while the motor is running in a thin stream until well combined.

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

Here is a wonderful light and healthy salad/side dish.  We have had this to accompany a barbecue or alongside a roast chicken instead of the usual roast veggies.  It is simple and quick to prepare, tastes delicious and looks so beautiful!

Eggplant, Rocket (Arugula) and Pine Nut Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini Dressing

(serves 4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 2 eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sumac
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon good quality organic minced garlic)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • A few handfuls of baby rocket (arugula)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves (I use flat leaf parsley)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (toasted)

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (or more if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

How to pull it together:

Slice the eggplants lengthwise about 1 cm (1/4 inch) thick.  (I got about 4-5 per eggplant).  Sprinkle liberally with some sea salt and let sit for about 10 minutes.  You will see the salt will draw out the juices from the eggplant.  Wipe the salt and these juices off with a paper towel.

With a sharp knife score the eggplant diagonally.

Mix together the sumac, olive oil, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Brush over the scored eggplant.  Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

In the meantime, whisk or shake together the ingredients for the dressing.

Once the eggplant is cooked, lay the slices out on your serving platter.  Top with rocket (arugula) and parsley and pour the dressing over.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve!

Enjoy X

 

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Part 1

Over summer I posted an article about how to get creative with your salads.  If you want to have a look you can check it out here. I thought now, since  the weather has been a bit colder and we have been enjoying our winter veggies, that  I would share a few ways that we have been cooking them.

1.  Turmeric Cauliflower

Oh my!  I made this as an alternative to potatoes.  It was so simple, yet really tasty.  This went brilliantly with a beef curry I made, but you could just as easily serve it with anything.  It would really jazz up a roast chicken!

I chopped half a head of cauliflower into florets and boiled it in some salted water to which I added 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.  I boiled for 5 minutes.  Then I drained the cauliflower and tossed in a little olive oil (although coconut oil would also work really well here) and baked in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes or until nicely roasted.

turmericcauliflower2.  Cinnamon Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet potato, sea salt and cinnamon is a match made in heaven!  Chop up a sweet potato, lightly coat in olive oil (or coconut oil) and sprinkle with some cinnamon and sea salt.  Soooo yummy!

cinnamonsweetpot3.  Eggplant and Tomato Bake

I posted my recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Bake here.  It is so versatile – goes brilliantly with chicken, fish, my healthy schnitzel (recipe here), steak – or even by itself as an entree.  For Thermomix owners – I have adapted the sauce recipe so that it is Thermomix friendly.

bubabefore

4.  Pumpkin/Cauliflower mash

This is what I use to top my shepherds pie (recipe here).  It is so simple and delicious.  Much more flavour than mashed potato and much better for you.   I have also included a Thermomix version of this recipe here too.

What you will need:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)

How to pull it together:

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust:

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin and about 1/2 cup of water and a tablespoon of Thermomix vegetable stock for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

5.  Spiced Roast Veggies

Although these make a perfect side dish, this is my current favourite ‘light’ dinner. If I feel that we have over-indulged I’ll make this for hubby and I to have for dinner.  I always wake up feeling cleaner and lighter.

Chop up a variety of your favourite veggies – I like to use whole button mushrooms, diced eggplant, cauliflower florets, zucchini (courgettes) and pumpkin.  A couple of chopped tomatoes would be nice too.  I toss the veggies in some olive oil with about a teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground corriander, turmeric, sea salt, chilli flakes and cumin – but feel free to play around with the quantities of the spices.  It’s a great blend!

If you like you could add a dollop of pesto (my recipe for basil pesto is here) or even some hummus or a little creme fraiche (a little bit goes a long way).

I hope you enjoy some of these ideas, my repertoire is constantly expanding so watch out for the sequel to this post :)

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Greens

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Greens

This is one of my favourite go to meals.  It is quick, easy, tasty and healthy – so it ticks all boxes!  The coconut oil gives it a delicious coconutty flavour.  I love making this on the weekend for us for lunch, or it makes the perfect lazy dinner.  I love it with quinoa, but it is delicious with brown rice too …

Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Spinach

(serves 2 – but easily halved/multiplied depending on how many you are feeding)

What you will need:

1 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked brown rice if you prefer) *

2 fillets of fresh salmon

1 tablespoon coconut oil

a couple of big handfuls baby spinach leaves or rocket (arugula), or  baby kale works well too

Fresh lemon juice (to taste)

Salt and pepper (and chilli flakes or sambal to taste)

How to cook your quinoa:

In a saucepan add in a ratio of 1:2 quinoa and liquid.  (I.e. 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).  Bring to the boil and reduce heat.  Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  You should end up with fluffy perfectly cooked quinoa.  (You can cook with a squeeze of lemon juice, some grated lemon zest, or in chicken stock for extra flavour if you like.)

I like using both white and red quinoa, but whatever you can get your hands on is fine.

How to pull it together:

Steam the salmon fillets for 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking.  You could also poach in boiling water for 5 minutes.  When done,  chop it up or pull apart into flakes with a knife and fork.

In a large pan heat the coconut oil.  Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and toss until well coated.  Toss through the flaked salmon, greens and lemon juice and stir until the spinach has slightly wilted.

Divide into bowls and serve with more lemon juice and chilli (if desired).

Enjoy XX

 

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