One benefit of choosing to eat real food is that you’re pressed to find delicious recipes that don’t include sugar and don’t rely on carbohydrates as a filler.
Today I’m going to share three main meal recipes that I’ve been cooking regularly and one yummy smoothie I enjoy every now and then for desert. They’re tasty and simple enough for anyone to make. Even better is that they are healthy!
Spicy Lamb Shanks
A big thanks to Gordon Ramsay for this one. I found his short video on YouTube and decided to give it a whirl. The end result is the tastiest dish I’ve ever served.
Here’s the video with Gordon explaining the process, but I’ve made a couple of changes which I’ll share below.
- 1 x Chilli (red or green). Gordon suggests two chilli’s, but it’s too hot for Jayne.
- 1 x Garlic bulb
- 1 x Large Onion
- 4 x Carrots
- 4 x leaves of Kale with the stems removed
- 2 x Fennel
- 2 x teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 x teaspoon dried oregeno
- 1 x teaspoon cumin seeds
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 x sticks of cinnamon
- Olive oil
- 2 x bay leaves
- A good drop of red wine (I use about 3 or 4 cups)
- Vegetable stock or beef stock works. Vegetable seems to be sweeter.
Gordon doesn’t serve the carrot and onion in the video, but they are super tasty. I also add Fennel in the last 40 minutes and Kale for the last 6 minutes of cooking and push it in the juices. It wilts and gets a tasty coating which removes any bitterness.
One other tip. Gordon says to leave the lid off. I’ve tried this with the lid and without. I find that leaving the lid on for the first two hours keeps the meat more tender. I remove the lid for the last hour to let the liquid reduce which adds more flavour and the meat is delicious.
I found the template for this recipe on food.com and it’s a great base to begin with. Again, I’ve cooked this many times now and made changes to the original recipe.
This recipe is simple and can use cheap cuts of meat as you’re slow cooking it and it becomes really tender.
- 8 x lamb neck OR 4 x chuck steak OR 4 x ossobuco (Side note: The fat in the lamb neck breaks down and makes this dish super tasty)
- 1 x Chilli (red or green)
- 3 x Carrots
- 3 x Potato
- 3 x Sticks of celery
- 1 x Capsicum
- 1 x Onion
- 1 x Garlic bulb
- 1 x Zucchini
- 1 x Handful of frozen beans
- 1 x Handful of frozen peas
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 x tin of diced tomatoes
- 1 x squirt of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 x cup of red wine (any type)
Note: I now omit the flour and sugar from the original recipe and I can’t taste any difference.
Heat a large pot and add your oil. Once hot add your meat and quickly brown. All I do here is get a bit of colour on the meat, then remove it.
Add the onion, garlic and chilli to the oil and stir. Cook that for a few minutes to infuse the oil with flavour.
Add the celery, carrot and potato and cook that for 5 minutes then pour in the tin of tomatoes.
Add your meat back into the pot then add the squirt of Worcestershire sauce and the red wine. Then season with some salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
Put on your lid and keep the heat up until it boils. Then reduce the heat so you have a slow simmer. I switch positions on my hotplate and use the smallest size burner to simmer as the larger burner gives off too much heat and causes the food to stick to the bottom of the pan.
I then set my alarm for 30 – 45 minutes and stir everything keeping an eye on the heat so everything is simmering nicely.
Let it cook for 2 and a half hours. You’ll notice there’s a lot of liquid in the pan which has come out of all the vegetables. At this point, I remove the lid and add the remaining vege’s like Zucchini, beans and peas. Keep the lid off and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the liquid steams off, you’ll want to stir more frequently.
The bonus with this dish is if you cook extra you can refrigerate the leftovers. I think it tastes as good or better the next day (perfect for lunch).
Salmon with Honey and Soy
Both of the above recipes take about three hours to cook, which is OK if you’re home for a while and don’t mind checking on it every now and then. But then there are times I want something simple and quick to make.
This is that dish. I love fish and Salmon is right up there as a favourite – raw or cooked.
For this, I buy 4 x salmon steaks from Catalano’s Seafood. It costs $25 so it’s not a cheap meal – but it gives me a fish fix so I make this every couple of weeks.
4 x Salmon steaks
1 x cup of soy sauce
1 x teaspoon ginger paste
1 x teaspoon garlic paste
1 x squeeze of lemon juice
1 x teaspoon of honey
1 x handful of pine nuts
Mix the soy sauce, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice and honey in a plastic container that can fit all four salmon steaks. Then add the salmon and let it marinade for up to 20 minutes. If you want to cook it straight away that’s OK too – it will still be delicious.
Turn the oven on your highest setting and when hot place the salmon in a cooking dish and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
Put the pine nuts in a fry pan and toast them for a few minutes.
Serve with a garden salad.
Mmmmm. Simply and delicious!
Banana and Date Smoothie
OK now something for desert. Probably not your typical desert but it’s something sweet and given I no longer have ice cream this is a nice end to a great evening meal.
I simply add one banana, two dates (without the seed) and a pinch of cinnamon in with some Almond milk and blend it all up.
We were gifted with one of those Nutribullets you see on TV, and this makes a perfect single serve.
One thing I wasn’t aware of was the effect of cinnamon. Apparently in a study, researchers found that cinnamon cut cholesterol by 18% and blood sugar levels by 24%. It also has a nice sweet taste, but without the drawbacks. So cinnamon is quickly becoming one of my favourite natural sweeteners.