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Posts Tagged ‘greek yogurt’

I have to admit that as a child, I barely ate any vegetables. Peas, potatoes and salad veg were about all I would have without a fight and I certainly wouldn’t entertain anything slightly more exotic, like a carrot for example…

Fast forward to many, MANY years later, and yes, I will pretty much eat most vegetables. My taste has matured and I have even been eating broccoli and brussel sprouts for the last eight years or so. I am still however, slightly wary of some vegetables and when I was approached to take on the Think you know Beetroot challenge, I had to be honest and let them know that as a child I absolutely totally DID NOT LIKE beetroot. Since then, I haven’t touched it either, even though my parents are huge advocates of this very dark purple fleshy vegetable!

I took delivery of this stunning box of three different types of beetroot. Cooked natural beetroot, vacuum packed with no added flavours, cooked beetroot in mild vinegar and last but certainly not least, the fiery Sweetfire beetroot, baby beetroot cooked and infused with a marinade of chilli, oil and white wine vinegar! There are plenty of ideas on the LOVE BEETROOT website which show an incredible versatility of this contender.

 

After much deliberation, I decided to give the Beetroot a slight Middle Eastern/Mediterranean kick and used some of my favourite ingredients to mix up with it. I am pleasantly surprised by just exactly what you can prepare with beetroot and even in ancient times, it was used as a medicine to treat conditions such as headaches and toothache – for those of you who know I suffer with toothache constantly, this is a bonus! For the ladies, it is also low in calories and rich in folate!

For my first experiment I added three chopped Sweetfire beetroot to 250g strained greek yogurt, mixed in one tablespoon of honey and topped it with pumpkin seeds and more chopped beetroot. Served with flat bread, this was a tantalising taste on the tongue of the chilli mixed with the honey and the natural sweetness of the beetroot. I thoroughly enjoyed the taste and found I wasn’t shying away from eating more and more of this fresh and tingly dip.

I then decided to use a bit more of the Sweetfire beetroot as it immediately became my favourite, with a homemade chunky hummus.

For this dip you need:

1 tin of cooked chick peas

2 tbsp tahina (sesame seed paste like mix found in most eastern/asian stores)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 whole walnuts, crushed, or a handful of pistachios, shelled and crushed

salt to taste

Blend the above ingredients just enough to leave a few chick pea bits to make the hummus chunky. Add 3 chopped Sweetfire beetroot topped with crushed walnuts or pistachio and serve with crudites or chips.

Finally, to end the insanely hot week of summer at the end of september, I chose to make a salad, using the cooked beetroot in mild vinegar.

For the salad, you need:

A few handfuls of watercress (to line the bottom of the plate)

One small yellow pepper chopped into medium chunks

Half a tin of broad beans, skin on

5 beetroot cooked in mild vinegar

Olive oil

Toss the salad ingredients together, drizzle with olive oil and chill for an hour before serving.

If you want an extra zing for this salad, just add an extra capful of vinegar over it before chilling. I have certainly had fun trying out the Beetroot and have a couple more recipes to share with you in part two coming later in the week. Don’t forget you can go to the website at Love Beetroot and enjoy creating all the fabulous recipes they have there from burgers to cupcakes! You can also follow them on Twitter @LoveBeetroot and make sure you use the hashtag #Thinkyouknowbeetroot to say HI to the gang and spread the word!!

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Otherwise known as Khoresht e Bamiyeh (khoresht-casserole, bamiyeh-okra) in Iran, this is a simple dish to make and extremely tasty but be warned it needs a good couple of hours to simmer away so the meat cooks nicely and is very tender.

It’s even good for the children because even though they won’t eat the okra, it oozes it’s juices and goodness into the casserole sauce, giving it a nice simple spicy flavour that they will enjoy! I even get away with mashing an okra or two up for my little ones!

 Enjoy!

Diced Lamb Casserole with Okra

700g Diced lamb (preferably shoulder, not leg)

400g firm okra, washed

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions.  Fry until golden brown, then add the turmeric, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  Continue to fry on a high heat for 5 minutes then add the lamb. 

Keep stirring the lamb into the onion mixture making sure it is all covered, bring the heat down to medium and allow the meat to cook for 20 minutes whilst stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add the chopped tomatoes, and cover with water.  Bring it to the boil then simmer for 60 minutes.

After the 60 minutes, add the okra, (putting it in too early will result in a mush of okra) and simmer for a further 40 minutes or until the lamb is nice and soft.

Serve alongside white rice and some cool fresh yogurt or greek yogurt!

 Note:  You can substitute the lamb for beef, but increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes.  If you prefer vegetarian, cook your preferred vegetables along WITH the okra for about 25 minutes or until cooked.

You can make this in the slow cooker but be aware that the flavours come from frying the onion along with the spices and meat for 20 minutes before cooking.  It won’t taste exactly the same but will still be a delicious meal all the same!

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Yesterday was a busy day for me.  I had the in-laws coming around for tea and cake (like, TOTALLY shop bought) and I had a lot of washing and ironing to do (just call me the last minute homemaker!) On top of this my youngest is sick (we had a throw up festival) and I decided that I was going to completely overhaul and sort out my daughter’s room as well.

I had put out some lamb the night before and the last thing that I really wanted to do was to cook a huge meal and stand over it, stirring and making sure it didn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn or anything SO I brought out my trusty three litre slow cooker and here is what I finally decided upon!

 

I had previously bought half a leg of lamb from the butchers, chopped into medium sized casserole pieces INCLUDING the bone.  You can either leave that out and make a soup stock later or cook it in the casserole like I do for added flavour.  I split the half leg of lamb into two as there are two adults and two children, aged 5 and under who don’t eat huge portions. I recommend using fresh ginger and garlic but the *lazy* or ground varieties will work just as well if you can’t get to the shops.

Ingredients

Half a leg of lamb (to serve 4 adults), fat off, chopped into medium sized casserole chunks

1 onion, diced

300g green beans chopped about 1 inch long

2 tbsp cooking oil

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients into the slow cooker and put it on high.  Serve with white fluffy rice and greek yogurt. You can use beef if you don’t like lamb and you can also try the same thing with diced chicken breast as well.

Enjoy!

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