Cooking deelitefully

Welcome to  the deelitefull blog.  I am a cooking and nutrition coach based in Dublin, Ireland.   Food should both taste great and make you feel great. My experience of some healthy eating guides & books is that they can be a little worthy, bland and humourless. Eating should always be a pleasure both to the senses and to the soul. There is nothing worse than eating a meal and feeling like you need a crane to hoist you out of your chair but on the other hand there is nothing more dreary than a meal that is assessed purely on the reduced calories and fat grams it contains. So on this blog you can follow my search for delicious healthy recipes with soul.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter lamb - something different to try

Easter salad

The weather is being very kind to us this Easter.  So I was thinking rather than a traditional Lamb roast  for Easter dinner why not try something different and a little better suited to the sunshine. Though now I have said that,  wait for the rain clouds to roll in.  
This recipe also ticks a couple of other boxes ,  its cheap to make,  its reasonably healthy and you won’t need to roll out of your chair after eating it.  Handy also,  if you only have to feed a small number.  The recipe makes plenty for 4 but if you are feeding less than that ,  it tastes just as good the next day cold,  as you dress the cous cous rather than the salad leaves.  
Its based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall but of course,  as usual I couldn’t leave well enough alone and have changed the recipe a little.  Adding in some extra treats like pomegranates (  god,  I really need to let them go....... their is season is well over....I just happened to have one in the house to use up ;-)  )
 I also add extra spice to the meatballs and used pistachio nuts rather than his suggested walnuts ,  not only cos I love the colour but I was all out of walnuts.  Same with Bulgar wheat, so used wholemeal cous cous instead.    I used smoked sea salt for an added dimension but this really isn’t necessary,  common or garden sea salt is just fine.
Happy Easter Dx
Warm Lamb meatball salad
For the meatballs
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Large pinch of dried oregano
Large pinch of cinnamon
A few grinds of nutmeg
500g minced lamb
40g fine white breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
150g cous cous - wholemeal if you can get it
2 handfuls rocket or baby spinach or both
3 spring onions, finely chopped
50g pistachios roughly chopped
1 small handful mint leaves, shredded
For the dressing
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus a little more for trickling over the salad
Juice of half a small lemon
1/2 tsp sumac ( this is a lemony middle-eastern spice,  lemon zest can be substituted)
3 - 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. 
In a frying pan over a medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for about 5 minutes until slightly browned. Tip into a large bowl and set aside.
Sweat the onion in the olive oil in the frying pan over a low heat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander, and sauté for a couple of minutes more. Tip into the sesame seed bowl and stir in the dried oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg.
 Add the lamb and breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg with the pomegranate molasses and pour over the lamb. Season generously and mix with your hands until well combined.
Roll the mixture into balls about the size of walnuts – you should have about 18 balls. Place on the baking sheet(s) as you go, making sure they're not crowded together, then bake for about 10- 12 minutes, until golden and just cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the rest of the salad. Cook the cous cous as directed on packet.  
Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake. While the cous cous is still warm, trickle the dressing  and fork it through.

When the meatballs are ready, toss with the cous cous, rocket and/or spinach, spring onions, pistachio and herbs. Trickle over a little more pomegranate molasses, sprinkle on a little more mint and parsley and the pomegranate seeds( arils), and serve.