Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 6

Getting in early because I already have a couple of recipes I have tried and would like to share. I started the morning with a lamb tagine simmering on the stove - TO DIE FOR!

Lamb Tagine with Prunes (adapted from "Lunch in Paris" by Elizabeth Bard")

800g - 1 kg lamb chunks (I used lamb leg steaks chopped up, but any stewing type would be fine)
5 tbsp olive oil
S & P
2 medium onions
1/4 cup freshly grated ginger (slightly less if you are not going to let this sit for a few hours/overnight)
3 whole cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups white wine (I used OJ which I reckon was soooooo much better)
1 cup water
300g dried prunes

Brown off the meat (seasoned generously) in batches using half the olive oil and put aside. Put in remainder of oil and add in onions, ginger, and cinnamon sticks. Saute till the onions are soft and golden, about 10 mins. Return the meat, add wine/juice & water, and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and either simmer very gently on low heat on stove or cook in 160 degree oven for an hour. Give a stir, add the prunes, and cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hrs till meat and prunes are falling apart. Leave in the fridge for a few hours so the sweetness of the prunes has time to mellow the ginger in the sauce. Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans.

I was a bit turned off by the idea of the prunes, and was going to use dates, but thought "nah, will give it a go" and was so glad I did because it just works perfectly and by the time it's cooked you wouldn't know what it was! I told the kids it was plums (which of course they are).

And now for ........... SOUP OF THE WEEK! This is the Hearty Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary by Giada de Laurentiis.

This was another nice soup and I dolloped a blob of sundried tom pesto in the middle rather than the sour cream. So good to freeze too. I had this for dinner on "Soup & Pasta" night while the rest of the family had pasta with the sundried tomato pesto and chicken.

That night I had a killer of a headache. It had been an oppressively hot and humid day and I'd been in and out of the air con so I assume it was because of this. I had had a picky day - but mainly at the pestos I had and a bit of the sugar-free choc cake I'd made for the kids. I only had a small piece so cannot imagine that would have made a huge difference. The drugs I took, however hit me really hard - 7 hrs later and I am still feeling the after affects!

Sugar-free Choc Cake
400 grams deseeded dates (very finely chopped or blended in processor)
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup vege oil
1/2 apple juice concentrate
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour (I used 1 cup plain, 1 cup brown rice flour)
1 cup carob powder/ cacao powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 cup milk (or soy/rice milk)

Pre-heat oven to 170 celcius. Cover dates in bigger bowl with boiling water and mix in bicarb. Leave to cool. Add in oil, and juice concentrate and vanilla and it will start to froth as you mix. Sift together the dry ingredients and then take turns adding the dry and milk to the date mixture as you fold it all together. It is a very wet mix! Pour into prepared cake tin or loaf tin (greased or lined with paper) and bake for 55 mins, using a wooden skewer to check if it is cooked thru.

I pulled mine out a little early and the middle of the cake was still a bit gooey. I sliced it and then put it on a plate covered in alfoil to cook thru properly - still super, super moist and sweet. It really tastes like a rich mud cake! My older kids liked it, the younger ones thought it too sweet - 1/2 a piece (from a loaf tin) is quite enough.

And tonight is Fish/vegetarian night. Being one of my busiest days, I got dinner ready last night - Salmon & Veges cooked in Parcels! I lay out 6 sheets of alfoil (fairly long - maybe 60cm each) and then a piece of baking paper about half the size, centred on the alfoil. I julienned 1 carrot and zuchini and lay a little bed of them in the middle of the paper, along with a few sugar snap peas. I then placed a piece of salmon on top of them and seasoned the fish with salt, pepper and dried thyme. To create a sauce I pour on a splash of olive oil, and a generous squeeze of orange juice and lemon juice. A slice of lemon on top and then you wrap the fish up very tightly but still leaving a little room for the steam that will puff it up. This is such an easy way to cook, and the fish and veges are steamed perfectly and the most delectable sauce is created which keeps it all so moist. Yum, but will let you know how the kids take it - whatever happens I will be grateful for leftovers!

I'm loving being back at gym but will only be going twice this week, and will get back into the 3 times a wk routine next week. Hence, my weight loss will stall no doubt. I did enjoy a nice fresh salad for lunch today - slices of orange, very finely sliced fennel bulb, some slivers of red onion, some avo and a dressing of a little mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Garnish with chopped walnuts - extremely healthy and a good dose of Vit C, raw food and good fats.


  1. 1 more kg off this week; reckon my metabolism has kicked in. Had some pieces of 70% choc and now have bad headache and sore throat. GRRRRRR. And yes, when you are eating healthier, pain-killers do knock you around more. Will have to try the cake and/or peanut bikkies.

  2. Oops, looks like I can blame both the choc and the headache on my period. Wish I had an excuse for the sore throat???