Banting day 1…

Oh dear, I didn’t fully ‘bant’ today… {blush}
Like I said, cupcakes will always hold a special place in my heart {and stomach} and I today I baked some delicious chocolate frosted cupcakes for a friend visiting from the States. But, apart from the 2 cupcakes I had today, I did pretty well!
{Look, I’ve been eating really well for the past year, almost completely cutting out all carbs such as pastas, rice, bread, potatoes and the likes, it’s just this past month during the festive season that I’ve had a bit of bread here and there, along with some other baddies… And you won’t believe, but I’ve been feeling so horrible and sluggish, so it’s time now for a clean start and renewed good eating habits – NOT DIETING.}
Tonight we had lamb chops with a chili rub, a tomato & cucumber salsa and grilled asparagus. Yum.

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For the lamb chops:
I started off by squeezing a fresh lemon onto the lamb chops and a bit of freshly ground sea salt. You need lemon with lamb chops.
For the rub, I toasted coriander seeds in a hot pan and ground those in a mortar and pestle, along with yellow mustard seeds, a fresh bird’s eye chili, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, white pepper, garlic and a bit of salt. Just grind it until it’s all mushed together and you get that great aroma – you’ll just know.
Rub the chops with the rub mixture and let it sit for about an hour before grilling.
You want to get the grill {we use a Big Green Egg, but a Weber or a regular old braai will also do. You could also use a griddle pan on the stove, but then you don’t get all the flavour…} nice and hot – to about 180C. Grill the chops for roughly 20mins {10mins each side} until they’re a golden brown and the fat has started to render nicely.

For the salsa:
Keep it simple – just chop up a few tomatoes {any variety will do, but a Roma tomato is always a great and flavorful option}, about half a cucumber and fresh sweet basil leaves. Toss with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Season with salt.

For the asparagus:
Heat a heavy griddle pan on the stove and add a few dollops of butter. When the butter has melted and the pan is hot, add the asparagus {remember to rinse them!} and grill until you get some golden char marks. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt.

Voila – nice and simple, fresh and delicious – and super healthy too!
Enjoy! X

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Summer Lamb Roast

Ah – the Sunday roast… Surely a tradition in most homes?

With meat-galore and starchy side dishes until the cows come home… To me, the traditional Sunday Roast lunch is more suited to Winter – a kind of comfort meal.

So what to do when it’s Summer or Spring and you feel like making a roast? Well, just skip the heavy side dishes and focus on light and bright salads and veg.

My perfect Summer Roast Lamb:

Roast lamb with a herby rub {sea salt, rosemary, garlic, mustard, black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, lemon zest, nutmeg and bay leaf}

Steamed asparagus with garlic, butter and sea salt

Minty green salad {granny smith apples, mint leaves & cucumber}

Mint dressing for both salad & lamb {fresh mint, whole coriander seeds, apple cider vinegar & honey}

What you need to do:

Rub a leg of lamb (I used 1.3kg leg) with olive oil and your rub mixture an hour or more before cooking for all the flavours to absorb into the meat as much as possible. You can make your own rub with the above ingredients, or buy a ready-made version. I used the Lamb Rub from Woolies – simply divine.

Place the lamb in an oven dish (no lid) and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs at 180C – in an oven, Weber or Big Green Egg. I used the Egg of course! {We actually cooked the lamb directly on the grill and used a drip tray underneath, so you get a nice golden crust on all sides of the meat!}

For your salad, cut an apple and cucumber into thin slices and add a handful of roughly chopped mint. {Each person can add their own dressing}

For the asparagus, break off the woody end bit off the stems and steam or boil with a tbs of butter and chopped garlic clove until just cooked. They should still be crunchy Рplease, no  and limp asparagus!

For the dressing:

Grind a handful of mint leaves and a tsp of coriander seeds in a mortar & pestle until you have a course paste. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and a tbs of honey. Mix well and keep in a little jug for serving.

Keep an eye on the lamb and don’t let it dry out. It should be moist and juicy and just the teensiest bit pink.

Serve with a Chardonnay and enjoy! X

Summer Lamb Roast

Summer Lamb Roast