Roast Vegetable and Lamb Salad with Tangy Mint Dressing

Salads can be served warm, they don’t have to use standard “salad” ingredients and you can turn them into a filling and wholesome meal. I love Lamb salads, backstrap is such a lovely cut of meat and suits these types of salads so well.
They don’t require many ingredients but are packed full of flavour. Make sure you are using quality ingredients – organic and in season where possible.

Roast Vegetable and Lamb Salad

1 portion Lamb back strap.
1 Carrot – halved lengthways and chopped.
1/4 Red Capsicum – cut into chunks.
1/2 Brown Onion – cut into chunks.
2 Zucchini – peeled into ribbons with vegetable peeler.
1tsp Coconut Oil – for roasting.
1tsp Ghee – for roasting.
Salt and Pepper to season.

Refer to Tangy Mint Dressing Recipe – one serve.

Add Oil and Ghee to an oven safe frying pan and place into a preheated 200 degree oven until hot.
Remove pan and add Onion, Capsicum, Carrot and season before placing back into oven to roast off for 15mins or half cooked.
Remove from oven and place onto high heat on stove.
Add Lamb and sear off on all sides, return to oven.
Cook in oven for 5mins (or until Lamb is cooked to your preference) and remove to rest.
Then peel your Zucchini into a deep bowl and pour over boiling water.
Remove Zucchini immediately onto paper towel then transfer into bowl.
Add half your dressing, then add roast vegetables and Lamb.
Pour remainder of dressing onto the top of Lamb before serving.

Seared Lamb, Rocket and Roast Vegetable Salad

Gorgeous flavour combination.

Gorgeous flavour combination.

A jam packed salad that is a great alternative to a roast dinner in the summer months.
Quick to prepare and throw together leaving minimal clean up too.
There aren’t a lot of ingredients so make sure you take care with each item and show it love so you get a final product you will want to make again!

1 large Lamb backstrap fillet – trimmed.
1C Rocket.
1C Baby Spinach.
3 Beetroots – peeled and quartered.
2 Carrots – sliced lengthways and them into pieces.
1/3C Milk Kefir Cheese (Feta would make a good alternative).
Salt and Pepper.
Drizzle of cold pressed Olive Oil.
Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar.

Preheat oven to 200 and begin to prepare the Beetroots and Carrots, place them onto a lined tray with a drizzle of Oil, Salt and Pepper.
Bake them for around 25 minutes – or until your veg are tender and have good colour.
Take Lamb and rub in a small amount of Oil, Salt and Pepper and place into a pan at high heat.
Sear each side for a few minutes (cooking time will depend on size,shape of your Lamb and preference of how you eat it) and then allow to rest.
Once rested Lamb can be sliced into medallion pieces.
Wash, strain and arrange Rocket and Baby Spinach onto plates.
Then drop the Lamb pieces, Beetroot and Carrot over the top.
Top your salad with small pieces of Kefir.
Dress salad with a drizzle of Oil and Balsamic and serve.

This serves 2 adults.

If you are dairy free and interested in Kefir then your in luck. This is a batch of our Coconut Kefir.

If you are dairy free and interested in Kefir then your in luck.
This is a batch of our Coconut Kefir.

What is Milk Kefir you ask?
Milk Kefir is a cultured dairy drink full of probiotics and powerful healing qualities.
It can help aide digestion, protect against gastrointestinal diseases and can even assist in regulating immune function.
Although it’s a little to get your head around, once you do it is something that you can enjoy making; or alternatively purchase already made and get great nutritional benefits from.

Caramelised Bacon, Leek and Pine Nut Salad

Caramelised Bacon, Leek and Pine Nut Salad.

Caramelised Bacon, Leek and Pine Nut Salad.

Salads really don’t get enough recognition! They are so much more than some lettuce and chopped veg on the side of a plate.
Over the warmer months we like to take our salads and make them our meal.
There are no limits, it’s easy and fun to mix up the ingredients and try new things.

1 whole Leek – sliced into rings and washed very well to remove all dirt.
4 rashers Bacon – sliced.
1 Sweet Potato – sliced or diced.
1 Brown Onion – roughly chopped.
1/2C Pine Nuts.
2tsp Olive Oil.
2tsp Ghee (or 1tsp Butter and 1tsp Olive Oil).
Pinch of Salt and Pepper.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Place onions and sweet potato into a bowl and toss with a 2tsp of Olive Oil and a pinch of Salt and Pepper.
Place onto a lined tray and bake until tender, around 30 minutes.
In a large frying pan place 2tsp Ghee and all of your Leeks in and slowly let them cook down until they are soft and starting to caramelise, around 10 minutes.
Remove Leeks from the pan and set aside.
Add your Bacon straight into same pan and also allow it to slowly cook down and when you see it starting to crisp up it can be removed and placed with Leeks.
Finally, add your Pine Nuts to the same pan and agitate them over the same heat until they begin to colour. At that point you can remove them from the heat.

To serve this I found an open bowl was best and layering the ingredients so you are sure to get a little something with every mouthful.

Serves 2 adults.

Food prep.

Food prep.

If you have the time then allow your Leeks to sit for around 5 minutes after cutting them. This enhances their health promoting qualities.

It’s also recommended to make your serve of Leeks a substantial one when you do include them in a meal and this is a great way to do so.

Sweet Potatoes are hight nutritious but keep in mind they are high in carbohydrates. A great alternative would be Pumpkin.

Family Friendly Bolognese

Slowly cooking away a big pot of Bolognese is one of my favourite things to do, especially on a rainy day. It brings back childhood memories and it smells amazing.
We have one little one who is a little wary of textures and we want him to be included in this meal so we blitz our sauce. Of course if you would prefer a chunkier version you can skip that step.
I’m not keen on hiding Vegetables as such, i like to get him up with me to cook this dish so he knows that its okay to not always like the texture of foods and that we can do things to change them up so that he can enjoy them also.

Make ribbons by using a vegetable peeler, then quickly blanch in boiling water.

Make ribbons by using a vegetable peeler, then quickly blanch in boiling water.

500g grass fed Beef, Kangaroo or Pork Mince.
2tsp EV Olive Oil – cold pressed.
2 small brown onions – finely diced.
1 long red chilli, seeds removed – finely diced.
4 cloves garlic – finely diced.
1 star anise.
3 bay leaves.
4tblsp mushroom powder – alternatively 4 mushrooms finely diced.
1/4 red capsicum – finely diced.
1 zucchini – grated.
2 carrots – grated.
2C baby spinach – chopped.
2tsp home made tomato paste – alternatively you can use a good quality organic tinned version.
400g crushed Tomatoes – use fresh if in season.
4C Chicken Bone Broth or Chicken Stock.

Heat Olive Oil in a large deep pan or stock pot.
When hot, add Mince and Onion and fry off, stirring and breaking down until browned – remove and set aside.
Turn pot down to a medium head and add Chilli, Garlic, Star Anise, Bay Leaves, Mushroom Powder and fry off for 2 minutes.
Add Capsicum, Zucchini and Carrot and again fry off for around 2 minutes (add a dash of water if food starts to stick).
Then add the Tomato Paste and cook out well – around 2 minutes while stirring it through your mix.
You can then add the Tomatoes and Broth/Stock, turn your pot down to medium and cook out for roughly 30 minutes.
Add the Baby Spinach in the last few minutes.
I then blitz my Bolognese (after I remove Star Anise and Bay Leaves) so I have a fine sauce, at this point I add my Mince and Onions back in and turn to low to cook for 4 hours or until mix is thick and flavoursome.

Reheated with some fresh ingredients makes a great lunch.

Reheated with some fresh ingredients makes a great lunch.

We serve ours with Zucchini Ribbons, in Lettuce Shells or when reheated we add some fresh Tomato, Garlic and Baby Spinach to freshen it up.
A great dish to try an alternative meat with, if your a little hesitant the strong sauce flavour will match nicely and also ease you into it without the punchy game flavour.
Kangaroo in particular is high quality protein, low in saturated fat and has a good amount of omega 3’s which most people need more of!

Mexican Pulled Chicken

Served here with lettuce cups, guacamole and salsa.

Served here with lettuce cups, guacamole and salsa.

This recipe makes more than a meals worth, it’s a great recipe to portion down and freeze.
It makes busy days really easy when you already have the base of a dish.
We make Mexican Salads to match this, Slaw Salad with grilled Corn Cobs.
Some fried or poached eggs match with this really well.

12x Chicken legs.
4 cloves of garlic – smashed with flat side of knife, peeled and finely chopped.
2tsp chilli flakes (we use home made, if you can’t find any a fresh chilli will do).
1 brown onion – chopped.
1/4C dried Oregano.
3tsp ground Paprika.
3tsp ground Cumin.
1tsp ground Cinnamon.
1 star anise.
4 cloves.
1/3C Apple Cider Vinegar.
1/3C Chicken Bone Broth or Chicken Stock.

(This recipe is made in a slow cooker. If you don’t have one I would suggest a heavy based oven proof dish with lid, cooking in a 120 degree oven until meat is falling off the bone.
I would also add an extra cup of chicken bone broth or stock and check periodically in case it needs more liquid).

Pat dry all your chicken legs and then place in slow cooker dish.
In no particular order add all your other ingredients and massage into chicken well.
Place slow cooker on and cook for 6-8 hours.
Once cooked, remove chicken legs and allow to cool slightly before “pulling” the meat. We use a fork for this after removing the skin.
Take the remaining liquid and place into a pan over a medium heat and reduce slightly until it’s a little thicker. Add this back to your pulled chicken and toss it through.

Served here with some extra chilli and paprika in it; along with slaw salad, poached eggs and salsa.

Served here with some extra chilli and paprika in it; along with slaw salad, poached eggs and salsa.

Spices are often overlooked as having any nutritional value. They all have so many great benefits for us, I could stand here and list them all day. They are great for our immune system and we like to include as many as possible.
They are also a great way to add flavour without using bottled sauces, loads of salt or other things that we want to limit.

Again, make sure you know what are in your spices. Brand doesn’t always mean quality. Look around before buying and I cannot emphasise enough on reading labels!

Bacon and Leek Frittata

Served here with some Rocket, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

Served here with some Rocket, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

This gorgeous Bacon and Leek Frittata is a perfect size for a whole family breakfast or 3 days worth of lunch or dinner if teamed with a light side salad.
We love that it can be thrown in the oven and a timer set rather than standing and waiting for it to cook on the stove top.

8 eggs – cracked and lightly whisked.
1 whole leek – scored all the way through, washed well and sliced into rings.
2 rashers of bacon – baked in oven until turning golden, then sliced.
1tblsp Ghee.
Salt and Pepper to your taste.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and take a 20×18 oven proof dish (small to medium in size) and line with baking paper.
Place Bacon into a large frying pan and bring it up to medium heat, cooking for 10 minutes and allowing Bacon to caramelise well.
Remove from pan, chop into pieces and set aside.
Take your sliced Leeks and add to the same pan with Ghee and allow them to sweat down until sticky and soft then allow them to cool.
Take your whisked Eggs and place them in the lined baking dish.
Add Leeks followed by the Bacon.
Lightly push the filling underneath the egg so they do not dry out.
Then place in the oven and allow to cook until set and golden on top – around 25 minutes.

Step by step processes.

Step by step processes.

Eggs are highly nutritious and are a natural source of over 11 vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of protein and omega 3’s.
Like you should with onions and garlic, allow your leeks (if you have the time) to sit for 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance it’s nutritional benefits.
The Bacon!? Well who really needs to justify Bacon? It tastes great and teams so well with Eggs and Leeks. Take the time to source a good Butcher who has a range of nitrate free products though.

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup is considered a favourite in many homes, including ours. You can start it early in the day in a slow cooker or throw it on at the last minute and have a meal within an hour or so.

We like to mix it up when it comes to the serving.
Sometimes we fry off Bacon to throw on top with fresh Parsley from the garden, other times we fry up a mix of Bacon, Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas for more crunch.
Our kids aren’t fussed on the lumps from bacon or seeds (more for us), they’d rather raw vegetable sticks or buckwheat crackers to dip in.

Crispy Bacon and Fresh Herbs

1 Butternut Pumpkin – skin and seeds removed.
1 Cauliflower – cut into large florets.
1 Carrot – roughly chopped.
2 Brown Onions – peeled & roughly chopped.
2 Cloves Garlic – peeled & chopped.
1 Long red Chilli – seeds removed & chopped.
1tsp Rapadura Sugar or Pure Maple Syrup.
2C Chicken Stock or Chicken Bone Broth.
2C Water.
2tblsp Olive Oil.

In a large stock pot place your oil and bring to a medium heat.
Add in your Onions, Carrot, Garlic and Chilli.
Allow them to fry off until they are soft and caramelised.
Add Cauliflower when you have achieved a caramelised base and allow that to cook out while stirring for a few minutes.
Add your Pumpkin, Stock/Broth and water and turn to low.
Allow to cook uncovered on the same heat until veg is tender and your liquid has reduced by about half.
Turn off to let cool slightly before stick blending until smooth and creamy.
Even when you think it’s all blitzed, give it a few minutes more. The more you break down the Cauliflower, the creamier the soup becomes.

Who doesn't love crispy bacon? Try and source a good nitrate free bacon for better flavour and less nasties :)

Who doesn’t love crispy bacon? Try and source a good nitrate free bacon for better flavour and less nasties 🙂

Pumpkin is a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, Potassium, Manganese and many other key vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C which helps boost immunity and prevents infections.
Cauliflower contains several anti-cancer phyto-chemicals and is also a good source of vitamin C.

By adding Cauliflower instead of dairy you are increasing vegetable intake and nutritional value; and in an inconspicuous way for little ones who may not be too fond of Cauliflower.