Go-to recipe series

Spicy lamb and roasted veg with yogurt and coriander dressing

Welcome to the first in a series of go-to recipe posts. I hope you become inspired, develop your understanding and learn how easy it can be to prepare some really tasty and nutritious meals. I also hope to show you that by approaching your cooking in a more relaxed fashion (the polite way of actually saying, ‘lazy’) you can really start to evolve your own knowledge, come up with ideas and adapt recipes to suit you without needing to go searching through books or following detailed step-by-step instructions.

If you’ve read my first blog post or seen any of my social media I think you’ll know I’m all about the ‘easy’! When I say easy, it also needs to be satisfying and nutritious. This recipe series will focus on some of my favourite dishes.

So, back to today. I’m starting with lamb which is perfectly in season right now. Here is what you’ll need.

Marinade — Tsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala, 2,3 cloves garlic, 1 chilli (start with a little if you’re like me and can’t handle it too hot), thumb sized piece of ginger, at least 4tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp red wine vinegar.

Main ingredients — neck or shoulder fillet of lamb (steak size per person), sweet potato, red onion, cauliflower, spinach, bunch of coriander, plain or greek yogurt. Seasoning and whatever type of dried herbs you prefer for the veg.

I recently discovered this great spicy marinade perfect for various different meats, I couldn’t decide which dish to showcase though so I put it to the public vote on Twitter. This was the result.

Blitz together the ingredients in a blender (I use a hand blender with the chopping compartment). Taste and adjust if you need to. It should be a fairly loose paste that will coat the meat, leave it marinating overnight in the fridge or for at least a couple of hours if you can.

This is the beauty of preparing food like this; yes, there is prep but it can be done ahead of time, a little organisation goes a long way for eating well.

Cut the sweet potato, cauliflower and red onion into similar sized chunks. The sweet potato will take the longest so this goes in the oven first, then after approx 15 mins add the cauliflower and red onion. Spray all veg with rapeseed oil (or similar) and add a shake of garlic granules. My top tip (and how I do most cooking) is don’t worry about timing too much. If my potatoes are already cooked I’d just take them out. They’re not going to go bad if they’ve cooled for a bit and then have gone back in. Just like most things recipes take a bit of practice, I always feel I have to cook something a few times before I perfect it and that’s just fine!

So that’s it, veg is in the oven cooking, spinach will be added later.

I use a shake of dried rosemary with the garlic granules, you could use mixed herbs. I particularly like rosemary with potatoes.
Again I use garlic granules but with a shake of mixed herbs this time. The garlic granules are so tasty with any veg, I can use less salt because of how it draws out the flavour!

Meanwhile, make the dressing, for which you will need a bunch of coriander and plain yogurt blitzed together, I use Yeo valley organic but any natural or Greek yogurt works just as well. I find the chopping attachment on my hand blender again is great here, use it for the coriander and then mix with the yogurt. You can blitz it all together, but for me, the yogurt gets too runny, personal preference that’s all!

Add a little seasoning if you wish and if you really like a spicy punch you could add a chilli.

Once your veg is about 15 mins away from ready, you can cook the lamb. I have tried both neck fillet and shoulder fillet, both work really well. Allow about the size of a small steak per person (that’s about 6oz if we are going to use a measurement). Sear the meat in a hot pan for about a minute each on both sides to get a little colour then into the oven to finish off as you would a steak, 10 mins at 180. Again, don’t worry too much, if the lamb is a touch too pink when you take it out then it can go back in for a few mins. Equally, if it’s a bit overdone, well, all I can say is you’ll know for next time;-)

Toss some baby spinach through the veg just as it comes out of the oven, it will wilt just perfectly. Once the meat is ready, slice and assemble with the veg, add your dressing. Enjoy!

The beauty of the dish is that you could use any meat or veg, the spicy marinade and the dressing is what ties it all together so go on, be adventurous!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe or indeed your own views on tasty and nutritious home cooking. You can get in touch directly via the blog, through my social media platforms Twitter and Facebook Instagram or use the hashtag #RealisticNutrition when posting to any of these and I’ll find you;-)

Until next week!