Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Although I miss researching new superfoods, this is just a warm home made dish, which did not require any research, only imagination and creativity. I think it is a perfect meal for a Melbourne winter weekend.

And in the next post, I will research about Spirulina and Hemp seeds! Equally excited about this recipe as well.

So here, my very new recipe was a success from the first try. I still made it three times for the consistency of the recipe result. Please note, the first step for preparing Lamb Shoulder can be used as a separate recipe, just add a few peeled potatoes in the same bag. Using the oven bag makes a big difference for the result. I used to make this lamb shoulder on its own and had to share the recipe on many requests.

When you have all the eggplants sliced, choose the most beautiful 10 slices of similar size for the top layer and take care of them.

Magic Tablecloth.

Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Ingredients:

1 Lamb Shoulder trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
6 thick eggplants
500g ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves
2 capsicums, finely diced
150g button mushrooms, no stems, sliced
1/4 cup Besan flour
2x100g Manchego cheese, grated

* deep baking tray approximately 23cm x 43cm; baking paper

Method:

1. Switch oven to 200C. Rub lamb shoulder with salt, pepper and garlic, place into the baking bag and tie. Put the tray with lamb into the oven. Once the temperature is at 200C put timer to 30-40 minutes, after that reduce to 150C and cook for an hour. As the last step, reduce to 100C and and keep the meat for two hours. If the lamb is done a night before, you can switch the oven off after the first hour at 100C and leave the lamb in the oven overnight for the best result.

2. Once the meat is cool enough to touch, pull all the meat apart. Cover and put aside.

3. Cut the eggplants into 7-8 mm thick slices, and keep them in lightly salted water for at least 10 minutes. Then bake them in single layers for 10 minutes at 180C, using the oiled baking paper (the eggplant slices should not brown).

4. In the deep pan, cook onion, garlic, tomatoes, and capsicum on low heat for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use ready to use your favourite tomato and capsicum based sauce. Mix in the Besan flour and half of the cheese, also the stock, lamb, and mushrooms. Heat the sauce through, simmer on low for 5 minutes and switch off the stove.

5. Use the deep tray to make a single layer using the egg plant slices, then distribute half of the lamb sauce. Repeat with another layer of eggplants and lamb. Make the last layer using the ten best eggplant slices and evenly cover with the second half of cheese. Cover the tray with aluminium and bake at 180C for 30 minutes. For crispy cheese and eggplant top layer, bake without aluminium for 25 minutes.

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Protein Cookies

If you want to be lean, you need protein. If you are working out in gym, you need protein. If you want energy, you need protein. Our modern lifestyle is not very convenient for making steaks every day, and if you are vegetarian your options are limited too. The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 g per 1 kg of human’s weight. So, for someone with 60kg weight, you need to consume 48 g of protein every day for an average active life style.

So, we see more products on the shelves  that promise a quick and easy protein fix. However, if you read the ingredients you will find that they might have a high level of carbs.

The protein cookies you see on the picture are not sweet, and they are not just savoury, they have a special flavour. This recipe has about 116 g of protein in total. I love these cookies, as they can be eaten on its own for snacking or with hot beverages. The best way to enjoy these protein cookies is with Paleo broth.

Protein Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pea protein (70g)
1/4 cup hemp seed protein (12g)
1/2 cup teff flour (10gr)
1/2 cup quinoa flour (4gr)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (1.5g)
1 tablespoon turmeric (1gr)
2 tablespoon ground cumin (2g)
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 egg whites (8g)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
250 ml light coconut cream (8gr)

Method:

1. Turn oven on to 175C.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients well.
3. Combine with all the rest ingredients.
4. Make 16 cookies using your palms. First, roll into the balls, then press to form a cookie.
5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool them down at the room temperature, then store in airtight container.

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Cauliflower and Almond Soup

How versatile cauliflower is! It is a pack of vitamins and fibre. Cauliflower belongs to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and most of green leaf vegetables.

Its taste is mild, creamy and slightly sweet, that makes it a perfect candidate to be partnered with delicate almond flavours. I am delighted with this combination, this is why my soup doesn’t have many ingredients and it has two simple steps to cook. A perfect soup for spring or autumn, hope you will enjoy it too.

Magic Tablecloth

Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Ingredients:

1 L filtered water
1 L almond milk
1 Kg fresh cauliflower
1 leek white (about 20 cm)
Seasoning
Optional: 0.5 g saffron

Method:

1. Separate all the cauliflower florets and finely slice the leek. If using saffron soak it in little water.
2. Cook the vegetables in the water with seasoning until soft, then add the saffron.
3. Process the soup until smooth by gradually adding the almond milk. Serve warm.

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Cashew Feta Vegan Cheese

Cheese lovers might not approve my post.

I consider myself lucky as I am well with goat or sheep dairy products whereas cow milk products don’t agree with me. A friend of mine, who is vegan, introduced me to an almond feta cheese and I loved it.

After a few experiments, I found that a texture of cashews are more to my liking for the vegan feta cheese option. I have other recipes with cashew as an ingredient and you can find more information on this product there, for example lemon and cashew dessert .

Here I am, publishing the final version of my new recipe, please enjoy!

Magic Tablecloth

Vegan Cashew Feta Cheese.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon table salt
lemon juice

Dressing:
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 soft rosemary, chopped
a few dill, chopped
1/4 lemon, juice separated and put aside.
1 teaspoon pepper corns

*a glass jar min 400ml; a tray or a container about 30cm x 40cm.

Method:

1. Overnight, soak the cashews in the filtered water, also infuse the oil with all the dressing ingredients.
2. On the next day, rinse and process cashews in the food processor with salt and the lemon juice saved from last night until smooth and fine.
3. Place baking paper on the tray or container, transfer processed cashews and make an even layer about 1.5-2 cm thick, cover airtight and refrigerate for a few hours.
4. Cut the whole cashew layer into the cubes or ‘fingers’.
5. Place the herbs from the infused oil into a glass jar and stack the cashew feta pieces on top, then pour the oil over it. Refrigerate for 2- 3 days before consuming.

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Pumpkin and Chia Jam

Yet another Pumpkin recipe!

If you’ve managed to quit the sugar or trying to, but craving for a jam, try this recipe. You will love it!

Maybe you have some baked pumpkin left from Pumpkin Bread recipe, then this will be a great use for it.

This recipe also contains chia seeds; such a good source of calcium, protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Enjoy and stay healthy.

Magic Tablecloth

Pumpkin and Chia Jam

Ingredients:

300 g ripe sweet pumpkin, alternatively roasted and ready-to-use pumpkin
2 Golden Delicious apples
2 tablespoon Chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey, for diabetic version use 1 teaspoon of Stevia sugar or add no sweetener at all

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 185C. If using ready-to-use pumpkin go to step 3.
2. Remove the pumpkin seeds, cover and bake for 50 minutes or until soft.
3. Bake apples for 25 minutes, or until they start collapsing. If baking pumpkin, add them into the oven half-way.
4. Remove apple skin and the middle, place the soft apple into a food processor along with chia seeds and honey..
5. Transfer all the soft pumpkin including any liquid collected in the pumpkin into the food processor.  Process all ingredients until smooth and put into a glass jar to refrigerate.

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Cloudy Spinach Soup

Spinach is very versatile and it is easy to incorporate spinach into a diet. That is great because spinach has so many health benefits. Vitamin C, or ascorbate, is chemically the simplest vitamin. Unlike humans, plants can synthesise ascorbate, accumulating it up to 10% of the total water-soluble ‘carbohydrates’, according to research findings. The washing process of pre-packaged spinach, which uses circulating water with chlorine-based sanitiser, “can be a potential source of ascorbate loss and younger plant tissues often have higher ascorbate concentrations than older ones, e.g. in spinach.” (Food Chemistry 233 (2017) 237–246) So, if you are buying spinach for a salad, try the baby spinach that is sold unpacked and wash it yourself.
The following is very interesting too:
“Dark green leafy vegetables are primary food sources for lutein and b-carotene, however these bioactives have low bioavailability… Lutein liberation and in vitro accessibility were three-fold higher from spinach puree compared to whole leaves. Results for b-carotene liberation were similar, whereas that of b-carotene accessibility was only about two-fold.” (Food Chemistry 224 (2017) 407–413) This is good to know, well supports my recipe for Tabouleh. They call lutein ‘eye vitamin’.

Spinach can be added to many savoury dishes, raw or cooked. I prefer cooked spinach in winter and raw in summer. We are in the middle of the winter right now in Australia. And, here I am again with a new soup recipe. Please enjoy!

Cloudy Spinach Soup

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Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Fructose is contained in most sweeteners that are used in traditional desserts. Refined sugar, honey, maple syrup – all contain fructose. Fortunately, it is recognised now that sugar is the main source of fat that build up in the human body. Spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels may also cause dysfunctions of organs.

Since I discovered Brown Rice Malt Syrup, I have been really enjoying it in my recipes. Rice malt syrup is fructose free, it is made from 100% brown rice. Australian brands make organic Brown Rice Malt Syrup that reduces arsenic to hardly detectable levels. This is good information to be researched for those who consume rice regularly.

The malt syrup is made through fermenting rice to break down the starches and then transforming it into syrup through cooking. The syrup contains soluble complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. Rice Malt Syrup is a lower GI product in comparison to fructose and it takes more than an hour to digest.

So, here you are, for milk, fructose and gluten intolerances I have a chocolate dessert for you!

Magic Tablecloth

Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

270ml coconut cream
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