Sharing Lamb with Ribbon Courgette, Mint Yogurt & Hazelnuts

This sharing lamb with ribboned courgettes, rocket leaves and minty yogurt dressing is a real treat and bursting with flavour.  You can barbecue, griddle or grill the lamb but at this time of year it feels great to cook (and eat) outdoors, weather permitting.  Meat can absolutely be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet but its important to prioritise nutrient-dense and fibre-rich whole foods on a daily basis (think green leafy and starchy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and some fruits). You could very easily substitute with sirloin steak or butterflied chicken breast depending on personal tastes, but lamb works particularly well with these flavours. This dish is a lovely treat and proof that healthy does not equal boring…..I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2 | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Rating: Moderate

You Will Need:

The Lamb:

  • 2 lamb steaks
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A good pinch of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves (or 1tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (or 1tsp dried)

The Courgette & Rocket Salad:

  • 2 medium sized courgettes
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 oz (about 1 tbsp) finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Mint Yogurt Dressing:

  • 30g plain, low fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and crushed (optional)

To Serve: 2 small wholemeal flatbreads (optional – add approx.130 calories per serving, check brand info)

Method:

  1. Prepare the salad: Trim the ends of the courgette and use a vegetable peeler to cut the courgette lengthwise into ribbons.  Scatter onto a large serving plate with sprinkle of sea salt.  Rinse and drain the rocket leaves, and scatter on top of the courgette with the sliced spring onion.
  2. Prepare the mint yogurt: Put the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint, capers and water into a bowl and stir well with a fork to combine. Season lightly with a little salt set aside.
  3. To cook the lamb: pre-heat a grill, barbecue or griddle pan to medium. Season the lamb steaks with salt and pepper, rub with olive oil and the finely chopped fresh herbs. Sear the lamb on both sides for 3-5 minutes each side (3 minutes for medium, 5 minutes for well done).  Remove from the grill and leave to rest before trimming the fat off the meat and slicing into strips.
  4. To assemble: transfer the lamb onto the serving plate or board on top of the courgette and rocket leaves. Sprinkle over the hazelnuts and a few dollops of mint yogurt. Serve alone as a salad or with wholemeal flatbreads.

Nutrition Approx.

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist*

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

* Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.

NORI + BLACK SESAME MACRO BOWLS: MAIN

Macro bowls are a simplified way of eating nutrient-dense, whole foods with the added benefit that you don’t need to follow an ‘exact’ recipe. You get to choose your favourite seasonal vegetables, your preferred carbohydrate and protein sources and you can select from lots of extra superfood add ons depending on what you fancy.  It’s a good idea to batch cook rice, other grains or sweet potatoes in advance and roast a whole chicken so you can use the leftovers for quick meals or packed lunches during the week.

HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT MACRO BOWL:

Foundation: each macro bowl is a combination of grains, vegetables, beans, meat or fish; and seaweeds or fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi. There is no correct breakdown of macronutrients but here are some rough guidelines (men can double the wholegrain and protein portions).

Wholegrain: 1 heaped handful of cooked grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet or cooked sweet potato.

Vegetables: 1-2 fistfuls of raw or very lightly steamed vegetables such as kale, spring onions, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, green beans.

Protein: A palm-sized portion of cooked free-range chicken breast or baked wild salmon; 150g raw, hard tofu or a cup of beans such as cooked edamame or black beans.

Fermented Foods or Sea Vegetables: 1-2 tablespoons. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi support healthy digestion and gut health. Sea vegetables such as nori, wakame, pulse and kombu are a valuable source of bioavailable essential minerals such as iodine, magnesium and sulphur and support hormonal health.

Seeds, Nuts, Oils + Condiments: Black or white sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be toasted for extra flavour. Toasted sesame oil and coconut oil are great for Asian themed bowls. Try extra virgin olive oil infused with red chilli, herbs or garlic for a Mediterranean theme.  For condiments I like tamari (a gluten free, non-GMO soy sauce), pickled ginger, pickled beetroot, tahini, basil or tomato pesto. Include 1-2 tbsp of seeds plus 1/2 to 1 tbsp oils or other oil based condiments.

FOR MY NORI + BLACK SESAME MACRO BOWELS

YOU WILL NEED:

(serves 1 – double / triple ingredients for additional servings).

  • 100g raw long-grain brown rice (weighs about 200g cooked)
  • 1/2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil or melted coconut oil*
  • 1 cooked, skinless chicken breast (125g) or, 2 soft-boiled eggs or, 1 cup cooked black beans or, 150g raw firm tofu
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/4 sheet of nori (seaweed) cut into matchsticks using a scissors
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the rice according to packet instructions (generally 1 part rice to 1.75 parts water and simmer for 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile prepare your choice of protein: shred the cooked chicken breast / place the eggs into a saucepan of water and simmer for 3 minutes, cool, remove the shell and halve / Drain the black beans and heat gently in a saucepan for 5 minutes / slice the tofu into cubes and stir into the rice.
  3. In a bowl combine the rice, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tamari and coconut or sesame oil.
  4. To build the macro-bowl spoon the rice into the bowl. Add the chicken/egg/beans/tofu. Tuck the carrot matchsticks between the chicken and rice and sprinkle with spring onion, nori and extra sesame seeds. Serve.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Servings Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre
Chicken Breast Macro Bowl 434 15.5g 38.3g 32.4g 1.9g 4.1g
Egg Macro Bowl 424 23.6g 18.4g 32.3g 1.7g 3.5g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

CHICKPEA FLOUR FLATBREADS, ROCKET PESTO + VEGGIES – MAIN

I love the beginning of the Rugby Six Nations for the sole reason that it coincides with the coming of Spring!  There’s always a great atmosphere and I know lots of friends and families who gather at home to watch the games.

If you’ve signed up for the Lloyds Pharmacy Change Your Health Direction Programme, or have simply resolved to eat more nutritious, whole-foods for 2017, having friends and family over on match-day (or in general!) can be a challenge and its tempting to reach for the takeaway menus!  But what if you didn’t have to compromise?!

This veggie flatbread tastes like it should be a treat and yet its super-healthy! I used chickpea flour for the flatbread base – an ideal gluten and grain-free alternative to refined, white flour, and you will benefit from a higher protein and fibre content as well.

To keep the nutrient density up I made pesto with rocket leaves and walnuts, and used a variety of colourful vegetables as toppings.  You can add a little parmesan cheese, chilli oil or toasted pine nuts at the end for more flavour.

These are a winner with kids –  they love pizza, and bright colours so if you’re changing your entire family’s health direction, this is the recipe for you!

RECIPE

(makes 2 large flatbreads; serves  6-8)

For the flatbreads:

  • 2 cups of chickpea flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 good pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 6 Tbsp water

For the Rocket Pesto:  (if you really want to save time, use a good quality shop-bought basil or red tomato pesto)

  • 3 large handfuls of rocket leaves, washed
  • Extra virgin olive oil, you will need about 6 tbsp
  • A handful of walnut halves
  • A handful of grated parmesan (optional, you could use nutritional yeast as a dairy-free alternative)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Sea salt + black pepper

Toppings:

  • 1 courgette, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 red onion, peeled, halved and sliced into half-moon shapes
  • 1 long red pepper, cut thinly across the horizontal, into rings
  • 1 small golden beetroot, peeled and sliced very finely
  • Optional: shavings of Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese / toasted pine nuts / rocket leaves / chilli oil

Instructions:

For the flatbread:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, baking powder and sea salt. Pour in the olive oil and use your fingers to combine the mixture until it resembles a coarse crumb.
  2. Add the water by tablespoon, working the water in using your hands until the dough starts to come together. If after adding 6 tablespoons the dough feels too dry, add another tablespoon of water. Similarly, if the dough is sticky and wet, add a little extra chickpea flour. The dough should be pliable!
  3. Shape the dough into a smooth round and brush the surface with olive oil. Cover with a linen tea cloth and leave to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into two even pieces. Dust your worktop with chickpea flour and form one piece of dough into a disc. Flour the top of the dough and using a rolling pin (or a glass water bottle!) roll the dough into a thin 9-inch circle (or rectangular shape). If the edges crack just pinch them together. Repeat with the second piece of dough and don’t worry about creating perfect shapes!!

For the rocket pesto:

  1. Put the rocket into a for processor and add a good glug of olive oil to get it going. Pulse until the rocket is broken down (you might need to scrape the mixture down from the sides and pulse again).
  2. Add the walnuts, parmesan, garlic cloves and lemon juice and pulse again to combine.
  3. Scrape the mixture down from the sides one last time and replace the lid. Then switch on the blender and gradually pour the olive oil into the mixing bowl. You want to achieve a good spreadable consistency.

Prepare the vegetables:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to make courgette ‘ribbons’.
  2. Peel and finely slice the beetroot with a sharp knife or mandoline.
  3. Peel the red onion, cut it in half and then slice into ‘half-moon’ shapes, slice a long, thin red pepper horizontally, shake out the seeds and slice thinly into rings.

Assemble the flatbread:

  • Preheat oven to 200C (400F) with the baking sheets inside (I used one circular and one rectangular sheet)
  • When the oven is hot, carefully remove the baking sheets and set them down onto a heat proof surface. Transfer the flatbreads onto the pre-heated baking sheets.
  • Spread each flatbread with the rocket pesto and arrange the vegetables on top until the dough is covered. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the vegetables with olive oil.  Season with a little sea salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer the flatbreads into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes – 25 minutes until the edges of the dough are crispy and the vegetables are cooked.
  • Remove from the oven and dress with rocket leaves, pine nuts, chilli oil or parmesan shavings. Serve and enjoy!
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Servings Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre
Per 1 whole (plain) flatbread 476 20g 22g 53g 5g 12g
Per 1/6th (plain) flatbread recipe 159 7g 7g 18g 2g 4g
Rocket Pesto (per 1/6th recipe) 179 19g 2g 2g 0.5g 0.6g
Per 1/6th serving flatbread with pesto + toppings (not incl. extra parmesan / pine nuts. 370 26 10g 26g 5g 6g

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist