Braai’d lamb skewers with a herby vegetable couscous

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

For the lamb skewers:

  • 1kg lamb leg or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 80ml/5 tabespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or some fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 skewers

For the herby couscous:

  • 200g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick slices
  • 140g mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 240g couscous (dry weight)
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 3 handfuls of your favourite herbs (I used coriander, parsley and dill)

Method:

For the skewers:

  1. In a large bowl add the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, the herbs and spices and season with freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients to combine. Add the lamb and the chopped onions and blend to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, chill and let marinade for at least 4 hours.
  2. To assemble the lamb skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. (This will prevent them from burning.) Lift the chunks of lamb out of the marinade and thread the pieces, on the skewers.
  3. Braai the lamb skewers for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked to your liking.

For the herby couscous:

  1. Pre­heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Place the vegetables on a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, add the paprika and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir well and pop in the oven for 30-­35 minutes until soft and caramelised.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, put the couscous in a large bowl. Add the tomato puree to the hot stock and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the stock on the couscous, stir, cover with a plate or cling film and let it stand for at least 15 minutes, until the stock has been fully absorbed. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.
  4. Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a small pan and cooking them over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, the pine nuts and the chopped herbs to the couscous, then drizzle with a little olive oil and mix well. Serve hot or cold, alongside the braai’d lamb skewers.

Broccoli and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients

Serves 6 as a side or 3 as a main

  • 400g broccoli
  • 1/2 a punnet of strawberries
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 avo
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Method:

  1. Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes.
  2. Lightly toast the seeds in a sprinkling of salt and cumin.
  3. Chop all your veggies.
  4. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Exchanges:

1 serving = 2.5 cups  = 2 veg, 1 fat, 1/2 fruit

Sundried Tomato and Basil Hummus

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 80g sundried tomatoes
  • 150ml  olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 1 juicy lemon
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tahini
  • 1.5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 red chilli pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Method
  1. Toss the ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Serve with crackers or crudites. EASY 🙂

Roast Carrot and Chili Hummus

Ingredients

  • 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 carrots
  • 150ml  olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 2sticks of rosemary
  • 1 juicy lemons
  • 1 heaped tablespoons of tahini
  • 1.5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 red chilli pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
 Method
  1. Chop the carrots into rounds and roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 45min.
  2. Add the carrots and the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Serve with crackers or crudites.

Braai-ing under the Milkwood

Everyone LOVES a good braai and with summer here it becomes the next best thing to surfing and beaching! BUT, normally braai’s are not very conducive to “watching the waste-line”, so here I am with my

“Healthy braai tips and recipes for summer” 🙂
Starter / snacks:

  • Healthy and fresh crudités:
  • chop up carrots, cucumbers and peppers into strips
  • Dip into:
  • fat-free cottage cheese and sweet chilli sauce topped with coriander
  • hummus
  • pesto (See the recipes tab for hummus and broccoli + rocket pesto recipes)

Mains:
Marinated chicken breasts or kebabs

For the marinade use:

  • 30ml soya sauce
  • 15ml Peanut butter
  • 125ml sweet chilli sauce

Sides:

  • Butternut, Beetroot and roast veg AMAMAMAMAZING salad – my favourite!!! (recipe)
  • Avo salad
  • Healthy Brown Seed Rolls
  • Potato salad (use pesto instead of mago)
  • Other ideas: Braai’d veg kebabs and Mange Toute and Baby Corn salad (recipe)

Dessert:

Poached Pears

  • with fat free yoghurt
  • drizzled with honey

Ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 leeks
  • Black pepper, salt, 2 cloves garlic, cumin, coriander, tiny dash of cayenne pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Tin of tomato and onion mix
  • Dried Origanum
  • Fresh basil
Method
  1. Chop veggies
  2. Brown onion and spices in some water in a big pot on high
  3. Add all the remaining veg and simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes
  4. Add the tinned tomato and bay leaf
  5. Simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes, mixing every so often.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and toss in the origanum and basil
Serve on a ciabatta roll or over cooked lentils

Braai’d Vegetable Kebabs

Ingredients

  •  1 small butternut, diced
  • 1 onion
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Mix olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, basil, parsley, garlic, salt and black pepper together in a small bowl.
  2. Place cut vegetables in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour marinade over vegetables, toss and seal bag. Let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  4. Place vegetables on skewers alternating as you go. Reserve marinade to brush vegetables as they cook. Place kebabs over a the braai and removed when the vegetables are brown and tender.