Saturday, November 6, 2010

A salad that wasn't made for rabbits!

The past couple of months, I've been buying those cheap recipe magazines from the supermarket in an attempt to expand my cooking repertoire. So far, I've added a grand total of two dishes to my list. But they were both pretty good, although I'll make alterations to the first recipe if making it again, and I already made alterations to the second. I'll post about the pumpkin and ricotta cannelloni eventually (I actually took step by step photos when I made it three weeks ago and still haven't sorted through them...), but for today, here's the spiced lamb and couscous salad:

Sorry about the ugly flash photo and the mess on the bench. I was using my point and shoot, and I was starving.......

I didn't take photos for this one, because I already had half the stuff left over from the Halloween party last weekend, so we'll have to do this the conventional way.

Spiced lamb and couscous salad - adapted from Recipes +

2 tablespoons olive oil
250g lamb steak (I used eye of loin because it was the nicest looking cut the supermarket had. The recipe calls for 500g lamb rump steaks. But I figured it was a waste of money because at least half of the 500g is fat!)
2 tablespoons Moroccan spice mix
450g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 red capsicum, chopped
1.5 cups couscous
400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
60g rocket leaves (I used baby spinach because I think rocket tastes like pesticide)
1/4 cup honey mustard dressing (I used reduced fat)
100g reduced fat feta, chopped (my addition - I had it left over and didn't know what else to do with it!)

Mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the spice mix. Coat both sides of the lamb, then cook in a grill pan until done to your liking (I, for once, actually succeeded in not obliterating the hell out of my meat!). Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Add the pumpkin to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes (or, if you're me, use leftover roast pumpkin from making mini pizzas!). Then add the capsicum and the chickpeas (the recipe doesn't call for heating these, but I think they're gross cold...), and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

Place couscous and remaining oil in a bowl, add 1.3 cups boiling water. Cover with Glad Wrap and set aside for five minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the grains.

Slice the lamb thinly, and add it into the pan with the vegetables to warm up for a minute. Add the chopped feta at the last minute (unless you like your feta melty... I don't know why it didn't occur to me that feta melts like any other cheese!), along with the spinach/rocket. Stir through the dressing. Dump the whole lot into the couscous and toss to combine.

Serves four as a main course.

This was really good, although I don't know that I'd be as taken with it if I hadn't added the feta. It just gave it a little extra kick. Recipes + calculated it at $3.65 per serve, but I can't really judge that because a) I used a cut of meat that cost double what the one in the recipe did, and b) I had half the ingredients already... But regardless, it was a quick and easy meal that classifies as a salad without the need for cucumber and radishes and olives and all manner of other vile things that get put into salads!

$3.30 a month for over 300 recipes? I think the magazine is worth it, even if I do end up adapting things!

K xx

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