Lamb cutlets with chili and black olives

Today I thought I’d share another gorgeous Nigella recipe from her Express Kitchen cookbook.  I marinate these in 2 bags, one with chili for the adults and one without for the kids,

  • 12 lamb cutlets
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for frying
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 15 black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)


  1. Layer the rib chops between clingfilm and flatten gently with a rolling pin or mallet. Unwrap and place the chops in a large dish, so that they all fit in a single layer.
  2. Pour the 4 tablespoons of oil over the chops and add the sliced garlic, chilli flakes, oregano, lemon zest and juice. Sprinkle with the salt and the olives, then turn the rib chops in the marinade so that both sides are coated.
  3. Cover and leave the lamb to marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, and add the chops, scraping off the marinade before you put them in the pan. (Reserve the marinade.) Fry them for a couple of minutes a side on quite a high heat so that they take on some colour.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and pour the reserved marinade into the pan over the now coloured chops. Add 2 tablespoons or so of water and cook for about 5 minutes for rare cutlets or a little longer if you like your lamb well done (this will also depend on the thickness of the chops).
  6. Transfer the chops to a serving plate, pour over the juices from the pan and sprinkle with the chopped red chilli, should you feel like enhancing the dried chilli with the pep of fresh.
Serves: 4

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Gong Xi Fa Cai – stir fried beef with sichuan salt and pepper and lemon

To celebrate the year of the rabbit, I have been cooking all our fave chinese recipes.  We all enjoy this Kylie Kwong dish.  I have removed all the sugar as the kecap manis is already sweet. I like that the kids get a good serve of red meat, but that I can spice it up for the adults with a hit of salt and sichuan pepper.


600 g beef fillet, cut into 1 cm slices

marinade ingredients

2 tabs shao hsing wine or dry sherry

2 tab kecap manis

2 tab roughly diced ginger

3 garlic cloves finely diced

1 tab oyster sauce

1 tab light soy sauce

2 teaspoon malt vinegar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

to cook

1 tab vegetable oil

1 tab shao hsing wine or dry sherry

1 tab light soy

1/2 tsp sesame oil

to serve: 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Herbies’s salt and pepper squid mix *

steamed green vegies

steamed basmati or doongara rice


Combine beef with marinade ingredients for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oil in a hot wok until surface shimmers.  Add half the marinated beef and stirfry for 30 seconds.  Remove from beef from wok and set aside.  Add remaining beef and stirfry for 30 seconds.  Return reserved beef with wine, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Stir-fry for a further minute or until beef is just tender.

Serve with a small bowl of Sichuan pepper and salt and lemon wedges, plus lots of green vegies.

* You can buy Herbie’s spices in Australia.  In Singapore I have found them at Culina and fairprice finest.  If you can’t find it, you can make up some sichuan pepper and salt by dry roasting and grinding a combination of 1 tab Sichuan peppercorns and 3 tab sea salt

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Sarah’s Creamy Smoked Paprika Chicken

Welcome back everyone!  Kids back at school, grocery shopping without helpers – lovely!  Here’s a gorgeous recipe from my friend Sarah, also a high protein, low carb gal.  If anyone else has recipes to share, send them in!

1 tablespoon veg oil

4 chicken breast/or thighs1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika (or sweet paprika works well too)

1 x 400 gram can of crushed tomatoes

tablespoon of tomato paste

250 ml Light/low fat Philadelphia cream for cooking

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

Heat 1/2 a teaspoon of oil in a non stick fry pan, brown the chicken for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. then remove and set aside.
Heat remaining oil and saute the onions and garlic for 3 minutes until softened. Add paprika and cook for a further minute then stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Return chicken to the pan and gently simmer covered for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir the Phily cream in and add seasonings and parsley through the chicken then simmer very gently for a further 2 or 3 minutes until heated through. Place chicken on serving plates and spoon over the sauce and served with steamed vegetables of your choice.  Worth having some slices of bread (for the little carb eaters) to to mop up the sauce too.
I had heaps of sauce left over which I have kept (put in the freezer) and will reheat and add to pasta for the kids, later on in the week.

Also you could add veg (capsicum would work well) in with the chicken and the sauce and make a cassarole style meal, making for less washing up!!

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Christmas holidays

mbevbe is going on holidays for a month.  See you late January with more high protein, low carb recipes.  I’m really fascinated by quinoa, so will be experimenting on my break with this high protein grain.  Stay safe over Christmas, and remember a glass of wine equals 30 minutes cardio…

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NIgella’s moonblush tomatoes

Here’s a Nigella Lawson recipe that I use to turn supermarket tomatoes into gorgeous tomatoes.  I love to serve them on some salad leaves with slices of chevre and a few basil leaves.  Or delicious on the side of some grilled fish.  They take no time to prepare but you need to make them the day before (or the morning before) you plan to eat them.


  • 500g (about 24) on-the-vine cherry or other baby tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Maldon salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, thyme and olive oil.
  3. Put them in the oven, and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or for a day without opening the door.

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Protein and iron for fussy kids

Some kids are just not that keen on meat.  Don’t panic!  However you need to be careful that they get good quality protein.  Protein supplies your child with amino acids, essential chemicals which are the body’s building blocks. Whilst all animal proteins including egg and dairy products provide a high quality protein containing all the essential amino acids, cereals and vegetable proteins (e.g. peas, beans, lentils, and nuts and seeds) have a lower quality.

To provide a complete vegetarian protein you need to combine cereal and vegetable proteins like pasta, bread, rice and lentils with a small amount of dairy or eggs.  Or you can combine two vegetable protein food groups.  Soya and quinoa are the only plant-based food that contain all the amino acids.  Here are some examples of good combinations:

• Peanut butter sandwiches 

• Baked potato with cheese and milk

• Lentil and vegetables with cheese

• Pasta with cheese sauce

• Baked beans on toast

• Rice and lentils.

Another issue faced by fussy non meat eaters are iron deficiency, which is the commonest nutritional deficiency in the Western world.  There are a few types of iron, the best source is found in meat and is easily absorbed by the body, plant food sources are more difficult to absorb, and lastly a third type added by manufacturers to foods such as breakfast cereals is absorbed less well.

Good source of iron for non meat eating kids:
• Fortified breakfast cereals.
• Egg yolk.
• Wholemeal bread.
• Dark green vegetables e.g. spinach and cabbage.
• Beans and lentils.
• Dried fruit e.g. apricot, prunes, peaches, raisins.

The best way for the body to absorb the iron is to serve it with a vitamin C rich food.

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White bean puree – a mashed potato substitute

This is a very easy to make white bean puree which the whole family enjoys.  We have it with quickly cooked steaks and grilled asparagus.  It works as a mashed potato substitute and I am always happy to find ways  to use more legumes.
This make a generous serve for 2 people
1 can cannelini beans (I always use the italian ones – they seem better cooked)
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 slice lemon rind
Simmer the beans,garlic and lemon rind in the stock for about 5 mins.
Remove the lemon rind and puree with a stick blender.  Once blended add 1/2 tab olive oil and quickly whiz again.

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