recipes for healthy living

Tag: delicious

Sumac and Lemon Spiced Lamb Chops with Chickpea Puree

sumac lamp chops

This spice mix works so well on the lamp chops and is perfect with the chickpea puree. It is a quick and easy meal for family and friends.

Serves 4

8 lamb chops
1/2 tsp sumac
1 tsp nigella seeds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp cumin and coriander seeds
1 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp oil separated
2 tbsp fresh mint chopped
2 tins chickpeas (reserve half tin liquid)
1 clove garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 shallot finely chopped
2 tbsp of madeira (Optional)
1 small knob of butter

Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and pestle and grind.  Tip out into a flat dish, add the sumac, nigella, zest and plain flour and mix well.
Season your lamp chops and press each side into the spice mix and set aside for 30 minutes to develop the flavors.
Meanwhile , heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the shallot and garlic and cook over a gentle heat until softened. Tip in the chickpeas and the reserved liquid and simmer for about 5 minutes over a gentle heat. Tip into a blender and blend well, adding the other tbsp of oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Tip into a pot and keep warm while you cook the chops.
Heat the oil and in batches, brown the chops well on both sides. IF you wish you can complete the cooking on the pan (medium is about 4-6 minutes depending on thickness) but I like to transfer to a hot oven to complete the cooking .
Deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp madeira, add lemon juice and 30ml water and a small knob of butter. Season and add the chopped mint.
Serve the chickpea mash with 2 chops and some of the pan sauce.

Easy and delicious!

Confit duck salad

I love Duck and this recipe includes loads of salads and green beans. It’s a great meal with healthy fats from the lovely dressing, protein and a good contribution towards your 5 a day. Most importantly it tastes really great and also makes a great first course if you are having some friends over for a bite to eat.

Salad with roasted Duck Legs

Serves 4

4 Confit legs – If you don’t prepare your own these are available in good delis and shops like M&S. (I prepare my own and include how to below).


Selection of different lettuces lambs lettuce, read oak leaf curly endive etc

2 oranges peeled, white removed and segmented

55g fine French beans blanched and refreshed

Lardons of bacon

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsp hazelnut oil

Pinch of salt and pepper and perhaps a pinch of sugar to taste


Reheat duck legs by placing on tray in oven for about 10-12 minutes to brown and crisp. Drain off any fat still coming from the legs. The duck legs should be heated through. Place under hot grill to crisp up the fat. Keep warm until ready to use.

Prepare the salad by cooking the beans in boiling salted water until just tender. If not using immediately, drain and put into iced water for a few seconds to stop the cooking and keep the beautiful colour. Reheat when using by putting into boiling water for few seconds.

Heat drop of sunflower oil in small plan and sauté the lardons until golden and crispy. Drain and keep warm.

Carefully break-up your lettuces into but size pieces and place in mixing bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients for the vinaigrette into an airtight jar and give it a good shake.  Dress the salad leaves ensuring they are well coated. Shake the lardoons into the salad leaves and mix gently.

To assemble shred the meat off the duck legs and divide among the 4 places.

Place a mound of salad leaves and lardoons on top of the duck. Keep the mound high to look lovely.

Dress the place with some orange segments

Serve and Enjoy!

Confit Duck

You can use legs and breasts
Place duck pieces flesh side up into flat casserole dish.
Give them a good sprinkle of sea salt.
Add some crushed garlic cloves and thyme sprigs and cover with cling and set aside for a good few hours to marinate and add flavour.

Take pieces out of casserole and pat with kitchen roll to remove the salt and the water which will have come out of the duck.
Place all the pieces into a oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid.
Cover them with duck fat or a combination of cooking oil and duck fat.
Place on hob and bring up heat to bring to bubbling and melt the fat.
Remove and place into oven at about 130deg C for about 2 hours until the pieces are tender when pierced with a knife.

Keep them in the fridge under the fat until using.

When using, take one out of the fat, wipe the excess off and place into hot oven for 10-12 minutes to heat and crisp the skin. If the skin could be crisper place under grill for few minutes to crisp up.


The best tomato sauce for meatballs

Meatballs and tomato sauce is a great meal because everyone loves it from my big strong husband to my 3 year old daughter who calls all red meat Duck at the moment.

The tomato sauce is key and to get the best flavour I tend to use tinned tomatoes or passata because frankly at this time of year our tomatos can be the pallid insipid variety. If Im using tinned I love De Cecco. Sweat down some shallot and garlic until it is soft and translucent and add your tinned tomatoes or bottle of passata. If using tinned dont use all the liquid as the idea is to reduce your sauce until it is thick and yummy and too much liquid will take ages to reach this stage. Taste and be prepared to need to add a pinch of sugar as bitterness is not uncommon but easily rectified.

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