Not that you need the whole back story but I was craving a really balanced meal after a long weekend. I mostly ate bread, cheese, and snack foods because I was away at a horse show and too busy to worry much about real food. Enter the desire to have some healthy grains, vegetables, and red meat. Usually when I am craving something new and don’t have the time to leaf through all of my glorious cookbooks I begin a Google search and start piecing things together with what’s in my pantry and fridge. This turned out to be so delicious and I can’t wait to make it again and share with friends.
Part Indian, part Moroccan, part Southern Fusion (j/k maybe a stretch) this has loads of aromatic spices and flavor. I used quinoa in place of couscous but that would be perfect too if you aren’t watching your gluten intake. I have SO much mint growing in my herb garden and it pairs so nicely with lamb and the combination of spices. It’s hard to use too much mint in a recipe like this. After assembling the bowls with equal parts, quinoa, cauliflower, and the ground lamb mixture I garnished with mint, hot peach chutney, and mayo (I know sounds so weird but I was out of Greek yogurt and I just went for it, turned out well). Yogurt would be the obvious choice but sour cream would also work. Feel free to use some liberties and make it your own but I’ll share my recipe below.
Ground Lamb sautéed with curry and tomatoes:
1 pound ground lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small shallot
1 garlic clove
2 tsp fresh grated ginger (I like to buy the frozen cubes)
2 tsp Indian curry seasoning (look for one that has cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, saffron, etc not a Thai curry powder)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp each fresh chopped parsley and mint
salt and pepper
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add your olive oil, shallot, garlic, and ginger. Sweat for about 2 minutes and then add in your dry spices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the aromas start to really develop add your ground lamb, tomatoes, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until the meat is cooked through. When the lamb is brown add in your fresh parsley and mint and stir to combine. Cover with a lid to keep warm and set aside.
Quinoa (or couscous) Salad
1 1/2 cups of quinoa prepared according to package directions
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2 tbsp hot peach chutney (mango chutney good too)
1 1/2 tbsp julienned mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Heat quinoa and combine with chutney while still warm. After it has cooled to room temperature stir in the rest of your ingredients. Store in the fridge until serving time or service immediately.
Roasted Cauliflower was prepared using my favorite recipe with smoked paprika and cumin:
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp salted butter
2 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 small shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place all of the ingredients in a glass baking dish (minus the butter) and swirl around to thoroughly combine and coat the cauliflower with the spices. Place in the oven and bake for a total of about 45 minutes. At roughly 15 minute increments, stir the dish. When the cauliflower has nicely browned and softened put in your butter and stir to combine, let finish an additional 5 minutes in the oven.