Lamb, Hummus—an Ethical Eating Experience?

a picture of chunks of lamb marinating in a dish by The Diabetes DietCan you be an ethical carnivore? I asked the question in a post a few weeks ago as I’ve been reading The Ethical Carnivore – My Year Killing to Eat by Louise Gray.

The one-time vegetarian in me wants to feel that the food choices I make cause minimal suffering and don’t impact the environment as negatively as factory farming does. At the same time, I like following an omnivorous diet and think that is the best possible health choice.

So, what to eat?

Eat less meat

I believe in what small-scale producers do. They deserve our support, but their products are expensive and more of an effort to seek out. As many people have discovered before me, the answer is to eat less meat, which is what most people did in years gone by, and buy the best quality you can sourced from farms that treat their animals with respect and dignity.

Chicken, pork and beef are all problematic unless you buy them from farmers’ markets and small co-operatives because of the ways they are farmed before they are killed. The same applies to dairy. As for fish, most of the stuff in supermarkets comes from fish farms and/or is sourced from far-away countries, making it an environmentally unfriendly choice.

Unlike Louise Gray, I can’t bring myself to directly kill anything, hypocritical as that is. But I’m open to eating a lot less meat, trying out plenty of low-carb vegetarian dishes and including more beans and pulses in my diet.

Lamb – the ethical choice

I’m also happy to continue eating lamb, as the production of lamb doesn’t lend itself easily to factory faming. And there are sound arguments for it here. If you want to eat lamb in this country, it can be a challenge sourcing the UK stuff (an irony that appals me as a farmer’s daughter) because most supermarkets import New Zealand lamb.

Nevertheless, if you do find it, lamb lends itself to many delicious dishes, including this one – lamb with home-made hummus. This amount makes enough for two to three dinners.

a pot of hummus made by The Diabetes DietFor truly velvet-y hummus, you should take the skins off the chickpeas. I’ve done it—once—and it makes quite a difference. But it’s a tedious job. Skins-on chickpeas will still make a fabulous-tasting dish.

Lamb with Hummus

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 lamb leg steaks, chopped into equal sized chunks
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • I green chilli, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 1 tin chick peas, drained
  • 3tbsp tahini
  • Salt and pepper

Mix the chopped meat in a bowl with a tablespoon of the lemon juice, salt and pepper, the sumac, chilli and one of the cloves of crushed garlic. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes, though a couple of hours will benefit the dish.

Blend the garlic, lemon juice and tahini in a food processor so a minute or so to get it as smooth and combined as possible. Add the drained chickpeas and two tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Mix well. Add a tablespoon of water if you feel the mix is too thick. You can also use a hand blender to make the dish.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the meat. Cook over a high heat—the meat will take about five to ten minutes.

Serve with the hummus.

My carb-loving husband made his own flat breads to go with this, but it’s fine just as it is with a salad on the side—perhaps a Greek one to continue the Mediterranean theme.

Allow about 8-10g carbs per serving.

 

 

Crust-less Pizza

This is based on Nigella Lawson recipe I adapted – Meatzza. Basically, you use mince to create a base, and top with the traditional pizza favourites, tomato sauce and mozzarella.

Nigella’s recipe uses porridge oats. I swapped these for ground almonds. They are there to give the base substance. I also changed the herb from parsley to thyme. Serve with a green salad, or to keep the Italian theme going you could try this Keto garlic bread recipe on the Diet Doctor website.

Crust-less Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3tbsp ground almonds
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • 1tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 125g ball of Mozzarella
  • Fresh basil

Grease a 28-cm baking tin. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

In a bowl, mix the meat with the garlic, ground almonds, half the grated Parmesan, thyme, salt and eggs. Do this with the tips of your fingers so you don’t overhandle the meat, as too much handling makes it tough.

Press the meat into the tin. Drain some of the liquid off the tinned tomatoes. Mix with the oregano and spread it over the meat crust. Slice the Mozzarella and put it on top, along with the rest of the Parmesan.

Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Top with the fresh basil and serve.

Serves 4. 5g carbs and 1g fibre per serving.

 

Seasonal Low-Carb Dishes

diabetes diet
Mediterranean trout with kale.

February is almost at an end – as it the season for many fruit and vegetables we associated with this time of year.

Nevertheless, we’ve done a round-up of what’s in season at the moment. If you eat seasonally, you get food at its best. It also means less food miles, as the food can be produced in the UK and has therefore not had to travel as far to get to your plate.

Fruit

  • Lemons
  • Clementines (coming to the end of their season)
  • Pears (coming to the end of their season)
  • Kiwis

Vegetables

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Purple sprouting broccoli

Meat and fish

  • Turkey
  • Salmon

If you want some recipe ideas for what to do with what’s in season, you could try:

Enjoy!

 

Mediterranean Trout with Kale

diabetes dietInspired by the Diet Doctor – if you ever need low-carb recipe ideas this site is amazing – I created my own version of one of their recipes this week.

And, whisper it, I think mine’s better! I swapped salmon for trout fillets which brings down the cost substantially, replaced spinach with crispy kale and gave the dish an overall Mediterranean feel with some basil.

You end up with an extremely low-carb dish – about 3g net carbs – that’s also delicious and really filling. I bought my trout from Costco where I was able to buy a giant fillet that I cut up into eight 150g portions.

Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals – including beta carotene, and vitamins K and C – while trout has plenty of Omega 3s and B vitamins.

Mediterranean Trout with Kale

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 x 150g trout fillets
  • 4tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 200g kale
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees C. Season the fish and place them on a baking sheet lined with grease-proof paper or foil, skin side down.

Mix the mayonnaise, tomato puree and basil and spread the mixture evenly over the two fillets. Cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Five minutes before the end of the fish cooking time, heat a large saucepan or work with the butter. Add the kale and plenty of seasoning and cook until softened.

Serve with the fish.

 

NourishedPeach: Grilled chicken with chipolte lime sour cream

This recipe was originally Smokey Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream but it works as well without the bread accompaniment.

 

Ingredients

For the Chicken

1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenderloins

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Lime, juiced

1 Teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the Chipotle Lime Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Powder

1 Clove Garlic, grated or pressed

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

On the side

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2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

4 Slices Cooked Bacon, chopped

4 Green Onions, thinly sliced

Chopped Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the Chicken

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, chipotle powder and salt in a small bowl.  Place chicken in a shallow bowl or plastic resealable bag and cover with the marinade, ensuring the chicken is coated well.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade and place on the grill.  Grill, covered, for 8-10 minutes, flipping once in between cooking, or until chicken is nicely charred and thoroughly cooked through.  Let chicken rest for 5-10 minutes and then chop into small pieces.

For the Chipotle Lime Sour Cream

Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk well to combine.  Let sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.  Can be made ahead and stored in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance.

Add

Add cheese, bacon, green onion and diced chicken to each plate.   Serve topped with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream and sprinkled with cilantro.  Serves 4-6.

 

Jovina cooks Italian: Summer fish, gratin and salad

Getting together with friends doesn’t need to be something that’s planned for days. Keep it simple and enjoy the evening. You also want to cook easy, but delicious food with a minimum of fuss. I try to make up menus that do most of the cooking on the grill and much of the preparation in advance. That way I can spend time with my guests. Make dessert easy by serving fresh fruit. It is much more refreshing than a heavy dessert and add a little frozen yogurt, if desired.

 

Serve this dinner with a tray of vegetables and a creamy dip.

 

Pesto Flounder Packets

This recipe is easy to adapt to seasonal ingredients. When basil is not available, use a spinach or red pepper pesto. Baking in parchment during cold weather is quite successful, but use the grilling method when the weather cooperates.

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) flounder fillets or any white fish fillets available in your area
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Lime slices

Directions

Prepare  an outdoor grill.

Cut aluminum foil into 4 pieces large enough to enclose the fillets. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on each piece of foil. Place fish on top of the oil.

Lightly spread 1 tablespoon pesto over each fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with tomato and lime slices.

Seal foil packets and place on the grill. Grill 8-10 minutes or until fish are cooked.

Summer Vegetable Gratin

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This casserole can be prepared in advance and cooked when the guests arrive or cooked in advance and reheated. Tastes just fine reheated.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

Set aside 1 cup of the corn kernels.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over low heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about three minutes.

Add the bell pepper, squash and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about five minutes.

Add the garlic and 2 cups corn kernels, stir together and add another generous pinch of salt and some pepper.

Stir together for a minute or two and remove the pan from the heat.

Place the remaining 1 cup corn kernels in a blender and add the eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Combine with the vegetables in the skillet.

Add the parsley and the cheese, and stir together. Pour into the prepared gratin dish.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the gratin is firm to the touch. Serve hot or warm.

 

Garden Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • Half a cucumber, diced
  • Sliced radishes and black olives to taste
  • 4 cups torn garden lettuce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Vinaigrette, recipe below

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and mix well. Taste and add a little more dressing, if necessary.

Italian Vinaigrette

Yields: ¾ cup

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian mixed herbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Whisk the first seven ingredients together. Whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated.

 From Jovina Cooks Italian food blog

 

Beef Stroganoff – Low-Carb Main Courses

low carb main coursesBeef Stroganoff is a quick and easy dish for two. All in all, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. The classic accompaniment is rice or noodles. If you are following a low-carb diet, try cauliflower rice instead, broccoli or a huge salad.

Beef Stroganoff

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 300g rump steak (Aldi sells rump steaks in this size)
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 100g onion, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • 100ml reduced-fat crème fraiche
  • 2tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Chop the steak into 2cm chunks. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the steak pieces. You might need to do this in batches to prevent over-crowding the pan.

Depending on how you like your steak, cook for 2-4 minutes – the lesser time will mean a rarer finished dish.

Remove the steak from the pan and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for five minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the salt and pepper, steak and mustard and cook for one minute. Add the crème fraiche and cook through. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Allow about 10-12g of carbs per portion.