Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato

It’s time to crack out the lamb shank recipes! I love this Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato creation. It is really simple to make and full of wholesome ingredients and fragrant spices to make your mouth water. The smells in the kitchen while its cooking are divine.

I make this recipe in my beautiful Le Creuset pot and cook the whole dish in the oven for about 2 and a half hours, until the meat is just falling off the bone. The sauce is rich and fragrant and is delicious served with polenta or mashed potato. You can serve it with anything that will help you soak up the tasty sauce.

This is a weekend dish for me. It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to prepare and it is so worth it. It’s a hands down winner with the whole family.

Lamb Shanks Sweet Potato Chickpeas title
My Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato served on a bed of dairy-free polenta (cooked with home made vegetable stock and some olive oil).

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato

Serves 4 (very generous serves)

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons macadamia oil
  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 litre of home made stock (I use vegetable stock that I make in my Thermomix)
  • 800g of sweet potato, washed with the skin left on, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup of organic sultanas
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained and washed

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat. Add two of the lamb shanks and brown on each side. Transfer them to a plate. Repeat with the remaining two lamb shanks.
  3. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger and cinnamon to the casserole dish. Stir until fragrant – about 1 minute.
  4. Add the brown onion, celery and water to the casserole dish. Stir well to allow the water to degrease the casserole dish. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions and celery soften.
  5. Return the lamb shanks to the casserole dish and add the stock, sweet potato and sultanas. Bring to the boil.
  6. Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and cook for 2 hours with the lid on.
  7. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the chickpeas, stirring gently to mix through. Return the casserole dish to the oven to cook for a further 30 minutes with the lid off. The dish is ready when the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Remove the casserole dish from the oven.
  8. Serve with cooked polenta or mashed potatoes.

I use the Polenta recipe from the Thermomix Basic Cookbook. It is really easy to make and contains no dairy.

Lamb Shanks Sweet Potato Chickpeas closeup

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

These are a favourite in our household. They are such a brilliant lunchbox treat for the kids and a yummy snack too. My Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins have lots of hidden vegetables in them and they take about 2 minutes to make in my Thermomix. I also mill my own gluten free flour using whole brown rice and buckwheat, providing lots of extra nutrition with no preservatives. This equates to quick, easy, delicious and healthy food for my growing boys. Just what this mum wants!

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If you want to save some for another time these do freeze well. And if you don’t have a Thermomix, just grate all of your vegetables, use 200g of any gluten free flour you have, and then whisk everything well in a large mixing bowl.

You can also personalise these yummy Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins by adding extra vegetables on top. I have one son who goes bananas for cherry tomatoes, so he gets these halved on his. My other son is not a fan, so plain muffins are his favourite.

My boys are enjoying these in their lunchboxes tomorrow, along with some organic grapes, cut up carrot and cherry tomatoes, and a delicious gluten free chocolate cupcake. Yummo.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 100g brown rice (or any type of rice that you choose)
  • 100g buckwheat
  • 2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 2 small carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 80g coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 12 muffins patties
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper muffin patties.
  2. Place the brown rice and buckwheat into your Thermomix bowl and mill on speed 9 for 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Place the zucchini and carrot chunks into your Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 5 for 3 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and the reserved brown rice and buckwheat flour. Mix on speed 5 for 20 seconds.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the 12 muffin patties. If using, place a cherry tomato half on top of each muffin and press down lightly.
  6. Cook in your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre is clean when removed. Remove from the oven and allow them to sit in the muffin tray for 10 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the tray onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool.
  7. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
Muffins before going into the oven to cook
Muffins before going into the oven to cook.
These Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins are a delicious addition to your child's lunchbox.
These Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins are a delicious addition to your child’s lunchbox.

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Mango Coconut Slushie

In true summer style, we’re wearing the bare minimum, positioning ourselves to get as much of the bay breeze as possible and sipping on Mango Coconut Slushies. Perfect.

This Mango Coconut Slushie reminds me of coconut flavoured mango lassi. It has a coconut water and coconut yoghurt base and lots of frozen mango and ice. Flavoured with a hint of fresh mint, this drink is refreshing, naturally sweet and perfect in the heat. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!

Happy holidays everyone!!!

Mango Coconut Slushie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 140g (1 cup) of ice
  • 320g (2 cups) of frozen mango
  • 130g (1/2 cup) of natural coconut yoghurt
  • 750g (3 cups) of unsweetened coconut water, chilled
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into your Thermomix or high speed blender and blend until smooth. If using a Thermomix, blend on speed 9 for 1 minute. Pour into four glasses and enjoy immediately!

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Gluten Free Shortbread (Thermomix)

It’s almost Christmas time and the amazingly beautiful food that I don’t eat has been on offer for a few weeks now. Step in my Gluten Free Shortbread! This is definitely a ‘sometimes’ recipe for me. These delicious shortbread are gluten free, dairy free and sweetened using pure maple syrup…a whole bunch of it! They are so yummy with a hot cup of tea and they just fill that gap when I want something decadent and sweet over the holiday season. These are very moreish and will disappear fast!

This is a recipe that I have created in my Thermomix by modifying the sweet shortcrust pastry recipe from The Basic Cook Book by Thermomix. It is really easy to prepare and does require a little bit of love and patience when you’re cutting the biscuits. Persevere and you will be very happy with the result…I promise! These Gluten Free Shortbread make the perfect afternoon tea snack or after dinner treat.

Gluten Free Shortbread

Ingredients:

  • 370g of plain gluten free flour
  • 1 organic free range egg
  • 100g of pure maple syrup
  • 200g of coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground vanilla powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
Thermomix Method:
  1. Place all of the ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix for 20 seconds on speed 5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula then mix for a further 10 seconds on speed 5.
  2. Transfer the shortbread dough onto a ThermoMat or a floured surface and work the dough into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the dough in the ThermoMat or some plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Shape the dough into a round log and then use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 7-8mm thick slices. If you need to, place the dough back into the fridge to firm up again before slicing.
  5. Place the cut biscuit pieces onto the lined baking trays. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shortbread are lightly golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then place onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool.
  7. Once the biscuits have cooled, store them in an air tight container.
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Gluten Free Pikelets

Pikelets are so much fun to make and eat. I feel like a big kid when I’m making these with my little ones. It brings back lots of memories of making pikelets with my mum. I love these Gluten Free Pikelets so much because they’re easy to make, taste great and demonstrate that you can still eat yummy, special treats when you’ve chosen not to eat gluten, dairy and sugar.

I whiz these up in my Thermomix in about 20 seconds and then fry them in a little bit of coconut oil. You can use a big bowl and electric beaters or a whisk to mix these Gluten Free Pikelets too.

I love to serve these with fresh fruit, like bananas and strawberries, and drizzled with a little bit of pure maple syrup. These are guaranteed to disappear fast!

Gluten Free Pikelets

Ingredients:

  • 220g (2 cups) of plain gluten free flour
  • 500g (2.5 cups) of non-dairy milk (e.g. soy milk or almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground vanilla powder
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Extra pure maple syrup to serve

Thermomix Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into your Thermomix bowl and mix on speed 4 for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula. Mix for a further 1o seconds on speed 4.
  2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add one teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour small, pikelet-sized amounts of the batter into the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the top. Turn over the pikelets and cook for a further minute or two until both sides are golden. Remove the pikelets onto a plate to cool slightly and repeat this process until you have used all of the Gluten Free Pikelet batter.
  3. Serve hot or cold with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and fresh fruit if desired.

Conventional Method:

  1. Place the egg and non-dairy milk into a large mixing bowl and beat with electric beaters or a whisk until combined.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat until you have a smooth pikelet batter.
  3. Follow steps 2 and 3 above in the Thermomix Method above.

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Pineapple Mint Smoothie

Summer is coming and the weather is starting to heat up now. This calls for icy cold and delicious summer smoothies. This Pineapple Mint Smoothie is so refreshing and it’s packed full of ingredients that will hydrate your body.

I have to give a big shout out to my gorgeous friend Lisa for inspiring this refreshing smoothie combination. I was at her place yesterday where she made a kiwi fruit, mint and cucumber smoothie. This was a huge hit and I felt immediately inspired to come home and start blending up some tasty and fresh ingredients.

Just blend up all of your ingredients and enjoy it straight away! So simple and so delicious. Happy blending.

Pineapple Mint Smoothie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 400g of frozen pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 a small Lebanese cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 160g of ice cubes
  • 2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves
  • 600g of coconut water

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into your Thermomix bowl and blend on speed 9 for 1 minute. Serve immediately in your favourite glasses.

If you have a high speed blender, just blend up the ingredients until you have a smooth and foamy smoothie.

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Zesty Meatballs

These little beauties are definitely a family favourite. Meet my Zesty Meatballs. This recipe was inspired by a Jamie Oliver spaghetti and meatball recipe my Mum found years ago. He added lemon zest to the mixture and this added an incredible burst of flavour to the meatballs. My little meatballs are gluten free, paleo friendly and full of yummy flavours. You can eat them with some homemade tomato sauce or relish, with vegetables for dinner, or you can add them to Spaghetti Napolitano to create your own spaghetti and meatballs. They’re also a yummy snack all on their own, hot or cold, if you feel like a protein boost.

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These days I always make my own meatballs. I like knowing exactly what’s in them. I’m a strong believer that if you use great ingredients and make your food with love and care you will always end up with a tastier dish. These Zesty Meatballs are really quick and easy to whip up and they use ingredients that you’ll probably have in your fridge and pantry every week.

I like to serve these with lots of steamed organic vegetables, either rice or dairy free mashed potato, and a fresh wedge of lemon on the side. It’s a quick and easy meal for the whole family.

Zesty Meatballs

Serves 4 – makes 16 small meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 500g of beef mince
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 good pinches of Himalayan salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or macadamia oil for frying
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands until well combined.
  2. Shape into 16 small meatballs, rolling them between the palms of your hands.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and coat the frying pan with it. Add the meatballs and sauté them until they are browned all over, turning them regularly. This will take about 10 minutes.
  4. When they are nicely browned, pour over the lemon juice and toss them well. This will make the meatballs nice and shiny. Cook for 2 more minutes, tossing occasionally.
  5. Remove the meatballs from the pan and serve with steamed rice and lots of steamed vegetables.
My Zesty Meatballs after they have been tossed in the lemon juice.
My Zesty Meatballs after they have been tossed in the lemon juice.
Zesty Meatballs served with steamed rice and steamed broccoli and carrots.
Zesty Meatballs served with steamed rice and steamed broccoli and carrots.

For all of my Thermomix fellow owners, I cook my white rice and steamed vegetables in the basket for a quick and easy accompaniment to my meatballs. I add half a cup of white rice, dice 4 medium carrots and cut up a small broccoli head. This fits nicely into the basket. I cook all of this on Varoma temperature for 15 minutes on speed 4. This amount of food serves myself, my husband and my two small boys. If you’re feeding a larger family, I would add 1 cup of rice and cook more vegetables in the Varoma basket on top. Happy cooking!

Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade

I love coming up with clever ways to recreate some of the drinks I used to enjoy that are now no longer on my menu. Lemonade is something I really loved drinking from time to time. It’s so refreshing when the weather gets hot and the bubbles are just fun. I always felt like a big kid when I drank it. These days, lemonade is definitely a ‘no go zone’ for me. It is full of refined sugar, sweeteners (like Aspartame) and lemon juice concentrate. Just google the ingredients for lemonade if you want to find out what’s in it. My solution is to make my own Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade. This is made from real ingredients with no cane sugar or artificial sweeteners in sight!

My Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade. Simple and delicious.
My Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade. Simple and delicious.

My Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade is made using the juice of REAL lemons! No lemon juice concentrate here. I use concentrated liquid stevia to add sweetness to my lemonade because, let’s face it, carbonated water and lemon juice just won’t cut it. Concentrated liquid stevia is made from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia Rebaudiana is it’s botanical name). This herb produces a natural sweetener that is super sweet. I have read that concentrated liquid stevia is about 70 times as sweet as refined sugar, so you only need to add the tiniest amount. You can buy stevia in liquid form, you can buy the crushed leaves or it also comes in a concentrated white powder. I prefer the concentrated liquid form because it’s great to use in all types of baking, in making hot or cold desserts, and for sweetening beverages.

Concentrated liquid stevia
Concentrated liquid stevia

This recipe is something that I make when our lemon tree fruits heavily after prolonged periods of rain. My Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade is a fantastic afternoon beverage, sipped slowly out on the balcony with the sun on my legs. It’s not like store bought lemonade. I think it’s better. It has character and you know it’s lemonade because you can see the lemon in it! It’s traditional and homely. Plus, I’m really happy to give this to my kids, so it’s an absolute winner for me.

Homemade Sugar Free Lemonade

Serves 4 to 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 litres of sparkling mineral water
  • 1.5 cups of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 10 drops of organic concentrated liquid stevia (or to taste)
  • 2 handful of ice cubes

Method:

Add all of the ingredients to a large jug. Whisk well to combine. Serve immediately in your favourite glasses.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

At this time of year when the weather is getting colder, it’s always nice to make some real, homemade chicken noodle soup. I’m not talking about the stuff you buy from the supermarket, add hot water to and stir for 5 minutes. I’m talking about real, old fashioned, home cooked soup made with chicken bones to create a nourishing chicken broth that is flavoured with vegetables and some gluten free pasta. It takes a little bit of love and care but I think it’s so worth it. The end result is a very special soup that is reminiscent of the chicken soup I used to eat in my childhood. The kind of soup that Nanna and Mum made.

Chicken Noodle Soup

I make this soup in a large casserole dish so it can simmer on the stove for a while. My Le Creuset pot is perfect for this. Using chicken bones is a great way to get lots of flavour and goodness into your broth. I used a bag of three chicken carcasses from the supermarket. It may seem like there’s not a lot of meat on them, but I removed 2 cups of shredded chicken from the carcasses for my soup.

Once you have finished cooking the pasta in the soup, you will need to check the soup for seasoning. You are essentially making a chicken stock from scratch so you will need a good amount of seasoning for flavour. Let your palette be the judge. I suggest using a good quality salt like Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt. These will add trace minerals and extra goodness to your soup.

Lastly, ladle generous amounts of the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup into your favourite soup bowls. Warm your hands on the outside of the bowl and breath in the delicious aroma. Share your soup, cooked with care, with the people you love to enhance the whole experience.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil or coconut oil
  • 3 chicken carcasses (mine had a little bit of meat left on the bone)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed dried herbs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Himalayan salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of dried gluten free penne pasta (preferably organic and GMO free)

Method:

  1. Heat a large stove proof casserole dish (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook them for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
  2. Place the chicken carcasses on top of the vegetables and add the water, dried herbs, bay leaves, two generous pinches of Himalayan salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low to medium. Place the lid on the casserole dish and simmer for 45 minutes. You want the soup to simmer away nicely, not boil over.
  3. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves and the chicken carcasses from the casserole dish with a pair of tongs. Remove any excess fat that collects on the top of the soup with a ladle. Place the chicken carcasses on a large plate and let them cool down enough so that you can handle them. Remove any chicken meat from the carcasses. I removed about 2 cups of shredded chicken meat. Return the chicken meat to the soup.
  4. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup back to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and then add the penne pasta. Stir well to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, until the pasta is al dente. Stir the soup often during this time. You want to cook the pasta al dente as it will continue to cook in the hot soup once removed from the heat.
  5. Check the soup for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.
Shredded chicken removed from the cooked chicken carcasses, ready to be put back into the soup.
Shredded chicken removed from the cooked chicken carcasses, ready to be put back into the soup.
Homemade Chicken Soup simmering away while the pasta cooks.
Homemade Chicken Soup simmering away while the pasta cooks.
The broth is just delicious and so comforting.
The broth is delicious and so comforting.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

This is one of my all time favourite snacks. Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips. These are so easy to make and are a guaranteed hit. I have been making these for a long time and they always get gobbled up. These little beauties are gluten free, dairy free, paleo friendly and vegan.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips cooked

I love making my own baked chips. I can flavour them how I like and I know the quality of the ingredients that I’m using. I have been getting some delicious organic sweet potatoes in my weekly fruit and vegetable box from HomeFresh Organics lately. They make the best chips. I flavour them with a little bit of fresh rosemary from my garden, some coconut oil and a generous sprinkle of Himalayan salt. I bake them in the oven until they are golden and voilà! A delicious plant-based snack for the whole family.

These Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips make a regular appearance at our house on the weekend. It’s nice to eating something fresh from the oven this time of year as the temperature starts to cool down. Put them in a big bowl and curl up on the couch with these to watch a movie. Simple pleasures. The best part for me is that these chips are a wonderful way to add more vegetables to our diets. Bonus.

I like to leave the skin on my sweet potatoes because there is just so much goodness there. I did a quick internet search and found out that sweet potato skins have lots of fibre, really high levels of beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, potassium and iron. I just give them a good scrub with a brush under running water to remove any dirt. However, if you’re not a fan, then peel off the skin before you cut the sweet potatoes into chips.

Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium organic sweet potatoes, washed well, cut into chips
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil, melted
  • A good pinch of Himalayan salt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place your sweet potato chips onto the baking tray and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, coconut oil and salt. Toss the sweet potato chips with your hands to coat them evenly in the oil and seasoning.
  3. Cook your Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, until they are golden.
  4. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully place the chips onto a serving dish. Eat immediately!
Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips ready to be cooked in the oven.
Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips ready to be cooked in the oven.
Ready to be devoured!
Ready to be devoured!