The best way to add some variety to those lentils you’re likely or supposed to be consuming every day: stock and spices. With those two additions, they’re actually quite addicting.
Now, two quick confessions. 1) I normally prefer meat stock to veggie stock 2) Until I started Slow Carb, I’d never made my own stock before.
Prior to Slow Carbing, I only really used stock for actual soups on the rare occasion I made a soup requiring it or to cook rice (much better than cooking in water if you’ve never tried it.) With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with how good this veggie broth is.
I reached out to a few friends for suggestions, and here are the results of my first attempt at veggie stock.
1-2 onions, quartered
5-6 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped coarsely
2 stalks of celery, washed and chopped into a few large pieces so they fit in the pot
3 or 4 carrots washed and chopped into a few large pieces (no need to peel, just wash first or throw in some baby carrots)
Any other veggies (or veggie scraps) you have on hand – turnips, cabbage, spinach, pumpkin, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.
Sea Salt or Veggie Salt
12 cups water
Put 3 cups of water into a stockpot or any large pot. Turn heat to medium-high heat until boiling.
Add onions and garlic and simmer over medium heat until liquid reduces to almost nothing.
Add the rest of the water and other vegetables.
Add 1-2 Tbs of Italian Style Seasonings. I’m partial to Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset, but any sort of Italian herbs with no sugar or additives will do. Some people put their herbs in cheesecloth, but I don’t bother.
Simmer for about 90 minutes. Taste the stock. If it’s full-bodied, it’s done. If not, keep simmering a bit longer.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Approximately 1 Tbs of Sea Salt or Veggie Salt should do.
Strain veggies and collect stock in a jar or another pot if you’re planning on cooking right away. The stock should keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.
TIP #1 – Keep a pyrex container in the fridge to save your veggie scraps throughout the week to make a stock.
TIP #2 – Depending on what veggies you used for your stock, you can use the leftover, strained veggies in a lentil dish. They’ll be nice an softened already.
TIP # 3 – Freeze stock into ice cubes or quart-sized ziplock bags to use.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I love lamb. It’s not as common or cheap in the US as it is in Australia, and Tim doesn’t specifically address eating lamb in his book, but a reasonably lean cut of lamb is likely comparable to eating a lean cut of beef.
This great meal for a special occasion or entertaining when you want to pretend you aren’t on a diet, this recipe is “lick the plate” delicious. Seriously, I’ve had guests ask me if it’d be rude for them to lick their plates!
I initially started making this recipe because I wanted to find a way to use all the fresh herbs I was growing on my balcony. Fresh is always best and more flavorful, but you can certainly used dried as well.
6 -8 lamb chops (lamb bbq chops)
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Tbs finely chopped rosemary
1 Tbs finely chopped parsley
1 Tbs finely chopped thyme
2 Tbs butter or ghee
1 Tbs macadamia nut oil
1 cup dry red wine
If there’s a lot of visible fat on the edges, you can cut it off, but I usually leave a bit of marbling in the middle. Perfectly OK for Slow Carbing.
Season the chops well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium-high. When quite hot, put in the chops and sear them on both sides till golden brown. Remove the chops to a warm plate.
Reduce the heat to low, and remove any excess fat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until caramelized a bit. Increase the heat to medium, and add the mushrooms. Sauté for until golden brown – about 5 minutes.
Put the chops back in the pan, pour on the red wine, and sprinkle on the rosemary, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit. You may need to turn the heat up a bit to get the sauce to thicken. Stir in the butter.
Serve chops covered with mushrooms and sauce alongside a simple vegetable, such as green beans or a green salad.
This recipe is ridiculously simple and very tasty. A perfect inaugural roast chicken for a bachelor or bachelorette new to cooking. So easy and so well received that my non-cook boyfriend asked me to teach him to make it. This dish is great served with green beans and roast veggies.
1 t ghee (optional)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 large chicken pieces on the bone (chicken Maryland is what I use)
Roasting vegetab les – whatever you have on hand (onions, carrots, parsnips or and ear of corn chopped up into two inch sections all work well and fit into Slow Carb. If you’re aren’t Slow Carbing or have guests, it’s nice to add potatoes as well )
Everyday Seasoning Blend or other seasonings. See below.
Preheat oven to 220 C or 425 F.
If you plan on roasting veggies, peel and chop into small pieces roughly the same size and put in a medium-large baking dish (it is important that the pan is big enough so that there is plenty of room for veggies to crisp.) Toss with a bit of macadamia nut oil. Pop in the oven while you prep the chicken.
Season chicken with seasoning blend. I use a premade blend of sea salt, peppercorns, dried onion, garlic, parsley and oregano called Everyday Seasonings sold at Aldi in Australia. You can make your own by filling a grinder with those spices. Alternatively, I like Penzey’s Mural of Flavor or season on your own any way you like. Any poultry seasoning free of sugar and fillers is fine. Even plain old salt and pepper tastes great.
Place ghee and oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown for 2 minutes each side until golden.
Transfer to baking dish with the veggies. Reduce heat to 175 C or 350 F. Roast for 15 minutes, and then stir veggies and flip the chicken pieces over. Roast for 15 minutes longer and then remove from the oven and serve.
**Note: I like crispy, caramelized veggies so I will sometimes stir more often, but this isn’t necessary.
Shoulder is a great alternative to a traditional fatty leg of lamb roast. The shoulder is an often overlooked cut of meat because it tends to be tough, but when you slow cook it, it’s nice and tender. If there was a bone, this meat would be falling-off-the-bone-tender.
An added bonus – due to the unpopularity of the cut, it’s usually much cheaper than a leg or other cuts. I’d suggest cooking up a 2lb+ roast and keeping the leftovers in the fridge for fast leftover meals.
Slow-Cooked Garlic Roasted Lamb
(Makes about 6 servings)
2 lb lamb shoulder (boneless is preferred)
Freshly ground pepper
1-2 whole bulbs garlic
2-3 sprigs rosemary
White wine (just a splash!)
1.5 c chicken stock
Preheat oven to 450F. Score the skin of the meat about 1 inch apart. Place the roast in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Cut the garlic bulb(s) in half and place under the lamb to prop it up. This will serve as a “rack” to allow the fat to drip off the lamb. Poke the rosemary sprigs on top of the lamb, and cover the pan with foil.
Place the pan in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 320F. Set the timer for 4 hours and leave alone.
After 4 hours, remove the foil from the lamb and turn the oven up to 425F. Roast for another 20 minutes so that the skin gets nice and crispy. Take the lamb out of the oven, and place on a platter. Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes.
Pour out most of the oil from the pan, and squeeze the cooked garlic cloves out onto the platter. Add a splash of white wine and chicken stock to the remaining drippings and stir well. Let the sauce bubble well, and don’t let it evaporate too much. About 5-6 minutes.
Pull the lamb apart and drizzle the sauce over it. Serve.