Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lamb with Peppers and Beans

This easy, classic stir-fry combination of boneless lamb fillet, fresh red and green peppers and green beans is well-laced with soy sauce and sherry. Recipe serves 4.


1 pound (500 g) green beans
Boiling water
Salt to taste
2 medium red peppers (capsicums)
2 medium green peppers (capsicums)
2 medium onions
1 pound (500 g) boneless fillet or lamb
1 ounce (30 g) fresh parsley
3 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon medium sherry
1/3 cup chicken stock


1. Top and tail beans and remove side strings if necessary. Cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Cook beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, keeping saucepan two-thirds covered. Drain in a colander. Refresh by rinsing under cold, running water.
2. Halve peppers. Remove inner white membranes and seeds. Cut flesh into 1/2 inch (1 cm) diamond shapes.
3. Peel and quarter onions. Cut into thin strips.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut lamb into same-sized strips as onions.
5. Wash parsley and shake dry. Coarsely chop.
6. Heat oil in wok until very hot, but not smoking. Add lamb. Stir-fry briskly for 2 minutes. Remove from wok with ladle. Drain on rack or on absorbent kitchen paper.
7. Crush garlic directly into remaining oil in wok. Add beans, peppers and onions. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
8. Sprinkle soy sauce, sherry and stock over stir-fried ingredients. Return lamb to wok. Reheat until piping hot, stirring. Mix in parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste.
9. Serve with rice, small new potatoes or pasta.

Ham Salad Sandwich with Tangy Mustard Dressing

This highly flavored combination of ham and mustard can also be made with any leftover cooked meat or poultry. Leave out the gherkins if you are trying to keep your salt intake to a minimum. Recipe makes 2 sandwiches.


1 cup diced cooked ham
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
3 tablespoons low-calorie (kilojoule) mayonnaise
2 sweet gherkins, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon bottled horseradish (optional)
4 slices pumpernickel or wholemeal bread


1. In a small bowl, combine the ham, carrot, mayonnaise, gherkins, mustard and horseradish, if desired. Spread 2 slices of the bread with half of the mixture. Top with the remaining bread and cut the sandwiches in half.

Cheese Variation: Omit the meat from the spread mixture. Place a 1 ounce (30 g) slice of tasty, low-fat cheese on 2 slices of bread and spread with half the mixture. Top with remaining bread and cut in half.

Sweet Apple Variation: Omit the mustard and the horseradish. Add half a Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced, and 1/2 tablespoon sultanas or raisins.

Vegetable and Okra Soup

This easy African soup is quite spicy. Adjust the amount of chili to suit yourself. Recipe serves 6.


1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground chili
2 cups diced potato
1 cup cabbage cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths
1 cup okra, sliced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice


1. Heat oil in a large pot and saute onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the thyme and chili and cook for 5 more minutes while stirring.
2. Add remaining ingredients except lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Add lemon juice. Stir and serve.