I think that I shared the same point of view with many other people who have tried to lose weight before with various diets. And that is that healthy, low fat food has no taste, no pizzaz, offers zero challenge or excitement to an adventurous cook who’s looking to up their skills and learn more about food and flavour. This presented me with a real dilemma in that I felt as though I had to choose between my love of cooking, food and my health.
Something had to give right? WRONG.
I really applaud Jamie Oliver and his intense mission that he has undertaken to introduce healthy eating habits and has not just highlighted a problem, but has offered a solution in his recipes that are FULL of amazing flavour, are quick and easy to make but remain interesting, fresh and different! I don’t have to choose between interesting great tasting food and my health, I can now cook amazing food that is good for me but that also feeds my cooking and food passion. It’s just about making the right choices, cutting the wrong things out and focussing on flavour combinations and making good, healthy food WORK well by combining it with the right stuff! Something that Jamie does very well and is teaching me how to do which has proven to be a very valuable lifestyle lesson!
I made this from his 15 Minute Meals recipe book last night and have fallen in love with it! The honey and pistachio coating is just gorgeous. The honey adds a subtle sweetness that lamb loves and the pistachios add interesting colour as well as a beautiful texture. I also really enjoyed the grated red onion and cucumber mixture that he puts on the greek salad. It worked so well and I am not usually a fan of onion in salad, but this was fantastic!
This meal works so well for entertaining as you can just pop platters on a table and people can go nuts! I will definitely do this one again! ENJOY! 🙂
400g lean lamb mince
1 tsp garam masala
25g shelled pistachios
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp runny honey
½ bunch fresh mint
1 fresh red chilli
½ mug (150g) of couscous
½ an iceberg lettuce
½ a red onion
½ a cucumber
5 ripe cherry tomatoes
4 black olives (stone in)
4 heaped tbsp fat-free yoghurt
40g feta cheese
4 Pita breads
- In a large bowl, mix the mince with salt, pepper and the garam masala.
- Divide into 8, then with wet hands shape into little fat fingers.
- Put into the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning until dark golden all over.
- Tear off most of the top leafy half of the mint and blitz in the processor with a pinch of salt and pepper and the chilli until fine. Remove the blade, stir in ½ mug of couscous and 1 mug of boiling water, put the lid on and leave to sit in the processor.
- Cut the lettuce into wedges and arrange on a nice board or platter.
- Peel and coarsely grate the onion and cucumber into a bowl, season well with salt, then squeeze out any excess salty liquid and sprinkle over the lettuce.
- Chop and add the tomatoes, then squash, destone and dot over the olives.
- Mix the yoghurt in a bowl with the juice of 1 lemon, season to taste , then drizzle over the lettuce and crumble over the feta.
- Bash the pistachios in a pestle and mortar.
- Drain away the fat from the lamb, then toss with the bashed nuts, thyme leaves and honey and turn the heat off.
- Pop the pitas in the microwave (800W) for 45 seconds to warm through, then cut in half and add to the board with the kofte.
- Fluff up the cous cous, scatter the remaining mint leaves over everything and serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe and photo by Jamie Oliver