New Year’s Resolutions

My new year has been pretty tough so far – yes I know – only 12 days in, but amongst the stress and tiredness I have found solace in cooking and contentment in eating healthy and nutritious, tasty food. My January issue of Olive magazine inspired me with some new recipes and I wanted to note them on here – partly to share them but also to serve as a record of the recipe as Elix and I tend  to forget the recipes we love and end  up spending ages trying the locate them in all my old magazines and cookbooks.

The first is a Smashed Beef Laap with Fennel & Ginger which was filling without being stodgy, easy to make, tasty and good for you with plenty of fresh herbs, vegetables and aromatics. I have made a couple of changes from the original recipe, adding salad leaves in and also leaving out the roasted rice powder which is added to the dressing.

A laap is a traditional Loatian dish which is usually cooked with minced meat  flavoured with fish sauce and lime juice and served with sticky rice. Whilst this salad uses sliced steak I think it would be tasty whether served with griddled meat, minced meat, seafood or vegetables including mushrooms would work well.

3cm grated Ginger
1tsp Fennel Seeds
3 sliced cloves Garlic
1 Sirloin Steak
2 sliced Shallots
A handful of salad leaves
1/2 stick Lemongrass – finely sliced
2 shredded kaffir lime leaves
1 Lime – half to serve in wedges and half juiced for the dressing
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tsp Caster Sugar
1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Red Chilli – finely sliced
1 small bunch coriander & mint
Steamed Rice – to serve

Pound the ginger, 1 garlic clove, fennel seeds and some salt into a paste and rub over the steak. Leave to marinade overnight in the fridge.
One ready to cook, brush the steak with oil and sear on a griddle pan for 2 minutes on each side (or, as done as you like your steak) and leave to rest.
Fry the rest of the garlic and mix with the remaining ingredients to make a lightly dressed salad.
Serve the rice and salad side by side topped with the flavoursome juicy sliced steak.

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The second recipe is the cover picture from Olive and I can see why – it looks colourful, light and delicious and trust me, was amazing to eat. Supergrain Salmon Salad with Chilli and Mint Dressing uses freekeh which is a North African/Middle Eastern wheat grain which has a nutty taste and is full of protein and fiber. If you struggle to find some in the shops you could use quinoa, pearl barley or couscous. I added avocado to this recipe because I love it, I also think other veggies including tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli and spinach would work really well – whatever you like!

100g Freekeh
2 Salmon Steaks
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
Salad Leaves to serve
1 Avocado diced
For the Dressing:
Juice of 2 Lemons
1tsp Ground Cumin
1 Red Chilli – finely chopped
Finely Chopped Mint

Cook the freekeh in vegetable stock for 30 mins or until tender and drain. Mix with the dressing ingredients and some olive oil.
Brush the salmon with the harissa and grill for 5-6 minutes, when cooked as you like it, use a fork to gently flake into chunks.
Pile the grains, greens and dressing and top with the salad for a tasty lunch or light dinner.

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