Shepherd’s Pie, Oh My!

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Winter is here and our bodies crave dishes that are heartwarming and rich to say the least. In my time at university I managed to learn a few dishes to cope with the cold weather in UK, luckily I still remember how to make a tasty Sheperd’s pie to satisfy the winter taste buds cravings.

To make this dish you would need:

– 1 Large Onion (Chopped Find)

– 3 Large Carrot (Chopped Medium)

– 1 Cup Frozen Peas

– 500 Grams Beef Fillet Cubed/Minced (I prefer cubes)

– 4 Large Potatoes Peeled & Cubed

– 1 Tbsp Fine Chopped Onions

– 3/4 Cup Beef/Vegetable Stock

– 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

– 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella or Cheddar)

– 2 Tbsp Flour

– 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

– 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

– Salt & Pepper To Season

(You can also add mushrooms if you like)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

In a large put add some the vegetable oil, onions, carrots and saute until the onions yellow then add the beef and soon as it browns (make sure you sear the beef so it doesn’t loose its juices) add the stock with the nutmeg and cinnamon and let it simmer till carrots are tender then add the peas (these don’t take long to cook). Add the flour mixture (1/2 cold water with the two spoons of flour mixed in) to the pan and get the sauce to thicken.

In a large Pyrex or any roasting pan of your choice, put a layer of the meat mix at the bottom and spread it well then top it off with the mashed potatoes spread and sprinkle it with the cheese. Bake it for 20 minutes in the oven or until you see the cheese melted and ready.

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Serve this dish with a mixed greens salad on the side and you would have a perfectly healthy dish for your family and friends to enjoy. It is almost a staple for winter to try and definitely a worthy nutritious addition to the weekly menu.

Loving Warm Wishes To All

Lama

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Cumin Carrot Creation

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Such a cold weather this morning and all I can think of is how to get a warm soup at lunch to warm up my body. Something creamy and smooth yet not very sinful so I would not feel bad after devouring a full bowl. One of my favorites here must be the carrot soup and with a great use of what I call “the winter spice” cumin, we can make an amazing bursting mouthful of flavors.

To make this soup you would need:

– 1 Kg Carrots

– 1 Large Onion

– 200 Grams Broccoli

– 1 Tsp Fresh Shredded Ginger

– 3 Garlic Cloves

– 1 Heaped Tsp Of Ground Cumin

– 1 Liter Of Vegetable Stock

– A Dash Of Olive Oil

– Salt & Pepper To Season

Preheat the oven to 180°C while you  peel the carrots and chop them into rough cubes. Spread them evenly onto  a roasting tray, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle over  2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Leave them to roast for 30 minutes or until they feel soft when you squish them.

Heat some oil in a large pan and gently sauté the chopped onion, broccoli and ginger for about 7 minutes until really soft, stirring regularly. Add the chopped garlic, ground cumin and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Finally, add the roasted carrots and pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, then liquidize with a hand blender or a big mixer and be careful pouring that in without burning yourself.

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If you feel like the consistency is too thick you can add a little more stock to get it to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve in hot mugs sprinkled with parsley sprigs and a wedge of lemon to the side.

Warm Loving Wishes To All

Lama

Butternut Smooth Salad Heaven

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Butternut squash/pumpkin loveliness is spread around and October is near, I can’t think of anything that I crave more than this yummy salad that’s absolutely heart warming. The ingredients and colors are quite simple yet, it has its own charm and a taste that lingers in your mouth and memory.

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To make this absolutely simple delight you need:

– 1 Butternut Squash/Pumpkin

– Baby Spinach Leaves (Or Just Spinach)

– Pine Nuts (Roasted)

– Pomegranates (Optional)

– Dollop Of Honey

– Balsamic Vinegar

– Olive Oil

– Salt

Instructions are quite easy, watch out because pumpkin and butternut squash have a quite tough skin so be careful when you are cutting it up. Chop it up in a good size cubes and roast it in the oven over a baking sheet till it is relatively soft and tasty. Leave them to cool for a bit before you add the spinach and pine nuts to the bowl and toss in a light dressing of honey, balsamic, olive oil and salt. Enjoy this divine autumn/winter salad and dig in generously, no calories to worry about there.

Warm Loving Wishes To All…

Lama

PS: The photos are not mine, I shall replace them with mine soon as they are ready.