It’s raining, it’s cold and it’s already dark by the time you get home – perfect! This happens to be an ideal excuse to curl up on the sofa in your pj’s for an eve of back-to-back viewings of your fave netflix series. But instead of caving to your cravings by stopping at the shops for a microwave meal, or simply working your way through a family sized pack of doritos for the night, why not nourish yourself with a big bowl of warm, homemade real food. I often post my ‘#bowloflove’ on instagram, these are those one-bowl, delicious, comfort food classics that are just what the doctor ordered, and here’s one that I just had to share!
Cauliflower rice is a delicious, lower-carb side dish for a big bowl of warming winter stew, ultimate comfort food! The stew recipe is inspired by one of my absolute favourite food bloggers, Madeline Shaw. Her ‘Moroccan lamb stew with apricots’ is hearty and sweet and full of goodness to revive you from a hard week, and it packs so much flavour for such a simple list of ingredients! I made mine to serve 2 – with a few modifications – the version of which i’ll post below. Here’s the link to Madeline’s. It’s dairy & gluten free but most of all, delicious. Ps – She just liked my instagram pic and i’m totally fan-girl’ing.
Whoever came up with cauliflower rice needs some serious recognition! It’s such a simple and creative way to reduce your carb intake, compared with standard fried rice side dishes, and totally versatile when it comes to flavour. Serve it with curries, meat & fish dishes, stir-fried veg, stew and so much more! A great ‘fakeaway’ recipe to add to your collection.
Cauliflower-rice with peas & coriander: (Serves 2)
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 tsp coconut oil (for the pan)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup petit pois (I use frozen, thawed)
- 1 big handful of coriander, finely chopped
- salt & pepper
If you don’t have a food processor, get one, you can definitely use a grater to get that rice-like texture! Grate/process the florets of cauliflower and place into a big mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, peas and coriander and give it a good stir! Add S&P to your liking, and even some cheeky chili flakes! In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil (or other oil of your preference) on a medium heat, then pour in your ‘rice’ and give it a minute or 2 to heat through. Before it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, stir the mix for a further 5-8 mins whilst the cauliflower cooks. Then give it a taste test and when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle over a few torn coriander leaves! By all means make this your own by adding in any veggies/spices/herbs that you love, and you can easily double up the recipe to feed your hungry housemates too! The flavour of the coriander also works really well with lime, so if your fridge is more likely to be stocked with the gin&tonic essential, feel free to use a lime instead of lemon – but I would recommend using fresh juice rather than bottled!
This refreshing side-dish worked so well with the gorgeous Moroccan sweetness of lamb & apricot stew, without the dreaded carb-coma. If meat isn’t on your menu, you could always experiment with using chunky vegetables such as aubergine, butternut squash or pumpkin in your stew! Here’s how I made it:
Sweet Moroccan lamb stew: (Serves 2)
- 200g (mine worked out to be half of a pack) extra-lean diced lamb
- 1 small tin chopped tomatos
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 80g (2 small packets) dried apricots, cut into small quarters
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional to serve)
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- salt & pepper
Make sure your lamb is diced into bite-sized pieces and rub in the paprika and cumin spices so that it is evenly coated. Set aside in the fridge whilst you prep your veg & apricots! Once you’ve finely chopped your peppers and onion, brown the onions in a large saucepan/cooking pot with a tsp of coconut oil (or other oil of your choice). Now add in your peppers, chopped tomato, tomato puree and apricots and give the mix a good stir. Season with S&P. Before throwing away the can that your chopped tom’s came in, fill it with water and add this to the pan – the excess water will help give the stew the desired consistency after it’s slow cooking time. Turn the heat to low. In a separate pan/griddle, brown the meat on a medium-high heat with another tsp of coconut oil for a minute or two, smell those gorgeous spices! Now you can add in the lamb to your stew pot, give it a good stir and place the lid on. Leave for as close to 2 hours as you can, the beautiful taste and texture achieved by slow cooking the lamb in the stew is totally worth the wait!
Be sure to prep any side dishes in this time, such as the yummy cauliflower rice, or maybe some steamed green veggies, flat breads or quinoa/couscous – all of which are super simple and quick to prepare – so there’s still time for one more episode! Before you serve, turn the heat up slightly and stir through. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander or almond flakes for a real Moroccan-inspired bowl of love.
Let me know if you love these recipes as much as I do, and any modifications you make/can think of! So this week I finally found my balance in a headstand, the coolest feeling. But the best feeling in the world was when a friend of mine called me to say that with the help and motivation of my blog, she has been working on become a more nourished and healthy version of herself, and she is so ecstatic to have lost a whole stone in weight already this year – but I am even more happy for her for what she has gained. She sounded like a totally new person, so much more positive and cheerful and I could tell that this wasn’t her talking about a ‘diet’ but a total lifestyle change. It doesn’t have to be drastic or a chore, just making simple substitutions in your every day diet and exploring some delicious, healthy alternatives can change your entire attitude towards your food and lifestyle. I’m so proud of her!