I can see I’m going to have to become even more organised in order to manage life with two little ones so close in age. Unless we’re going to live in a dump, housework and homemaking are going to have to become extreme precision sports!
I already menu plan and grocery shop fortnightly, with fruit and vegetables bought weekly. I’m fairly disciplined at keeping a few frozen meals ready to go, particularly over winter, but I think the freezer is going to become far more instrumental this year.
There are plenty of ‘freezer cooking’ blogs and websites around but a lot of the recipes look fairly ordinary to me. We generally cook our meals from scratch – I’m not interested in recipes which call for tins of soup, commercial salad dressing or anything overly processed.
I’ve been reading up on the idea of freezing meats in marinades and trying to cook double batches of recipes so half can be frozen. I’ll have to do some experimentation next time the butcher is having a good special. I typically freeze portions of bolognese sauce and curries – I need to expand my repertoire unless we want to turn into lasagne!
I’ve experimented with a double batch of the CSIRO Total Welbeing Diet Book 2‘s Lamb Tagine, adapted for our slow cooker (it’s too hot to cook on the stove for 1.5 hours as the recipe requires).
Lamb tagine with corn cous cous
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
½ cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro)
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
800g lean lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2cm pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100g natural yoghurt
Blend onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, chilli, cinnamon, dates and lemon zest in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Coat lamb with oil and cook in small batches for 5 minutes or until browned. Return all lamb pieces to pan, add paste and stir to coat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until aromatic.
Put lamb mixture, water and tomatoes into slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or until tender.
Prepare corn cous cous according to packet instructions. Substitute dairy-free margarine for butter if cooking dairy-free.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and steamed vegetables. Use an alternative yoghurt, like sheeps milk yoghurt, if cooking dairy-free.
Original recipe courtesy of ‘The CSIRO total wellbeing diet book 2’