As much as I love this lifestyle, and yes it is a permanent conversion, there are days when you don't feel inspired, or you are just too tired. It's going to happen. The thing is, that's going to happen regardless of what you're eating habits are. At this point, I am fall-on-my-knees-in-thanksgiving style grateful for the fact that when I eat something to comfort me or make me feel better, I actually do. This is something you don't really notice until you change it, but I can attest to the fact that I feel so much better now that I've cut sugar (in all its forms) from my diet. Eating fruit as a sweet treat instead of chocolate may sound like a punishment fit for the entrepreneur who stole fire from the gods, but it's not. I was a chocoholic. I still love the idea of chocolate, but unless it's a piece of Lindt 85% cacao, I won't even look at it twice.
That being said, I suggest challenging yourself by buying things you've never tried cooking yourself or have never tasted before. It keeps it interesting and comes with the additional bonus of satisfaction at having achieved something; however small that something may be. For me, this was yesterday's lamb chops. I saw this spice recipe, recommended for lamb, and just had to try it out.
Combine the following spices in a bowl. Please note that these are all GROUND spices. Again, I used Robertsons spices.
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp cloves
Coat the chops in olive oil and rub them with the spice mix. Put in the fridge to marinade for 1 to 4 hours. Since it's recommended that you only start cooking the lamb chops once they are at room temperature, I suggest you take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to start cooking them. You can use that time to start prepping everything else.
For the side dish, melt a large stick of butter in your pan (or electric wok as I prefer) and add 1 diced brown onion. Then add the chopped mushrooms and cut spinach leaves. Sprinkle freshly squeezed lemon juice on the spinach leaves, add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in a few cocktail sized tomatoes (cut in half) and stir fry for a bit. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top, put the lid on and turn off the heat.
Once the lamb is ready, pop it in the oven at 180*C for 20 minutes. You can flip them over after 10 minutes to make sure the brown evenly on both sides. Then take them out of the oven and let the chops rest for a minute or two - just to make sure they are cooked through. Serve the chops, veggies (reheated just before serving) and a side salad of cucumber and avo.
The ras el hanout spice is something special. It should go just as well with chicken. Tastes similar to a garum masala, but with a few distinct differences. Personally, as a girltjie from the platteland, I prefer my lamb chops on the braai. There is nothing as good as the crispy taste of the braai. So, next time, I think I'll use the ras el hanout when we braai lamb chops. Now that is something to look forward to.