Protein

LAMB: The Other Red Meat

IMG_5496There is a uniquely robust and earthy flavor that can only be found in the taste of lamb. For the first time, I tried my hand at making the deliciously lean meat this afternoon, paired with roasted garlic potatoes and carrots. The vegetables were a lovely complement to the rosemary lamb shoulder chop.

Lamb is certainly not common American fare, making it a more foreign and undervalued main course in the standard American kitchen. However, this particular cut is quite inexpensive, yet incredibly satisfying and simple when prepared. While it appears and sounds a bit fancy, it is quite effortless. Try it for yourself! It definitely breaks the chain of ordinary weeknight meal planning.

Note: Lamb is a wonderful source of protein, as well as vitamins B2, B3 and B12. Vitamin B2 is beneficial for healthy skin and vision, aids in producing red blood cells and even supports in breaking down calories. B3 is essential for lowering cholesterol and B12 helps promote a healthy nervous system. Even more reason to make this savory dish!

Rosemary Lamb Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables

Serves 2

For the Lamb-

  • 2 Lamb Shoulder Chops (preferably hormone, antibiotic-free)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary

For the Vegetables-

  • 2-3 Red Potatoes
  • 1 Bag of Baby Carrots
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  1. Take your lamb out of the refrigerator and let sit in room temperature while preparing vegetables.
  2. Thinly slice your potatoes. Fill a glass baking dish with cut potatoes and baby carrots.
  3. Liberally coat vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. For additional texture, broil until golden brown after baking
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your lamb. Rub each chop vigorously with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. No need to finely chop your rosemary.
  6. As the vegetables finish, turn your oven’s broiler on HI.
  7. Broil lamb on HI 10-12 minutes, turning each chop over half way through cooking time.
  8. Let your meat rest for about five minutes before serving.
  9. Plate and garnish with fresh rosemary.
  10. Enjoy the beautiful meal you’ve made!
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Just in Thyme

IMG_5408This weekend, my husband and I are going on a marriage retreat! We have been married a grand total of 7 glorious weeks (yes, we are still very much newlyweds!) and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the other. Before we go, I have to think about what I can take with me for food.  While I sometimes have the option to eat what’s provided, I’m not entirely sure what will be there.

Inspired by Ina Garten, I pulled out some boneless, skinless chicken breasts to thaw as I finished chores around the house. Setting the package in a bowl of warm water will help it thaw more quickly. You can also thaw it in the microwave or have it ready in the fridge the previous night.

As a habit, I try my best to eat only hormone-free, antibiotic-free, humanely raised chicken. While any chicken will do, this helps assure me that I’m not eating anything that could potentially harm my body. I normally buy mine from Publix or Earth Fare. Check your label to be sure!

The beautiful thing about chicken is its versatility. You can eat it simply baked in the oven, or use it in making soups, sandwiches, wraps, chicken salad, etc.. The possibilities are endless with this lean, clean-eating protein! I will be using mine to make wraps for the retreat.

Simple Lemon-Thyme Chicken

You will need:

  • 3-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Half a Lemon
  • 1/4 C. Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ground Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  1. Preheat your oven to 4oo degrees.
  2. Pat your chicken breasts dry and place in a glass or stoneware baking dish.
  3. Using a sharp knife, make 5-6 tiny holes in each piece of chicken. This will allow it to better absorb the olive oil, lemon and spices.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Squeeze half a lemon evenly over the top.
  6. Using your hands, work the olive oil and lemon into the chicken. Be sure to cover both sides well.
  7. Liberally season with salt, pepper and thyme.
  8. Rub the top of each piece with minced garlic.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until brown on top with no pink at the center.
  10. Cover with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. This will keep it moist, allowing the meat to absorb all of the juices in your pan. (Because, who likes dry chicken?)

Simple and quick, this is a great go-to recipe.  It takes little effort, tastes delicious and can be used in a number of different ways! For a healthy and satisfying dinner, serve with roasted vegetables and brown rice. Enjoy!