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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] H[/dropcap]ave you ever wished there was an easier way to make delicious and healthy meals night after night? Or that those meals you ‘aren’t really happy with’ were a thing of the past? Or at least didn’t happen very often?
Well you’re definitely not alone.
Most of us have times where we wish we were more confident and creative in the kitchen. I know when I was first getting into cooking there were days where it all seemed too hard.
But over the years I’ve discovered a ‘secret rule’ that has made all the difference to my cooking.
So what is this secret rule?
It’s simple. All I do is try new things on a regular basis.
And I’m not talking about big, ambitious projects, like learning a completely different cuisine or how to apply the molecular gastronomy technique of ‘sphereification’.
I prefer to focus on small easy changes, like trying a new shopping list system or buying a new vegetable at the farmers market. Small changes are way less intimidating, so I’m more likely to actually try them. They’re also more likely to have a successful outcome. I’m a big fan of the quick ‘win’.
But most importantly, lots of small changes or new things over time add up. You’d be surprised just how much of a difference you can make with lots of little new steps.
How can you master the art of trying new things?
If you think you need some inspiration to help you get started with my secret rule, you’re in luck!
I’ve created a new eWorkbook specifically designed to help you improve your dinners and overall cooking. It’s called 30-Dinners in 30-Days.
Each ‘day’ gives a suggestion for a new thing to try or a new way to approach one aspect of cooking. There’s a lesson with each day to help guide you. You’ll also be given step-by-step instructions on how to try this new thing for yourself. And there’s a recipe for each day.
To find out more go to:
Spiced Beef with Chickpeas
This dish was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls’ lamb, chickpeas and spinach in his fabulous book ‘Three Good Things on a Plate’. Here we’re using thinly sliced steak because it cooks quickly and keeps the beef nice and tender. It also gives more surface area for the lovely spices to spread over.
Enough for 2…
1 tablespoon baharat spice blend
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz), drained
1 large bag baby spinach leaves
squeeze lemon juice
1. Heat a large frying pan on a very high heat.
2. Meanwhile combine spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season. Finely slice steaks and toss in the spiced oil.
3. Stir fry steak for about 2 minutes or until the steak is well browned and you can’t see any pink bits.
4. Reduce the heat to low. Remove steak and place in a clean bowl.
5. Add chickpeas and spinach to the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the spinach has started to wilt. Season with a squeeze of lemon.
no baharat? – use your favourite spice blend for steak or make your own. Just combine 1 teaspoon each paprika, ground cumin and ground black pepper.
vegetarian – replace the steak with sliced halloumi. Pan fry of a few minutes on one side and then turn, rather than trying to stir fry the halloumi OR cook chickpeas and spinach until just wilted then fry 2 eggs in the pan. Serve chickpeas and spinach topped with fried egg and sprinkle over a little spice.
vegan – replace beef with 2-3 large field mushrooms. Cook until mushies are browned and tender. Will take 5-10 minutes.
different legumes – replace chickpeas with canned or cooked beans or lentils.
different greens – regular spinach, kale, collard greens, silver beet will all work. Just make sure they’re well washed and sliced finely so the greens cook quickly.
saucy – serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt on top.