One of the hardest parts about giving up six main food groups and items for baby A (she has protein digestion issues so I’m not eating dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) is finding quick, easy weeknight meals. Through a lot of trial and error, J and I have learned that some meals that look easy aren’t and some that look time-consuming are actually simple. This is a simple one. We’d put off making Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Williams Sonoma because it looked complicated. We were throughly surprised to learn it was easy and perfect for a busy weeknight.
Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas
- 3 teaspoons cumin seeds we used ground
- 3 teaspoons coriander seeds we used ground
- 3/4 teaspoons peppercorns we used ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika we used Hungarian
- 1 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt plus more, to taste (we used Kosher)
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb cut into 1-inch cubes (we just used stew lamb, which was perfectly sized)
- 1 yellow onion julienned
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 pound lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes halved (we ended up using aand it was perfect!)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained, 15 oz.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns, paprika, ginger and the 2 tsp. salt and grind until well combined. Set aside. If using ground, skip the grinding step and just combine in a small bowl. Mix with a fork.
In a tagine over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. If you don't have a tagine, we used our most favorite pasta pot.
Add the remaining oil and the onion to the tagine or pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and the spice mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 2 more minutes.
Add the lamb, water, potatoes and the 1/4 cup cilantro and bring to a simmer.
Cover the tagine or pot and adjust the heat so the mixture gently simmers.
Cook for 45 minutes, then add the chickpeas and lemon juice.
Continue cooking until the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Garnish with cilantro and serve. Accompany with couscous or rice.
I LOVE this dish. It’s flavorful and warming and just delicious. It’s as good cold as it is right from the stove.
Now that we’re getting more comfortable with the No Six Diet restrictions, we are also getting a little more adventurous with adapting recipes. J bought some leeks for another recipe we scrapped and we weren’t entirely sure what to do with them. Luckily, my mom was visiting and suggested a chicken and leeks dish that she’s made several times. It turned out perfectly!
Pan-Roasted Chicken With Leeks
- 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4-6 in chicken breasts cuthalf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to season the chicken
- 3 teaspoon cloves garlic smashed or aand a half of minced garlic
- 1 bunch leeks white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- 6 ounces sliced button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet (we used out cast iron dutch oven) and cook over medium-high heat until some of the fat renders about 5 minutes.
Push the bacon to the side of the pan.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan and cook, turning once, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Stir in the garlic and leeks, then arrange the chicken on top of the bacon-leek mixture.
Whisk in the cornstarch in the chicken stock.
Add the stock and wine to the pot.
Transfer to the oven.
Set the timer for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Check the chicken and if the broth has mostly evaporated, add more stock to keep everything moist.
Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve over rice.
I couldn’t get enough of this dish! I wished there was more!
p.s. Summer 2016 update: Our toddler likes this dish! If we’re making it to eat with her, we use a little more chicken broth and a little less wine.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find foods that fit the No Six diet (no: dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) I’m on for Baby A. Luckily, I have a forever patient husband who is willing to search things out. He found this wonderful French Lentil Soup recipe, originally from Bon Appetit and with a few tweaks, it was wonderful.
French Lentil Soup
- 3-5 strips of bacon roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions we used yellow
- 1 cup chopped celery stalks
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock or more
- 1 1/4 cups lentils rinsed, drained
- 1 14 1/2 in –ounce can diced tomatoesjuice
- tablespoons Balsamic vinegar about 2(to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat bacon in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the olive oil.
Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic.
Sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes.
Add 4 cups stock, lentils and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth.
Season with salt, pepper and the Balsamic vinegar.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Like any good soup, this isn’t much to look at, but it is delicious. It is hearty and filling and all around wonderful. I can’t wait to be able to eat warm pita with it!
J and I have been trying to eat more fish. Since one of my most favorites, seared tuna, is out at least until Baby Girl Tyler arrives in November, we’ve had to get creative. Last night, J found this super easy and really delicious Portuguese recipe from Food.com. We didn’t have any sole filets on hand, so we swapped out Swai (not sure what Swai is, check out this link from Consumer Reports) and it was wonderful. Since we didn’t want to figure out how to divide an egg yolk, we just made the full sauce recipe. Which turned out to be a great idea because the sauce was equally delicious over brown rice!
Portuguese filet of Swai
- 2 Swai fillets
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 sprigs parsley minced
- 1 egg yolk
Arrange fillet in broiler pan and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and dot with butter.
Broil until fish begins to brown.
While the fish is broiling, combine the remaining lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, parsley, and egg yolk. Mix well.
When the fish has browned, spoon the sauce mixture over fish and return to broiler until sauce begins to bubble.
If you end up with more sauce than fish, like we did, add the sauce to a pan and heat on medium until bubbling. This ended up being perfect because the sauce on the fish soaked in.
With a side of brown rice and broccoli, this was a super light and tasty dish. In total, it took longer to cook the brown rice than to make the fish from start to finish. Next time, we’ll add more fresh parsley at the end.