Me and my slow cooker are like that.
With the help of this wonderful household appliance there are countless lip-smacking dishes that can be whipped up in a jiffy, thrown into the pot, and left to bubble pleasantly whilst you head off for an eventful day.
Think delectable casseroles, sumptuous soups, and tender, aromatic curries. A miniscule amount of work in the morning surely does pay off when you come home to the consolatory heartiness of a slow cooked meal, bursting with interwoven flavours.
The only work required from you when you get in the door is the conversion from work clothes to your coziest attire.
The balmy summer months are slowly becoming a distant memory, and as the icy winds begin to creep in, the desire for warming, restoring comfort food is becoming more and more apparent.
There is a growing need for meals that will alleviate any languid moods which often accompany autumn’s chilly weather. Dishes that really sympathize with your hard day’s work and give you a big cuddle to make you feel nourished and pepped up again.
This Slow Cooked Lamb Hotpot will gladly fulfill all these duties for you. All you need to do is invest a measly five minutes of hasty ingredient preparation in the morning, to reap an evening of hearty deliciousness from this meaty crowd pleaser. Not only will this meal soothe and nurture your senses; it will also work wonders for your health at a cellular level.
When we think about Omega 3’s we usually attribute their benefits to oily fish or nuts and seeds. Did you know that lamb is also an impressive source of Omega-3 fatty acids? Omega-3 fatty acids are wonderful in preventing heart disease, and are a great anti-inflammatory for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. However, the Omega-3 content in lamb is highly dependent on the young sheep’s diet, as well as the mother’s diet (this affects the mother’s milk, which also has a notable effect on the quality of the meat).
Recent studies have revealed that pasture feeding is especially important to receive optimal health benefits from lamb. With this in mind, be sure to invest into some good quality, grass fed and finished lamb; organic if possible, and definitely free from antibiotics, added hormones and pesticides, which can hinder the integrity of the meats nutritional benefits.
This delicious hot pot also contains the wonder ingredient; celery. Again, this is probably not an ingredient you would commonly recognize for its nutritional benefits, but we really shouldn’t overlook the goodness that can be found in this simple everyday vegetable. Celery contains vitamins A, B and C, and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, chromium, magnesium, potassium iron and sulphur.
Celery has also been found to contain considerable levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two phytochemicals made by plants, which are found in the lens of the eye. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, a diet higher in levels of these phytochemicals may help to preserve your vision by preventing the onset and development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
The humble turnip is booming in the nutritional department, and lucky for us they are super cheap! You can often pick up turnips for around two dollars a kilo. They are high in vitamins B, C, E and beta carotene, and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium.
Turnips are a cruciferous vegetable, placing them into a special group of plants that are known for their significant levels of sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates, which have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells. And rest assured, you don’t have to worry about all of these wonderful nutrients being lost in the slow cooking process either; glucosinolates are water soluble, and therefore all of the goodness will be consumed in the cooking liquid.
Cooking at a lower heat for longer periods of time also helps to preserve these nutrients; where as high temperatures can cause enzyme changes that make it difficult for the body to absorb any beneficial properties.
So the time has come to put that cobweb covered slow cooker to use, or to finally invest in one! Do not fear; a good slow cooker won’t send you bankrupt; you can pick of these convenient must-haves up for around thirty dollars. Just make sure you invest in a slow cooker with a large pot, so that you can create large meals, and freeze them for busy weeknight dinners.
The opportunities for easy, healthy slow cooked meals are endless from Slow Cooked Saag and Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks which you will find in my book Supercharged Food. Or why not give this flavour-filled concoction a try this week, as the perfect autumn dinner fix. With minimal effort involved, this dish will keep your taste buds tingling, and give you that extra love and care you need in the turbulent frenzy that the mid week can bring.
Slow Cooked Lamb Hotpot
- 1/4 cup EV olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 celery sticks chopped finely
- 1 TBS flat leaf parsley
- 1kg diced lamb
- 1 tbs almond or brown rice flour
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 2 Turnips quartered
- 1 carrot sliced
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 400g can diced tomatoes no additives
- 1 TBS lemon rind
- Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Sauté onions, celery and garlic in olive oil
- Dust lamb with flour
- Place all ingredients in slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low setting
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa pillaf
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