Lately I’ve heard a lot about slow cooked dishes being cooked using Coca Cola so I wanted to give it a try. The dish turned out really well but I felt it was lacking in something. I had a bottle of Jack Daniels sitting nearby, I added a splash and surprisingly it turned out really good.
The first time I made it I served it with rice and added some kidney beans (see image above) which was good. The second time, I served it with broccoli and cous cous, and it was a match made in heaven! As the casserole contains a whole can of coke, it is pretty sweet as you would expect, so it goes very well with any bitter green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach or kale.
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
500g round steak
1 tbsp paprika
1 beef stock cube
1 can of cola
1 shot of Bourbon
a large splash of vinegary hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula
heat up the slow cooker to high, add the oil and fry the onions for a few minutes (note: you can do this in a separate frying pan if you prefer)
once the onions are beginning to change colour, add the carrot, celery and round steak, stirring for a few minutes (note: this is the lazy option, if you have time, the dish will taste better if you brown the beef in a separate pan)
add the paprika and some seasoning, crumble in the stock cube and stir for a few minutes
turn down the heat to low, pour in the cola, stir again and put on the lid
leave for at least 4 hours, until the beef is tender and breaks apart easily with a fork
when you are almost ready to serve, take off the lid and add the Bourbon and hot sauce
turn the heat up a little and, leaving the lid off, simmer until the sauce has thickened
This dish is perfect for cold winters nights in front of the fire. Make it in the morning, leave it cooking away all day and when you return home, the beef should be melt-in-the-mouth tender.
If you are short of time, you don’t have to brown the onions and beef before putting in the slow cooker. But you will get a better overall flavour if you do.
400g of stewing beef
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a small bunch of coriander (stalks chopped finely, leaves shredded)
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
1 stick of cinnamon
a pinch of pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 large carrots, chopped into cubes
500ml beef or chicken stock
Heat half of the oil in a frying pan and fry the beef pieces for 4-5 minutes, or until browned all over (you may need to do this in batches). Tip the browned meat into the slow cooker.
Heat the remaining oil again in the frying pan and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander stalks, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper and stir for another 2-3 minutes. Tip the mixture into the slow cooker.
Add the drained chickpeas, carrots, tinned tomatoes, lemon juice and the stock. Mix everything well together, put the lid on the slow cooker and leave for around 8 hours on low.
Check the seasoning before serving and serve with the coriander leaves scattered on top
After making fajitas using a disappointing ready-made fajita spice mix bought from the supermarket, I decided to have a go at making my own. It took a few attempts to get it right but I finally cracked it.
In this video, I’ve used Piedmontese strips, which work perfectly, but of course you could use any kind of steak cut into strips – sirloin, rump, skirt…
It may seem like a lot of trouble to go to to make your own guacamole but, trust me, it is really worth it.
484 kcal | 28g protein | 23g fat | 40g carbs
The full recipe is included in my book High Protein Classics – order it here.
I used to believe that there were two secrets to a good Bolognese sauce: using meat with enough fat and cooking the sauce for hours so that the beef tenderises and the flavours blend together.
But this recipe has changed my mind. The sauce only needs to simmer for about 10 minutes – enough time for the vegetables to soften properly.
As for the fat, it turns out that you can achieve a good flavour without it. The secret to this is cooking the vegetables and mince on a high enough heat so that they start to caramelise, and the combination of the wine, Worcestershire sauce, stock and three vegetables. Don’t be tempted to leave out the celery, even if you hate it (you can’t taste it in the finished dish).
1 large onion
2 sticks of celery
2 large carrots (or 3 small)
1 calorie oil spray
500g Extra Lean Steak Mince
1 Beef Stock Cube
1 glass of white wine
3 tbsp tomato puree
a good shake of Worcestershire sauce
5 small courgettes (optional, to serve)
chop up the onion, celery and carrots as small as possible
heat up a large saucepan and spray with the oil spray
once the pan is hot, add in the vegetables and stir until they are starting to soften
heat up a separate frying pan, spray with oil and brown the mince in small batches, breaking it up with a fork as you go
once the mince has been browned, add to the vegetables
add the glass of wine, crumble in the stock cube, season and let the mixture simmer until almost all of the liquid has boiled off, stirring often
once the pan is looking quite dry, add in the tomato puree, the Worcestershire sauce and a cup of water
stir well, reduce the heat and let the pan simmer with the lid on for around 10 minutes
prepare the courgette spaghetti using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler
check the seasoning of the Bolognese sauce and serve
This idea was inspired by an old Nigella recipe which I love. I used a rounded baking dish (this one) which was a little bit smaller than the size of the tortilla wraps so I quickly trimmed the edges with some kitchen scissors. This took seconds and made the dish look a whole lot nicer (and the edges were a nice treat for my dog Danny).
Chilli con Carne 1 can of sweetcorn 250g 0% fat greek yoghurt
2 tortilla wraps
25g of cheddar
N.B. I used approximately 3/4 of the Piedmontese chilli con carne, leaving a handy portion to eat with rice or freeze to use some time in the future.
Prepare the chilli con carne (the recipe is here – this can be done ahead of time)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut around the edges of the tortilla wraps so that they will fit neatly into the baking dish.
Firstly, put a layer of chilli con carne at the bottom of the baking dish, followed by a scoop of Greek yoghurt. Spread the Greek yoghurt a little so it covers most of the chilli and cover with one of the tortilla wraps.
Repeat each layer once more.
Add more chilli on the top layer and cover with grated cheese.
Put the baking dish into the preheated oven and leave for around 30 minutes (until the cheese on top begins to brown).
This version of Chilli con Carne has only 300 calories per portion (without the rice), a massive 33g of protein and only 7g of fat! It will store well in the fridge for a couple ahead. You can make a big batch, portion it out and heat it up for a quick high protein meal.
As any steak aficionado will tell you, fat creates flavour. This means that when want to keep the fat and calories low by using very lean mince, you really have to pack in the flavours in other ways.
And this recipe certainly does: the combination of spices such as chilli, cumin and paprika combined with beef and tomatoes hits the spot. There is no need to cook the chilli for a long time but leaving it to sit for at least 10 minutes after cooking will make it taste even more amazing.
The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.