Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner: Persian Lamb, Aromatic Cauliflower & Chocolate Truffle Cake Recipes

Organic Chocolate Truffle Cake

Organic Chocolate Truffle Cake

Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner:

Persian Lamb, Aromatic Cauliflower & Chocolate Truffle Cake Recipes

Persian Lamb & Aromatic Rice

Persian Lamb & Aromatic Rice

March Core Ingredients:

Lemons; Cauliflower; Leeks; Eggs; Chocolate and Lamb

Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Cheesy Leek Topping

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with Cheesy Leek Topping

MARCH MENU:

Thrifty & Organic Meal Planner

Persian Roast Lamb with Aromatic Rice

Spiced Cauliflower

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with Cheesy Leek Topping

Chocolate Truffle Cake with Crystallised Violets

Spiced Cauliflower

Spiced Cauliflower

Welcome to my second Thrifty and Organic Meal Planner post! Last month saw me making the most of several seasonal core ingredients such as organic chicken, carrots and rhubarb, and in March’s meal planner, I will be providing several recipes, as well as leftover ideas, for organic lamb, cauliflower, lemons, chocolate, eggs and leeks, with the emphasis on Mothering Sunday, which is just a week away.  I will be showing you how an expensive cut of meat, such as a leg of lamb, can in fact feed a family of four for several tasty meals and prove to be thrifty as well as tasty. The menu I am sharing with you today is an exotic, fragrant and aromatic spring menu, a little different from the usual classic roast lamb, but still a meal that the whole family will enjoy. The main dish of Persian lamb with aromatic rice is an easy slow-cooked roast that will infuse the kitchen with tempting aromas as it cooks, and slow cooking means you have time to prepare the other ingredients, or even put your feet up with a cuppa and a box of chocolates if you ARE the mum cooking it!  Just like my February’s meal plan, I will be providing a cost breakdown of each recipe and meal, and the cost will NEVER go above the limit of £15 per meal for a family of four, and in some cases with imaginative use of left-overs you will be shocked to see that some meals maybe well under £5 per meal per family of four, which is extremely thrifty!

Spiced Cauliflower

Spiced Cauliflower

So, on to my menu plan and recipes. Believe it or not, one large leg of lamb (2.18kg) provided THREE meals for me and my family. Firstly, the main event of Persian Roast Lamb served with Aromatic rice and Spiced Cauliflower; then a comforting Spiced Shepherd’s Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping, (similar to a South African recipe called Bobotie) and then a hearty Lamb Stew…….with dumplings! The Spiced Cauliflower provided yet another meal, when served with Naan breads, and could also be served as a vegetarian option for the main event. The leftover rice and a few cauliflower florets were also added to the shepherd’s pie as exciting “padding” ingredients too! A Chocolate Truffle Cake was also made with some of the core  ingredients, and that went on to provide treats in lunch boxes, as well as being served as a special cake for mum on Mother’s Day. Money was also saved by not using many additional ingredients, and those that were needed in the recipes were mainly store cupboard ingredients such as spices, seasoning, rice, flour and sugar. (I have costed these in wherever possible) I think the menu plan provides meals with imagination and as the spicing is aromatic and not hot, all of these recipes are suitable for children too.  It’s truly amazing what can be made from quality organic produce, and with superior flavour and taste.

Persian Lamb & Rice

Persian Lamb & Rice

Before I share the recipes with you, here is a breakdown of the costs for March’s Thrifty and Organic Meal Plan: 

Organic leg of lamb: £17:78

Fairtrade Organic Basmati Rice: 0.52

Assorted spices: 0.50

4 x Organic onions: 0.50

1 x Organic garlic: 0.15

2 x tins Organic tinned tomatoes: £1:58

4 x Organic lemons: £1:50

Large organic Cauliflower: £1:00

2 x Organic leeks: £1:00

100g Cheddar cheese: 0:75

2 x 100g Organic chocolate: £3:00

4 x Organic eggs: £1:75

150g Fairtrade sugar: 0:25

150g Organic butter: 0:80

150g Organic SR Flour: 0:19

100g Ground almonds: £1:59

500g Organic potatoes: 0:75

TOTAL: £33:61

Individual meal breakdown costs:

Roast Persian Lamb, Rice & Cauliflower: £10:90

Price per person: £2:72

Spiced Shepherd’s Pie: £10:13

Price per person: £2:53

*Lamb Stew: £4:00

Price per person: £1:00

*Spiced Cauliflower Vegetarian Meal (+ Naan Bread): £2:20

Price per person: 0:55

Chocolate Truffle Cake: £7:58

Price per slice(12 slices): 0:63

* (Meals we ate in addition to recipes in the meal plan)

(I shopped at Waitrose & Sainsbury’s using the So Organic Range and the local Farm Shop. Prices correct at time of publishing. )

Aromatic Saffron Rice

Aromatic Saffron Rice

As you can see, the leg of lamb fed a family of four with three generous meals, and the cauliflower also provided an extra meal as well as being served as an accompaniment. The decadent chocolate truffle cake was also very cost-effective, as you only need a thin slice as it’s so rich, and I managed to get 12 slices out of mine. The menu provided a special celebratory meal with a vegetarian alternative, as well as providing  three fabulous family supper dishes, (shepherd’s pie, cauliflower with naan bread and lamb stew) which, is excellent value for just over £33, and debunks the myth that organic produce is expensive or not accessible for an average family. Plus, I enjoyed being inventive with my leftovers, and although the Persian lamb was thoroughly enjoyed for a special Sunday lunch, all of the other meals were thoroughly enjoyed, with requests for the shepherd’s pie to made again soon! I will leave you with my four Thrifty and Organic Meal Planner recipes now, and also some other ideas of what I could have made with my six core ingredients! Have a wonderful day and Happy Mother’ Day to all the mothers out there. Karen  

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Organic Chocolate Truffle Cake

Organic Chocolate Truffle Cake

More recipe ideas for March core ingredients (Lemons, Leeks, Cauliflower, Chocolate, Eggs and Lamb)

Main Meal:

 Spoon Lamb (7 hour Slow Roast Lamb) with Cauliflower, Potato and Leek Gratin

 Classic Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce and seasonal vegetables

Leftovers:

Lamb Curry

Lamb Rissoles with Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Supper: 

Curried Cauliflower Soup with fried Leek and Onion garnish

Leek and Potato Soup with Cheese Croutons

 Cauliflower and Leek Cheese Bake

Breakfast/Brunch:

Breakfast omelette with leeks and cheese

French Toast with lemon curd sauce

Cakes and Bakes:

 Lemon Daisy Fairy Cakes (for mum)

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

No-Cook Chocolate Truffles (for mum)

Spicy Shepherd's Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping 

Recipes:

Roast Persian Lamb with Aromatic Rice Recipe

Slow Roast Persian Lamb with Aromatic Rice

Serves 8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 5 hours, 30 minutes
Total time 6 hours
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Gourmet, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region Lebanese
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
An exotic slow roasted lamb recipe, in the style of Persian and North African food, served with aromatic saffron rice. Perfect for Sunday lunch or any special celebratory meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 Organic leg of lamb (about 2kg to 2.2kg)

Rub

  • fresh mint (large bunch, finely chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Ras-el-hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods, ground in a pestle and morrtar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • Juice and zest of two lemons

Rice

  • 200g Basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • pinch saffron threads soaked in 1tbsp milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Note

An exotic slow roasted lamb recipe, in the style of Persian and North African food, served with aromatic saffron rice. Perfect for Sunday lunch or any special celebratory meal. The left overs can be made into more exciting meals, such as curry, tagine and spicy shepherd's pie.  (Recipe inspired by Silvena Rowe)

Directions

Step 1 RUB: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it all to a thick paste. Rub the marinade all over the lamb, place the lamb in a large dish, cover and marinate for 24 hours; store in a cool place, such as the fridge or a pantry.
Step 2 Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 2. Place the lamb in a roasting tin, add about 450ml (three-quarters of a pint) of water and cover with foil. Bake for 5 hours (or longer, depending on the weight), or until the meat is very tender and is almost falling off the bone. Remove the foil about 30 minutes before the end of cooking, to allow the lamb to brown and the fat to crisp up.
Step 3 Leave the lamb to rest for 20 minutes, and then "pull" the meat from the bone (you can almost spoon it on the plates, like French Spoon Lamb) and serve with the rice and accompaniments such as flat breads, spiced cauliflower and a fresh tomato & mint salad.
Step 4 Rice: Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until they are golden brown. Add the turmeric, stir it into the rice and fry for a further minute. Add the saffron and the milk, and then pour over enough hot water to completely cover the rice. Add some salt to taste, stir well before transferring the mixture to a microwave dish - I use a covered Pyrex bowl. Cook on high (covered) for 10 minutes. (Or, cook the rice in the conventional way on top of the hob)

Slow Roast Persian Lamb with Aromatic Rice

Slow Roast Persian Lamb with Aromatic Rice

Spiced Cauliflower Recipe

Spiced Cauliflower

Serves 4 to 8 depending on how it is served
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region Moroccan
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A delectable low-fat recipe that turns the humble cauliflower into an exotic flower! Can be served as an accompaniment or as a main meal with rice and flat breads.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • salt
  • fresh coriander or parsley to serve

Optional

  • peanuts or cashew nuts to serve

Note

A delectable low-fat recipe that turns the humble cauliflower into an exotic flower! Can be served as an accompaniment or as a main meal with rice and flat breads.

Directions

Step 1 Heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the spices and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are fragrant and have released their oil. Add the cauliflower and stir it well, making sure it coats all of the florets with the spice mixture.
Step 2 Add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and zest to a saucepan with the cauliflower florets. Season to taste with a little salt. Bring the pan to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, but still retains a bite.
Step 3 Scatter the peanuts (or cashews), chopped fresh coriander or parsley over the top. Serve as an accompaniment or as a main meal with rice and flat breads.

Spiced Cauliflower

Spiced Cauliflower

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping Recipe

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping

Serves 4 to 6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A comforting Spiced Shepherd's Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping, (similar to a South African recipe called Bobotie) and using leftovers. I made this with spiced Persian lamb, so I didn't need to add the spices, but add any spices, cooked rice and vegetables to suit.

Ingredients

  • 400g to 500g Leftover roast lamb (roughly chopped, I used lamb left over from a Persian lamb roast)
  • 300ml Leftover gravy (or 300ml fresh stock)
  • Leftover cooked vegetables
  • Leftover cooked rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and finely sliced
  • butter, for frying
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • a little milk and butter
  • 100g grated Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

Note

A comforting Spiced Shepherd's Pie with a Cheesy Leek Topping, (similar to a South African recipe called Bobotie) and using leftovers. I made this with spiced Persian lamb, so I didn't need to add the spices, but add any spices, cooked rice and vegetables to suit.

Directions

Step 1 Place the leftover lamb in a bowl with the leftover rice and vegetables, and mix well with the gravy, Adjust the seasoning to taste and then add the ground spices if needed, I used spiced Persian lamb leftovers, and did not need to add the spices. Spoon the lamb mixture into an oven-proof dish.
Step 2 Boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are cooked and soft; drain them, and add some milk and butter to the pan, mash with a potato masher and season to taste. Set to one side.
Step 3 Fry the prepared leeks in a little butter, until they are cooked, but so not allow them to colour. Add the cooked leeks to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
Step 4 Spoon the mashed potato and leek mixture over the top of the lamb and then fluff it all up with a fork. Scatter the grated Cheddar cheese over the top and bake in a pre-heated oven, 180 C / Gas 4, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown and bubbling hot.
Step 5 Serve immediately with seasonal vegetables if desired.

Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Cheesy Leek Topping

Spicy Shepherd’s Pie with Cheesy Leek Topping

Chocolate Truffle Cake Recipe

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Serves 12 slices
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Valentines day
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A decadent dessert cake that is perfect for all celebrations such a birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas or just because! Use Organic chocolate such as Green and Blacks, organic vanilla extract as well as organic free-range eggs.

Ingredients

  • 425g Organic Dark chocolate
  • 100g Unsalted butter
  • 150g Golden caster sugar
  • 25g Ground Almonds (plus an extra 40g if using in place of flour)
  • 4 Large free-range eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
  • 250ml Double cream
  • Cocoa, to dust
  • Crystallised flours, to decorate

Optional

  • 40g Plain flour (or if wanting a gluten free cake, use extra ground almonds)

Note

A decadent dessert cake that is perfect for all celebrations such a birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Easter, Christmas or just because! Use Organic chocolate such as Green and Blacks, organic vanilla extract as well as organic free-range eggs.

Directions

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 21 cm (8") cake tin. Melt 150g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted. Take the bowl off the heat when the chocolate has melted and allow to cool.
Step 2 Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy in a separate mixing bowl and then add the coffee liqueur and the vanilla extract into the butter mixture, along with the melted chocolate and egg yolks.
Step 3 Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and then fold them into the mixture with a metal spoon, being careful not to knock the air out of the egg whites.
Step 4 Fold in the flour (if using) and ground almonds and pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the cake has risen and is firm. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack.
Step 5 For the icing, pour the cream into a saucepan and slowly heat it until the cream is hot. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate pieces. Allow the chocolate to melt and then chill for about 30–45 minutes in the fridge, or until it is firm enough to spread.
Step 6 Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate cream and swirl. Dust with cocoa powder and decorate with crystallised flowers, before serving in thin slices with cream or crème fraîche.

Organic Chocolate Truffle Cake

Chocolate Truffle Cake

 

Disclaimer:
Organic UK is paying me an agreed fee to create and develop these Thrifty and Organic Recipes, as well as providing me with all the ingredients. However, as I am a big supporter of organic produce, I am happy to share these sponsored organic recipes and posts on my blog, for the benefit of my readers.
Karen S Burns-Booth

Photo Gallery:

Persian Lamb Collage

Spiced Cauliflower Collage

Spicy Shepherd's Pie

Chocolate Truffle Cake Collage

 I am linking this meal plan to At Home with Mrs M and her Meal Planning Monday challenge!

Meal Planning Monday

Comments

  1. says

    wow! what a beautiful collection of recipes for a monday! such a treat. i particularly love the lamb recipe, this is just so up my street. I’m loving these organic menus and recipes… gorgeous stuff honey pie x

  2. Fiona Matters says

    Loving the look of the chocolate truffle cake. Soooo much chocolate! Have pinned this on pinterest.

  3. Fiona Matters says

    Going to comment on the caulifour now – epic post! I’m going to try to introduce cauliflour to my other half. I have great memories particularly of cauliflour cheese. Somehow I seem to have stopped using it however. This looks like a great recipe, I do love spices.

  4. says

    The lamb and the cake look absolutely amazing! I’m going to have a go at recreating you chicken kebab recipe this week, will definitely have to give the lamb and chocolate truffle cake a go too!

  5. says

    These all look so delicious my mouth is watering. Have just finished eating dinner but a slice of your Chocolate Truffle Cake is exactly what I am craving!

  6. says

    Wow! What a mouthwatering post with all organic goodness that I love! So appetizing & the chocolate truffle cake is so tempting & decadent! YUMMY! ;)

  7. says

    That chocolate truffle cake drew me in and I have been sighing longingly over it for quite some time Karen. I’m on a fast day and you are tempting me again. It looks beautiful. Love your violets and shall never forget your violet syrup from last year.

  8. Frances Heaton says

    I use cauliflower a lot – it’s a vegetable that can be used in many ways, even add it to home made soups.

  9. Leila says

    Hi,

    The lamb looks amazing! Would a boneless shoulder be suitable? Perhaps with less cooking time?

    Thank you.

  10. shelley jessup says

    Oh I like the looks of the chocolate dessert, one for my brother to do I think. tweeting this as @jessups

  11. Jeannette Austen (@Jeannette01) says

    Now that’s what I call a meal List written so off to the shops for the stuff. Thank you :)

  12. says

    I also eat organic foods. I am following the 5:2 program which has really enlightened me about the amazing benefits of certain foods. I would like to follow your 5:2 posts, with calorie count. It has become a lifestyle for me.

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