social spark Aisling Beatha: February 2014

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Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

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Well, it's supposed to be Lamb, Spinach and Potato but I didn't have any spinach in the house.  I did, however, have green cabbage, so I stripped the stems out, chopped it roughly and used that.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

I reckon this would work well with chickpeas instead of the lamb for a vegetarian version.

I altered the amounts in the recipe to suit our budget a bit better as lamb is not cheap.


You will need:

400g lamb leg steaks

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

1/2 tbsp oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped (I used lazy garlic from a jar, 3 small tsp)
1 1/2 large onions, roughly chopped (I used 2 medium onions)
20g chunk of root ginger (you could also use lazy ginger from a jar)
1/2 plump fresh red chilli (recipe called for a whole one, but I don't like things too hot, you can use a whole one if you prefer)
60g ready made curry paste
400g chopped tinned tomatoes
350g potatoes (preferably maris pipers in the UK) cut into 3cm chunks
400ml water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
3 medium rip tomatoes, quartered
100g young spinach leaves (or green cabbage or kale, etc, but follow notes on timing)
freshly ground black pepper

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Trim the lamb of any hard fat and cut into rough chunks of about 3cm.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a large non stick pan and fry the lamb (in batches if you need to) until lightly coloured on all sides.  Transfer the lamb to a plate as soon as each batch is browned.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Heat the remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or ovenproof pan (I used the ovenproof pan) and add the onions.  Cook over a medium hear for 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly browned, stirring regularly.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Turn down the heat, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and curry paste and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Remove from the heat and blitz the onion mixture with a stick blender until blended to a puree.  I used a jug to get a bit more depth to the mixture, you could also let it cool a while then blend in a jug blender or food processor.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Return the mixture to the pan and put back on the heat.

Add the browned lamb to the spiced onion puree in the dish and cook over a gentle heat for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Add the tinned tomatoes, potatoes, water, bay leaves, tsp of salt and the sugar.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

If you are using cabbage or kale instead of spinach, also add this now, but if you are using spinach, that comes later.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Bring everything to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and place into the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.  Check after 1 hour and give the curry a good stir.

Just before the curry is due to be finished, quarter your tomatoes and get the spinach ready if you are using that.
Take the casserole dish or pan out of the oven and remove the lid.  Stir in the tomatoes and spinach leaves.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Cover once more and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the spinach has wilted.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry

Serve hot with rice and some spoonfuls of plain yoghurt of you fancy.

Hairy Dieters Lamb, Spinach and Potato Curry


You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Nourishing a Playful Spirit

Let's not talk about how long I have been away from the blog, let's just get on with this . . .

I am so so so blessed!  By combining my Christmas gift from my hubby with my birthday gift from him and adding in the money I made on craft sales in December, I was able to sign up for a 6 month online craft class called Soul Food.  There are 2 classes every week with a wide variety of teachers and I am having a blast.  I think so far I have managed to get something done for about half of the lessons, but that's OK, because we get to download all the class materials and keep them.

The first class was by Mystele and titled Nourish a Playful Spirit.

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele


Mystele used a gel plate to make her first back ground layer. While a gelli plate was also on my Christmas list, Santa didn't bring that, so I had to make my own (watch out for a blog post about that coming soon).

There were then various other layers involved, gradually building up the background, and yes at times it looked like a mess . . .

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

until finally I got to start figuring out what shapes and faces were there on the page.

She's certainly not got a pretty face, but I really do like her.

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

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What do you think?

One last thing.  I just have to show you the book paper that I used in the flower/sun in the top right.  My husband has been spending some time out in Germany for work and in November I got to join him for a few days (watch out for a blog post about my travel journal too) and I picked up this awesome book in a second hand shop in Frankfurt for just €2, don't you just love that font?

Soul Food Lesson 1 - Mystele

It's not too late to get involved in Soul Food, check it out.

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.
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