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Lamb Chops, Cauliflower 'Pilaff' and Smoked Aubergine

'Tis the season to indulge, and if you've just had a slice of stollen for breakfast like me, then you may be looking to cut calories in other areas to make space for those delicious treats. And so, I turn to my trusty cauliflower for another sneaky carb hack; this time it forms the basis of a yummy herby pilaff, no rice required.

As usual blend your raw cauliflower florets using the chop function of your blender, and pop a handful of almonds and a small clove of garlic in with it too. It should only take about 10 seconds for them to be finely chopped, then put it into a dry pan to toast off on the lowest possible heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.

For the aubergine, slice one in half vertically and grill flesh side down for 10-15 mins. The skin needs to be very black and wrinkly and then you scoop out the inside and blend with a dash of olive oil, lemon and salt.

I used lamb chops for my dish, but if you're really looking to cut calories I suggest you use something leaner. Chicken, or a duck breast with the fat completely removed would work best. Whatever your meat, rub a generous tablespoon of ground cumin into the flesh and then transfer to a hot pan with just a spray of oil if necessary. I also threw a pepper in at this point.

Finally, finely chop a large handful of fresh dill (this is the key one) plus anything else like parsley, mint, coriander that you have to hand and stir in to the cauliflower pilaff.

Once it's plated up grab half a pomegranate and hold skin side up before giving it a good whack with a spoon over the plate. The seeds should fall out easily and make your dinner look very pretty indeed.

Meat excluded, this dish comes in around 200-250 calories if you're careful with the olive oil and nut content.


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