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Mint Sauce in your Mid Twenties: Where does lamb fit into a flat diet?

With National Lamb Day on the horizon (May 24th, mark your calendars!) our resident millennial, Lauren, is taking a break from UberEats to see if any lamb recipes fit the bill for young professional cooking. Her first attempt: Lamb Burgers with Garlic Mint Sauce.

From the mush we ate as toddlers to the 4pm dinner they’ll be serving at our retirement homes, our eating habits certainly tend to evolve in ages and stages. Then, somewhere between inhaling 2-minute-noodle-sandwiches as a student and cooking for your ‘grown-up family’, there’s a period of culinary confusion called ‘your mid-to-late-twenties’.

Let me set the scene - you have more disposable income than ever before but less time on your hands. Unless you are seriously coupled up, you’re cooking single portions because despite best intentions, leftovers are destined for a tupperware graveyard.

In my household of three guys and two girls aged 25-30, we’ve found a couple of handy tricks to navigate the minefield of cooking during this life stage. These are:

  • eating out, and
  • ordering in.

But on the odd occasion when we remember our oven exists, there are five key criteria for the food we want to make.

1. Ease - can we make this while holding a spatula in one hand, swiping Bumble on the other all with maintaining one eye on Ru Paul’s Drag Race?

2. Budget – if we’re going to pay big bucks for a meal, it might as well be made by professionals and delivered to our doorstep by someone on an electric bike.

3. Time – this has got to be a quick operation. I’m not about to spend two hours in the kitchen after working all day.

4. Sustainable – not only are we part of ‘Generation Conscious Consumer’, we’re sharing fridge space here. Using one lettuce leaf and leaving the rest of the head to die is not the vibe we’re going for. Equally, we want recipes that are perfectly portioned or made from ingredients we can repurpose into another meal.

5. Delicious AND nutritious – there’s a sweet spot - we want something tasty that will also keep us looking and feeling good. Is that too much to ask…?

In an attempt to save us a few $5.99 food delivery fees, I’ve suggested to my flatmates that once a week we trawl recipes.co.nz to find a meal that ticks all these boxes. Because we’re approaching National Lamb Day (and we love a theme) they’re all going to be lamb based. This should be an interesting experiment in itself because I’ve literally never cooked lamb. Historically in my family it’s been reserved for roasting on Christmas (and I’m certainly not the one doing it). A quick, weeknight dinner with lamb? We’ll see….

RECIPE ONE: Lamb Burger with Garlic Mint Sauce

Monday Night

5.45pm

Sitting on the Southern Motorway in gridlocked traffic after a hectic Monday – the thought of cooking is highly unappetising. I pick one of the easiest, most satisfying looking dishes I can find on recipes.co.nz. Ready in 25 minutes? So it’s trying to tell me I’ll have Lamb Burgers in the time it takes me to order one? I’ll believe it when I see it.

6.10pm

The meat was remarkably cheaper than I thought it would be! $13 for the 600g of Lamb Mince I picked up at Countdown on the way home. Because I’d always associated lamb with special occasions, I assumed it would break the bank but this was so reasonable – especially divided by 5. The recipe also calls for Greek yoghurt and eggs which I use for breakfast anyway and a couple of vege items that I can repurpose into salads this week – food waste is going to be low!

6.30pm

I jump straight into the kitchen when I get home because the general household consensus is that we’re starving. The recipe serves one more mouth than we have so I set 100g of mince aside in the fridge (tomorrow’s problem) and get cooking.

6.57pm

Recipes.co.nz is spookily accurate on timings, although it takes us 27 minutes instead of 25 because we’ve decided to make guacamole for our burgers - the best part about cooking these for a group is that everyone can tailor their burger to their taste and Flatmate James can start to use the hundreds of avocados scattering the house from his family’s orchard.

7.09pm

Some initial, post-dinner reviews:

“Whoever came up with the idea of putting feta into burger patties is a literal genius”

“I need the recipe for that mint sauce”

“Are there any leftovers??”

“I’m full but I’m not like, ‘gross full’, you know?”

Ingredients: $44.40
Cost per plate: $8.88

RECIPE TWO: Magic Mince

Tuesday

11.51am

I’m working from home today and just before lunchtime, I remember the leftover 100g of lamb mince in my fridge. There are no buns left meaning another burger is off the cards so I type ‘MINCE’ into recipes.co.nz and wait for inspiration to strike.

With some quick recipe maths to adjust for my 100g, I decide that ‘Magic Mince’ sounds perfect and like it would add some flair to my Tuesday lunch….

12.35pm

After switching out a few veges, tracking down a stock cube from the back of the pantry, and using leftover Greek yoghurt in lieu of sour cream – my Magic Mince is ready. I chuck it on a slice of Vogels that I’ve stolen from someone (sorry, Kate). Like no mince toast I’ve ever eaten before, this is real melt-in-your-mouth type of stuff, and the Greek yoghurt/sour cream swap out is actually delicious (plus it makes me feel very virtuous #fitspo). Though I wouldn’t make this if I was in a rush, it’s pretty low maintenance as you can leave it to simmer while you respond to emails.

Plus, it was FREE. No delivery fee in sight!

Ingredients cost: $0.00
Cost per plate: $.0.00

Posted by Lauren Shamy

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