Earlier this year I attended a conference session with several animal livestock experts and representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, however this is not a sponsored nor paid post.
Quick dinners are my goal most nights of the week. Get dinner on the table in less than an hour with these Grilled Aussie Lamb Chops, Fingerling Potatoes and a Chopped Greek Salad.
The potatoes take the longest to cook, but you can roast them ahead if you like. You can also roast regular potatoes in place of fingerling. Cut them into large cubes instead. Use whatever greens and veggies you have for the salad. In the name of reducing food waste, I used an old carrots, a tomato, a cucumber and some romaine. Mix it up, using what you have on hand.
Balancing Your Plate
The science shows that including some nutrient-rich meat in the diet helps us meet our needs for important nutrients. It’s really about balance.
You can feel good about balancing your plates through the week with a meals that are plant-based, AND meals that include meat. I also felt good knowing that these Australian Lamb chops were raised is a way that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. And they were – Delicious.
Food for Thought: Meat and the Environment
There’s a lot of controversy and disagreement over the impact meat production has on the environment. Sometimes, however, our thoughts are a little narrow. As an omnivore myself, I eat meat. I have no issue with you – whether you choose to be an omnivore or a vegetarian (Carnivore thought? You might rethink that. It’s not so balanced). It’s your choice.
However the morality of eating meat, or choosing not to, needs to take into consideration the 3 billion people on our planet that are nutrient deficient and malnourished. When having ethically-driven thoughts about meat-eating, (or worse, judging others for it) remember – meat has cultural and historical significance too. It’s high-quality protein per ounce is a component of food security in many nations. Also don’t discount that livestock owners are the most frequent form of private ownership of assets in the world. Livestock owners are often the basis of rural community financial capital.
Ethical Treatment of Animals Produced for Food
The amazing thing about meat production is that livestock up-cycles the food we can’t eat and turns it into nutritious foods we can eat! These bioavailable nutrients found in animal products play a unique role in our cognition, our growth and our general health and well being.
Yet there’s no question that animals raised for food should be treated ethically. Producers are increasingly using technological advances that address and improve animal welfare. The beauty of having livestock grazing our earth’s land is that generally, they are making good use of land that otherwise can’t be used for much else. “Arable land” is land that crops can grown on. Have you ever seen where mountain rams go? On rocky terrain and mountains – you can’t plant carrots there.
Enjoy a Balanced Plate with this Grilled Lamb Chop, Potatoes and Salad recipe
This meal exemplifies the Dietary Guidelines My Plate. Seventy-five percent of the plate is filled with plants (no grain this time, but potatoes instead). A quarter of the plate includes the meat. Remember, it’s about balance and variety. I hope you enjoy this quick and delicious meal recipe!
Grilled Lamb Chops with Fingerling Potatoes and a Chopped Salad
- 6 Lamb Loin Chops I used "Never Any! Lamb Loin Chops" from Aldi.
- 1/3 cup Mediterranean or Greek Salad Dressing
- 2 TB Fresh mint chopped
- 1 pound Golden fingerling potatoes
- 2 TB olive oil
- pinch Kosher flaked salt
- 2 tsp Italian or Mediterranean salt free herb blend
- 1 small head Romaine Lettuce
- 1 medium Tomato diced
- 1 Cucumber diced
- 1 small Carrot shaved
- 1/4 cup Crumbled feta cheese
- Pour salad dressing over the chops, turning to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- While meat is marinating, prepare potatoes - place them in an oven safe dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and seasoning blend. Toss to coat then place them into a preheated 400°F oven to roast for 25 minutes. Toss halfway through cooking.
- Prepare the salad while the potatoes roast. Wash and dry all the veggies. Chop the romaine lettuce, add the diced tomato, shaved carrot, and cucumber. Toss and garnish with feta crumbles. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add the salad dressing of your choice when you're ready to eat.
- Heat your grill to high setting. While grill heats, remove from the refrigerator, toss around in the marinade, and allow to set at room temperature for 20 minutes. Grill the chops on the hot grill (discard the marinade). Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked to desired doneness (internal temperature for rare is 120°F, medium rare is 125°F, medium is 130°F).
- Serve lamb chops with roasted potatoes, and the salad. Garnish with extra mint if you have it. Fresh naan or pita bread, with some hummus, is a nice edition too.