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a yummy substitute for maccas: jazzed up meat & three veg

As Australians we are so lucky to live in a multi-cultural society. It gives us access to limitless amazing food! One day not so long ago I treated myself to poffertjes for breakfast, a tuna sashimi salad for lunch and Ethiopian curries for dinner. Tasty treats from three different nations in one day is pretty extraordinary.

This is not necessarily the norm in other countries. I was having a chat with a friend of mine who was visiting from France. She commented on how easy it was to have access to a multitude of foods from different regions of the world in Australia. She said ‘even living in Paris, its difficult to track down a decent Thai or Mexican restaurant, for example.’

I’ve often wondered exactly what lead to Australia having a fabulous fusion cuisine. No doubt it has something to do with being a nation comprised of immigrants from all over the world. It might also have been influenced by a desire for something different; meat and three veg is lovely but hey, next door is having spaghetti bolognese, lets give that a go!

Diversity in culture and ethnicity had lead to so many positives in Australia and is definitely something that should be encouraged. We are not all the same. And why should we be? I don’t want to have the same conversations every day, to do the same things every day and I DEFINATELY don’t want to eat the same food every day.

Due to Australia’s fabulous melting pot of cultural diversity I have been given the inspiration to play around with and come up with a recipe that brings a new level to the “meat and three veg” style of eating. Influences from Greece and Morocco come into play in this one. I hope you enjoy it!

Jazzed up Meat and Three Veg


Meat —

Three racks of lamb, halved (try to get the ones with the National Heart Foundation sticker on them
1 ½ f smoked paprika
1 ½ cumin
1 ½ sage
1 ½ nutmeg
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Olive oil, for cooking

Veg (Greek Salad and Corn Cobbs) —

2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways then chopped into half moons
2 red capsicums, de-seeded and chopped
½ onion,thinly sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup of pitted kalimatta olives
½ cup of crumbly fetta
4 corn cobbs, halved into cobbettes

Dressing —

¼ cup of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbs of white vinegar
1 tsp oregano
pinch of sea salt
Juice of one lemon


1. Preheat your oven to 200.

2. Do your meat first. Combine the spices and garlic in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly. Lay out the racks of lamb on a sheet of baking paper. Spoon the spice mixture over the meat and massage thoroughly into the flesh.

3. Meanwhile, heat a good splash of olive in a large pan and cook the lamb racks for one minute on each side (you might have to do this in batches). Once the meat has been sealed in this style, place them all in a sturdy baking tray. Sprinkle over any remaining spice mixture (this is why you use the baking paper) and pop in the oven. For medium rare, cook them for about ten minutes on each side (depending on the strength of your oven).

4. While your meat is cooking, combine all the salad dressing ingredients into a clean jar, put the lid on and shake thoroughly to combine. This is also a good time to chop up your salad ingredients as outlined above. Once this is done, place the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and toss thoroughly. This kind of salad tastes better if you let the vegetable sit in the dressing for a while, and it’s fantastic the next day.

5. Once that is done, fill a medium saucepan with salted water and put on to boil. Once boiling, add the corn cobs and cook for eight minutes.

6. Once the meat is cooked to your liking, take it out and let it sit for five minutes before bringing it to the table.

Serve hot!

Note: This meal serves roughly four people with sizeable appetites or four people with leftovers for lunch the next day. People get very envious if you bring this into work the next day.

By Emma Robinson

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2 thoughts on “a yummy substitute for maccas: jazzed up meat & three veg

  1. Oh I DIE for a juicy rack of lamb. Following on from the McDonalds reference, I have it on good authority that if you’re looking to imitate the Big Mac flavour, it’s a combo of mustard, pickles and dill! Easy enough to emulate in healthy sandwiches, wraps etc

  2. Oh God tell me about it. Everyday I wake up and find myself in the culinary wasteland known as France, I kick myself in the head for leaving Australia. No, all the pain au chocolat, foie gras and champagne does NOT make up for the lack of cuisine diversity. You shouldn’t be eating foie gras anyway.
    *sigh* You lucky Australians indeed.

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