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Exercise and nutrition scientist Gill Cummings-Bell explains how this tasty lamb tagine dish packs a mighty protein punch…

Nutritional info on the lovely lamb tagine:

Lamb is a grade one protein, which means all the nine essential amino acids are there in sufficient quantities for growth and repair. Be careful not to eat too much protein as there is an optimal point in the body for protein consumption. As lamb is one of the fattier meats, around 80 per cent of calories come from fat, so keep it as an occasional treat.

Calorie Count: 100g of lamb provides 380 calories, 17g protein and 35g fat.

Chickpeas are a good source of both protein and carbohydrate, which makes it an ideal food for athletes. While it’s a much leaner source of protein than lamb, it is not a grade one protein so you’ll need to get those other amino acids from different sources. Chickpeas also contain a high proportion of dietary fibre, iron, calcium, vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.

Calorie Count: 100g of chickpeas provides 364 calories, 19g protein, 61g carbohydrate and 6g fat.

Apricots have a high vitamin and mineral content, which can aid recovery between training bouts. Full of vitamin B6, iron and magnesium, they also have vitamins A and C, which combat oxidative damage caused by the turn over of energy in the oxygen cycle when training.

Calorie Count: 100g of apricots provide 48 calories, 11g carbohydrate, 2g fibre and 0.4g of fat.

Ingredients

Serves 3-4 people

  • 1 onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 500g lean lamb chunks
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 100g dried chopped apricots
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Small bunch of parsley

Method

1. Slice the onion and fry with the lamb until meat is browned.

2. Chop tomatoes, add to pan with cinnamon. Fry for four minutes.

3. Add stock, chickpeas and apricots. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for two hours.

4. Finely chop parsley and stir through.

5. Serve with couscous or brown rice.

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