Ann Wayne on Challenge No. 1

  • Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Ann Wayne made Lamb and Green Bean Curry with Candied Pumpkin Seeds.

    Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Ann Wayne made Lamb and Green Bean Curry with Candied Pumpkin Seeds. COURTESY OF ANN WAYNE

Updated 10/8/2019 12:46 PM

I made a Ground Lamb and Green Bean Curry served on a bed of basmati rice with candied pumpkin seed garnish.

I think of Indian food when I hear lamb. So I decided to make a curry with Indian spices.

Ann Wayne
Ann Wayne

I love fresh green beans and pumpkin seeds, so I was super excited when I saw those in the bag. I had heard of liquid monk fruit, but never cooked with it, so I was excited to try it. I have never seen or heard of lamb beef burgers from burger IM, so I was intrigued by what they are and how I could use them in my dish.

I tasted a drop of the liquid monk fruit, and it was very sweet. I made a cup of tea and put in a couple of drops. It was very sweet, and I was also pleasantly surprised there was no after taste!

I was excited to cook with the ground lamb beef burgers. I was hoping it would take on the flavors of the spices and it did. It was fun experimenting with the liquid monk fruit to find the right amount of sweetness, adding a few drops at a time until there was a nice hint of sweet without overpowering the dish.

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The other day when I was watching "The Kitchen" on Food Network and the chef was making an Indian dish. I learned that adding the spices before the lamb will toast and fully develop the robust flavor of the spices.

I used the liquid monk fruit in place of sugar since it states on the package that it is a zero-calorie sugar replacement. Candying the pumpkin seeds enhances the nutty flavor! I used the same spices in the curry as I did when I candied the pumpkin seeds in order not to create a culinary tug of war.

I made two different types of candied pumpkin seeds, spicy and regular. I brought them both to my Zumba class, and the overwhelming majority of the ladies liked the spicy ones better.

My neighbors tried my Ground Lamb & Green Bean Curry and were really surprised how good the lamb tasted, no gamy taste! They would not have known it was lamb if I didn't tell them. They ate the entire plate, and one asked for seconds.


I was very surprised to see lamb as a mystery ingredient. I never cooked with lamb before, so I was very intrigued. I went to the library to research different ideas and was inspired by what I came across.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed cooking with the mystery items from Week 1. It was a challenge, but I think it was a success.

I like serving the Lamb and Green Bean Curry on a bed of basmati rice, so the sauce soaks into the rice and gives extra flavor. The candied pumpkin seeds look pretty and add a fun texture to the dish.

I added a dollop of Greek yogurt, and the candied pumpkin seeds along with fresh mint and cilantro created a pop of green and freshness. After all, we eat with our eyes first.

-- Ann Wayne

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