Four ways with mince.

Since I have left home, back in February 2010, I have been fending for myself and cooking for one the majority of the time. But I get bored and I have so many recipes to try, so rarely will you ever see me cook a big batch of spaghetti Bolognese or a large stir fry or a pot of soup. Things get put in the freezer and rarely ever defrosted. I don’t like eating the same meal more than twice in a row. It does happen occasionally. Like last week, chicken curry for two dinners and two lunches in a row. It was purely situational, but I actually really do like chicken curry so it wasn’t so bad.

Anyway, I have perfected my portions and now can easily whip up a meal with a lunch for the next day. While some foods are easy to portion up – I often buy chicken breasts from the deli and portion them up into single-serve packs for a quick defrost and stir fry extravaganza. Mince, however, is a little difficult. Well, you can portion that up too. But only using half a jar of passata or only one dollop of tomato paste is a little wasteful. So if you are like me and don’t want to eat spaghetti Bolognese for dinner five days in a row, I have something for you.

Make a batch of this base recipe.

Base recipe

2 teaspoons olive oil

500g extra lean beef mince

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 large carrots, grated

1 large zucchini, grated

1 x 400g cans no-added-salt diced tomatoes

Method

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mince, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5–6 minutes, until browned.

2.  Add carrot and zucchini. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

It makes about five portions.

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So once you’ve had your spaghetti Bolognese fix, you can mince up your week with the following fibre-packed variations.

Variation one: Sweet potato cottage pie

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1. Peel & dice one small sweet potato, and steam until soft. Mash with a fork and season with your season of choice. I like a dollop of chobani. My mum adds sour cream. But you might just like a dash of milk, and a shake of S&P.

2. Combine one portion of the mince with a small tin of corn & peas.

3. Fill a small baking dish/ramekin with the mince and top with the mashed sweet potato.

4. Bake in the oven till the top is nice and crisp, and the inside warm.

Variation two: Stuffed Capsicum

1. Slice a capsicum in half and remove the seeds. Place on a baking oil, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a moderate oven for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Combine mince, ½ cup cooked quinoa/rice, some chopped spinach or silverbeet.

3. Once the capsicums are tender, fill with the mince filling, sprinkle with cheese if you wish, and return to the oven until the filling is heated through.

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Note: I have also added left over roast pumpkin to the mix. You could add some sweet potato too. Feta would take it too the next level yeah?

Variation three: Baked Potatoes

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1. Wash & lightly brush a small sweet potato, prick all over with a fork and place in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes.

For the Mexican lovers:

1. To one portion of the mince, add in a sprinkle of chilli & heat in the microwave

2. Once the potato is cooked, remove from oven, slice open and mash slightly with a fork.

3. Top with spinach, mince, ¼ avocado,1 tbsp corn kernals and a dollop of greek yoghurt. For extra zing, add some lime zest & juice to the yoghurt.

 

For something surprisingly random:

1. To one portion of the mince, add in a sprinkle of curry powder and heat in the microwave.

2. Once the potato is cooked, remove from oven, slice open and mash slightly with a fork.

3. Top with steamed chopped silverbeet (or fresh spinach), mince, a dollop of greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of smoked almonds.

Variation four: Mexi-bowl

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1. To one portion of the mince, add in a sprinkle of chilli or no-added-salt taco seasoning and a small tin of kidney beans. Heat in the microwave.

2. In a bowl, place 1 cup of spinach and 1 grated carrot.

3. Top with mince, ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp corn kernals, a dollop of lime-infused greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of coriander leaves.

You are welcome.

Emma xo

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3 thoughts on “Four ways with mince.

  1. Mexi-Bowls are a favourite in our house, when we do them with sweet potato and veg they are affectionately known as ‘nom-bowls’

    Other ones to add to the list:
    -Toasted in tortillas – quesadilla style (pretty sure we did this for most meals on schoolies!)
    -Layered with vegetables to create a moussaka type situation and topped with cheese.

    Well played, woman! x

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