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A Different Way With Mince

10 Aug

Cooking day has come around again for me and I don’t feel like spag bol but I have mince ready to cook. So, I pulled out my recipes to see what I could find.

While I don’t have all the ingredients, I did find one I can easily change to use ingredients I do have. This is what is great about cooking. Experimenting with what is in the pantry. The children may have suggestions, or you may be able to draw on some experience.

So, I have chosen a dish that includes pasta. It is simple and cooked on the stove top. 500g mince (5 serves), 2 onions chopped, 2 rashers bacon (don’t have, replace with bacon stock or finely chopped ham) can tomato soup (don’t have, replace with crushed tomato), 1 1/2 cups water (substitute 1/2 cup for red wine if you like), 1 beef stock cube, 1/2 tsp mixed herbs, seasoning, 1 cup macaroni.

In large pot cook onion and bacon, add mince and brown. Pour off excess fat. Add tomato, water, stock, herbs and seasoning. Cook covered 20-30 mins.

I use a Tupperware pasta cooker to cook macaroni, drain and add to pan, stir through.

Enjoy with some steamed broccoli or beans for colour.

This is an easy recipe to change. If you think you have one that could be changed but not sure, send it to me and I will give it a go.

Cooking and a busy life

7 Aug

I have been thinking about all those who have the busy lifestyle of today and how to fit in cooking with the demands of work and school. Many people find it easier to have fast food meals these days and as we know these are not the best for a healthy diet.

The simple recipes I include here don’t necessarily solve those problems so I have had an idea on how that can be done.

In order to attack childhood obesity children need to be involved in cooking and learning how it can be fun to experiment with flavour without necessarily complicating the process.

My thought is that the cooking probably does not want to be done on a weekday night. So let’s do it on the weekend when there are actually three night to choose from, Friday being one.

It doesn’t require cooking three nights. Even if you choose one and cook two or three dishes. Get the children to help, preparing vegetables, trimming meat, choosing flavourings, collecting fresh herbs etc, even choosing recipes.

Getting the children involved also allows for educating them in money and budget issues.

With everyone pitching in it is an opportunity for a family chat to catch up on the week and prepare for the one coming. These times are important and you may not be having it at present. This is a way to introduce it without pressure.

To decide how much to cook you just take the number of people in the family and multiply by 7, being the number of evenings per week. This is how many serves you need, so given that each of my recipes will give 5 serves, you can choose either two or three dishes, using different cuts of meat and you will have 10-15 serves for the week. With one serve each out for cooking night and  the rest in the freezer, you are ready for the week.

It doesn’t matter if there are more than you need for the week, having extras can be a bonus if something unexpected comes up.

When you are putting these meals in the freezer, there are two options; put all single serves in or in larger containers put daily serves. Tupperware heat n eat come in larger sizes too. The thing to be careful with in the second option is that someone may not turn up for that meal and once defrosted it cannot be frozen again and I would also be cautious about keeping it for the next day.

I hope this idea has some appeal for you.

Easy favourite

22 Jul

Not feeling like exerting myself with the cooking tonight so going for a familiar favourite that I can whip up quickly. Spag Bol.

I cook this often so it is easy to put together for me when I don’t feel like working at it.

Finely dice 1 large onion and 1 clove garlic, fry until golden, add 500g mince and stir til well browned. Add 150g tomato paste, 2 cups water, 2 chicken stock cubes, 1 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 – 1/2 cup red wine.

Simmer over low heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. Serves 5

Usually I serve this over shredded cabbage but tonight I feel like pasta so that is what i am having. It is easy to cook with my Tupperware pasta cooker.

If you are setting up a kitchen, I recommend you go for Tupperware. It is easy to care for, easy to use, covers all your cooking needs and has a lifetime guarantee. My kitchen cupboards would be much more organised if the current stock was available when I started setting up my kitchen.