Sunday, 29 July 2012

What's for Dinner Vol 1. Savoury Mince

Today I did my very irregularly spaced weekly shop (which can incidently be anywhere between every couple of days and month-to-month) at M&S. I think M&S have the best quality produce you can find in central Edinburgh (apart from the Farmer's Markets) and I really don't think their prices are too bad.

So loaded up with fresh fruit and veg and some reduced-to-clear mince, I headed home, had a glass of wine and started on Dinner. NB Jacobs Creek Sav Blanc is horrible- thus the reason I am typing this and not sloshed right now!

I thought a savoury mince would be good, so I cut up a bunch of spring onion, shallots and garlic, and sauteed with rapeseed oil. Once translucent, I added the mince and browned.

To flavour I added chili flakes, curry powder, a beef stock cube, dried mixed herbs, salt, pepper and tomato paste.

To this I added a truckload of diced veg- beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower, and peas, and added a splash of wine and some water, and let simmer.

As it cooked I tasted and it needed something a bit bold in it so I added Vegemite. Don't be grossed out, it's a yeast extract, and commonly used in Oz to flavour casseroles et al. I also added a good spoonful of dijon mustard and pepper jelly.

Then a little more simmering and that was done.

I was going to serve it with rice, but I am really bad at cooking rice- like one of 2 things I have never mastered in the kitchen- perfect rice, and cracking eggs without getting shell in the pan/bowl.

So whilst still deciding, I decided to do a wee guacamole to go with it. Guacs are so easy... spring onions, tomatoes, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon and a touch of tobasco, moosh together- done.

Then I figured out what to have with the chili. Inspired by my old Aitkins' Diet days (completely carb free- don't do it, it'll turn you bonkers), I remembered omelette noodles, which is basically an omelette cut into fine, tortellini-esque noodle strips.

Gluten-free, tasty amazingness.

I do have to say, I love Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals, but this meal took me about 20 and that's a good 10 mins more than I usually ever spend on a meal. It was also tastier than many of the take-outs I have had recently, and healthier. Fast healthy meals are really doable, and not to mention cheap. The Farmfoods/Iceland shopping lifestyle over here is so very sad I think. I wish people could realise this, and stop living out of their freezers and get into fresh food.

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