I try to be as smart as I can about food – both in terms of how much we spend, the quality of what we eat and the time I spend cooking. I’ve never been as engaged in paid work as I am at the moment so I’m lacking in time to potter in the kitchen in a way that makes me happy. On the days I’m home I try to make a freezer meal at the same time as making dinner.
Today’s meals were made using all the same base ingredients and to make it very quick indeed I did all my chopping in the food processor. If I had all the time in the world, I would chop by hand but this is about speed and ease which is what kitchen gadgets are all about after all!
So here’s what I started with:
2 packets of chicken mince – about 500 grams each
2 medium onions – diced
3 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 carrots – peeled and diced
3 small sticks celery – diced
2 zucchini – diced
1 capsicum – diced
6 mushrooms – diced/chopped small
After prepping all the vegetables I put on the wok and a large saucepan on a medium-low heat.
For San Choi Bow:
You also need:
vegetable oil or peanut oil
about 1cm knob of ginger grated (I’d add more to a grown ups only version but my kids don’t love lots of ginger)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
lettuce to serve
coriander to serve
Heat a bit less than a tablespoon of vegetable oil
Add half of the onion & garlic and cook until soft. Increase heat to medium. Add half of the celery and carrot and cook down for around 2 minutes. Add half of the zucchini and capsicum and cook for another 2 minutes. Add half the mushrooms and cook for a minute before adding one of the packets of chicken mince and stirring, stirring, stirring to ensure it browns evenly and doesn’t have any lumps. When browned a bit but not cooked absolutely completely add the sauces and cook for a few extra minutes.
Serve in lettuce cups or like us very lazy people, you could shred the lettuce and make it into a salad!
Serves 4 very hungry or 6 people – we ended up eating about half and freezing a portion too.
In the meantime, I was also cooking the bolognese….
2 tins of crushed tomatoes
A dash of sugar
A dash of paprika (I like the super smokey stuff!)
Heat just under a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Soften the remaining half of the onion and garlic. Add the celery and carrot, cooking for a few minutes, then adding remaining zucchini and capsicum and mushrooms. I like to brown the vegetables a tiny bit so increase the heat to medium at this stage and let them fry for a few extra minutes. Then add the chicken mince, browning and stirring to get rid of lumps. I add my paprika at this stage. Add the two tins of tomato, a dash of sugar and salt and pepper as per your preference. Rinse out the tins of tomatoes by adding water to each and adding the water to the saucepan. Bring to the boil and let simmer as per your preference. I like to cook mine off for at least half an hour to get rid of the more acidic taste of the tomato. When done, I add my chopped fresh herbs. It makes quite a “runny” bolognese so if you prefer a not so runny one just add the one tin of water. I froze two thirds to make a lasagne with and one third to have with pasta one night next week.
This recipe makes two separate meals that will feed four very comfortably.
So, there you have it, my method to make fairly quick, healthy & cheap meals with about 20 minutes worth of effort all up! Best of all, all of my boys gobbled it up with enjoyment.