Annabel’s weekly mince

If I have to make mince after my boys leave home, I think I'll scream! For those that don't know, I have 3 boys (11, 8 & 6) and their favourite meal is mince & pasta. In fact unless I say mince (or pizza) is for dinner there is usually a revolt of varying degrees of severity. I cook at least 1kg if not 2 of mince a week and serve it in a variety of ways: mince & pasta (AKA spaghetti bolognaise depending on whether it's actually spaghetti or some other shaped pasta), nachos, tacos, burritos, lasagne, pasta boats, pies, meatballs…. If it involves cooked mince I use the same basic recipe. It does change from time to time depending on what mince meat is on special, what vegetables I do or don't have in the kitchen and which spices I've run out of. I'm sure every family has their own secret ingredient/herb/spice and method, but since I've been asked for mine, I'll do my best to write it for you. As my kids are pretty fussy and certainly not the kind of kids to munch down a Vietname rice paper roll full of veggies, I use the weekly mince to get lots of veggies into them. When they were really little I had to puree them so they couldn't see ANY flecks (ie grated) bits but now grating and bitzing in the food processor is enough. If adding something a bit different I tend to blitz until pieces are very small so it goes undetected!

 

Annabel's EVERY week mince:

  • 1kg mince (usually mixed eg 500g beef/500g pork & veal) Can use all beef. Last week used half kangaroo mince. I know others that use mince to get in some offal eg kidneys/liver etc (I have tried once and it was NOT detected)
  • 1 large brown onion (finely diced)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 1T stock concentrate (chicken/vegetable, whatever I've got – can use 1-2 stock cubes)
  • 1T ground cumin
  • 1T ground corinander seeds
  • 1/2T sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 zucchinis (grated)
  • 2 carrots (grated)
  • other veg (I add 1-2 'extras' per batach) eg handful mushrooms, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, silverbeet etc
  • dash of soy sauce/tamari (for GF)/coconut aminos (for paleo)
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 glass jar of passata
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. In a large pot (stock pot/cast iron pot) heat 1-2Tbs macadamia oil. Brown onion & garlic then add the mince. You might need to have element up high to brown the mince quickly.
  2. Once the mince is browned, add the spices and stir through.
  3. Add grated vegetables (not tomatoes/passata) and stir through for a few minutes.
  4. Add stock, tinned tomatoes, passata, dash of soy (or soy alternative). Stir through. I usually rinse the tin & jar with water and add that tomato-y water to the pot too.
  5. Add bay leaves and simmer for as long as you like – up to a few hours. If in a hurry it's ready to eat immediately but the extra simmering time will develop the flavours.
  6. Serve as you wish – pasta/GF pasta/zucchini noodles/with corn chips, as lasagne etc etc etc.

Serves hungry kids for as many meals as you can stretch it! My husband and I rarely eat it, only because I'm so sick of cooking it I'd rather eat pretty much anything else! It does taste great and it totally adult friendly too though ;-)

 

prawn stock

I have only really gotten into making stock in the last year or so but this is the first time I’ve made prawn stock.  Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with it!  Any ideas? Please comment and let me know if you have some suggestions.  It was super easy to make although it did stink out the kitchen for the evening!

prawn stock

Prawn Stock

  • shells, heads etc from 500g green prawns
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • salt & pepper
  1. Dice vegetables.
  2. Place all ingredients in large saucepan or stock pot.  Fill with water until ingredients covered by a few cms.
  3. Bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so.
  4. Strain and allow stock to cool.
  5. Use stock as desired.  I poured mine into a  silicone muffin tray to freeze in useable (when I work out what for!) portions.

Enjoy!

And especially enjoy eating the prawns that came out of the shells.

prawn stock prawn stock

spiced pumpkin ice cream (GF)

With October and all things pumpkin just around the corner, here is a recipe that will appeal to the Australian readers because we’re coming into the warmer weather and ice cream is always good in summer.  It will, however appeal to the North America followers as well with October’s focus on pumpkins and then Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie in November. So, here is spiced pumpkin ice cream.  The recipe is taken directly from taste.com.au

I served it with a version of my 11 nuts & seeds muesli sprinkled on top for the crunch.  It would also work really well served in the date & nut tart shells.

spiced pumpkin ice cream

Spiced pumpkin ice cream

 

  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin (about 500g), peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (110g) castor sugar
  • 5 egg yolks (I used 4)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup

 

  1. Steam pumpkin for 12-15 minutes until tender, then allow to cool completely. Once cooled, puree the pumpkin in a blender until smooth – you’ll need 200g. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, place milk, cream and spices in a pan over medium heat. Bring to just below boiling point. Using electric beaters, beat sugar and yolks until thick and pale. Stir in warm cream mixture, then return to a clean pan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl, then place bowl in a large bowl of ice and stir until cool.

  3. Stir syrup and pumpkin into custard. Pass through a fine sieve, pushing down on solids. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, pour strained mixture into a shallow container and freeze for 2 hours until frozen at the edges. Beat with electric beaters, then return to the freezer. Repeat 2-3 times, then freeze until firm.

 

 

apple almond scones (gf, paleo)

apple almond sconesI love brunch.  (Well actually there isn’t a meal I don’t like, but if had to pick a least fav it would be lunch.) I love breakfast too, so brunch in my mind is really just an excuse to eat breakfast a little bit later in the day!  We were invited to friends for brunch today for Father’s Day and because I’ve inherited the inability to ‘bring nothing’ I thought scones would be a nice brunchy thing to bring.  I did make a regular batch of jam & cream topped regular scones, but here is the gluten free version – not really like a jam & cream topped scone at all, but yummy none-the-less.

I had made similar scones a few years ago but couldn’t find the recipe, so after finding a few different ones online,  I based mine on this Apple Scones recipe from Paleo Foodie.

  • 2 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1&1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2-4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 -2 apples grated (1 large or 2 small)1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
    2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
    3. Stir until combined into a batter.
    4. Put small cookie sized mounds of the batter on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool, serve and enjoy!

Makes about 15

turkey meatballs and avocado salad

turkey meatballsLooking for a super easy family mid-week meal? This is a great one!

Turkey meatballs (AIP options)

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1/2 brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1-2 Tbps coconut aminos (or tamari if not paleo/AIP)
  • 1 tsp Chinese a Five spice (omit for AIP)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg (omit for AIP – it will still hold together!)
  • oil for cooking (AIP – coconut oil, otherwise macadamia will do)
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  It’s best to use your hands and really squelch it all through.
  2. Roll into balls – these are about a heaped dessert spoons worth.  It is pretty sticky.  Place balls onto plate or into container you can store in the fridge.  It’s best to refrigerate for an hour or 2 before cooking.
  3. Turn on oven to 180C/350F.
  4. Heat oil in large fry pan (one you can also put in oven).  Carefully place meatballs in and sear/brown on each side well.  You do need to be careful when turning the meat balls as they can come apart easily.
  5. Transfer pan to the oven for about 15 mins.
  6. Serve with salad and dipping sauce.

Serves family of 5.

Dipping Sauce

 

  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1-2 Tbps coconut aminos (or tamari if not paleo/AIP)
  • 1 tsp Chinese a Five spice (omit for AIP)
  1. Mix together in a small bowl (you can also heat in small saucepan for a minute or 2).
  2. Serve with the meatballs.

Avocado Salad

  • 1-2 avocados (depending on how many you’re feeding), diced
  • 1/2 large red onion finely diced (or 1 small one)
  • juice of a lime
  • salt & pepper
  • baby english spinach leaves (or other greens)
  1. In a bowl mix avocado, onion, lime juice, salt & pepper.
  2. On the plate put a handful of greens.
  3. Scoop avocado ‘salsa’ onto the greens.  Yum.

 

brussel sprouts can be yummy! (yes it’s true!)

brussel sproutsThe only thing I grew up knowing that my Mum didn’t eat was brussel sprouts. I mean she ate everything else – lambs brains included, so I grew up thinking that brussel sprouts must be completely and utterly inedible, disgusting.  I have no recollection of ever having eaten them under the age of about 38.  I have no idea what ever possessed me to venture into the world of the unknown and attempt to cook (& potentially eat) a brussel sprout, but I’m glad I did.  I have discovered that it IS possible to actually eat brussel sprouts, and what’s more,  even enjoy them.  I’ll have to cook them for Mum now!

This is now my second favourite way to eat them… My favourite is at a fabulous Argentinian restaurant in Sydney called Porteno – it’s one of their signature dishes, and let’s just say, AMAZING.  Given I can’t eat at Porteno very often, eating brussel sprouts cooked in coconut oil and bacon is the next best way.  Let’s face it, there’s not much that doesn’t taste better with bacon!

Really yummy brussel sprouts

  • 500g brussel sprouts, halved or quartered
  • 2-3 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter is also good but not then paleo/AIP)
  • 1-2 tsp  stock concentrate (or stock cube)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Melt coconut oil in a fry pan.
  2. Lightly fry onion and garlic. Add in bacon. Fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add in brussel sprouts.  Stir through stock.  Once the brussel sprouts are well tossed in all the bacon/oil goodness, you might want to add in a tablespoon or 2 of water to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Covering the pan for a few minutes will help to soften the brussel sprouts a bit faster.
  5. When they have softened (but not soggy!), season to taste and serve with your protein of choice!

ENJOY & see that brussel sprouts really can be yummy!

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

raw grated salad with orange dressing

raw grated salad with oranage dressingI remember a while ago I had a request to post more salad recipes.  I think now that Spring has sprung in sunny Brisbane, Australia, it feels much more like salad weather and so, I’m finding more salad inspiration again!  I do find that grated salads are a good way to eat a larger amount of vegetables and they are colourful too, which is visually appealing and they say it’s good to ‘eat the rainbow’ to get a variety of vitamins & goodness!

There are many variations to this salad depending on what’s in season/you have in your fridge.  A few toasted pepitas, sunflower seeds and/or chopped nuts would be nice on top too (unless you want the AIP version).

Raw grated salad with orange dressing

1 medium beetroot, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
1 zucchini
1 apple
1-2 handfuls kale
1-2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 ruby grapefruit
1-2 avocados

Dressing
Juice 1/2 orange
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp mustard (leave out for AIP)
1 tsp apple cigar vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Grate beetroot, carrot, zucchini and apple.raw grated salad
2. Finely chop or blitz in a food processor, kale and spinach.
3. Mix all vegetables in large bowl.
4. Cut skin off grapefruit and dice, stir through salad mix.
5. Top with diced avocado and dressing.

For dressing:
In a small jar shake together all dressing ingredients, adjust to taste.

Serves 3-4

And if there is any left, eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, that’s what I did:

raw grated salad2