There are several universal truths when it comes to raising Australian children.
1. Getting them into and out of cars is going to be a painful and long-winded exercise. Shoes will be missing; toys lost and drink bottles astonishingly empty (and car seats wet).
2. The more disgusting the public toilet that you find yourself in, the longer your contented child will wish to languish (“the poo is almost here mummy”). And the bigger the incident, the fewer tissues you will have handy.
3. If they are to be struck down with a sudden and violent episode of projectile vomiting, it will be between 3-6am, usually just before you are due to do some incredibly crucial work thing.
On a brighter note, it is also true that things covered in pastry are yummier and much more likely to be eaten by your delightful youngsters.
Which is why the Vegie Smugglers cookbook features quite a few recipes making the most of the adored, yet not exactly healthy stuff. Being a mum, not a dietitian, I have the advantage of not freaking out at the idea of utilising some less healthy ingredients for the greater nutritional good.
Puff pastry though, is very high in fat – even the 25% reduced fat stuff. Use it occasionally and make sure that you make the most of it by cramming in all sorts of good ingredients – like my sausage rolls, which are full of mushrooms and lentils. (In the book I’ve got salmon pots full of broccoli and a fruit treat jammed full of apples, pear and prunes – which may help speed up your public toilet visits considerably).
Today’s recipe is a glorious Indian-inspired dish. Just a hint of spice gets the kid’s palettes keen for more exotic flavour and opens the door to a whole new cuisine (unless you’re Indian, in which case you might prefer a bolognaise or lasagne for a bit of cross cultural goodness). This mince filling is also good on baked potatoes and freezes perfectly for a couple of months.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g beef mince
1 tsp curry powder
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ red or yellow capsicum, deseeded, finely diced
½ cup beef stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
5 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg, whisked, for glazing
Fruit chutney, to serve
Preheat oven to 190C.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add mince and brown, breaking up lumps as you go. Add curry powder and all the vegies and mix well.
Add the stock and soy sauce and simmer vigorously over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated and the vegies are soft. Season with pepper.
Cut each pastry sheet into four squares. Place 2 tbsp of mixture in the centre of each square. Fold diagonally to create triangles, pressing firmly on the edges to seal well.
Brush with egg and bake on oven trays lined with baking paper for 10-15 minutes until golden. Serve beef triangles with chutney.