Posts tagged family food

Whaddya call this darl?

This recipe has been rolling around the VS kitchen for a couple of years, getting made regularly and eaten with gusto, every time. It is of course, a MEATLOAF, that daggiest of daggy old recipes, so derided and laughed at. Poor little meatloaf, it doesn’t deserve the slagging. I’m here to sing it’s praises and remind everyone of why it became so ubiquitous in the first place…

  • The recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare, then an hour to cook, giving you crucial multitasking time to wash kids, make lunches, sneak a wine or do whatever else needs doing before serving up a delicious dinner.
  • The cooked meatloaf keeps super well in the fridge for 3-4 days and it actually gets yummier as it sits. Make it on a Sunday, eat it Monday night, then use leftovers for sandwiches, toasties or inside baked potatoes as the week goes on. It’s the meal that keeps on giving.

A few times I’ve tried to photograph it, but meatloaf falls into the category of ‘impossible-to-photograph-in-a-way-that-looks-yum’, especially these days. Working five days a week means that my good camera is dusty and everything is snapped on the iphone, moments before it gets gobbled. So forgive the poor visuals, I assure you that this is a neat little recipe, that will slot perfectly into your rotation of family-favourites.

Vegie_Smugglers_meatloaf

Italian-ish meatloaf

1kg beef mince
2 slices bread (any kind)
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp Italian herbs
1 zucchini
1 onion
1 egg (lightly beaten)
400g can crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp apple cidar vinegar

A mini food processor makes this recipe super quick & easy to prep!

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease/line a loaf tin.

Add the mince to a big mixing bowl. Place the bread (tear it up a little), garlic and herbs to the food processor to blitz into breadcrumbs. Add to the bowl. Blitz the zucchini and add to the bowl, repeat with the onion. Tip in the egg and 1/2 cup of the tomatoes. Season well.

You need to combine everything really well. A spoon works, but hands are best. Use kitchen gloves if you’re squeamish. Pack the mixture firmly into the prepared dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and vinegar, then add the rest of the tomatoes. Pour over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes. Leave to sit for 15 minutes, drain off excess liquid.

Serve with mash, or pasta, and more vegies – we like broccolini, carrots and peas.

Serves 2 adults & 4 kids.

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A 30-minute lamb dinner-winner

More interesting that your usual savoury mince but just as popular.

More interesting that your usual savoury mince but just as popular.

Here’s an easy dinner idea that takes all the kid-friendliness of savoury mince and gives it a little Middle-Eastern twist. Using the naan bread as a base is a bit of Veggie-Smuggling sneakiness – keeping a visible lure ingredient to tempt the kids to dig in.

The idea is that to get to the bread, they’re having to get in a mouthful of mince mixture which should hopefully be enough to tickle their tastebuds and get them scoffing away.

Better yet – this 30 minute meal smuggles eggplant and mushrooms and is a quick one-frypan affair. Bliss.

Citrus lamb mince on naan

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g minced lamb
1 eggplant, finely diced (peeled first if your kids are iffy with eggplant)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 carrot, grated
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
Rind of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp honey

To serve: Greek yoghurt, mint, coriander, naan bread. Chopped cucumber and tomato are also great.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and when hot, add the onion and stir frequently for 6-8 minutes or so until turning golden. Add the mince and break up the lumps until it is entirely browned. Toss in the eggplant and stir regularly for a few minutes. It’ll absorb all the lamb fat and start to soften. After several minutes, add in the garlic and spices. Combine well and once fragrant add in the rest of the ingredients. Lower the heat and leave everything to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Since the mix is pretty dry, you do need to keep an eye on it and give it the odd stir so that it doesn’t burn.

Serve topped with yoghurt, herbs and bread.

Serves 2 adults & 2 kids

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Do your kids like mince? Try my savoury mince recipe. Or my classic bolognaise. Or this fajita mix is delish!

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