Beef and Vegetable Pie

I came across a food magazine the other night at the supermarket that I hadn’t seen before. It is published here in New Zealand and is called Recipes+. The April issue contains at least 300 recipes which are no-fuss and extremely budget friendly.

Every recipe in the magazine is easy, and delicious! I was particularly impressed to see it also had plenty of recipes that were gluten-free and vegetarian. Best of all, it contained an excellent index! There isn’t anything worse than seeing a recipe and having to flick through to find it again a couple of months later!

I have a few meals that I am going to try this week. So if you’re looking for a delicious, filling weeknight meal which is inexpensive and low in fat, look no further.

Beef and Vegetable Pie

  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 500 grams vegetables, chopped (I used broccoli, carrots, potato, and zucchini)
  • 1/3 cup brown onion gravy powder
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a 20 cm square ovenproof dish. Heat oil in in a saucepan over a high heat. Add mince and onion. Cook stirring to break up any lumps in the mince, for 5 minutes or until browned.

Add chopped vegetables, gravy powder and a 1/2 cup of water. Cook and stir for approximately 3 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick!

Transfer mince mixture to prepared dish. Place a pastry sheet over the mince mixture to cover. Roll the overhanging pastry inwards to form a border around the edge of the dish. Score the top of the pastry with a small sharp knife. Brush with extra milk.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned.

This pie is perfect to eat around this time of the year when the nights are cooler and all you want is a nice, hot meal when you get home. On a sweet note, the April issue also includes a picture of a pretty amazing looking White Chocolate Mud Cake – something else I might have to try! Drool.

Healthy Beef and Lentil Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna is just so tasty. Beef and Lentil Lasagna even more so. The combination of beef mince and lentils provides a nutritious, cheap and healthy substitute for the usual beef mince filling. Lentils are high in protein but low in fat and are also one of the best vegetable sources of iron.

Pasta would have to be in my top five favourite meals. It is filling, super tasty and damn, can you experiment with it or what! I grew up on Lasagne, Alison Holst’s popular Lazy Lasagna to be exact (one of the easiest recipes ever – definitely try it if you haven’t already!).

This recipe actually contains half the fat and calories of regular lasagne but still tastes amazing. I often make this dish because it freezes so well and if you are short of time, you can also make in advance and let the flavours develop a bit more.

Although you can use dried pasta, from experience fresh pasta sheets work much better!

Beef and Lentil Lasagne
 
  • 500 grams minced beef
  • 550 gram tomato-based pasta sauce
  • 400 gram can of crushed tomatoes, with herbs
  • 220 gram can of brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups of trim milk
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour
  • 1 tbsp of mustard
  • 4 individual fresh lasagne sheets
  • 1/2 a cup of grated parmesan cheese
 
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Lightly spray a 24cm x 20cm (2L/8-cup capacity) ovenproof dish with oil.
 
Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over high heat. Add mince and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 3–5 minutes or until browned. Add the pasta sauce and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in lentils.
 
Meanwhile, blend ¼ cup (60ml) of the milk with cornflour in a bowl. Bring remaining milk to the boil in a small saucepan. Stir in cornflour mixture. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until sauce boils and thickens. Add mustard. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
 
Place 1 lasagne sheet in the base of the prepared dish and trim to fit. Top with one-third of the beef mixture. Repeat layering with remaining lasagne sheets and beef mixture, finishing with a lasagne sheet. Spread the white sauce over the lasagne and sprinkle with parmesan.
 
Bake for 30–35 minutes or until pasta is tender and top is golden. This healthy beef and lentil lasagna is great on a cold winter night, served piping hot from the oven alongside a crisp green salad and crusty bread. I highly recommend!