Beef Pasta Bake


Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a 3-4L capacity freezer-proof baking dish with oil.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, bacon and chilli.
Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned.
Stir in passata and basil.
Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.
Cook for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet directions. Drain. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir the mince mixture into the pasta. Spoon into the prepared dish and top with cherry tomatoes.
Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Freeze baked or unbaked covered in plastic wrap and foil.
Thaw in fridge before reheating in the oven.

Serves 6

Olive oil, to grease
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g short-cut low-fat bacon, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chilli falkes (optional)
500g lean beef mince
700ml btl passata (tomato pasta sauce)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
500g dried tortiglioni or rigatoni pasta
250g cherry tomatoes
100g (1 cup) coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
20g (1/4 cup) finely grated parmesan


Indian Chicken Curry


3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamons pods, bruised
2.5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 whole star anise
8 curry leaves, crumbled if using dried
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed/finely chopped
2.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger-finely chopped/grated
4 tbsp mild Indian curry paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp five spice powder
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts-cut into bite-size pieces
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fresh coriander-chopped


Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Add mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, star anise and curry leaves.
Fry over low heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 mins. 
Add the curry paste, turmeric and five spice and fry for 2 mins, stirring. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until sealed.
Stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk and salt. 
Simmer for 10-15 mins, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove from heat and stir in coriander.
Serve with basmati rice.

Serves 4-6

Suitable to freeze once cooled.

Mexican Beef Lasagne


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
600g lean beef mince
I complete burrito or quesadilla meal kit*
400g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup pickled jalapeño chillies, chopped** 
1 1/3 cups reduced-fat grated tasty cheese
guacamole and sour cream to serve (optional)

*Kit contains 8 corn tortillas, seasoning and salsa
** Omit chillies if cooking for young children

Preheat oven to 180°C
Lightly grease a deep, 20cm square ovenproof dish.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. 
Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft. 
Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. 
Add seasoning, beans and 1/3 cup cold water. 
Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Place 2 tortillas, trimming to fit, in prepared dish. 
Spread one-third of mince mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with one-third of the tomato and jalapeños and 1/3 cup cheese. 
Repeat layers, ending with tortillas. 
Spread salsa over tortillas and top with remaining cheese. 
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. 
Cut into pieces. 
Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Suitable to freeze sealed in plastic wrap and covered with a double layer of foil.
To reheat, remove foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover with foil. 
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through. 

Chilli con carne


2 teaspoons olive oil
125g rindless bacon, roughly chopped
750g lean beef mince
2 medium brown onions, finely chopped
2 medium red capsicums, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long red chilli, chopped
2 tablespoons Mexican chilli powder
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
sour cream
avocado, chopped
corn chips
spinach leaves to serve (optional)

Note: If cooking for children, you may wish to reduce the amount of chilli used.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. 
Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes or until crisp. 
Add mince and cook, stirring to break up mince, for 15 minutes or until browned.
Add onions, capsicums, garlic and chopped chilli. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are soft. 
Add chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup cold water. Bring to the boil. 
Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
Add beans and increase heat to medium. 
Cook for 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened. 
Serve topped with avocado, corn chips and sour cream. Or if transporting, pack toppings separately. Freeze, chilli mixture only.


Vegetable Lasagne


800g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1cm-thick slices
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium red capsicum, chopped
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 medium eggplant, chopped
400g can diced tomatoes
80g baby spinach
2 tbsp basil
30g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese
8 dried lasagne sheets

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Toss pumpkin in 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange in a single layer, on tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, capsicum, zucchini and eggplant.
Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or vegetables are tender.
Stir in tomatoes and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Add spinach and basil and stir gently for one minute or until spinach has just wilted.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming.
Add flour and cook stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute or until bubbling.
Remove from heat.
Gradually add milk, stirring to prevent lumps forming.
Return pan to heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.
Remove pan from heat and stir in half the cheese. 

Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish (16x 28cm)
Spoon half the vegetable mixture into the dish.
Place half the pumpkin over the vegetable mixture.
Arrange half the lasagne sheets over the pumpkin. 
Repeat layers.
Spoon cheese sauce over top. and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and pasta is tender. 
Stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Cooked and uncooked lasagne may be frozen.
Cover with plastic wrap and foil to seal.
Remove plastic wrap before reheating.