So many delicious dishes, one simple ingredient. By Laura Fudim.
1. Clever canapés
Chop the stems of 24 large button mushrooms. Sauté stems with 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 finely diced onion. Add 300g lean mince and brown. Mix with 80g light cream cheese, spoon into mushroom caps and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley. Bake for 10–15 minutes at 180ºC.
2. Quick kofta
Skip the snags! Mix 300g lean mince with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes and 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, ground coriander and cumin. Divide mixture into equal portions and mould onto skewers. Grill for 5 minutes each side and serve with salad and plain yoghurt.
3. Snappy stir-fry
Brown 300g lean mince with a diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Once browned, add some colorful diced vegies – carrot, capsicum, baby corn, celery – and a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve over Hokkien noodles.
4. Sang choi bao
Stir-fry grated ginger, minced garlic, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and a dash each of oyster sauce and soy sauce. Add leftover cooked mince and a handful of bean sprouts. Spoon into lettuce cups to serve.
5. Basic meatballs
For a versatile meatball base, combine 300g lean mince with 1/4 cup wholegrain breadcrumbs, 2 diced garlic cloves and 1 egg. Add spices (such as oregano and basil), then roll into small balls and bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.
6. Chilli con carne
Sauté 2 diced onions, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 diced carrots in a large saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons each ground coriander and cumin, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 300g lean mince. Brown meat, then add 5 diced tomatoes, 400g can kidney beans, 2 cups water and 3/4 cup tomato paste. Simmer for 15 minutes before serving.
7. Best burger
Combine 300g lean mince with 1/2 cup diced onion and mushrooms and 1 tablespoon each Worcestershire and barbecue sauce. Shape into patties and grill. Serve with ‘the lot’ – hommous and vegies!
8. Get stuffed
Stuffed capsicums makehearty and healthy mains. Sauté 1 diced onion and 2 diced garlic cloves. Add 300g lean mince and brown. Remove from heat, add 1 diced tomato, 1 cup cooked brown rice and 2 tablespoons feta. Fill 4 halved and seeded small red capsicums with mixture and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.
9. Moroccan mince
Brown 300g lean mince and add 2 tablespoons each pine nuts and slivered almonds. Cook until golden. Add 1 tablespoon Moroccan spice and 2 tablespoons each diced dried apricots and sultanas. Toss with 3 cups cooked rice, chopped parsley and a dash of lemon juice. Pack up leftovers for lunch!
10. Last-minute lunches
Use leftover cooked mince for weekday lunches. Mix mince with chopped vegies and lettuce for a fast salad. Top a jacket potato with mince and grated cheese. Or make a quick pizza – spread pasta sauce on a wholegrain pita and sprinkle with mince, chopped vegies and reduced-fat mozzarella.