Dad’s famous beef and tomato soup

imageThis one’s an old favourite in my family.  We call it “Dad’s” because he’s the one who makes it (he’s pretty darn good in the kitchen!), but he actually got the recipe out of a very old Woman’s Weekly cookbook.

This is a very filling soup – it’s a meal in itself…

Beef & tomato soup

1/2 cup uncooked rice

4 rashers bacon, diced

250g beef mince

2 beef stock cubes

1 onion, chopped

500g tomatoes, chopped

salt and pepper

Cook rice in 2 1/2 cups boiling salted water until tender.  Do not drain.  Saute meats together until browned, breaking up mince with a fork.  Add to cooked rice with 2 cups of water.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add stock cubes and onion and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45mins.  Add tomatoes and simmer for a further 15mins.


I often use a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh – it tastes just as good and I always have canned tomatoes.

You can add small diced vegetables such as potato, sweet potato or others if you like.




Spicy hoisin meatballs

I got this recipe out of a magazine – I think it was Super Food Ideas…  It’s a winner and I make it quite often.  I usually make up a big batch of meatballs and freeze them before cooking them.  All I need to do is pull out enough meatballs for a serving each and cook up the sauce to go with – saves me going through making up the meatballs each time…

I sometimes serve this with mashed potato instead of the noodles which works out pretty damn good!

Spicy hoisin meatballs

500g chicken or pork mince (beef works just as well)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 brown onion, grated

1/4 cup dried chilli flakes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 cm piece ginger, finely grated

hokkien noodles, to serve

Combine mince, egg, breadcrumbs, chilli, half the garlic and half the hoisin sauce in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix to combine.  Roll level spoonfuls of the mixture into balls.  Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat.  Cook meatballs, turning, for 5-7 minutes until browned and cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and cover.  Add ginger and remaining garlic to the pan.  Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.  Add 1/2 cup cold water and remaining hoisin sauce.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 mins, until sauce thickens.  Return meatballs to pan and stir to coat.  Serve with noodles.

Tortilla pie

I was looking through the recipes I have posted so far, and couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted my tortilla pie recipe…  Hubby LOVES it!

The beauty of this recipe is the way you can adapt it for many things – which is actually quite typical of mexican cooking…

Tortilla Pie

500g beef mincewpid-20150106_203604.jpg

1 jar tomato salsa (your choice of mild, medium or hot) alternatively, you could add a packet of taco seasoning mix

1 can mexican chilli beans

cup of frozen corn

grated cheese

4 flour tortillas

Brown the mince in a saucepan, then add in the salsa, beans and corn.  Cook until heated through.  Layer the mince and tortillas in a round casserole dish and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Pop into a pre-heated moderate oven for about 15-20mins until the cheese has melted and started to brown.  Remove from oven and stand for 5-10 mins before serving.   I usually serve this with a big dollop of sour cream….   This dish freezes really well – I cut up the leftovers into portions and freeze for lunches.


Enchiladas – Roll up the prepared mince in the tortillas.  Make a sauce out of equal quantities of tomato salsa and tomato passata mixed together.  Spread some of the sauce over the base of a large baking tray.  Place the enchiladas on top.  Top with the remainder of the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Bake in a moderate oven for about 20mins until cheese is melted.

Baked potatoes – Top the baked potatoes with the tortilla mince, sprinkle with cheese and serve with sour cream and chopped chives.

Ramekin pies – Grease ramekins, press a tortilla into the ramekin and fill with tortilla mince.  Top with mashed sweet potato and grated cheese.  pop in the oven until cheese has meltedwpid-20150106_184944.jpg.

Eggplant Rolls (LCHF friendly)  – Grill long (lengthwise) slices of eggplant until lightly browned.  Cool slightly.  Place mince mixture along the middle of each eggplant slice.  Roll up and place in an ovenproof dish.  Top with cheese and bake in oven until cheese is melted.  As always, serve with a big dollop of sour cream!



Beef & tomato pesto pasta

Here’s another one I threw together just tonight and it’s turned out quite nicely – even if I do say so myself!!!



500g beef mince

diced eggplant

grated carrot

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

olive oil

sundried tomato pesto

tomato passata

fettucine pasta


In a large frypan, cook the eggplant, carrot, garlic and olive oil together until softened.  Add the mince and cook until browned.  Stir in a heaped tablespoon of the pesto and a good dollop of tomato passata.  While this is cooking, cook a couple of handfuls of pasta until al dente.  Drain, then toss through the mince mixture.  Serve with grated cheese.


I used only a small amount of pasta, but you could add more.  If you are using a long pasta (spaghetti or fettucine) I would break it in half before cooking as this makes it easier to stir through the mince.


This will freeze well too…

Italian herb rissoles

Sorry folks, no photo…  And this my first recipe post!!

This is one I made up on the spot.  I’ve been cooking rissoles since I was a kid (rissoles were a staple meal in my family – a good way to get kids to eat their veges according to my mum and dad!).  Anyways, here it comes – you will have to use your imagination.

– Packet of beef mince (about 500g or thereabouts)

– fresh chopped rosemary

– a couple of shallots, thinly sliced

– a squirt of mild chilli from the tube

– a generous squirt of italian herbs (tube)

– a teaspoon of sundried tomato pesto

– a bit of grated cheese (I used Havarti)

– 1 egg

– salt & pepper to taste

– enough breadcrumbs to bring it all together

Just mix it all together (use your hands and it will come together nicely).  Roll into balls and flatten out.  Put aside for a good 10mins before cooking.  If I have time, I stick them in the fridge for 20mins before cooking – they are less likely to fall apart during cooking.

I handed them to hubby to cook on the weber!

We served these with some crispy bacon, roasted pumpkin, crispy potatoes and steamed carrots and broccoli.

They were very tasty – only I think next time I would add a little minced veg (potato, onion) to lighten them up.

As there was only 2 of us, I only made enough for us.  They freeze well, so you could cook them all.  I made the leftover mince mixture into little meatballs and froze them (uncooked).  These are tasty enough to serve as finger food on their own.