Meal prep: Spag bol 5 ways

Recently, I have had questions on ideas for meal prep and how I go about batch cooking. Making a large pot of spaghetti bolognese mince at the beginning of a busy week is always ideal; here I have given 5 ways in which you can use the mince later in the week, instead of having the same meal every day. I use these meal prep boxes from Amazon. These are my saviours. They have 3 compartments- I usually put the meat and carb eg. rice or pasta in the largest section, then the veggies in the other two. They can be used for  any meal and can be microwaved to heat up or frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of mince- you can use beef or lamb (I always get the reduced fat version). If you are vegetarian/ vegan the frozen soya mince is such a good and easy option. Sometimes I use half meat and half soya mince to increase the protein and decrease the fat (you cannot taste the soya mince in the end result).
  • 2 large white onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves. finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 cans of plum tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 handful fresh parsley or thyme
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 square of dark chocolate (sounds weird but adds to the flavour)

Method:

  1. In a large pan, add a generous amount of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.IMG_0525.JPG
  2. Then add the chopped carrots and stir for a further few minutes.IMG_0526.JPG
  3. Add the mince to the pan,with a bit more oil, breaking it up as you go along. Add a small amount of water to the pan, and cook on a medium heat whilst continually stirring, until all the meat is brown. Season.IMG_0528.JPGIMG_0529.JPG
  4. Add the cans of chopped tomatoes. Stir. Refill both the cans with water to get the remaining tomato juice out and add to the pan.IMG_0531.JPG
  5. Add the herbs, stock cube, ketchup, sugar, dark chocolate and wine. Leave to simmer on a low heat with a lid on for 20 minutes. IMG_0532.JPG
  6. Then take off the lid and put on full heat. Reduce the sauce down until some of the liquid is lost.

5 serving ideas:

  1. Spag bol- simply spoon the hot bolognese over some cooked spaghetti and top with lots of parmesan cheese and black pepper. For a low carb option- this tastes great on courgetti (pasta made from spiralled courgette). Cook the courgetti in a pan for a few seconds only (or it will get soggy). Then add the mince on top at the end. IMG_0543.JPG
  2. Sweet potato, chilli and yoghurt: Simply add kidney beans to the bolognese when you warm it up. Then spoon over a hot baked sweet potato and top with some yogurt or soured cream, lettuce and grated cheese.
  3. Mince, roasted veg and feta: Roast some vegetables such as courgette, aubergine and peppers in the oven and lay on a plate. Spoon over the bolognese and top with feta cheese. The tastes best with lamb mince.
  4. Guilty nachos: “Guilty nachos” is the name for my go to cheat day meal. Get a pack of blue original doritos. Spoon over the warmed up bolognese. Top with spring onions, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños and lots of cheese. Put under the grill until all the cheese has melted. Add soured cream, salsa and guacamole on top. Alternatively you can put the mince into taco shells, fajitas or enchiladas.
  5. Greek moussaka: layer the mince with roasted aubergine- see here for the recipe. Use lamb mince for this.

Ensure that you store the mince in the fridge and heat it up until very hot before eating. Do not re heat the meat more than once after it has been cooked initially.

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