minced beef and vegetable parcels

In a moment back then I was taking part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off and making cakes like they were going out of fashion. Then I ran out of time so never got this one posted in time for week 7 and then the remits got very difficult and I couldn’t see myself fathoming out strange recipes with foreign names and cakes of 20 layers baked under the grill. So I stepped back and let the professionals continue.

However I was pleased with our savoury parcels. They were easy to make, economical and on top of that really tasty so I thought I’d share the recipe with you just in case you were inspired too. I used ready to roll puff pastry which saves me colossal amounts of time (does anyone make their own these days?) and minced beef is the base of my filling. I used the vegetables that I found in my fridge, feel free to alter as it’s a great way of getting children to eat them without realising they’re there. ;)

Minced beef and vegetable puff parcels

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot chopped into small dice
1 clove of garlic chopped
celery, finely chopped
1 pepper chopped
500g minced beef
fresh rosemary chopped
salt and pepper
1 egg beaten

Method

  • Heat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4 / 350F
  • Dust a baking tray with flour and set to one side
  • Fry the onion, carrot, garlic, celery and pepper over a medium heat until softened and lightly coloured.
  • Place the vegetable mix into a large bowl, add the minced beef, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix with your hands.
  • Roll out the pastry to the shape and size of a tea towel and cut into four rectangles.
  • Place a large dollop of minced beef mixture along the short side of the pastry leaving a 2 cm edge all around.
  • Brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg

minced beef and savoury parcels

  • Tuck in the sides and roll the pastry so the minced beef becomes a savoury parcel.
  • Seal the pastry by using the beaten egg along the edges and place on the baking tray
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes circa.

We ate ours hot out of the oven with mashed swede and fresh garden peas but they would be just as tasty for a picnic.

Note: The two smaller ones were actually a little on the big side for our 6 year olds so you could go even smaller.

If making for adults only you could spice up with a teaspoon of chilli powder to add a kick.

tex mex grill steaks and spicy sweet potato wedges

Scroll down for the Tex Mex grill steak and spicy sweet potato wedges recipes

So my WeightWatchers efforts are beginning to show, it’s slow but I do cheat occasionally. I find the weekends are hardest for me as it’s the time of relax, of wine and chocolate and that’s when my points kind of go overboard *sigh* but on the whole I’m really liking this way of being aware of what you eat.

By counting your points you suddenly realise which foods carry more calories and therefore ask yourself – Is it worth it?

I didn’t know just how many WeightWatchers products there were out there until I started looking. So far I have tried the yogurts – only 1 point, I have tried the WeightWatchers wraps and I have some bagels for next week’s lunches.

The scales WeightWatchers sent have been a godsend, they show 1/4’s lb up so even though you should only weigh yourself once a week (does anyone do that?) you can watch your weight throughout the week. I find if I have a ‘bad’ day I’ll see it a couple of days later on the scales. I find by watching my progress every day spurs me on and by seeing my downfalls helps me to get back on the wagon. (RRP £29.95) I really should remove the stickers, you’re right!

weightwatchers bathroom scales

My favourite biscuit this week has been the ginger and lemon, two small biscuits individually wrapped for 2 points, they go down a real treat with my mid morning teabreak and I feel like I get a treat too.

Porridge has been the way forward for breakfast, it’s cold outside and this breakfast choice really warms me up PLUS it keeps me full right up to lunch time.

The weekly chocolate fix has been the WeightWatchers Jaffa Cake bars and I am giving a mighty thumbs up! Say with a french accent Deux points.

weightwatchers jaffa cake bars

Recipes tried this week are Pesto stuffed haddock for 8 points – absolutely delicious. So delicious I forgot to take a photo of it :)

Second up this week and VERY, very good was Tex Mex Grill Steaks. Husband-to-be also gave a massive thumbs up so I’ll definitely be doing them again

Tex Mex Grill Steaks

You’d never know you were on a diet whilst eating these delicious steaks and what’s more they only take minutes to prepare, an ingenious recipe that can also be adapted for only 9 points!

Ingredients – serves 4

500g extra lean beef mince
50g breadcrumbs (I didn’t have any and the recipe still worked)
2 tbsp chopped coriander (I didn’t have this either)
30g sachet dried fajita seasoning mix
1 red onion chopped finely
calorie controlled cooking spray

Mix together the mince, breadcrumbs, coriander, the fajita spice mix and the onion. With slightly wet hands, shape into four large patties.

tex mex grill steaks to cook

Preheat the grill to medium high. Place the patties on a foil lined grill tray and spray with cooking spray. Cook gently for 10 – 12 minutes turning half way through until cooked.

Adaptions – replace the fajita seasoning with a sachet of dried chilli con carne mix for the same propoint value

Tips – Steaks can be frozen and defrosted thoroughly before cooking so you could make double batch and have a dinner ready for future use.

Spicy sweet potato wedges

A long time ago we spoke about superfoods. Sweet potato is one of them.

Sweet potatoes – contain twice as much vitamin C and fibre as ordinary potatoes with high levels of beta-carotene warding off certain cancers and heart disease.

Ingredients

sweet potatoes
paprika
olive oil

Peel the potatoes and cut into long strips. Place in a pan and sprinkle paprika over them. Drizzle a little olive oil over and toss them so all sides are covered in the mix.

Pop in the oven at 200C / gas mark 6 for about 50 minutes turning them over half way through.

To make them even spicier you can add chilli powder, chilli flakes, black cracked pepper – how hot can you go?

spicy sweet potatoe wedges