Sometimes life just calls for an easy cook meal.
Lately for us that call has come because of many activities filling our calendar, a husband working long hours with several trips away, a toddler hitting the I’m-nearly-three-and-want-to-exert-myself-while-I-try-to-drop-my-nap phase, emotional lows and highs of painful moments or joys, and just organising the fairly mundane factors of life. There have been a fair whack of nights I’ve tended towards the easy options to fill our tums… and opted for takeaways when even quick-cook meals seem too much.
Thankfully this meal hits the quick and easy target! Sure it’s a tad more involved if you make your own chips, but if you try it out, chip making is actually a ridiculously simple to do so 🙂 (just lay them on a tray, salt, and bake) But if you’re running short on time or don’t have the ideal equipment then I’m sure there’ll be no complaints if you buy the chips instead. Combined with the all-in-one-pan veggie-fied mince mixture, it ticks those boxes!
But the best part about this meal, for me, is that it’s a real crowd pleaser. It’s enjoyable for the adults, and notably; satisfying towards your efforts to get those veggies into the smaller mouths. So I hope you take comfort and delight in it as much as us, and may you have an enjoyable family meal 🙂 ❤
Beef Nachos with Homemade Kumara Chips (Serves 4)
1 tbsp preferred cooking oil (I use either butter or coconut oil)
1 large brown onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
500g beef mince
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika (smoked is preferable but normal is fine)
1 tsp salt
1 large carrot, grated
1 large zucchini, grated (or use another vegetable – such as parsnip – if zucchini is out of season)
1x 400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 large kumara, peeled & thinly sliced
natural yoghurt (or sour cream)
freshly squeezed lime juice
Heat a medium/large sized pan over a medium heat on the stove. Melt your cooking oil of choice. Add the onions and garlic, stir and cook until the onions soften and go slightly translucent. Crumble in the mince, then add the spices along with the salt and pepper. Mix it together well, breaking up any large chunks of meat, cooking until the mince has all browned. Add the grated vegetables and stir to combine well. Pour over the diced tomatoes and tomato paste, mixing it all together nicely. Reduce the heat slightly if needed, to cook at a simmer for 10-15 minutes on the stove to decrease the liquid and bring out the delicious flavour.
While you’re cooking off the liquid, preheat your oven to 180’C and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper. Slice the kumara into chip sized thin slices ideally using a slicer attachment on your food processor (so that it takes all of 5 seconds to complete the task) otherwise you could use a mandolin, or slice very delicately by hand. Lay the ‘chips’ down on your prepared trays, sprinkle with salt, then bake for 7-10mins, or until they begin to turn golden (you want to watch them closely hear, they can jump to burnt fairly quickly). Remove them from the oven and allow to cool a couple minutes before gathering them off the trays straight onto individual plates or into a serving bowl.
Serve up the veggie-fied mince with a handful of chips on the side. Top with your favoured toppings (our favourites are greek yoghurt, avocado, fresh coriander, and a squeeze of lime juice) then tuck in 🙂