A delicious and hearty winter meal.
1 tsp olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
250g mushrooms, chopped
300g extra lean beef mince
2 carrots, coarsely grated
350g zucchini, coarsely grated
400g can no-added-salt brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2x 400g cans of no-added-salt chopped tomatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
120g dried macaroni or gluten-free pasta
3 Tbsp light margarine
3 Tbsp plain flour or gluten-free flour
500ml (2 cups) skim milk
110g (1 cup) reduced-fat grated cheese
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes or until mushrooms soften. Increase heat to high. Add mince. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until the mince changes colour.
Add the carrot, zucchini, lentils, tomatoes, 1 can of water and mixed herbs to the pan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius (fan-forced). Meanwhile, to make the macaroni and cheese, cook pasta in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain well. Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, quickly whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return the pan to the heat and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens and comes to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in 1/3 cup of the cheese.
Divide the mince mixture between 6 x 500ml (2 cup) oven-proof dishes. Place the dishes on a baking tray. Divide the macaroni and cheese between the dishes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and paprika. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown and bubbling. Serve.