These family favourites are loaded with veggies for a nutritious twist, plus they're perfect for freezing. By Margie Els-Burger and Nomvuselelo MnCube
Mondays are always frantic and we often don’t have time to think about dinner. Luckily, we’ve put together two easy Monday night dinners the whole family will enjoy.
Creamy chicken and vegetable pie
- 80ml cake flour
- 15ml chicken spice
- Olive oil, for frying
- 4 chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 625ml milk, plus extra for brushing
- 750ml frozen mixed diced vegetables (like carrots, corn and peas)
- Handful parsley, chopped (optional)
- 2 x 400g rolls puff pastry, defrosted
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine the flour and spice, then mix through the chicken. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan on high and fry the chicken and onion in batches until golden. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Add the garlic, milk and vegetables and bring to the boil. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Mix through parsley. Season with salt and ground black pepper and allow to cool.
- Spray a 27 x 3.5cm deep round pie dish with cooking spray and line the base and sides with one of the pastries, leaving a 7mm overhang (you’ll have to trim and use some of the offcuts to cover completely).
- Pour in the cooled chicken mixture. Top with the second pastry, press edges together and trim off excess pastry.
- Brush with milk and cut a cross in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden and cooked.
Re-roll pastry offcuts or use another pastry roll to cut shapes using cookie cutters to decorate the pie.
Freeze the whole, uncooked pie, covered in plastic wrap, for up to three months. Bake from frozen for about one hour and cover with foil if it browns too much.
Mini cheese burgers
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 250g mushrooms, grated
- 500g beef mince
- Sunflower oil, for frying
- 10 Cheddar cheese slices
- 10 mini wholewheat rolls
- Soft butter, for spreading
- 80ml mayonnaise or tomato sauce
- Handful lettuce, shredded
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- Combine onion, carrot, mushrooms and mince, and shape into 10 patties. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Heat a splash of oil on medium high and fry the patties for 8 to10 minutes, turning until cooked. Place the cheese on top during the last 3 minutes, cover with a lid and cook until cheese has melted.
- Cut the buns open and spread with butter and sauce. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and patties.
These uncooked patties freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container for up to three months.
For grown-ups, combine two small patties to make a large patty. Serve on large hamburger buns or ciabatta rolls with added gherkins, fried onions and rocket instead of lettuce.
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