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How to Make Green Smoothie Freezer Bags

One of the biggest changes I have made to our family’s diet in the last few years has been to increase the number of vegetables that we eat – specifically leafy greens. I have done this by aiming to include vegetables (and greens) in every meal. A green smoothie is a great way to do this for breakfast. And knowing how to make green smoothie freezer bags has been such a time saver. There isn’t really an excuse if making the green smoothie takes less than 2 minutes to make.

Enjoy a healthy, fast and nutrient dense breakfast by making a green smoothie. And - speed up that process by prepping green smoothie freezer bags. They will make your mornings even easier and healthier!

Having a smoothie for breakfast is a really fast option for those mornings when I just don’t have the time to cook and then eat a meal. Sometimes there are mornings when my little one needs more Mama cuddles than usual – or when I just need those extra few minutes of sleep. We all have those mornings, right?

But a green smoothie means I am still getting all my nutrients, it is filling and healthy. And if I add some extra boosters like protein powder – I am getting even more nutrition that simply munching on some toast.

Green smoothie freezer bags make this process even easier. I prep these a week or so in advance and they are almost always part of my meal plan. I buy a heap of bananas, a huge bag of spinach and just make about 5-10 bags in a sitting. These then last me a couple of weeks.

I simply grab one from the freezer, throw it in the blender and add milk. At this point, I also add extras like protein powder or collagen powder or whatever I am needing that day. Whiz it up, pour it into a glass or drink bottle to go – and voila! Breakfast is served.

Keep reading for the step-by-step guide to making your own green smoothie freezer bags.

Decide what “greens” are going to be your base

I think baby spinach is the best choice for newbies. Kale is a great option but can be a bit of an adjustment if you are new to the green smoothie vibe.

Choose your sweetener

I use medjool dates and bananas. Bananas add a creaminess to the smoothie, and dates make it a little caramel-like.  You could use fruit – like an apple or pear (assuming you have a high speed blender).

Choose any other flavours

I like to add a few of these: blueberries, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger. Whatever you think you might like. Just remember that they need to be able to freeze. You can always add flavours when you actually make your smoothie.

To prepare your green smoothie freezer bags

  1. Grab a few ziplock bags (I use the sandwich size). Label them if you like.
  2. In each ziplock bag pop a handful of spinach, banana, and a couple of dates (pips removed). Add any other flavours that can be frozen (blueberries and cinnamon are my favourite).
  3. Seal up the bags (removing any excess air) and pop in the freezer.

To make your green smoothie

  1. Grab your green smoothie bag from the freezer
  2. Empty the contents into your blender
  3. Add 1-2 cups liquid (I use coconut or almond milk)
  4. Add any protein powder, collagen powder or other non-freezable ingredients
  5. Blend. Pour. Enjoy.

 

And there you have it – breakfast is prepped and ready for the week ahead. Comment below and tell me if this works for you. Or share your green smoothie bags via social media and tag #theempoweredcook so that I can see them. Enjoy!

Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe

As part of my weekly meal planning, I also list down a few lunchbox treats. Muffins are a big winner in our house. They are easy to make (usually one bowl), and they freeze perfectly. Because of this, they are often on my prep list as part of my weekly meal plan. This Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe is a new addition to my muffin repertoire.

I share my Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe, using frozen mango pieces and applesauce. The muffins are fluffy and tender and full of goodness. Easy to make and a great lunchbox treat.

I discovered it by accident. I had some leftover frozen mango pieces, and I had just made fresh applesauce from my leftover apples for the week. Thinking those flavours would work well together, I whipped up these muffins. And my oh my – they are yum.

This Mango and Apple Muffins Recipe is actually based on a very simple basic muffin recipe. You can completely swap out the mango, apple and coconut for any of the following:

  • Apple and Cinnamon (use applesauce or chopped apple, with a tsp of cinnamon)
  • Pear and Sultana and Cardamon (use chopped pear, 1/4 sultanas and a 1/2 tsp of cardamon)
  • Orange and Poppy Seed (use the rind of the orange, with a few heaped tablespoons of poppy seeds)
  • Raspberry and Coconut (use frozen raspberries instead of the mango and applesauce)
  • Blueberry (replace the mango with blueberry and skip the coconut)

This is why I love muffins. This very basic recipe can be swapped around to suit what you have in your kitchen. I often make apple muffins at the end of the week – just to use up what is left in our fruit bowl. I nearly always have frozen berries in the freezer, so I can very quickly whip up a batch using just my pantry items. It is the recipe that just keeps on giving.

Hints and Tips

At the time, I made 6 giant muffins – but they would easily work in a 12 muffin pan. I will sometimes stretch this out to 16 or 18 muffins too – they are just smaller than normal, but they fit better in my toddler’s lunchbox.

I also froze mine – and they defrosted perfectly. They have been a great way to introduce mango to my little one, and also to see us eat a little more in our diet as we’re not big fresh mango eaters.

Mango and Apple Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown or raw sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk can be non-dairy
  • 1/2 cup rice bran or coconut oil
  • 1 cup mango pieces, slightly defrosted
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease your chosen muffin pan (either a large 6 cup or a 12 cup). I grease mine with a little rice bran or coconut oil.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk and oil. Add the mango and applesauce, and the flours, coconut and bicarb - and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix (this is what keeps the muffins light and fluffy). 

  3. Spoon evenly into your muffin pans. Bake for 20 mins or until golden on top and cooked through. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire cooling rack. 

I hope you give this recipe a try. Please share your pictures on Instagram and tag me (@theempoweredcook) in your post with the #theempoweredcook hashtag. I would love to see how you go.

 

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5 Freezer Meals to Make This Weekend

Do you want dinner on the table fast and with minimal effort? Are weeknight dinners a problem for you? Do you often opt for takeaway, purely because you just don’t have enough time to get a meal on the table? All you need is a few hours – here are 5 freezer meals to make this weekend.

My freezer is our saving grace during the week. With both of us working outside the home for the majority of the week, we often don’t arrive home until 6pm. That means we need to have dinner on the table fast if we are to get our little one to bed at a reasonable time. I use my weekends to prep our meals for the week. And my freezer is stocked with great meals that we can simply defrost and heat up in the oven.

Want dinner on the table fast? These 5 freezer meals to make this weekend will see you feeding your family with ease next week.

Here are our favourite 5 freezer meals to make this weekend.

#1 – Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I whipped this one up last weekend. I had spent the day making chicken stock – so I had a whole lot of chicken to use. This dish was perfect.

And it was SO easy to whip up. It was just an assembly process really. Layer it all in the pan (I use an aluminium foil pan) and then cover, label and stick it in the freezer. All done in less than 15 minutes – and dinner #1 is done.

You can check out the recipe here.

#2 – Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

You can hardly taste the pumpkin in this one – but it is such a bonus vegetable in an otherwise pasta only dish. As a Mama of a little one, any chance I can include another vegetable is a win in my books.

I followed the instructions on this one to freeze it. I made it well ahead of time – and it was still super delicious once we defrosted it.

It does take a little more prep time than the other meals – but it also makes a LOT. I’d suggest dividing this up into smaller freezer meals, and serving this as a side dish with sausages and some green vegies.

You can find the recipe here.

#3 – Four Cheese Baked Penne

This is another one that I whipped up last weekend. It was super simple again – I really love the ‘assembly’ style freezer meals. If you manage your time right, you can prep a whole bunch in just a couple of hours.

I opted to include the additional parmesan and skip the feta in this one – so technically it was a 3 Cheese Baked Penne in my house. But oh yum – it was delicious.

Check out the recipe here.

#4 – Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

I always have this in the freezer. Always.

Honestly – all you need to do is cook up a batch of pasta, reheat this sauce (no need to even defrost this) – and dinner is served.

I make a large batch, and divide up into sandwich size snap lock bags. I lay these flat in the freezer until they are frozen, and then I can stand them upright – kinda like a “library of sauces”.

Definitely give this one a go.

#5 – Burgers

Now this is not technically a meal – more a prep technique. But still – it is a time saver. And you can make a whole lot in bulk – and they’ll last months in the freezer.

All you’ll need to do is have some buns, and some salad items ready – and you can have a burger made for dinner in no time at all.

Check out the method here.

 

Get cracking this weekend – and you can have dinner for next week sorted. These 5 freezer meals to make this weekend will see you stock your freezer in no time.

What other recipes do you like to make as a freezer meal? Tell us in the comments below.

Recipe: Chicken and Spinach Pie

It is getting colder here. The autumn coolness is giving way to the chill of winter. This is my favourite time of year – not just for the great layers of clothes and scarves, but also for the cooking. I do my best cooking in cold weather – hearty, wholesome food. This Chicken and Spinach Pie is no exception – it is tasty, easy, and a family favourite.

The Empowered Cook shares her Chicken and Spinach Pie recipe - a hearty, wholesome pie made with leftover chicken and silverbeet, topped with puff pastry.

I make this using leftover chicken. Often this is as a result of making chicken stock – where I’ll be able to use the stock and the chicken to make this dish.

The Empowered Cook shares her Chicken and Spinach Pie recipe - a hearty, wholesome pie made with leftover chicken and silverbeet, topped with puff pastry.

Recipe Note

I have a square casserole dish that I use – mainly because it is the perfect shape for a single piece of puff pastry. Obviously you don’t need to have one like this, but you’ll just need to find a dish that works well with the puff pastry that you have.

Now – on with the recipe!

 

Chicken and Spinach Pie
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 sticks celery diced
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped (stalks kept separate)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken shredded
  • 4 cups silverbeet chopped
  • 1 sheet store bought puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. 

  2. Heat a large pan on a medium high heat. Add your olive oil.

  3. Add onions, celery and parsley stalks to the pan. Sweat (stirring frequently) for around 8 minutes, until soft. Add salt if starting to brown.

  4. Add the bay leaf and garlic, and cook for another minute or two (careful not to burn the garlic). Note: at this point, you can also add any leftover chicken skin (cut into small pieces). This gives it a chance to get a little crispy. 

  5. Add the butter to the pan and give everything a good stir, as the butter melts.

  6. Add the flour to the pan, and cook it out for a few minutes. Stir constantly. 

  7. Next, add the chicken stock and continue stirring. The mix should thicken at this point - so feel free to add a little dash or two of water, if it starts to get too thick. 

  8. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste to adjust. It should be full of flavour at this point. 

  9. Add your chicken and stir through. 

  10. Add your silverbeet and continue to stir. Remember that silverbeet will wilt down quite a lot, so don't be alarmed at the amount at the beginning. Just keep stirring, and it will wilt down to nothing. 

  11. Finally, add your chopped parsley leaves. Taste again and adjust seasoning if needed. 

  12. Place this filling in your chosen pie dish, and cover with the puff pastry. Remember to pop a little hole in the middle of pastry too. 

  13. Place your pie in the oven for around 25-35mins - until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. 

Recipe Notes

Serve this pie with mashed potato. It's also just good by itself though - and super delicious reheated the next day. 

Surprisingly, it also freezes well. Just portion up any leftovers and freeze. Alternatively, freeze the pie filling once cooked - and then simply assemble the pie with the puff pastry on the day of cooking. 

Recipe: Homemade Lasagne

I love homemade lasagne almost as much as I love spaghetti bolognese. The only separating factor is the extra steps that it takes to make lasagne. To combat this – I now make these in bulk, and freeze them. That way, the actual preparation is done on a lazy Sunday afternoon – rather than right before dinner. This Recipe for Homemade Lasagne is designed to freeze and cook later. So let’s fill your freezer and give your family some wholesome dinners to heat and serve.

The Empowered Cook shares a freezer friendly homemade lasagne recipe. It is designed to be made in bulk and frozen - saving you time in the kitchen!

A note on freezing

When making meals for the freezer, you will need to choose your storage method. I will sometimes simply use the casserole dish that I will cook it in – and then freeze it whole. Or I will line the casserole dish with a few layers of aluminium foil and then once the dish is frozen, I can lift out the dish and simply freeze it by itself. This lets me re-use my casserole dish – pretty handy when you only have one.

But for lasagne – I find the best method is to use the disposable aluminium foil trays. I just find that this works the best – they are stable so you don’t need to worry about ‘smooshing’ the lasagne as you swap trays, and they heat evenly in the oven.

You decide though – whatever works best for you.

A time-saving note

For this recipe, I use a batch of spaghetti bolognese sauce posted here. You don’t however, need to make that fresh on the day – you can pull it from the freezer and defrost it for this recipe. I will always heat the sauce if I do this. I have found (by my own research and by trial and error) that this works best. If you’re not sure about defrosting, cooking and refreezing food – perhaps do some of your own research.

Ok – let’s get down to business – the Recipe for Homemade Lasagne.

 

Homemade Lasagne
Ingredients
  • 1 batch bolognese sauce
  • 1 packet lasagne sheets dried
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cheese grated
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder optional
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder optional
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. We will start by making our bechamel (or white cheese) sauce. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, start to melt the butter. Add the flour, and with a whisk - give this a good stir. This will make your roux. You need to cook this roux for a few minutes until it smells like a yummy shortbread biscuit. This is to cook the flour.

  2. Once it smells good, you can add a few tbsp of millk while whisking. Once that has combined with your roux, add some more milk and keep whisking. Repeat this process until there is a smooth sauce created. Note: I usually get impatient and increase the amount of milk I add as I go along. I have found that as long as you start slow, you can finish fast. 

  3. Once all the milk is added, add your seasonings. I like to add garlic and onion powder - but you could simply just add salt and pepper if you like. 

  4. Now, switch your whisk to a wooden spoon. We now need the sauce to heat up and thicken. This will take a few minutes. Just keep stirring fairly regularly with your wooden spoon. 

  5. While waiting for the sauce to thicken, let’s heat up the bolognese sauce. Pop this on the stove on a low heat, stirring occasionally.

  6. When the bechamel sauce is to your desired thickness - remember this is going into the lasagne, so it doesn’t need to be perfect! - you can add half the grated cheese and stir this through the sauce. 

  7. Next - we get to assemble the lasagne. In your chosen dishes - casserole or aluminium foil tray - place a couple of spoons of sauce in the bottom and spread this around to cover the base. This doesn’t need to be too much - it’s just enough to help moisten and cook the bottom lasagne sheets.

  8. Now place your first layer of lasagne sheets. I sometimes break mine up a bit if they don’t fit perfectly - but they don’t need to completely cover the dish. Just do your best. 

  9. Next - another layer of sauce (a bit more than the first layer) - followed by a good drizzle of the bechamel.

  10. Repeat this a few times - lasagne sheets, bolognese, bechamel - until you get a few centimetres from the top of the dish. You want to finish your layering with lasagne sheets. 

  11. Onto the last lasagne sheets, cover these a good layer of bechamel. Sprinkle this with the rest of the grated cheese.

  12. You’re done! Flash freeze these dishes (i.e. freeze for about an hour or two - until they are solid) - and then wrap them really well. Remember to label them too - including how to defrost and heat - and then place in the freezer. 

  13. To cook: defrost your lasagne, and then heat at 180 degrees celsius for 45-55mins - until hot all the way through, the cheese has melted and the top is golden. Serve with a green side salad. 

Weeknight Dinner Recipe: Chicken and Kale Hash

Making a yummy Weeknight Dinner Recipe that everyone will eat, and that you can cook fast, is a pretty important tool in The Empowered Cook arsenal. I have a couple of staples – and today’s recipe has become one of them. It is fast, cheap, delicious – and makes a tonne, so there is always leftovers in our house.

A hash is simply a course mix of different ingredients – finely chopped and with some spices added. It is a great way to use leftovers – but it can be a meal cooked from scratch, in it’s own right. I love hash meals, because they are generally healthy and fast – my two main objectives for a good Weeknight Dinner Recipe.

The Empowered Cook shares an easy weeknight dinner recipe that the whole family will love. It is fast, cheap and healthy - and freezer friendly!

This Weeknight Dinner Recipe is adapted from Heather at Beauty that Moves – I’ve made several changes to make this fit our tastes. Be sure to check out the original too.

We generally serve this as is – but you could very easily serve this alongside some other vegetables, and it would be delicious with a poached or fried egg on top. You could make the recipe stretch even further by serving with a few sausages. Either way, this is such a versatile Weeknight Dinner Recipe – you need to add this to your next meal plan now!

Enjoy – and make sure you tag #theempoweredcook when you make this one and share it on social media!

 

Chicken and Kale Hash
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 grams chicken mince
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large carrots grated
  • 4 cups kale thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. You'll need a fairly large pan to make this dish. I use a large cast iron casserole pot. Whatever you choose, pop this on medium-high heat and add the olive oil.

  2. Next, you'll need to add the chicken mince, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and onion to the pot. Chicken mince can be quite 'sticky' so you'll need to be fairly vigorous with your sauteing here. I find 'stabbing' the mince as it cooks, a good technique. Keep sauteing for about 6-8 minutes, until the onion has soften and the chicken is cooked. 

  3. Add the carrots and kale now. This will look like a lot (this is why you need the big pot!) but it will shrink down as it cooks. Saute for another few minutes, stirring frequently, until all the vegetables are tender. 

  4. Lastly, have a taste and season. I have upped the cumin and oregano from the original recipe as we like a lot of flavour - but feel free to add more if you think it still needs it. 

  5. This recipe can be frozen: simply pop it in a freezer safe container, label it and pop it in the freezer. To reheat, you'll need to thaw and then stir-fry with a few tablespoons of water in a pot on the stove top. Very easy. 

 

The Empowered Cook Meal Plan – Week Starting 19th March 2017

I started preparing this week’s meal plan by checking the contents of our freezer, and our fridge. I have a couple of packs of meat that we need to use up (or freeze) and a random selection of vegetables in our fridge. In the freezer, however, I have a large number of single serve freezer meals that need to be eaten. So this weekly meal plan will be all about freezer meals.

The Empowered Cook shares her family's weekly meal plan. This week - it is all about freezer meals!

The added bonus of course with this, is that we don’t need to spend money this week on food. We’ll simply eat what we already have. And I also know that we’ll have a fuss free few nights of cooking – because we’ll simply be reheating previously made with love meals. They will still feel like we’re eating home-cooked goodness – but without the time commitment.

You’ll notice in the meal plan that I don’t specify what meal we’ll be eating. This is another positive of having multiple freezer meals. We can easily decide the day before (so that it will defrost) what we want to eat. Plus – a lot of my freezer meals are ‘single serve’ leftovers, so we can actually choose a couple of these and all eat something different – or even have a bit of a buffet.

If you want to get started with freezer cooking – come read this post. And let me know in the comments below if you ‘eat from your freezer‘ like we do.

 

The Empowered Cook Meal Plan – Week Starting 15th January 2017

Our Meal Plan this week is beginning to reap the rewards of all the meal prep that I have done over the last few weeks. With our little one about to start childcare, and our return to work – it will be harder to cook each night, so I’ve devised a plan to keep us eating healthy, homemade dinners.

I took a few weeks off work over Christmas – and used that time to relax and rejuvenate. For me – that means I spent the time cooking. I have stocked our freezer full of homemade delights: burritos, lasagne, pasta bakes, lentil loaf, meatballs, brown rice, and a whole lot more.

This freezer stash will form our weekly dinner menu for the days that Oliver is in childcare – at least for the next month or so – until we get ourselves established in a solid rhythm of both parents working outside the home.

My family's meal plan for this week.

For the coming week, Oliver is in childcare Monday through to Wednesday – so we have freezer meals those days. 

I’ve also chosen the sides to be simple – and something that I can prep ahead. We’ll eat salad a few nights – and that will be a big salad that I’ve made over the weekend.

Plus most of the meals will double as lunch the next day. The Frittata for example will easily do us for dinner and all 3 of us for lunch the next day.

We’re sticking with our Mexican Night theme on Saturday – and again, we’ll decide what that looks like closer to the weekend. I am thinking burrito bowls…

The added bonus for us this week is that we will spend a very small amount on groceries this week – almost all of the meals are from the freezer, meaning no need to shop! $$ saved!

How do you tackle the return to work/school? Do you use your freezer to prep ahead?

 

Recipe: Basic Bolognese Sauce

Every cook needs a Basic Bolognese Sauce in their repertoire. It such a staple. Spaghetti Bolognese is possibly my favourite family meal. We eat it pretty much weekly in our house.

Plus – a basic bolognese sauce is not just about Spaghetti Bolognese. A basic bolognese sauce also makes a lasagne, a pasta bake, even a yummy variation for shepherds pie.

This is also a freezer meal staple. It is rare that I do not have a couple of bags of this basic bolognese sauce stashed in my freezer. All I then need to do is cook some pasta, defrost and heat the sauce – and dinner is on the table in around 15 minutes. A healthy, homemade dinner in 15 minutes – an awesome trick to have in your freezer.

A basic bolognese recipe - perfect for spaghetti bolognese or lasagne. Freezer friendly too!

Sure, you could buy a jar of pasta sauce from the supermarket. It will cost you a few dollars and it is quick and easy. BUT – take a look at the ingredients. Take a look at the sugar. Can you pronounce the other ingredients on the label? Do you know what they are?

This recipe is all about making a sauce from scratch. The flavour comes from vegetables – the amazing golden trio of carrot, celery and onion. The result is a rich, flavourful tomato sauce – deliciously tasty and full of wholesome, homemade goodness. Who can resist?

A basic bolognese recipe - perfect for spaghetti bolognese or lasagne. Freezer friendly too!

The below recipe for basic bolognese sauce will make a lot of sauce. But it is meant to be something that you make once, and then freeze. I will usually make this batch – and eat a serve for dinner – and freeze the rest.

I portion it into 2-3 cup servings and I freeze in snaplock bags. Don’t forget to label and date them – not that the sauce will hang around in your freezer for long! Trust me!

So the below recipe will make you around 4 meals – that is, 4 snaplock bags of 2-3 cups serves.

Go ahead – give this a go. Let me know what you think in the comments below. Do you love spaghetti bolognese as much as I do?

Basic Bolognese Sauce

A basic bolognese sauce recipe for spaghetti bolognese, lasagne or more. Freezer friendly too!

Ingredients
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sticks of celery diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 2 medium or 1 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 kg beef mince the best you can afford
  • 4 x canned tomato preferably whole but diced is fine
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pot on the stove top - medium high heat. Use as much olive oil as you think will be needed to coat your vegetables.
  2. Add the diced carrot, celery and onion. Season generously with salt. Give this a good stir so that everything is well coated with the olive oil and salt.
  3. Allow this to cook for 10 minutes or so - stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick. You want the vegies to be nice and soft but not brown.
  4. Add the garlic and oregano, and stir for a few minutes.
  5. Next, add the beef mince and break up any big chunks. There’s no need to brown the beef mince completely here - just make sure it’s broken up.
  6. Now add the canned tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes slightly and give everything a good stir.
  7. Now comes the important part. You’ll need to simmer this for about an hour. Keep the lid slightly askew. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  8. After about half an hour, if the sauce is still quite liquid - remove the lid and simmer for the next half an hour uncovered. This will allow the sauce to thicken.
  9. Once you’re happy with the consistency, taste and season as you like.
  10. Allow to cool slightly and then package up for the freezer (or serve for dinner!)
Recipe Notes

Serve with cooked pasta, or for something different, serve over cooked vegies (I love this sauce served over sauteed kale).

This recipe is completely freezer friendly. Portion and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To use from frozen, you can simply pop the frozen sauce in a pot with a splash of water and a drizzle of olive oil. Pop a lid on the pot and reheat over a low heat - stirring frequently. 

Recipe: Sausage Rolls

This week, I am sharing my Sausage Rolls Recipe. These are simple to make and a staple in our house. My family loves them – and I often make them for parties (a great addition to a buffet!).

Sausage Rolls can be easily and cheaply bought – but they are full of… well… who knows!

Making your own, from ingredients that you choose, is so much healthier. And it is quite easy.

I sometimes make a double-batch if I am looking to store these in the freezer. But generally I make the batch for lunch, and store the leftovers in the freezer. We either eat them for lunch, as a snack or we serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables for dinner.

Let’s get started with the recipe.

A recipe for homemade sausage rolls that your family will love. They can be enjoyed as lunch, dinner or a snack. Leftovers can be frozen too!

Ingredients

500g beef mince

2 cups of breadcrumbs

1 large carrot / 2 small carrots, grated

1 large zucchini / 2 small zucchini, grated

½ brown onion, finely chopped or grated

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 pack of puff pastry

1 egg, lightly beaten and set aside in a small bowl

Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)

Method

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a few oven trays with baking paper (optional – but saves on washing up!).

Step 2 – Slowly separate the frozen puff pastry sheets and lay them out so that they can defrost. I use a large knife to kinda leverage them apart. Leave the plastic wrap on the bottom of each sheet.

Step 3 – Combine all the ingredients (except the egg and seeds) in a large bowl. Don’t overmix – just enough to combine the ingredients together evenly.

Step 4 – Each sheet of puff pastry will make 2 long sausage rolls. To do this: cut the puff pastry sheet in half horizontally (i.e. from left to right across the sheet). On the long edge of the now cut half, pile and squish the meat mixture into a sausage roll shape. Next, gently fold over the puff pastry and meat mixture to make the roll. Lightly brush the edge with a little egg to help it stick as you roll. Press it lightly together. You can choose to leave this as a long sausage roll or chop in half or quarters – it is up to you. Lastly, pop the sausage rolls on your tray, leaving a little gap between. Repeat with the rest of the puff pastry and meat mixture.

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Step 5 – Brush the top of each sausage roll with beaten egg. You can also sprinkle these with sesame seeds or poppy seeds – but this is optional.

Step 6 – Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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Will you give this recipe a try? Go on! Share your photos with me – don’t forget to tag #theempoweredcook and I’ll be sure to come have a look at your creations!