Tag Archives: family meal

Spicy Lentils & Mince Lettuce Wraps

Lentil & Mince Wraps 003a

With a crunchy wrap and mildly spiced filling these wraps are a great family meal and ideal for summer eating. It’s also a good way to get the kids to eat their veg – there is cabbage in the mince mixture, then a selection to top it with and lettuce leaves to act as a wrapper.

I love this sort of meal for causal entertaining too, as you can get everything ready in advance, set it out and allow everyone to
assemble their own wrap – if someone doesn’t like something there is no big fuss they just don’t include it in their wrap.

Spicy Lentils and Mince Lettuce Wraps

Sometimes I toss together the diced tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers then dress with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper and serve on the side as a salad which can be spooned on top of the mince mixture in the lettuce cups.

Serves 4

1 cup French green (Puy) lentils
3 cups water
olive oil
1 medium onion (200g), diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 medium heat fresh chilli, thinly sliced
300g beef, lamb or pork mince
¼ cabbage (250g), finely shredded
250g tomatoes, diced or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch radishes (250g), diced (optional)
1 cucumber (200g), seeded and diced (optional)
8 iceberg lettuce cups
¼ cup roughly chopped coriander
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1              Place lentils and water in saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

2              Place 1 tbsp olive oil and onion in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes or until onions starts to
soften. Add garlic, cumin and chilli and cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.

3              Add mince and cook, stirring and breaking up mince over a high heat or until mince is brown. Add cooked lentils and cook,
stirring for 5-10 minutes longer or until lentils begin to brown. Add reserved cooking liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer or until liquid reduces and mixture is moist but not soupy. Add cabbage and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes longer or until
cabbage wilts. Add coriander, season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

4              To serve, place tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place sliced radishes and
cucumber, if using, in separate bowls. Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Transfer mince/lentil mixture to another bowl.

5              Arrange all bowls and serving platter on the table and allow each person to assemble their own meal by placing some mince/
lentil mixture in a lettuce cup, then top with tomatoes, radish and cucumber – wrap lettuce around filling and eat. Have plenty of
napkins on hand!

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Thai-style Beef and Rice Noodle Salad

Thai Beef Salad 005a

Light and refreshing this salad is prefect for summer eating.

This version using mince rather than a more expensive cut of steak turns this popular salad into an inexpensive family meal that’s packed with flavour and vegetables.

Thai-style Beef and Rice Noodle Salad
Fish sauce, sesame oil, palm sugar and rice vermicelli noodles are
available in the Asian section of most supermarkets or at Asian food stores.

Serves 4

100g rice vermicelli noodles
2 tbsp grated palm or brown sugar
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 long red chilli, seeds and ribs removed, minced
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
500g lean beef mince
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cucumber
1 red capsicum
4 green onions
250g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ cup coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
100g bean sprouts

1              Place rice noodles in a large bowl, pour over boiling water and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Using a fork tease noodles to separate, drain, rinse under cold running water, drain and set aside.

2              Place sugar, ginger, chilli, lime juice and fish sauce in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place mince in a separate bowl and pour over half the lime juice mixture, toss to combine. Set aside to
marinate while preparing other ingredients for salad. Add sesame oil to remaining lime juice mixture and set aside – this is the dressing for the salad.

3              Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber into long strips and set aside. Thinly slice capsicum and green onions and halve the
cherry tomatoes. Set aside.

4              Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat.  Add mince to pan and cook, stirring and breaking up, for 5 minutes or until browned.

5              Remove pan from heat drain off any liquid and mix into
reserved lime juice mixture. Place cooked mince in a bowl, add
noodles, cucumber, capsicum, green onions, tomatoes, coriander, mint and bean sprouts and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Happy cooking and eating.

 Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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