We try as a family to buy the highest quality ingredients as we can afford. For us, that means organic fruits and vegetables and grass-fed, organic meat. Our chickens just started laying which is awesome but before that happened free range, organic eggs were at the top of that list too.
I’ve been talking to a few friends recently about financial goals and I realised that a lot of our financial goals revolve around food. Currently, we buy organic apples. That’s our non-negotiable. Our next goal is to make organic berries a constant, but one thing that we have always prioritised is meat, specifically the quality of the meat we are buying.
We don’t eat a lot of red meat anymore – maybe twice a week – so that has helped with budgeting and allowing us to seek out grass-fed, organic every time. But sometimes buying the highest quality meat means we can only get 500g instead of 1kg, so I’ve started bulking out our red meat meals with other ingredients, so we still get leftovers and keep it hip-pocket friendly.
Although adding chickpeas may not agree with everyone’s digestion and does make it very un-paleo, this is our compromise to be able to buy the best meat.
Adding a ton of grated veggies also increases the nutrient value, helps get more green things into your kids if you have fussy eaters and of course, adds to your five a day, and I know we could all do with a little more green in our life.
This recipe was born out of budget (hence the name) but also to ensure we get a big nutrient bang for our buck. It’s perfect to make if you have some old vegetables kicking around at the back of the fridge. You can even blend them up with the tomatoes to make them totally disappear if you need to. I promise you won’t taste them.
Do you have food financial goals like us? I’d love to hear if you do.
Budget Friendly Bolognese
Makes 4-5 adult portions
GF, DF, nut free, RSF, high protein
Prep time + tidy up: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
500g beef mince – grass-fed, organic is preferable
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp garlic, crushed
1 white onion, finely diced
3 carrots, grated
2 zucchinis, grated
1 green capsicum, finely diced
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Italian herbs
Salt and pepper to season
Heat a large pot on a medium heat and add some oil.
Add the onion and cook until translucent for approx. 5 mins.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the mince and cook until just browned.
Once browned, add all the veggies and cook until most of the water has cooked down. Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for 2 mins.
Add the herbs, mix well and then add the tinned tomatoes.
Simmer on low for 20-30 mins, stirring often to prevent sticking and add water as needed to allow it to simmer.
This dish is almost better the second day so leftovers are really something to look forward to or make it a day ahead of time. Delicious.
Serve with gluten-free pasta or zucchini and carrot noodles.
To make zucchini and carrot noodles, I use a potato peeler to make ribbons and fry quickly in a pan with some butter and salt. I use the seed part from the middle of the zucchini in the bolognese so there is no waste.
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