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Kid friendly chilli with cauliflower rice

Mince. What would mums do without it? Seriously!? It’s not the sexiest of ingredients. You never see it on fancy restaurant menus. But why not? I love it! It’s versatile, it is a great base to which you can stealthily add loads of small diced veggies and the kids don’t even notice, plus it’s iron rich and a great source of protein.

Costcutter is a well-known chain of local stores. One that we’ve all nipped down to for a pint of milk or for the newspapers – or on a late night Dairy Milk purchasing mission. But did you know they also have a fab range of fresh foods? It’s called the Independent range. They sent me a big old hamper of fresh veg, tinned tomatoes and tomato and chilli sauces, ground spices, dried herbs, cheddar, eggs, olive oil and 3 packets of mince – and asked me to come up with 3 mince-based recipes to make.

I am calling it my Mince-piration Series. 3 posts, all posted this week, all containing mince and ingredients that you can get at Costcutter (try Kwiksave, Mace, SimplyFresh or SuperShop if you haven’t a Costcutter close by).

In the spirit of hit 90s TV show Ready Steady Cook (from which I actually learned rather a lot about cooking, particularly about winging it with what you’ve got) and channeling my hero Anthony Worral Thomson, I set to work…

Here is my first offering, a simple, veg-packed chilli that is perfect for the whole family as it has no heat… I serve it with cauliflower rice instead of normal white rice, which many kids do like and is yet another veggie on the plate. My daughter loves it. My son did love it until I told him it was cauliflower. WHY DID I DO THAT?!?! Idiot.

I love to stir fry the cauli’ tops with garlic and plenty of chilli – just for the grown ups. Serve topped with cheese and natural yogurt.

Serves: 4-6 people
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
2 can chopped tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained
500g mince beef
Salt and pepper

Cauliflower rice:
1 cauliflower, florets and stalks

Stir-fried tops:
1 tablespoon olive oil
Green leaves, tough stalks removed, shredded
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pinch chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

To serve: 
Grated cheese
Greek yoghurt
Chilli flakes for adults


  1. Heat some oil in a pan. Soften the onions, garlic, carrots, celery off for about 15 mins.
  2. Add the mince. Increase heat and brown. About 5 more mins should do that.
  3. Tip in the cans of tomatoes, along with herbs and spices, a little salt and pepper, and the drained can of beans. Bring to boil. Then simmer with the lid loosely on for about an hour ideally. If you haven’t got that long, then cut it down to 30 minutes minimum to reduce the tomato sauce. (If you haven’t got long, then take off the lid and increase the heat a little.)
  4. Meanwhile strip the cauliflower leaves off and discard any brown or really rough ones. Cut out the thick stalks – I leave the smaller ones in. Shred roughly into thick slices. Set aside.
  5. Blitz the white cauliflower (I use the thick stalk too) in a processor until it breaks down to large crumbs. Then pop the crumbs, or ‘rice’ in a large bowl, clingfilm it and (when you are nearly ready to serve) microwave for 5 minutes on high.
  6. Quickly stir fry the tops in hot oil with garlic and chilli flakes. Season well.
  7. When ready to use, uncover the cauliflower rice, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Serve cauliflower rice alongside the chilli and tops. Top the chilli with grated cheese and yoghurt and some chilli flakes.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Costcutter. All opinions are my own and links are no follow. 

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