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Speedy Basil Beef Rice Bowls

Is there any meat that is more versatile, or delivers better value, than everyday essential ground beef? I think not....especially when it comes to Meatland's superior quality offering. Amazingly adaptable, it lends itself to a myriad of international cuisines, from Italian style bolognese and meatballs, to Mexican tacos, American burgers, Middle Eastern kebabs, and everything inbetween. Currently one of my favorite ways of enjoying this freezer staple, is by giving it a touch of an Asian influence, delivering a best value dish to Thai for. Try this made-in-minutes recipe for yourself - it can go from 'start' to 'served' in under 17 minutes - and include it in your repertoire of sure winners always. I have certainly done just that.

500 grams ground beef OR soya mince 1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil 1/2 cup spring onion OR chopped onion 2 teaspoons (10 ml) crushed garlic 3 tablespoon soya sauce 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 cup finely sliced green beans (see notes) 1 finely chopped red chilli (optional) 1 cup sliced basil leaves Cooked Basmati rice to serve Sweet & sour drizzle ( optional see notes) 1: Combine the soya sauce, sugar and dried chilli in a small bowl. 2: Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the beef and garlic, and stir-fry for a few minutes till meat is just browned. (Note you can make this vegan using soya mince.) 2: Add the onion and beans and continue frying for 5 minutes till the beans are crisp. 2: Add the soya sauce mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the sauce is mostly absorbed then add the basil leaves and fresh chilli (if using) and stir-fry 2 minutes more till the basil is wilted. 3: Serve over rice with extra basil leaves to garnish and drizzle over sweet and spicy drizzle if desired. COOK'S NOTES: Recipe serves approximately 4 but can be stretched with additional vegetables. Instead of using green beans, you can cook the meat on its own with the basil and seasoning, and then serve on rice with sliced cucumber, shredded carrot, shredded red cabbage and roast cashew nuts or peanuts which make this dish look very festive and also stretches the serving quanties. I cook my Basmati in the microwave using proportions 1 cup rice to 2 cups boiling, salted water cooked covered on high for 14 minutes. Add an extra dimension of flavor - very highly recommended - by topping rice bowls with a homemade spicy drizzle made by whisking together 1/3 cup water with 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of soya, 1 teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic. This drizzle can be made in advance.

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