Friday, 27 April 2012

Getting kids to eat veg ! The ultimate challenge !

My girls are now 4 and almost 2 and I am continually worried they don't eat enough of the good stuff and eat too much rubbish!  This really came to the fore when Toots, now 4, declared that "I don't do vegetables anymore. And I really, really don't like peas". This came as a bit of a blow since she had been (bean?) a pea addict from a very early age........or

So I decided after several weeks of pulling peas out of various meals that I would try my hand at deception - after all, is that not what parenting is all about.? And so to hiding veg!

I remember reading a recipe which was a versatile tomato sauce which hid vegetables in it as it was pureed. So I thought I would try with some of the veg I had in the cupboard.

I was delighted at the result - both girls wolfed it down and so I'm delighted to share it with you. We made it into sausage pasta bake but it would work with just pasta, on a pizza or with chicken. Let your imagination run wild.

Recipe: Hidden vegetable tomato sauce

1 onion, diced
2 tsp rapeseed oil (we used Summer Harvest)
garlic (to your own taste - we use ready 1 tsp ready lazy pre-prepared)
2 carrots, diced
2 courgettes, diced
(any other veg you have in - we used a couple of potatoes and a bit of brocolli)
500mls passata (we used one with basil
1 (ish) litres of veg stock
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp honey
1 tsp lea and perrins
1 tsp balsamic or white wine vinegar

We prepared this in the slow cooker but it would also work on the hob

1. Put your slow cooker on low and put passata and tom puree in - mix well.
2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil.
3. Add the garlic and onion and fry (without browning) until soft and translucent
4.Add to your slow cooker.
5. Fry your veg of choice to bring some heat to it.
6. Then add to slow cooker with the stock, honey, lea and perrins and vinegar.
7. Cook for 3 hours or so until the veg are soft
8. Allow to cool for 1 hour or so then puree - we pureed until very, very smooth.
9. Allow to cool completely then freeze in bags or boxes.
10. Defrost as needed.

We served this with good quality sausages and pasta.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Meal planning w/c 9th April

We didn't over indulge in chocolate this Easter but it is less than four weeks until we go on holiday so there is a need to reduce the calories a little. We'll we'll try to anyway. I still only have a very very tiny amount of worksurface so there is a limit to what I can cook and given the dishwasher is still not plumbed in, I am trying not to use too many pots ;)

So here goes our plan for the week:

Monday: mackerel with potato salad and a selection of greens

Tuesday: paella with prawns and chicken thighs (must remember to pick up some more saffron and chorizo from Lupe Pintos)

Wednesday: pork teryaki with singapore noodles. The pork is already marinading ;)

Thursday: Omelette Arnold Bennet using smoked whiting from Delish Fish. The fish comes individually vac packed and is really convenient. We put it straight in the freezer and then just take it out as we need it. This will just need one fillet for both of us.

Friday: porcini and pancetta pasta. Perfectly indulgent for a Friday night
Saturday: grilled salmon with mixed veg and whatever salad I can find

Sunday:  most likely a roast chicken. The girls  love it and it's easy peasy.

Who wouldn't want a room like this?