Monday, 21 January 2013

Quick and Easy "hidden veg" Spaghetti Bolognese

Sometimes it's quite difficult to get your little (and big!) ones to eat the recommended 5 portions of vegetables and fruit per day.  I've never really struggled with my son as he will eat basically anything - except for chips, but that's no hardship!

My daughter, however, can be very fussy - apparently she takes after me but I can't see it really.... !  So anyway, this is how we sneak extra vegetables into our spaghetti Bolognese.

500g minced beef (or lamb) as lean as possible
1 onion, very finely chopped or grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, very finely chopped or grated
50g ish of mushrooms, wiped and chopped as small as possible
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 tins of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
 Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
approx 300g pasta - spaghetti or penne is best (but my daughter does like "butterflies!)
Grated cheese to sprinkle on top if required

  1. Fry the mince until browned in a large frying pan - I don't use oil, just start on a lower heat to allow some of the fat to escape from the meat, then there's enough to fry in.  Add the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes more.
  2. Add the carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika and chilli powder and mix well.
  3. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until all the veg is soft and "disappeared"!  Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta and grate the cheese.
  5. Serve and enjoy with a green side salad!
There are 5 different vegetables in this recipe, excluding the salad, so a great boost for your vegetable intake.  Grating the veg is the best way to make them disappear - just mind your fingers though!

For the fruit side of things, in order to get my children to try different fruits, we like to experiment by making fruit kebabs.  Just buy a variety of fruits (most supermarkets stock a good and ever-changing reasonably priced exotic fruits) and let them choose, try and make fruit kebabs on cocktail sticks (make sure you supervise little ones with the cocktail sticks).  As a treat, you can drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve with ice cream!  Enjoy!

I am entering this recipe into Mummys Little Peeps healthy eating competition in attempt to win a £50 Sainsbury's voucher.