Children · cooking · Life hacks

Meal Time Meltdowns

Having fussy eaters can make meal times a real battle, even the thought of preparing each meal is enough to make you lose your appetite. I have one very fussy eater who goes into melt down if they even catch a glimpse of a vegetable. Well the truth is, he has been eating a whole range of vegetables for years. Shhhh! don’t tell him, I have a secret weapon!

I have a basic sauce, or magic sauce as I like to call it that I use loads of our family meals. It is so easy and works with any vegetables that you have in the kitchen.

Like a ratatouille, I chop up any vegetables I have and put them in my largest pan. Drizzle over a little oil and cook on a medium heat until the vegetables start to soften.

sauce pic

At this point I sprinkle over a good couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika. This gives it a beautiful smokey taste and a rich orange colour. Once stirred together I add about half a tube of tomato purée and stir in so everything is completely covered.  Continue to stir over heat for another minute.

Next add 2 tins of tomatoes, cover and simmer until all the veg is soft.

With either a hand blender or food processor, blend the whole mixture together until any sign of vegetables goodness has disappeared. At this point you can add boiling water to give you a thinner sauce. Add a little water at a time until you reach a consistency to suit your taste.

Once cooled, potion out into food bags or containers and freeze.  This way you will have plenty to pull out when needed.

As I mentioned, I use this as a base for a whole range of meals.

  • On its own as a pasta sauce
  • Add mince or Quorn for Spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna
  • Brown off chicken and add some sliced peppers and chorizo for Spanish chicken
  • Add chicken, bacon and pasta tubes for a pasta bake
  • Add seasoned chicken and coconut milk for a curry
  • Spread on a pizza base

The list goes on….

Try experimenting with different combinations of vegetables. I mainly use carrots, parsnips, courgettes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, aubergine, leeks, peppers and spinach.

What are your favourites? Let us know…

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