A mid-week family meal with help from Dolmio
Family meals during the working week can be a little stressful to say the least. When Rich and I are both working for a full day, there’s very little time together before the girls’ bedtime. A family meal has to be very quick to prepare. But I don’t want this to mean that it can’t be nutritious. BritMums and Dolmio sent me a hamper of goodies and challenged me to create a mid-week meal. I was sent a whole host of vegetables, veggie mince, pasta, cheese and Dolmio Bolognese sauce. I was actually quite surprised to find out that the jar of sauce contained no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.
Family meals are further complicated by the fact that I don’t eat meat and the girls “don’t like vegetables”. Of course, what they mean is that they are not knowingly going to eat vegetables if they can help it. That’s why my usual “fail safe” meal is a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese. Nobody seems to mind the veggie mince, and if you chop the vegetables finely enough, the girls don’t even realise they are eating them.
Now, I have to admit that I cheated a little bit in this challenge. A veggie bolognese is quick and easy to make. However, a huge vat of the stuff may take a little bit longer but makes mid-week meals even quicker and easier. I used two jars of Dolmio Bolognese sauce, 2 bags of veggie mine, 4 onions, 3 peppers, 2 courgettes, 2 carrots, an aubergine, 300g mushrooms and a couple of cloves of garlic. I also needed two large saucepans!
So as you can imagine it does take a bit of time to do this, but I don’t just have a family meal for that evening. I have a family meal for that evening and two portions of bolognese to freeze. I now have two super quick and easy family meals. All I need to do is defrost and heat it up and I have another spaghetti bolognese meal. But it doesn’t just have to be spag bol. With a pre-made bolognese, it doesn’t take long to make a lasagne. I can also add a couple of chopped chillies and a tin of kidney beans to serve with rice. Or either of these served with a jacket potato. So there you go, quick, easy and versatile.
But back to my bolognese. I served it up with wholewheat spaghetti and a bowl of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. The girls like to be able to spoon the grated cheese over the food. And I think doing this distracts them from noticing the vegetables.
So the verdict? Well, obviously Rich and I loved it. But we pretty much eat most things. The key question is what did the girls think? Well, although the spaghetti was their favourite bit (especially slurping up the noodles) they did eat the bolognese. So a quick, easy meal that was enjoyed by all – definitely a win! Thank Goodness!
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness