I’ll admit it, I have fussy kids. When it comes to dinner time, I consider it entirely normal for only 2 out of 4 of them to eat what I’ve prepared, and for the other two to turn up their noses at my offerings. Once upon a time I used to enjoy cooking, but years of trying to please ungrateful little brats has robbed me of the joy of preparing meals.
Their attitude doesn’t encourage me to spend more than about 10 minutes preparing their evening meal, especially when they will all happily eat things like pizza, fish fingers, nuggets and baked beans. Of course, the problem with feeding them only what they like is that they are getting nowhere near their 5 + a day. They get two portions in their lunch box, and perhaps an extra bit of fruit during the day if they can be persuaded to turn to the fruit bowl after school, but I often struggle to get 2/3 portions of veggies into them over the rest of the day.
Most of the time my efforts are confined to baked beans or spaghetti hoops ( god bless whoever decreed that these food count towards your 5+ a day), frozen veggies, cherry tomatoes and chopped up carrot/ cucumber. The problem is that one child won’t eat mushrooms, one hates tomatoes, another won’t touch peas and the only vegetables that DS will eat are baked beans and lettuce. So, you see I have my work cut out for me.
But every now and again, in a fit of mummy guilt/inspiration, I will push the boat out and prepare something different. Experience has shown me that the best way to get vegetables into my children is to hide them, and I think that is why this recipe below is such a success.
I just refer to it as ‘baked beans and sausages’ so as not to arouse suspicions among my offspring, but really it’s loosely adapted from a recipe I found on Netmums called Cowboy Casserole.
The original recipe involved a bit too much faffing for me and not enough baked beans for the kids taste, so it’s evolved a bit over the years. Also I just bung it all in a slow cooker but you can always do it in a casserole dish instead.
If you are desperate enough to come to my blog for a recipe, then this is what you will need.
- Enough sausages for your family- I allow two per person and chop each one up into fifths.
- 2 tins baked beans
- 1 tin chick peas, drained
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained
- 1 small tin sweetcorn kernels
- 3 carrots, grated
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 vegetable stock cube to make up 1 cup of stock
- 2 tsp curry powder
- A good squirt of tomato paste
If you like washing up, fry the sausage pieces in a pan until brown, then add the carrot and onion for a few minutes before tipping the fried ingredients into your slow cooker with everything else. If you are like me and can’t be bothered browning or precooking things destined for the crock pot, then just shove everything in together, mix it all well and cook on high for about 6 hours. I serve it with ( ready made) mash.
The secret is It All Tastes Like Baked Beans!
The girls always eat it without a fuss and so ingest a days worth of vegetables in one go. This reassures me that I AM a good mother after all, for a short period of time.
DS is less keen and probably won’t touch it, but I live in hope that one day he might lick some of the sauce off a bit of sausage. Surely after sitting in close proximity to to all those other vegetables, the baked beans will have absorbed a bit of the goodness of their surroundings?