An email popped into my inbox asking whether I’d be interested in taking part in the Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge.
I have written before (extensively) about how getting toddlers to eat vegetables is an exercise in futility. If something happens to show a passing resemblance to a vegetable… Well then. Off it can bugger. Literally; it’s got to the point now where the big one won’t even keep the discarded vegetables on the same plate as the rest of her dinner; they must be removed and destroyed as if their mere presence poses a threat to her well being.
My tried-and-tested way to ensure that they do actually eat some kind of vegetables and don’t end up with scurvy is spaghetti Bolognese. They love the stuff. However it isn’t a particularly quick and easy meal and so it tends to be something I batch cook at the weekends. I’m all for simplifying things so I said I’d give the Dolmio #ThankGoodnessChallenge a shot.
A few days later, a lovely Tesco delivery man popped over with rather more food than I was expecting.
Now I must confess to two things. Firstly, I never ever read or follow recipes. Secondly, I usually play safe and stick to the same things, primarily because spending ages cooking things that are then screamed at and rejected is depressing.
Nevertheless, I thought I would attempt to rise to the Dolmio #ThankGoodness challenge and try and invent some new meals for the us and the Whingelets. We’d start off in safe territory, using the first jar of Dolmio for the classic spag bol, and then be a bit more inventive with the other and see what happened.
Round one: Dolmio Spaghetti Bolognese
It goes like this: Chop and grate stuff (has to be grated so as not to appear too vegetable-like), cook, pour in sauce, simmer, serve, eat. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. The quantities above made enough for the four of us with leftovers to feed us all again during the week.
We ate together; we don’t currently have a dining room or a dining table (see exciting news of my extension here) so I will save you the lovely flatlay of our wonderful dinner eaten off a plastic table in the kitchen and move swiftly on to the results.
Clean plates and happy faces all round. Would definitely do again.
Round two: Dolmio Chicken Pizzas
These were so easy to make. Put together, stick in the oven. Served with homemade potato wedges and sweetcorn which is currently the only vegetable that we don’t have to disguise.
I was dubious, because the big one can be a fussy little blighter, but she ate it all. Everything. It’s the first time she’s willingly eaten chicken.
Verdict: Almost miraculous.
Two thumbs up.
Round three: Layered Chicken and Vegetable Dolmio Bake
I have to be honest, this one was a case of ‘kids are in bed, need to eat, what do we have to use up?’. It was a very simple to do; layer the vegetables and chicken, and stick some sauce between each, a bit like a lasagne but without the pasta. Or the mince. Put in the oven for about an hour.
Served with garlic bread. Looked a lot more picture-worthy before it was on the plate. Delia I am not.
Verdict: Should have been split more ways.
Left me feeling very fat; tasted alright though. If I was giving this to the kids, I would pre-chop the chicken or use mince. The vegetables can be substituted for almost any. It was very creamy; I’d probably use less white sauce next time although I gave the leftovers to the kids the following day with pasta and they loved it.
None of these recipes took more than 15 minutes to prepare, and all of them went down well.
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio.
Dolmio Bolognese sauce is 100% natural and contains one of your five a day (or is it eight now??). I was given the food for free, in order to complete the #ThankGoodness challenge but the recipes and words are all mine.