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Dig Down Pie

Claire Wright

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

200g beef or lamb mince, or veggie alternative

200g cooked sliced carrots (or any cooked veg leftover you can layer at the bottom of the pie as the bit to find at the “centre of the earth”)

1 onion, diced

100g carrots, diced

100g peas (frozen is fine)

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 400g tin cooked lentils, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp tomato puree

For the potato topping:

1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 tbsp oil

100g carrots, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (or use a different veg if you prefer)

100g sweetcorn (frozen is fine - or use a different veg like more peas if you prefer)

50g cheddar cheese or plant-based alternative, grated

Handful fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Veg Portions / Serving: 4

Share:

The carrots have tunnelled their way to the Centre of the Earth.

You need to break through the earth’s crust, dig through the steaming hot lava and find the veggies.

Your mission is to find them and eat them to defeat them. Start the journey by saying…

DIG FOR VICTORY!

Find out more about Eat Them To Defeat Them at eatthemtodefeatthem.com

Method:

Here’s our recommended cottage pie recipe, or you can simply adapt your own recipe – just keep the veg chunky and serve with a reminder to the children to Eat Them to Defeat Them and say “Dig for Victory!”

 

Preheat your oven to gas 4/350°F/180°C.

Lay the cooked sliced carrots (or other veg) on the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the mince, onion, and diced carrots, then cook for 10 mins until meat is browned and veg is slightly softened. Add the tomato puree, cook for a minute, then add peas, tomatoes, and lentils, and cook until everything is piping hot, about 5 mins. Taste, and add a little salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the mixture on top of the layered carrots in the oven proof dish.

While the meat mixture is cooking, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of water until soft (about 10-15 mins depending on how large the chunks are). Mash the potatoes (add a little milk and/or butter if they are dry or hard to mash), then layer over the meat mixture in the oven proof dish.

In a small bowl mix together the oil, carrot and sweetcorn. Mix the vegetables with the grated cheddar or plant-based alternative and evenly sprinkle on top of the mashed potatoes.

Place into the preheated oven to cook for 20-30 mins or until golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped parsley if using, and serve.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Have the kids help you measure and weigh ingredients, mash the potatoes, layering ingredients in the dish and stirring things together (show them how to safely stir over the heat and keep a close eye on them). For more tips on cooking with kids check out Kids in the Kitchen on Simply Veg.

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

addsomeveg.com/

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