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Simple Stuffed Squash

Claire Wright

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4-8

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

2 small-medium butternut squash or (4 sweet potatoes)

300 g lamb or beef mince, or 1 tin cooked chickpeas, drained

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 courgette, finely diced

handful of frozen sweetcorn, optional

3 tbsp tomato puree

a couple of handfuls of spinach or kale, optional

2 tsp dried mixed herbs, optional

grated cheese and/or breadcrumbs, to top

Veg Portions / Serving: 2

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A simple, affordable, delicious recipe you can adapt to suit what’s in your fridge. Stuffed squash is sure to be a family favourite. Change out the ingredients for the tinned, fresh or frozen food you have on hand – this is perfect for using up leftovers, too, just stuff the squash with leftover cooked meat and veg or even thicker stews or chilli.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Halve the squash lengthways and remove the seeds, then drizzle the squash halves or sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast for 45 mins-1 hour on a baking tray until soft (sweet potatoes will cook quicker, so check on those after 30-40 mins).

  2. Meanwhile, fry mince, onion and courgette over gentle heat in 1 tbsp oil (if using chickpeas, just fry the onion and courgette and add chickpeas with corn). Add the sweetcorn and the dried herbs and greens, if using. Stir through the tomato puree and half a mug of water  or stock, simmer for 5 mins, then take off the heat.

  3. Scoop out most of the inside of the squash or sweet potato and mix into the meat and veg mixture. Season with salt & pepper. Spoon back into the squash or sweet potato and top with cheese and/or breadcrumbs before returning to the oven for 5 mins until cheese is melted or breadcrumbs are toasted and golden.

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

The eventual aim, if possible, is to get kids in the kitchen. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean they are with you from start-to-end creating mess and rising stress levels! It can be as simple as giving them one small job (stirring, measuring, pouring, grating, chopping…) ideally involving veg. They can come in to do their little bit, and have fun with you for a few minutes. Getting them involved, making it playful and praising them plenty for their involvement, perhaps even serving it as dinner they “made”, makes it much more likely they will eat the food offered, not to mention teaching them important life skills. Find ideas, safety tips, videos and even a free chart in our Kids in the Kitchen section here.

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

Communications Manager: 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, looking after Veg Power's website and social media platforms.

addsomeveg.com/

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