DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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21 September 2016

Introducing the 8 vegetable meat pie that kids love

I have a bit of a chuckle now and then about the food police and how they try to shame or scare parents into serving this or that.  Usually they insist you try "new" food that has been around for donkey's years but is "new" to the person writing the article. I've been through parenthood when I gave my sons what I believed was a good selection of balanced meals. They were the foods my family have eaten for generations. During that time I discovered that like us, children have genuine likes and dislikes and forcing them to eat something they don't like is usually counter-productive.  That doesn't mean I let them choose their own food. They ate what we ate as a family. If they didn't like it, they had fruit or they went without. I never made different meals for certain members of my family and I am grateful we didn't have food allergies or illness that made some foods a problem.

Homemade meat pie with eight vegetables.

Now I'm a grandma and have the responsibility of feeding my grandchildren when they're with us. I feel that responsibility because I want to blend in with what I know they're being fed at home, but I also want to give them the foods we eat and a small treat every now and then. I hope I get it right more than I get it wrong.

Jamie is here with us during the school holidays and while he eats what we eat with very few complaints, I like to give him food that I know he enjoys as well. Yesterday I made a meat pie with  vegetables - even sweet potato that I know he doesn't like. He loved it. He had a dollop of tomato sauce and he consumed almost twice as many vegetables as the recommended daily amount. I could easily have included 10 vegetables but decided to stop at eight.





The meat pie was made using beef and pork mince, cooked till brown and with the addition of a tablespoon of curry powder, salt and pepper. That amount of curry powder adds a mild spicy taste without adding heat. I added sliced carrot, celery in small pieces, diced onion and capsicum/bell pepper and some parsley (I could easily have added more fresh herbs too). That was cooked until the vegetables started to brown and then I added a litre of chicken stock. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes, the stock reduced and right at the end of the cooking, I added a cup of frozen peas. A small amount of cornflour thickened the stock. In a separate pot I boiled three large potatoes, one sweet potato and half a small butternut pumpkin/squash. When cooked, the boiled vegetables were mashed with a little butter and added to the top of the meat in a pie dish. I added sharp cheddar and a small amount of parmesan because it adds flavour and makes the top crispy and golden. Omit the cheese if you're dairy-free.

The vegetables you add to your pie depend entirely on what you have in the fridge however, the trio of onions, carrots and celery is the starting point for most European-style food. Start with those three, then add whatever you have. That might be one extra vegetables such as zucchini, or many extras such as garlic, turnip, silverbeet/chard, spinach, beans, kale, cabbage, corn, eggplant, or whatever. Try to stick with the topping of potatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin because it's colourful, sweetish and it goes well with the flavour of the meat and vegetable filling. If your children struggle to eat a variety to vegetables, still use all those you wish to use but instead of chopping, slicing and dicing, put the vegetables into your food processor and blitz them. That will turn them into a bit of mush but they'll still retain their nutrition and they'll be unrecognisable. They'll melt into the sauce as you cook.

Jamie loved this pie, so did Hanno and I. We still have more than half a pie to eat for today's lunch. It would make a great leftovers lunch for any workers who can take a container and heat it up at lunchtime. This pie is easy to make, fairly cheap, enjoyed by everyone and delivers on nutrition and flavour.  You won't find this recipe in any superfoods cook book but it's good wholesome food that most kids will love.  Just make sure the tomato sauce bottle is close by.  ;- )

26 comments:

  1. This reminds me a little of the shepherds pie I make. I first learned to make shepherds pie about 18 years ago when DW was in hospital with DD#4 who was born very premmie. Shepherds pie was all I really knew how to make, so we had it every day for many, many weeks whilst DW and DD#4 were hospital bound. It was many years before we had shepherds pie again. I made it again recently and it of course attracted a wave of good natured mocking from the family....but they ate every last morsel.

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  2. We have a similar dish that is a family favorite. I put diced potatoes in the meat filling along with other vegetables and top it with biscuit dough or scones is what I think you would call them. It is then baked for 15 minutes. My children never complained about the vegetables in this dish and scraped the casserole clean. Now that they are grown we get to enjoy it the next day, too.

    Your enamelware pan is lovely. We do not have those in the USA.

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  3. Hi Rhonda,

    This sort of meals is for me the real superfood. I make these pies very often, generally using leftovers and several vegetables, sometimes also adding rice or pasta and topping with cheese. I found out many years ago that this was the perfect way to give to the kids some of the vegetables that they didn´t like so much; melted in the sauce I got much less complaints :)

    It is also, like you mentioned, fairly cheap.
    Well, I grew up eating these nutritious simple homemade meals, and today I'm still in the opinion that there's no need to complicate!

    Thank you for sharing
    xxx
    Paula

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    1. I so agree Paula, people today are encouraged to try and cook like chef's which is impossible on a day to day basis, no wonder people opt for take away. If only they were taught to make some easy healthy meals like this there would be less problems associated with diet.

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  4. This sounds oh so good, makes my mouth water.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  5. We love a good pie too and yours look delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe and pictures.
    Cheers.

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  6. Oh Rhonda your pie looks so good, especially that first photo. I took one look and knew straight away that I'll be giving this one a go. A great one too to use up any leftover vegetables in the fridge before your next shop. As kids we were always served very similar meals to this, always from scratch and we always had dinner together as a family. I now do the same with our kids. Looking forward to our pie!

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  7. That looks delicious! I think I'll make some next week!! Do you think it would freeze well? I'm trying to get into the habit of making double batches and freezing some...

    Also, I tried your chicken and vegetable casserole and it is delicious! Thanks for such great recipes!

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    1. It freezes well, Pam. I'm pleased your enjoying the recipes. :- )

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  8. I think most children will eat what they are given if a big deal isn't made. I am rereading "Radical Homemakers" and "The Unsettling of America" and am amazed at all the foods that have gone by the wayside just because they aren't "marketed" well. Variety is the best way to go, isn't it? :)

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  9. mmm that sounds really good. We make shepherds pie but its different slightly to this. I will give this method a try next time.

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  10. What a scrumptious looking shepherd's pie. I never would have thought to mix the pumpkin, potatoes and sweet potatoes for the topping. This is on my agenda once autumn actually hits here in the States. Thanks for the recipe and tutorial.

    One way my mom got us to eat vegetables when we were kids (many years ago) was to make each kid take a tablespoon full on our plates. "Just taste it." She had to see each of us take just one bite of each new food she prepared. If we didn't like it, it was OK with her. The next time we saw the dreaded whatever, we had to take just one bite again. Before we knew it, we were happily trying just about everything she cooked. She also made us feel welcome in the kitchen and taught me and two of my three brothers to cook.

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  11. Yummo. Think this might end up on the menu here. When the kids were little we would make lasagne that had pumpkin or sweet potato puree instead of white sauce. Zucchini was something that would melt down in the meat sauce between the layers. Bak choy also was placed on top of the meat, prior to the pureed pumpkin then the pasta sheets. Was and is delicious.

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  12. I chuckled as I read this today Rhonda. It's what's on our menu tonight for dinner. After a really full month of long hours, study and family we have finally reached our lull and nourishing, comfort food is on my agenda while we re-charge. :)

    Xx

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  13. That looks delicious! I may have to try it, as we have many sweet potatoes from our garden at the moment. We don't force our kids to eat things they genuinely do not care for, but we do ask that they taste one bite of everything--every time, even if they haven't liked it in the past--because sometimes tastes do change. (And sometimes they don't--I still can't stand lima beans!)

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  14. looks delicious, I love sweet potato, especially with garam masala. Laughing at the nearness of the ketchup. Our son would eat most meat so long as he could have mint sauce with it! Chicken, beef.....lamb, sausages.....you name it, the green sauce was eaten too. He's now the wonderful father of three........

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    Replies
    1. My daughter has been doing that lately - with Caesar vinaigrette salad dressing! Some odd combinations on my table, but as long as she's eating, I suppose...

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  15. You've managed to make my mouth water and it's only coffee time! I love cottage pie and yours looks like a very interesting take on one of my favourites. I'm definitely going to try it.

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  16. I love anything on the Shepherds /Cottage Pie theme. My mum used to add all sorts of things to stretch the mince, including baked beans! Sometimes to a version myself I call Pigsty Pie, with left over ham hock or gammon. When I can, I also add parsnips to the mash for extra richness.

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  17. Ah, the good basic wholesome food. Fits the bill every time

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  18. Your pie looks delicious! I make different variations of cottage pie according to what's in the fridge and freezer. We eat it with warm brown sauce. Like you say it is an excellent way of incorporating vegetables in a child's diet. My four children all love the cottage pie-variations. I am going to try the sweet potato - pumpkin in the topping, what a gorgeous colour! I think your meals are really great for all ages. I always feel hungry when you talk about what you have cooked/baked! Pam in Norway

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  19. Mention sweet potato and you've got me hooked, Rhonda. Yum!

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  20. What a good idea adding the squash and sweet potato in the topping. I have a little one who won't eat potatoes, so maybe she will try this. The other night I made a dish that my mother always called Beef-a-roni - dreadful name, I always thought. I've tweaked it a little over the years: browned ground turkey cooked with diced onion and a generous scoop of minced garlic, add a can of diced tomatoes, or fresh if you have them, and some basil. Mix with cooked pasta and top with grated parmesan. Quick, cheap, and homemade - and few complaints from the kids.

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