Category Archives: Hidden Vegetables

Secret Stuffed Potatoes

The secret to these is the hidden zucchini that even the fussiest of children will not find as long as they like pesto!

I try to plan ahead for these and bake the potatoes the day before if I have the oven on.

Makes 16.

Ingredients

8 small potatoes, around 100g each, baked

300g zucchini plus two teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons pesto

A little grated cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Grate the zucchini and sprinkle with the salt, mixing a little with your hand, set aside in a sieve over a bowl for ten minutes.

Take a potato and cut in half, use a spoon to scoop the insides out and set aside. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Now, roughly chop up the potato to make a mash, stir through the pesto.

Rinse the zucchini under fresh water and then squeeze all of the moisture out with your hands.

Add the zucchini to the potato mash and mix well.

Spoon the zucchini mix into the potato skins and place on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle over the cheese and pop into the oven.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Hidden Veg Sausage Rolls


Sausage rolls are sooooo handy on the evenings when we are all coming and going.

In the past I have been a big fan of cheese and bacon rolls but I am currently experimenting with hidden veggies with the aim of making these at the school I work in.

I do make a gluten free version for my youngest but he ate them too quickly for the photo! His sausage mix is made with gluten free fresh breadcrumbs and gluten free puff pastry.

Makes 20 large sausage rolls or 80 mini rolls for party food.

Ingredients

130g wholemeal bread blitzed to make breadcrumbs, crusts and the heel of the loaf are fine

100g onion, peeled and finely diced or blitzed

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley leaves

300g carrots, peeled and grated

350g zucchini/courgette grated and all liquid squeezed out by hand

500g minced pork

1-2 teaspoons dried sage

Salt and pepper

5 sheets pre rolled puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, carrots, zucchini, pork, sage and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.

Seperate the pastry sheets, divide the sausage mix into 10 balls. Roll each ball into a sausage shape and lay one on the top half and one on the bottom half of each pastry sheet. Repeat with the remaining sausage mix.

Use a sharp knife to cut each sheet in half. Brush the cut with the beaten egg and then roll the pastry towards the egg wash to allow it to stick.

Cut the roll into your desired size, brush with egg and sprinkle with a little black sesame seeds if using. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Zucchini Slice

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School has finally gone back in Western Australia for the start of the new school year. I am tempted to do a little happy dance!!!

As ever, I have been on the hunt for a gluten free savoury to go into the lunch boxes and this one has been voted by the boys as a winner!

For a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and add grated sweet potato or just increase the zucchini, carrot and capsicum.

You can serve this warm or cold and it easily cuts into 8-10 pieces.

Ingredients

420g zucchini/courgette grated

200g carrot, peeled and grated

6 large spring onions, finely sliced

20g chives, chopped

180g capsicum/ bell pepper, diced

300g sliced bacon, diced

180g cheese, Cheddar, grated

110g Parmesan, grated

150g chickpea flour, also called besan

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

125mls milk

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade. Line the base and sides of a small roasting tin, roughly 20cm x 32cm.

Whisk the egg and milk.

Combine the chickpea flour and baking powder in a large bowl, slowly whisk in the egg and milk mix.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix, season well with salt and pepper.

Spoon into the prepared tin, level out with the back of the spoon and bake for 40 minutes until golden.

Allow to cool a little before cutting.

 

Stuffed Potatoes With Hidden Veggies

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Sometimes I like to jazz up the humble potato by stuffing it myself, it saves the boys arguing about their preferred fillings as everyone loves these and I can sneak some extra vegetables into them!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

6 large potatoes, baked with skins on

20g butter

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 medium carrots, grated

75g grated cheese, Parmesan or something with a strong flavour

2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley

salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half and carefully scoop out the cooked potato keeping the skin intact. Place the skins on a lined baking sheet and the cooked potato into a bowl. Mash lightly with a fork.

In a frying pan, heat the butter and add the onion, cook for 10 minutes over medium heat then add the garlic and carrot and cook for a further 3 minutes. Tip the onion mix into the potato.

Add the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Take spoonfuls of the stuffing and fill the skins.

Slide the potatoes back into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.

 

 

 

Meatballs With Cranberries

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These little gems lend themselves to filling flat breads with hummus, salad and yogurt or skewered with fancy cocktail sticks as a party nibble.

Younger children love them too as the cranberries and glaze add a lovely sweetness that most children adore and as a mum I love the sneaky vegetables!

Makes 32, serves 6.

Ingredients

500g minced beef

180g carrots, peeled and grated

300g courgette/zucchini, grated

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 egg, beaten

4 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon sumac

100g dried cranberries

salt to taste

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons tomato ketchup

Method

Combine all of the ingredients except the molasses, vinegar and ketchup.

Using your hands mix the ingredients very well.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade, line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Heat a large frying pan over medium to high heat, add a little oil.

Form the meat mix into small balls,  I get around 32 balls.

Add one third of the balls to the hot pan and cook, just to seal and colour a little. Remove the meatballs and place them on the prepared baking tray.

Continue and seal the remaining balls. Place them all on the baking tray.

In a small bowl, combine the molasses, vinegar and ketchup. Spoon this over the meatballs, making sure each one has a coating of glaze.

Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Chicken And Apple Casserole With Chive Dumplings

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As the northern hemisphere basks in the heat it has turned rather chilly here in Western Australia so we are loving slow roasts and some serious comfort food.

This however isn’t slow cooking as I cheat and use left over cooked chook which saves on time and to be honest I usually make double as this freezes a treat for an elusive night off another time.

The dumplings are great for filling teenage boys up and they are gluten free too and sooooo tasty you wouldn’t even know!

Serves 8.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 medium onion, diced

3 medium carrots, diced finely

300g eating apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

600g cooked chicken, dark and white meat, roughly chopped

300mls cream

750mls chicken stock

salt and pepper

DUMPLINGS

300g gluten free self raising flour

100g butter, diced

20g chives, snipped

salt and pepper

200-250mls milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

In a large lidded oven proof frying pan, heat the butter over a medium heat, once melted add the onion, carrot and apple, stir well and cover. Allow to cook slowly for 15-20 minutes until the onion is soft.

Add the chicken to the pan followed by the cream and stock.

Season and bring gently up to a simmer.

Move the pan with the lid on into the oven.

Bake, covered for 25 minutes.

Towards the end of the 25 minutes, make the dumplings.

Weigh the flour into a large bowl, add the diced butter and gently rub it in. Once this resembles fine breadcrumbs add the chives, seasoning and finally the milk, you don’t want it too sticky to handle so try 200mls of milk and slowly increase if need be.

Take the pan from the oven and remove the lid.

Working fairly quickly, roll the dumpling mix into small walnut sized balls and pop onto the top of the casserole, repeat until all of the dumpling dough has been used.

Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, and bake for 35-40 minutes until the dumplings are golden.

Coriander Dressing

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This is one of those fab dressings that goes with so many things, we have it poured over roast chicken pieces, salads, barbecued meat and roast vegetables.

I delight in the fact that some of the vibrancy of the sauce comes from a sneaky handful of spinach leaves, what the boys don’t know won’t hurt them!

Ingredients

a large bunch of coriander, around 70g

1 cup firmly packed baby spinach

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime

60-80mls olive oil

salt and pepper

 Method

In a food processor, whizz the coriander, spinach, chilli and garlic.

Pour in the lime juice and with the motor running pour in enough oil to get it to the consistency that you are after.