Family Mealtime: Pump Up Your Spag Bol

April 30, 2015 , In: Family Friendly Meal, Mains , With: No Comments

Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic family meal that I think most people probably already have in their repertoire.  On the face of it, it doesn’t seem overly healthy but I use it as a vessel to include all sorts of goodness.

Pump Up the Spag Bol |

I’ve been known to throw in:

  • vegetables like carrots, celery, leek, peppers and zucchini (I finely cut or puree in a food processor)
  • ground flax seed
  • lentils (I use the red lentils for quick cooking)
  • hemp seeds

Pump Up the Spag Bol |

Not only do you get to clear out your fridge of any leftover bits and bobs of vegetables, you and your kids get some healthy bits in their favourite meal.

Don’t stop at the vegetables included above as you could really include anything.  I’m thinking kale, broccoli and spinach are all great greens that would work as well.

Pump Up the Spag Bol |

There is a train of thought that you should not hide vegetables from your kids in their food, but teach them to eat them properly.  What do I do?  In addition to hiding the vegetables in the bolognese I’ll often serve my son cut up vegetables like carrots or cucumber either while he is watching TV while I prep dinner or alongside the bolognese.  I find he prefers the crunchy texture of vegetables most of the time.

If you are adding lentils I’d watch the pot as you may need to add more water.  You’ll also need to make sure you have at least 25 minutes for them to cook in the bolognese.  Hemp seeds and ground flax seed do not need to be cooked for any length of time.

I haven’t included any amounts as it really depends on your preference.  Hemp seeds and flax seeds don’t really leave a taste so you could go up to 1/4 cup depending on the size of your batch.  As for the lentils, you could really include as much as you want up to substituting it entirely for the meat.  As for veg?  That’s all up to you, but you can certainly stick a lot in.  In the pot above I have 3 carrots, a zucchini and a pepper.

If I have time, I’ll food process an entire bag of carrots or stalk of celery and separate it into portions in bags or muffin tins and freeze.  That way I don’t have to bother with the food processing before hand.  You could also do this with onions, or really any other vegetable.

What do you guys like to put in your bolognese?

ps. Want other great family meals?  Check out this one and this one.

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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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