Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Using Pinterest to Get Kids Interested in Food

We all know that getting kids interested in food can be difficult at the best of times. They all have their fads and the things they will not eat and the things they must have at every meal.

Being a foodie family, this can make things even more difficult. I write recipes for a living and my wife is West African so there is alway a mix of food around the place. But the kids want to eat what they see their friends getting. But when it's served to them, they do not like it (they have been spoiled taste-wise).

As a result I'm always on the lookout for food I can cook which is 'like our friends get', but to which I can add a chefy or a West African twist. Enter pinterest. And if you have never heard of or been to Pinterest, then it's a social networking service that is based around images not text. You upload pictures and get people to 'like' the pictures and the associated web page.

This means that you can go through Pinterest and look at pictures in lots of different categories. One of those is 'Food and Drink'. Last night I sat with the kids around the computer and asked them to choose ten of the pictures for food that they would like to try. This is what they eventually chose:

American-style Breakfast Pancakes

Autumn Cupcakes

Chocolate-chip Brownies

Bruscetta Turkey Burger

Chili Dog Bake

Three-bean Chili

Fruit Punch

Pizza Bake

Pizza

Spaghetti Bolognese

Today's recipe will be for Spaghetti Bolognese. Below is a traditional Italian Bolognese-style Ragú.

Traditional Bolognesse Sauce (Salsa Bolognese) Recipe


Ingredients:
225g (1/2 lb) minced (ground) beef
100g (1/4 lb) mushrooms (wild or sore-bought), wiped lean and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
(2 chillies, minced  — this is not traditional, but my kids love them)

1 carrot, grated
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 small tin of tomato purée
275ml (1 cup + 2 tbsp) beef stock
110g (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) plain flour
salt and black pepper, to taste
freshly-grated nutmeg, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
Heat the oil in a large pan or flame-proof casserole then add the minced beef, onion, mushrooms, chillies (if using), carrot and garlic. Fry this mixture until the meat is nicely browned all over then season to taste with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. 

Add the tomato purée and the thyme then stir to combine. Scatter over the plain flour and mix into the other ingredients until completely smooth. Now work in the stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 60 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and all the ingredients are tender.

Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve on a bed of pasta (spaghetti typically). This can also be used as the red meat base for lasagne and makes an excellent topping for baked potatoes. If you use the chillies and let the sauce thickening it's also an excellent topping for chili dogs.

The recipe given here is adapted, with permission, from the Bolognese Sauce recipe on the Celtnet Recipes site. 






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