Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed now it’s the end of summer and the start of the new school term?
I was late to school every day last week (major parenting fail), so in a bid to arrive on time today, I ended up with a 45 minute wait until school started! Argh!
That’s it now, I’m taking a stand. I’ve had enough of feeling flustered and totally disorganised so I’m implementing order into our lives and I’m starting with my first love (after my fam): food and I’m making sure dinners are quick, tasty and nutritious!
We’re so incredibly busy with after-school activities, a full and exciting social life (the kids, not me) and nightly homework that I’m reminding myself of ALL the home hacks we need in our lives (uniform laid out the night before, toothpaste on the brushes ready to go and bags by the door) and that includes quick, convenient and yummy meals!
My children love sausages, burgers and nuggets as much as the next kid but since becoming plant-based (vegan) four months ago, I cook lots of vegan and vegetarian based meals for them too.
Cutting down on our meat intake as a family is a great way to do our bit for the environment, but it’s also a way for us all to feel a bit healthier too!
I saw that Quorn recently partnered with Rachel Stevens, Celebrity Masterchef contestant and mum of two, and in the YouTube video below she chats to Ben Fogle about her own family food choices and how cutting down on their meat intake has helped her family feel healthier (most Quorn products are high in protein, high in fibre, low in saturated fat and with no cholesterol) are low in fat and high in protein), with the added benefit of reducing their impact on the planet. In the clip, Rachel shows Ben how to cook one of her children’s favourite meat free meals, Sweet and Sour Sticky Quorn Nuggets with stir fried vegetables and rice. You can read more about the partnership here.
Thank goodness for Quorn and their vegan and veggie products. They don’t require defrosting so are quick to cook, as well as being healthy and versatile too (their Mince works in Cottage Pies, Tacos and in sauces as well).
I love eating a plant-based diet and while my kids eat everything, and are free to make their own minds up on what to eat (within reason), I like to fill their diet with as many healthy ingredients as possible.
Here, I’m sharing two back to school recipes with Quorn that save time, make life easier (boy, do we all need that) and offer delicious dishes which will keep your kids full and happy.
First up, is a quick dinner of Quorn vegan nuggets with Greek style baked potato wedges and a rainbow of crudites including red, yellow and green peppers, cucumber and carrots.
My second recipe is a vegetarian Quorn spaghetti bolognese the kids absolutely LOVE where I use Quorn Mince on either wholewheat or brown rice spaghetti as the base. I add a frozen medley of vegetables to the sauce at the end to up their veggie intake and add some colour.
The boys honestly can’t tell the difference from standard beef bolognese (they sometimes eat in restaurants) and Alexander didn’t believe me when I told him the nuggets were vegan not chicken! Clever huh?!
These are two recipes on twice-monthly rotation and I know they will be for you guys too, once you give them a whirl.
I’ve made a recipe video showing you how to make the Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese at the end of the post you can follow too.
Quorn Vegan Nuggets With Greek Style Potato Wedges & Crudites
- 1 packet of vegan nuggets
- 600g potatoes (Maris Pipers are our choice)
- pinch of salt
- Mild Olive Oil
- Mixed vegetables: cucumber, peppers and carrots, washed and sliced
Follow the packet instructions and cook the vegan nuggets.
While they are cooking, clean the potatoes under a hot tap (it removes any mud/dirt more easily). Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges and par-boil for 7 minutes. Drain the water and pat dry with some kitchen towel so they are dry.
Place foil onto a large roasting tray and add the wedges, leaving some space between each one so they don’t stick together. Drizzle in mild olive oil (Extra Virgin is for salads not cooking) and using your hands ensure the wedges are covered. Sprinkle with a little oregano and cook for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Check they are cooked in the middle by sticking a fork in to to test they are crispy on the outside, soft inside. If they require more cooking time, so as to prevent burning them, place foil over the top of the chips, covering them entirely and keep cooking until they are cooked all the way through.
Chop the mixed vegetables into crudites and decorate a plate if you like. Place the nuggets and wedges on the plate too and add some tomato sauce if your kids like it, like mine do.
Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese
- 200 g wholemeal spaghetti or brown rice spaghetti (we like Doves Farm)
- Mild Olive Oil
- 2 small red onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- sprinkle of oregano
- 400g chopped tinned tomatoes
- vegetable stock (dissolved in 200ml water)
- 500g Quorn Mince
- A medley of frozen veggies (my kids like sweetcorn, carrot, peas and broccoli)
- Sprinkle of fresh flat parsley or coriander
Follow the packet instructions for the rice spaghetti. Add it to boiling water with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt in (to stop it sticking). Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large and deep frying pan, add a big splash of mild Olive Oil and gently heat. Fry the onion and garlic and sprinkle the oregano over. Once the onion is a golden red, add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and Quorn mince. Once they reach boiling point, lower the heat and simmer for approx 10 minutes as the sauce reduces a little. Add the frozen veg medley a few minutes before taking off the heat as they cook quickly. If you use fresh chopped carrots add them in with the garlic and onions at the start as they can take a little longer to cook.
Drain the spaghetti, plate up and add the mince sauce over the top. Garnish with flat parsley or coriander.
This is a sponsored campaign but as always, my words are my own, and entirely honest.