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Cauliflower Cheese Spaghetti

Jamie Oliver


Serves: 4

Prep time: 30 mins


400g frozen cauliflower florets

1 leek

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

2 slices of stale crusty white bread (100g)

20g mixed nuts

1 pinch of dried thyme

1 tablespoon plain flour

400ml semi-skimmed milk

100g mature Cheddar cheese

300g dried spaghetti



1. Place the frozen cauliflower into a microwave-proof bowl. Trim off the white part of the leek (putting the green top aside for later), add to the bowl and cook in the microwave on high (800W) for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is defrosted and the leek has softened.

2. Meanwhile, place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Peel, finely slice and stir in 1 clove of garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden, then very finely slice and add the green leek top. Roughly chop the bread to create rustic breadcrumbs, add to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, or until starting to crisp up, stirring occasionally. Finely chop and add the nuts, stirring until toasted, then transfer everything to a plate.

3. Return the pan to the heat with 1 teaspoon of oil. Peel, finely slice and add the remaining garlic and fry for 2 minutes, or until golden. Slice and add the softened white part of the leek, then stir through the dried thyme and softened cauliflower.

4. Stir the flour into the pan, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat, then either blitz it with a hand blender until silky smooth, or use a potato masher to mash everything together to create a rustic sauce. Grate in most of the cheese, stirring gently to combine.

5. Cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions, then drag it straight into the sauce, taking a little cooking water with it. Toss together, adding a splash of starchy cooking water to loosen, if needed.

6. Divide between plates, sprinkling over the crispy breadcrumbs and grating over the reserved cheese, to serve.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get the kids adding ingredients to the bowl and pushing the microwave buttons. Chopping the bread can be a great way to learn some essential knife skills – you could even just use a regular dinner knife if it’s a soft loaf, or smaller kids could just tear the bread. You could show a child how to grate with the cheese, and they can stir it into the sauce. Kids also love putting the finishing touches to a dish, sprinkling over the breadcrumbs and cheese!

Master these skills:

Washing hands,  Weighing,  Tasting,  Grating,  Mixing,  Bridge chopping,  Claw chopping


While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Jamie Oliver

A global phenomenon in food and campaigning, Jamie Oliver has inspired millions of people to cook fresh, delicious food from scratch.

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