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Claire’s Green Veg Crumble

Claire Wright

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:
In season now

Serves: 8

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

350g frozen broccoli florets (or 1 head fresh - cauliflower works great here, too, as does a mix of the two)

250g frozen chopped spinach or frozen whole baby leaf spinach

225g frozen peas

1 large courgette, grated

For the white sauce:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons plain flour

400ml milk

400ml stock (or more milk)

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon mustard)

small pinch nutmeg or allspice (about 1/4 teaspoon)

salt & pepper, to taste

large handful of grated cheese (about 50g)

For the crumble topping:

100g wholemeal flour

200g oats

pinch sea salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)

110g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed

handful of chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds all work well)

handful of seeds (sunflower and pumpkin work really well)

a little more grated cheese to top, optional

Veg Portions / Serving: 2

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Recipe created for Veg Power by Claire Wright. Food photography by Claire Wright | addsomeveg.com

A creamy, cheesy, filling dinner packed with green vegetables, covered in a lighter-than-usual white sauce, and topped with a wholegrain crumble. Nutrient dense, rich, filling and balanced. Full of green vegetables you don’t even notice yourself eating!

Method:

Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Steam the frozen vegetables in a steamer or microwave according to packet instructions. Drain the vegetables and squeeze any excess water out of the spinach. Pour the cooked vegetables and grated courgette into a large roasting or casserole dish and set aside.

Next, make the white sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, whisk in the flour and allow to cook for a minute, then slowly drizzle in the milk, little by little, whisking constantly. Whisk in the stock, mustard, nutmeg or allspice and salt & pepper. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes, whisking constantly, until thick. Take off the heat and stir through the grated cheese, then pour the sauce into the dish with the green vegetables and mix well.

Finally, make the crumble: pour the flour, oats and salt into a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds or so. Add in the cubed butter and pulse for another 30 seconds until combined with the flour but still leaving little chunks. Top the creamy veg mixture with the crumble, then scatter over some chopped nuts and seeds, and a little extra grated cheese, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden and the cheesy filling is bubbling up around it. Serve on its own or with a green salad or fresh chopped tomatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

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 children to press the microwave and food processor buttons, ask them to grate the cheese and add it (carefully!) to the hot sauce, and let them scatter the nuts, seeds and cheese over the top of the crumble at the end.

Activities

Activities

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.

Sensory

Sensory

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.

Serving

Serving

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.

Claire Wright

Editor: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, then Editor, looking after Veg Power's website, content, recipes and social media platforms.

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