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Helen’s Squeaky Unicorn Pink Wee Rainbow Chilli

Helen Perks

In season now

Serves: 8

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins


2 tablespoons light olive oil

3 garlic cloves, grated

6 radishes, sliced into round circles

70g green beans, cut in half

1 green pepper, cut long into strips

1 small red chilli, chopped into tiny pieces

400g minced beef

150g small yellow tomatoes, left whole

80g purple sprouting broccoli, broken into small florets

1 carrot, peeled and use a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons

1 small beetroot, peeled and grated

1/2 aubergine (80g), diced

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato purée

2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon marjoram salt, to taste

2 mugs rice

3 mugs water

zest of ½ lemon

125g pomegranate seeds

25g flat leaf parsley

Veg Portions / Serving: 1


Recipe donated by Helen Perks for Veg Power.

Once a upon a time children around the world were asked what they wanted to see in their rainbow chilli, “squeaky beans” they shouted, “beetroot, so that we can have pink wee”, “Horns (carrots) that have been delivered by the magic unicorn”, “Red jewels like ruby princess rings (pomegranate seeds), and “oak trees (broccoli) so that I can be the giant eating the trees”. “Excellent”, said Helen the Nutritional Fairy Godmother, “you have all chosen well and your wishes will be granted”. Helen said to the children that “if you eat your squeaky unicorn pink wee rainbow chilli, you will grow up to have super powers, like strong bones to do handstands and cartwheels, fast fingers to play musical instruments, and very powerful legs to run really fast. What a very healthy bunch of children you will be”!


Add the oil to the pan and when hot, turn down the heat and add the green beans, radishes, and green pepper and sauté with a lid on for 6 minutes.

Add the minced beef, garlic, and chilli and cook until the mince is brown.

Add the rest of the vegetables, spices, tinned tomatoes, and tomato purée and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Add salt to taste when the chilli is cooked.

Place rice and water into a saucepan, bring to the boil and turn down the heat and simmer for 12 minutes with the lid on.

Add the parsley, lemon zest and pomegranate seeds to the cooked rice blending them thoroughly.

Serve on a plate with the chilli. Enjoy!

You can take vegetables out that you don’t like and swap them in with: sweet corn, peas, purple carrots, and courgette. Strictly no mushrooms as requested by all of you little munchkins.

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

Kids can help by creating the carrot ribbons, grating the beetroot and garlic, breaking off the broccoli florets, and measuring out the herbs, spices and tomato puree.  They can also stir the pomegranate seeds, parsley, and lemon rind into the rice.



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.

Helen Perks

Helen Perks is a nutritional therapist specialising in digestive health, functional and lifestyle nutrition, and is working on fun nutrition-related books for children. Find her at The Hygeia Clinic.

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