Matthew’s “Old School” Kebabs with Coconut Rice and Tomato Sauce
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
60g white rice
60g brown rice
120g quinoa and bulgur wheat mix
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
2 red onions
1 large courgette
handful fresh chives and parsley to mix through the rice
75g creamed coconut
salt & pepper, to taste
baby spinach, to serve
For the tomato sauce:
1x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
25g tomato puree
10g dried oregano
Veg Portions / Serving: 2
A nice, simple, fun dish that our kids love at Hillstone. You could add fresh herbs to the veg before you put them on the skewers. With the tomato sauce you could use older, fresh tomatoes instead of, or as well as, the tinned tomatoes, and add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to add more flavour. The sauce can also be used as a base for chilli, bolognese or a curry. I have added a parsnip to add extra veg and also a bit of sweetness to the sauce.
Cook the brown rice for 10 minutes in boiling water then add the white rice and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Wash the bulgur and quinoa with cold water and place in a saucepan of boiling water and cook until soft.
Cut the veg into roughly 4cm chunks. Thread on to the kebab stick alternating the veg. You could add herbs to the kebabs. Place on a baking tray and brush lightly with oil and season with pepper and salt. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
When the rice and quinoa are cooked mixed together with the creamed coconut. Serve with the raw or cooked spinach and some tomato sauce.
Roughly chop the veg and garlic. Sauté in a saucepan with the oregano until soft. Add the tin of tomatoes and puree. Cook for another 10-15 minutes then blitz to create a smooth sauce. Serve as is, or pass through a sieve for a smoother sauce.
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
Older kids can help roughly chop the veg for the kebabs and sauce. Kids love threading veg onto kebabs, just keep an eye on younger ones! Have them brush the kebabs with the oil and sprinkle over herbs and seasoning, and get them mixing up the grains and sauce.
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.
Jeanette Orrey MBE