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My Microwave Chilli Con Carne

Jamie Oliver

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 4

Prep time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

250g minced beef

1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin

olive oil

1 beef stock cube

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 sticks of celery

1-2 mixed chillies

400g butternut squash

red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of kidney be

1 mug of long grain rice (300g)

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Method:

1. Put the beef, cumin, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a big pinch of black pepper into a microwave-proof dish. Crumble in the stock cube and scrunch together with clean hands. Microwave for 10 minutes on high (800W) or until the meat is browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon halfway.

2. Meanwhile, peel the onion and garlic, then very finely chop with the celery. Deseed and finely chop the chillies. Put a handful of the chopped veg into a small bowl for the salsa, then slice off a thin piece of squash, finely chop and add to the bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt, and leave to pickle.

3. When the time’s up on the beef, stir in the remaining chopped veg. Slice the reserved squash into 4 large pieces (there’s no need to peel it) and lightly score the skin. Place the squash on top, then return to the microwave and cook for another 15 minutes on a high heat (800W).

4. Add the tomato purée and tomatoes to the dish, drain and tip in most of the beans (putting a small handful aside for later). Gently mash with a potato masher, until some of the beans are squashed into the sauce. Return to the microwave and cook for a final 20 minutes on medium-high (600-700W), or until the squash is soft. Carefully lift the dish out of the microwave and place on a heatproof surface. Use your potato masher to mash the squash, if you like, then carefully taste the chilli (it will be hot) and season to perfection. Cover to keep warm while you crack on with the rice.

5. Place the rice in a 2-litre microwave-proof dish or bowl with 2 mugs of water (600ml) and a pinch of sea salt. Cover the bowl with a lid or a side plate, sprinkle the reserved beans on top, then cook in the microwave on a high heat (800W) for 10 to 14 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave), carefully removing the beans halfway.

6. Fluff up the rice and divide between plates, spoon over the chilli, then sprinkle with the popped beans and salsa, and 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

The kids can help you add everything to the bowl and scrunch together (make sure to wash hands before and after). They can help you add more ingredients at each stage (watch out – it all gets hot!) and using the potato masher. They can help you measure and pour out the rice, water and salt into the bowl, and push buttons on the microwave. Older kids could practice chopping skills with some of the veggies. Show them how to chop safely, start with softer veg, and keep a close eye on the process.

Master these skills:

Washing hands,  Cleaning vegetables,  Weighing,  Tasting,  Mixing,  Bridge chopping,  Claw chopping
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.

Jamie Oliver

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

www.jamieoliver.com/

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