Veggie smuggling 

Hello Dear Reader,

Veggie smuggling, hiding vegetables or stretching meat as it’s so expensive is some thing we all do., right? I never had to hide vegetables from my children but if I did need to, then I’d have done this. 

I used 500g of low fat minced beef, two large carrots and one large finely shredded leek and a finely diced onion as it makes the meat go twice as far and gets plenty of vegetables into us. There are plenty of ways of stretching meat, I sometimes add lentil, chickpeas or any range of chopped vegetables and I often use diced frozen vegetables. 

Once it’s made, with the usual addition of herbs, garlic and tomatoes, you’d never know it was full of vegetables.

A spag Bol is DB’s favourite supper with a sprinkle of grated cheese and that’s just what we had. There’s loads of ways I stretch meat and this is just one of them.

Now, it’s your turn, what do you do to stretch meat a bit further? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx


19 thoughts on “Veggie smuggling 

  1. Like you, we never had trouble with the children eating veggies but most of our meals are based around veggies with meat making a guest appearance, I don’t eat meat but the men in our home do. The meal tonight for them was left over chilli in tortillas, on top of spinach and mixed veggies with sprinkle of cheese. We are enjoying living in Liskeard despite teething problems with the house, I think I remember you mentioning somewhere local to get reasonable meat, I found a local butcher today but found him a bit expensive. Local vet is lovely, and Poundland every useful. Hope you don’t mind me asking.


  2. I add lentils & since hubby read they are a good protein he’s quite happy for me to use more – so I do! I use grated apples to tempt little-uns – makes a bit sweeter


    • Went through a period of getting pork tenderloins quite cheaply a few years back. I sliced them into medallions and browned in a pan, adding about equal amounts of sliced mushrooms. It tastes like you’re eating double the portion of meat, when really it’s half mushrooms. Wish I could remember how I got husband to eat that, as he is really anti-mushroom most of the time. One of his few dislikes.


  3. I used to have a 2 year old beg for broccoli every day! Especially made into Chinese food. The other child hated veggies, so I did my share of spaghetti sauce loading. Squash is especially good to add to the sauce, yellow crook neck is my favorite. I also make a lasagna type dish layering veggie burgers with homemade sauce & cheese, then bake. It’s really yummy & very healthy.


  4. Some of my relatives have succeeded in getting their kids to eat veggies big time. I have seen one child in particular whining for a raw carrot like many children whine for biscuits (cookies.) Another has to supply cucumbers at one per child–they will slice and eat them and call it lunch, although they are equally fond of other vegetables also.

    Mine own girls were fine with vegetables but not crazy about them, except they did like spinach and Swiss chard a lot. My granddaughter once hid under the dining room table so her mother wouldn’t see her eating brussels sprouts. Why it was a secret, I couldn’t say!


  5. Meat pies are great for this. I make a large crockpot full of a meat and veg casserole, thickened with flour, stock powder, and a bit of tomato paste, then use that for pie fillings. I use whatever veggies are in season/cheap, and once they are cooked down and put in pastry, even fussy eaters don’t notice/ complain. I can get three or four family pies from one large crockpot casserole that contains only one kilo of cheap beef.


  6. I do many of things you do. I use Moroccan spices and add chick peas. We have homemade burgers and use left over bread to extend the meat. I also add mushrooms as they cost less than meat here.


  7. Chicken and Vegetable Curry.was and still is on the menu in our house, as well as Lasagna with veg as well as vegetable casserole and vegetarian dumplings. They tasted nicer with the veg and also a great way of using up the veg in the veg rack.


  8. Being Scottish, along with a heap of veg, I commonly add porridge oats. Especially good for adding in to burger mix. I also add grated carrot to the burger mix. Mushrooms in mine but not for hubby.

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  9. Very timely this recipe. Great to see the lovely colour and texture of your Spag. Bol. Start young with good food habits. I was an infant teacher and amazed at how many kids knew what crisps they were eating blindfolded but not everyday veg like carrots, cucumber. Had to work really hard to get that message across including tasting sessions.


  10. I have always bulked out mince with oats or dried soya, along with blending veg in for certain fussy beggars in my house when they were little. A handful of lentils usually gets chucked in now as well in anything ‘sloppy’ especially soups. Green lentil bolognese is my favourite now over meat one. I got a recipe for a veggie pasta sauce years ago out of a Safeway supermarket magazine it was onion,garlic, courgette, carrots and tin of toms. When it was cooked it was blended lil smooth. My kids used to love it on spaghetti with cheese on. They never knew or realised it was all veg lol. I still make it now 15 years later.


  11. I used to stretch mince with grated carrot, courgettes and a few oats, but mushrooms are such an obvious and good suggestion!

    Now though I’d much rather we just ate less meat/fish in its more natural state, with lots of vegetables, or a vegetarian meal. Food is so important, as fuel for everything we do on a daily basis, as well as our health in the long term. I no longer eat meals which aren’t nutritionally dense, like a pasta bake, because like many adults my waist line doesn’t like too much starch, and that’s what pudding is for! I had no idea how much I love veg, and fruit to a lesser degree, until a couple of years ago. Vegetarian meals can also be fairly inexpensive.


  12. I do the same as you Froogs. I grate potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini (courgette) and chopped mushrooms to my spaghetti. Once the tomatoes and tomato paste is added you’d never know. It is delicious. I also use about 500g mince and cook a packet of pasta. I mix the pasta with the sauce and it makes about 8-10 serves. We eat it for two nights and I freeze six serves for nights off when I don’t feel like cooking.


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