Mamma Mia ! With three kids and a full-time job (not to mention a blog), weekday evenings are usually a bit hectic here at The Madhouse. I meal-plan every week so I know in advance what I'll be cooking and don't have to panic about not having the ingredients in the cupboards and the fridge, but even so, some nights things don't go to plan and I end up getting home late or I'm extra tired or the kids are too hungry to wait for me to cook a big meal and I need a quick option. I always have a few jars of cooking sauce in the cupboard as a quick standby and bolognese is always one of them.
BritMums have teamed up with Dolmio to challenge bloggers to create a #ThankGoodness mid-week meal from a hamper of good things delivered straight to their kitchen and I was delighted to see that it was packed full of everyday basics. The goal: create a simple, good-for-you meal including a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce which contains no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.
So that's what it doesn't contain, but what about what it does contain? Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural and in each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. I love it when a shop-bought product contains nothing that you wouldn't find in your own kitchen. Even better news, a jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and that’s before you add any further veg to the meal. (For more information visit www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness or if you’re looking for mid-week meal inspiration check out the label on Dolmio jars.)
My first thought was to make a crowd-pleasing spaghetti bolognese which always guarantees clean plates, but, inspired by the contents of the hamper, I decided to be a bit more inventive.
For the kids, I made a mince and veg-packed bolognese sauce that they gobbled up with rice.
For the grown-ups, I mixed the sauce in with the rice and use it to stuff some round courgettes.
Bolognese rice two ways
drizzle of olive oil
a pack of minced beef
1 jar of Dolmio Bolognese Original
cooked Basmati rice (you can use a micorwavable pouch for speed)
2 round (or long) courgettes
a handful of grated cheese
Start off by frying the onions and mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil.
Add the minced beef and cook until it's completely brown.
Add the Dolmio sauce and heat through.
Serve the super hungry kids with the sauce over rice.
Scoop out the insides of a couple of round courgettes - regular courgettes would work too but I had a couple of round ones in the fridge that needed using up. Chop and gently fry the flesh from inside until it goes soft but not mushy.
Mix together the remaining rice, sauce and courgette flesh.
Use to stuff the courgettes.
Sprinkle over some grated cheese and pop the lids back on.
Put in the oven at 180° for about 45 minutes until the courgettes are cooked. (Stab with a sharp knife to check.)
The kids thought that the courgettes looked really cool and said that they would have liked to have eaten those too, if they hadn't been so hungry that they couldn't wait for them to cook. They also thought it was fantastic that with a jar of Dolmio sauce, I had a tasty meal on the table within ten minutes !
Disclosure : This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio.