Thursday, 14 April 2016

Join the Children's Food Trust's Big Cookathon 2016

As you will know I am passionate about cooking family friendly meals from scratch. So when I was asked to tell you about the Children's Food Trust's Big Cookathon I was really excited to learn more about this fantastic event. The Big Cookathon is an annual event to encourage more families to get in the kitchen cooking good old home cooked dinners. But it does not end there, the Children's Food Trust are on a mission to reclaim family meal times. For us, meal time as a family, is an important part of every day. It is a time where we come together to talk and be together without the usual distractions of the modern world.

Cooking is a valuable life skill that our children learn from us, their parents. Having a healthy balanced diet is better for both physical and mental health. What you eat really does play a huge part in well being and happiness.

This year the Children's Food Trust have shared a traditional recipe that I am sure is one of your family favourites, I know it is one of ours! This year they have shared a shepherds pie recipe, as well as a vegetarian version. To show you what you can expect I have made the vegetarian version of their recipe.

This is what I did...

Big Cookathon's Mixed Vegetable Pie


400g can cannellini beans OR 400g can green lentils
1 large onion OR 240g frozen chopped onions
250ml boiling water
½ x reduced-salt vegetable stock cube
1 x 15ml spoon sunflower oil
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 5ml spoon dried mixed herbs
2 x 15ml spoons tomato puree
2 x 5ml spoons balsamic vinegar
500g frozen mixed vegetables
1 egg OR 50g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese
800g mashed potato (made using our Mashed Potato recipe)


Can opener
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Measuring jug
Wooden spoon
Measuring spoons
Medium-sized pan OR deep frying pan
Medium ovenproof serving dish
Small bowl
Oven gloves

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan or gas mark 5.
  2. Drain the cannellini beans or lentils in the colander and then rinse under the tap.
  3. Peel and finely chop the fresh onion.
  4. Measure 250ml of boiling water into the measuring jug, crumble in the stock cube and stir to dissolve.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the (fresh or frozen) onion for a few minutes until it starts to go soft.
  6. Add the tomatoes, stock, herbs, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
  7. Stir in the mixed vegetables, return to the boil and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the cannellini beans or lentils.
  9. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  10. If using egg, break it into a small bowl and beat with a fork; if using reduced-fat cheese, grate it.
  11. Top the vegetable mixture with mashed potato and spread the beaten egg or grated cheese over the top of the potato for a nice golden crunch. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until hot throughout.

Skills used include:
Measuring, peeling, chopping, grating, beating, mixing/combining, mashing, boiling/simmering and frying.

This meal is a delicious way to get cooking. The Big Cookathon will run from 22nd April until 25th April 2016. To take part simply pop over to the Children's Food Trust and make your pledge to get cooking!
Enjoy x
Disclosure: I have not been compensated for this blog post. I have written about it because it is a worth while event that I believe in. The recipe is courtesy of Children's Food Trust.

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