Dear mummy, finding healthy recipes that children love but are also quick, easy and affordable is the holy grail of parenting. One of the healthiest, tastiest and most versatile ingredients is lean red meat, and experts recommend including it in children’s diet from weaning onwards. It provides a range of important nutrients that are often low in toddlers and children – including iron, zinc, B vitamins, selenium and potassium.
Luckily for my mummy I love red meat and enjoy having mince in Spaghetti Bolognese, beef burgers and lamb kebabs. However my mummy doesn’t want me to get bored of the same dishes all the time so she’s on the look out for new and ingenious ways of tempting me to eat. Making meal times exciting and an ‘event’ as opposed to a chore is a great way to get me to eat meat and vegetables. Red meat provides a range of important nutrients that are often low in children – including iron, zinc, and B vitamins, selenium and potassium. My mummy wants to make sure I get enough of these nutrients in my diet.
My folks were challenged by BritMums and the Meat Advisory Panel to create a delicious recipe with beef, pork or lamb to bring a little variety and inspire some enticing ways to include red meat into our diet. Dr Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist and mother, says: “Including a small portion of red meat in the diet a few times a week after weaning can help to bridge nutrient gaps and so help to maintain good health through childhood and beyond.”
My mummy couldn’t wait to get stuck into the #HealthyRedMeat challenge and wanted to surprise me with her recipe, however she’s not the best cook in the world so wanted to make it extra special with her presentation. With Halloween coming up my mummy wanted to surprise me with a spooky Halloween Stew, great for parties and after school. It even steams like a witches cauldron (Watch our video to see).
Here’s how to make our Halloween Stew AKA beef stew in a pumpkin!
- 2 lbs diced beef
- A little oil for the frying pan
- 3 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch bits
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch slices
- 1 onion, diced
- Casserole mix or beef stock, either homemade or store-bought
- 8-10 lb pumpkin to use as serving dish
- Pre-heat the oven at 180.
- Brown the diced beef in the frying pan with a little oil, chop up the onions and mix together for a couple of minutes. We used a medium heat.
- Mix 300 ml water with the beef casserole packet. Then pour into the casserole dish along with the chopped potatoes and carrots.
- Add the browned diced beef along with the onions from the pan.
- Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until beef is tender.
- Carve the pumpkin and line the inside with tinfoil to avoid leaks.
- Pour the cooked hot beef stew into the pumpkin, serve and enjoy!
Slow cooking in an oven is easy because you pretty much dump the ingredients in a casserole dish, give it a quick stir and then forget about it until the cook time is up. My mummy put it in the oven before she collected me from school and then served it up a couple of hours later. We had fun carving the pumpkin serving bowl together.
While it was cooking I helped my mummy cut the top off a pumpkin and clean out the seeds and flesh. I was very tempted to carve a face out of it, but my mummy dissuaded me thankfully as all the stew would have steeped out. We lined the carved pumpkin with tinfoil and used it as a serving dish! The left over pumpkin flesh was used for Grandma’s pumpkin soup.
We poured the cooked stew into the pumpkin and popped the pumpkin top back on. It created a plume of smoke and every time I lifted the lid it looked like a witches cauldron! You could even use mini squashes or pumpkins to make individual servings of this beef stew recipe. So each person gets their own pumpkin on a plate.
This beef stew served in a pumpkin is one you really have to try this Autumn. I like the novelty of serving myself from a pumpkin and you can see in the video how I get stuck in and enjoy fishing out the beef. Since this beef stew is full of vegetables, it is a complete meal in itself and my mummy is content that I’m getting some goodness into me.
It doesn’t need any additional sides which is cost-effective and easy as a main meal. We’re going to make it every Halloween now as a family tradition and it looks awesome. As an added bonus, it saves you from washing a serving bowl and afterwards you can removed the tinfoil, rinse out the pumpkin and carve a spooky face into it for Halloween. Zero waste!
What do you think of our Halloween stew? It’s simple but hopefully a good way to get kids eating meat.
Love Bella x
This post is an entry for the BritMums #HealthyRedMeat, sponsored by the Meat Advisory Panel.