Encourage Your Kids to Eat More Fruit & Veg with These Delicious Recipes

Loaded Hidden Vegetable Pitta Pizzas

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and ¾ finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, approximately 100g, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 230g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 6 wholemeal pitta breads
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 140g grated mozzarella

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan set over a low-medium heat. Add the onion, diced pepper and garlic cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both are very soft.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and puree, increase the heat, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until you have a thick paste. Blitz until smooth.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium. Thinly slice the remaining ¼ pepper.
  4. Arrange the pittas on a large baking tray. Place under the grill and grill one side until lightly toasted.
  5. Remove from the grill, turn the pittas over and spread each with the tomato paste, leaving a 1cm boarder. Scatter over the cheese then the sliced peppers and tomatoes and grill until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden. Serve warm.

Notes- most of the pepper here is hidden in the sweet tomato sauce. Leftovers work well wrapped in foil and served cold in lunchboxes

Jenga Rainbow Finger Sandwich Tower

Serves: 24 finger sandwiches (8 of each variety)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the red tomato pesto sandwiches

  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 60g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp tomato pesto
  • 4 slices of brown or white bread
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

For the orange coronation sandwiches

  • 1 orange bell pepper, deseeded and finely diced
  • 60g cream cheese
  • ½ tbsp mango chutney
  • ½ tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 dried apricots, diced
  • 1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
  • 4 slices of brown or white bread

For the green sandwiches

  • 60g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp green basil pesto
  • 4 slices of brown or white bread
  • handful baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. For the red tomato pesto sandwiches add the red pepper, cream cheese and tomato pesto to a bowl and stir until combined. Spread all 4 slices of bread with the pepper mixture then layer the tomato slices over 2 of them and top with the remaining slices of bread. Using a serrated knife remove the crusts and cut each sandwich into 4.
  2. For the orange coronation sandwiches add the chopped yellow pepper, cream cheese, mango chutney, curry powder, apricots and almonds to a bowl and stir to combine. Spread over 2 slices of bread and top with the remaining slices of bread. Using a serrated knife remove the crusts and cut each into 4.
  3. For the green pesto sandwiches add the cream cheese and pesto to a bowl and stir to combine. Spread over 4 slices of bread. Scatter the spinach over 2 then top with the remaining slices. Using a serrated knife remove the crusts and cut each sandwich into 4.
  4. Arrange the sandwiches in a Jenga like stack if you like, securing with long bamboo skewers if necessary.

Notes – choose to make one of these for the weekday lunchbox or make all three – perfect for parties and play-dates

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta with Cheesy Crouton Stars

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sundried tomatoes, plus 1 tbsp oil reserved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g toasted pine nuts
  • 40g coarsely grated parmesan
  • Handful basil leaves, roughly torn plus extra to garnish
  • 200g pasta
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Toss the red and yellow peppers with 1 tbsp oil, and garlic, season and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the skin is blackened and the flesh is very tender.
  2. Tip 1bell pepper into a blender with the sundried tomatoes, reserved oil and squeeze in the garlic from their skins. Blitz until smooth then add the remaining pepper, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon zest and basil and pulse a couple of times until you have a coarse paste.
  3. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
  4. Meanwhile cut small star shapes from the bread and cheese slices. Arrange the bread pieces over an oven tray and top each with the cheese shapes.
  5. Once the pasta is nearly ready, cook the cheesy shapes under a hot grill until golden and bubbling.
  6. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and stir through the pesto.
  7. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with basil leaves and cheesy stars. 

Notes – Here the pepper is roasted and disguised in the sauce, leftovers work well served cold the next day in lunchboxes

Cheesy Cornbread Waffles

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

 Inghredients

  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • 50g plain flour
  • 55g cornmeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 140ml whole milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado
  • handful roughly chopped parsley
  • 4 tsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)

Method

  1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together the egg, milk and 40g melted butter. Whisk the liquid into the flour then stir in the cheese, ¾ diced orange pepper, spring onions and jalapeno peppers (if using) until combined.
  3. Preheat a 4-hole waffle maker.
  4. Roughly chop the avocado and add to a bowl with the remaining pepper and parsley and toss to combine.
  5. Brush the waffle maker with the remaining butter, then use a ladle the mix between the 4 waffle holes and cook according to machine instructions, until golden and crisp.
  6. Carefully cut each waffle in half and serve with the avocado salsa and yogurt.

Notes – sweet orange peppers are mostly tucked away in these cheesy waffles, add jalapenos for heat if you like. If you don’t have a waffle maker the batter can be used just as well in a griddle pan.

Flower Pot Dips

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

For the roasted red pepper hummus

  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and deseeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • zest of ½ a lemon, plus 1½ tsp juice

For the roasted pepper yogurt dip

  • 1 orange bell pepper, halved and deseeded
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 100g thick Greek yogurt

To serve

  • Wholemeal pitta, toasted
  • Cucumber, cut into batons
  • Small carrots with tops, halved lengthways
  • Radishes, with leaves, halved lengthways

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Toss the red and yellow peppers with 1 tbsp oil, and garlic, season and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the skin is blackened and the flesh is very tender.
  2. Add the cooked peppers to a heatproof bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 10-15 minutes until cool enough to handle. Peel and discard the skin.
  3. For the hummus squeeze the garlic into a blender, add half of the peeled red pepper, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and zest. Blitz until you have a smooth consistency and season to taste. Dice the remaining red pepper and stir through.
  4. For the yogurt dip add the orange pepper to a blender with the lemon juice and honey until smooth. Stir in the yogurt until marbled through.
  5. To serve, spoon the dips into little plant pots. Top with herbs, toasted pitta breadcrumbs and serve with crudité such as wholemeal pitta, cucumber, carrots and radishes.

Notes – these fun colourful pots are a great way to get kids to try peppers through both their presentation and flavour

Delicious new child-friendly recipes developed by It’s Pepper Time

About The Author

"My Baba is packed with expert advice and information on all aspects of fertility, pregnancy, motherhood and parenting. We're constantly researching and reviewing the latest educational toys, gadgets and gizmos, and blogging about the latest crafts, activities, fashions and mouth-watering family recipes. My Baba is also the ultimate present guide with unique gift ideas for babies, toddlers and children of all ages." Leonora Bamford, Founder

Related Posts