Thursday, 3 April 2014

#7aday Fuel Up with Veggies

7 vegetables of fruit and veg a day. Is that really possible?

Here at Gluten Free Foods we have been discussing the best way to get a large amount of vegetables into your meals with as little fuss as possible.

Our top way of doing this is by rustling up great big bowls of veggie pasta dishes. Over the next couple of days we will be sharing other ways of getting your recommended daily dose of the good stuff! 

Today, we thought we'd share our top 2 pasta sauces that are filled to the brim with vegetables (for those who have kids who can't even bear to think about eating their 5 a day, these sauces may help ease the stress of getting them to eat veg! 

Step 1: Choose a pasta variety. With plenty of gluten free pasta options on offer, the first decision is to choose whether you fancy Spaghetti or Tagiliatelle or perhaps the kids might want animal shapes! 

Step 2: Now choose which sauce you are after: Mediterranean Veg or Green Pesto 

Mediterranean Vegetable Sauce

Serves 6:


  • 2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp crushed chillies
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • small handful basil, leaves shredded
  • Method:

    1. 1.
    Heat the grill and pop the peppers, skin-side up, underneath for 10 mins or until beginning to char. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the flesh into strips.

  1. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the fennel, onion and carrot for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic, crushed chillies, fennel seeds and tomato purée, cook for 2 mins, then add the canned tomatoes, stock and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins or until the vegetables are completely soft.

3. Now pour the sauce into a blender along with the roasted red peppers. Once smooth, pour it back into the saucepan.  Simmer for 5 mins to thicken, then stir in the pasta ands serve!

Green Pesto

This nutty, creamy sauce is my favourite when looking for a quick way of getting towards my 5 a day!

Serves 6
  • 150g bag watercress
  • 100g of chopped courgettes or rocket or spinach (or any other green veg!)
  • 3 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 75g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), half grated, half shaved
  • 150g toasted flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Method
  • 1. Put the watercress and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and blend for a few secs until finely chopped. Add the grated cheese, half the almonds, the olive oil, lemon juice and sugar. Season well, then blend until you have a smooth purée consistency.

  • 2. Meanwhile cook your pasta. Once the pasta is cooked add it to the sauce and add a few drops of water until you have a lovely smooth consistency.

  • 3. Serve with parmesan and scatter with the remaining toasted almonds.

These sauces are seriously simple and are full of amazing health benefits- it's a win-win situation! 

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