At the beginning of this month, vegetables made headlines. Not in terms of comedic shapes or astonishing size, but rather because we Britons aren’t getting enough of them. I know! What a shock! Honestly, it’s like we’re a nation raised on turkey twizzlers and chips or something.
Oh, how we guffawed. Seven a day, we’re meant to eat now, apparently. Seven different fruits and vegetables, about 80g per portion. The only way the average person in the UK will achieve that is if they reclassify potatoes as vegetables, instead of starchy carbs.
But we can, try, right? We can try sneaking the healthy stuff in. I got a julienne peeler for my birthday and it, along with a bit of mind trickery, helped me to totally up my vegetable game. So out with spaghetti. In with what people have dubbed courgetti/zoodles. This, I tell you, is something no-one who’s known me for more than 5 minutes would have predicted.
In this bake, those vegetables are beefed up with sausage meatballs, chickpeas, and a decent kick of chilli. And by the end of it, you’ve had three of your five – or seven – a day, with none of the misery of enduring a salad.
I very nearly didn’t write this recipe, because, well, it’s all a bit haphazard and when you bake it, it just looks like any other thing topped with cheese – that is, delicious, but not particularly inventive. It’s not going to make anyone gasp. It’s vegetables in a sauce with cheese. I didn’t deem it blog-worthy at all, until I realised that I’d eaten it three or four times a week, and started panic-buying courgettes as if there’d be a sudden dearth, and so just maybe it might be worth sharing.
1 medium onion, finely sliced
Optional extras: mushrooms, real pasta, pretty much any veg you fancy.