I’m always after quick and easy recipes that the whole family will eat, and with me returning to work at the end of March I’ve been worrying quite a lot about keeping up with all of the fresh, home cooked meals we have been enjoying. So when Dolmio sent us the ingredients for a quick midweek spaghetti Bolognese I was intrigued to see if it would work for us, taking into account all of our likes, dislikes, and dietary needs.
I like for food I cook to be suitable for everyone, from toothless Wills, typical toddler Amelia, and Slimming Worlder me (Mr C will pretty much eat anything). The last thing I want to be doing is cooking separate meals for us all, so I was a bit nervous to check how many syns are in the Dolmio Original Bolognese sauce. Turns out the whole jar is 11 syns, and given that fed 4 adults, a toddler and a baby and there were enough leftovers for 2 adults, I worked it out as less than 2 syns per portion, which I think is pretty good.
Aren’t Jars of Sauce Bad For You?
I’ve always been pretty against the idea of sauces in jars, believing that they are just full of ingredients that aren’t necessary and aren’t healthy. I was quite surprised to find that the list of ingredients on the jar were all what I would consider to be healthy and natural, including tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs, cornflour, lemon juice and sunflower oil.
There are 2 teaspoons of sugar in the jar, which is listed as beet sugar. Beet sugar is basically no different to the sugar cane that we are used to hearing about, so despite the name isn’t any better or worse for you. I felt ok about 2 teaspoons, though, as this worked out to less than half a teaspoon each, well within the NHS guidelines of up to 5 teaspoons for children and 7 for adults. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that one jar provided each of us with one of our 5 a day before I even added any extra veg.
During the week, I also like to be able to cook enough to cater for work lunches the next day, mainly because I’m lazy and don’t want to have to prepare anything! Spaghetti Bolognese is ideal for batch cooking, and we had plenty left over for Mr C and I to take for lunch.
In fact, I was able to make a ton of food using some very basic ingredients and 2 jars of Bolognese sauce. I made a spaghetti Bolognese (of course) for the family and some friends who happened to pop round at dinner time that day! I also made leftover spaghetti Bolognese muffins which we had on Saturday served with rice and salad. Wills was a particular fan of the muffins as they fit perfectly in his hand. As if that wasn’t enough, I was able to make a chicken chilli con carne using a jar of Bolognese sauce and cooked in the slow cooker, and I have to say it was a very good chilli! I served it with potato wedges, but rice would have been just as good too. You can find (and print) the recipes for all the meals I made below and here.
All of the recipes I made were perfect meals for preparing quickly and easily after a long day at work and nursery, and were also great for portioning up and sticking in the fridge or freezer for lunches or for another day. I plan on giving myself a head start for returning to work by filling my freezer up with recipes like these, but I’m still nervous about keeping it up with it all!
I’d love to hear what everyone else does for dinner on a working day?
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. All opinions expressed are, of course, my own!