I never thought I would become the sort of parent that hides vegetables in things. I never thought I'd have to negotiate about the wearing of tutus, deal with the constant need for things to be pink or have arguments about whether Daddy was a king or a princess.
However, I felt quite proud of this little number, which manages to combine quite a lot of vegetables and the colour pink. True, I did have to say it was "just like sausages" before she'd deign to sit on her royal bottom and eat it, but small victories are what parenting is all about. Or am I doing it wrong?
Apple, beetroot and fennel meatloaf
Because I can't resist a cheap pun I've taken to calling this 'beetloaf'. Well, wouldn't you?
If you have a processor with a grating/shredding attachment, this is a good time to use it. Even if you don't, this takes less than 10 minutes to get in the oven.
Like most meatloaves, this is even better cold the second day, even if you're eating a slice of it at your desk.
500g good pork mince - ask for pork shoulder, if you're at the butcher
1 large apple, cored but not peeled
1 large onion, peeled
1 large beetroot
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup rolled oats
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large loaf tin with baking paper - enough so there's a decent overhang on the two longest sides so you can lift the loaf out afterwards.
Grate the apple, onion and beetroot. Tip into a large bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well with clean hands, then pack the resulting mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for an hour, by which time the top should be dark golden brown and crusty. Leave in the tin for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with crunchy potatoes and something green. A dollop of apple sauce is good too. Serves four.