Tomato Veggie Sauce…and other ways to get your kids to eat veggies
Remember when we tricked our kids into eating Red Bell Peppers? Good times…right? Well here’s my current situation…
Mr. Lew just turned two and has currently decided he does not like vegetables…at ALL! Beautiful veggies like tender zucchini, sweet red bell pepper and crunchy carrots are as good as garbage to him.
WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!
He’s also made efforts to declare his independence in every way possible- tantrums, food throwing, and hunger strikes.
Ok little man…you want to play hard ball? This Momma has got a few more tricks up her sleeve, including a marinara sauce spiked with some of my favorite veggies…
…say hello to my little friends!
First we’re going to call in our best undercover agents- Zucchini (Captain Z), Bell Pepper (Big Red), and Carrots (Nicky Flash). Break them down into bite size pieces, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss and roast in the oven till nice and tender.
Meanwhile, prep the sauce base on the stove. The base is very similar to my basic marinara sauce recipe we learned to make earlier with a couple adjustments. Begin by sautéing onions and garlic in a large pot until soft. Stir in a can of crushed tomatoes and a little chicken broth and allow to simmer so the flavors marry together and the sauce thickens slightly.
Now it’s time to play dirty. Dump your roasted veggies (I mean secret agents) into your marinara base. Insert maniacal laugh here….
Then using an immersion blender or regular blender or food processor (whatever your weapon of choice) and puree your vegetables until all that is left is a perfectly blended marinara sauce.
Your toddler (or token picky eater) will never see it coming….mine didn’t! This sauce is reminiscent of the familiar marinara sauce spiked with the sweet goodness of roasted vegetables you and I, with the mature palettes, have come to know and love.
Seriously, Mr. Lew was eating this by the spoonful. It goes perfectly over noodles. Fits perfectly in a cheesy calzone or pizza. I can even imagine it would be the perfect partner in crime for mozzarella sticks or even a grilled cheese.
The possibilities are endless and the best part is you got them to eat their vegetables without suspicion…because mom would never lie right?
- 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- ½ small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a rimmed baking sheet or small roasting pan toss together the carrot, zucchini, and pepper. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and generously salt and pepper the mix. Toss the veggies with your hands to get an even coat of seasoning. Roast the vegetables for20-25 minutes, stirring once, until nice and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, create the base of your sauce by sautéing the onion and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the onions are softened which will take about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. When sauce is finished simmering, stir in the roasted vegetables.
- Take the sauce off the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture into a smooth sauce. Alternatively, you can use a blender or food processor. Once pureed be sure to taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
- Serve sauce over pasta, on pizza, in calzones or whatever your heart desires. The possibilities are endless. This sauce stores well in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days or you can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.