Are your children a bit fussy when it comes to vegetables or are you simply trying to pack more veggies into your weekly meal plan? Well, today’s recipe aims to help you out exactly on this front.
Just like many other parents, I started making this veggie-packed tomato sauce (or “hidden veg sauce”) simply to get my daughter to eat a wider variety of vegetables.
I can honestly say that up to now, she has just turned 20 months, we have been very blessed in the sense that she eats many different foods and, at least for the time being, she isn’t particularly fussy even when it comes to vegetables. Phew!
Having said that, there are a few things that she doesn’t seem to like a great deal, such as cooked courgette and pepper, and we seem to go through phases when she won’t eat very much. So it’s great to have a nutritious tried-and-tested recipe that she will enjoy and which takes the stress out of meal times for the whole family.
She really loves pasta (I blame the Italian genes I have passed onto her) so I’ve relied upon this recipe a lot since the weaning days. She still has no idea her archenemies are in the sauce! *Mwahahahaha*
Whether you have kids of not, this recipe is a keeper because:
1. With every mouthful you’ll be eating 8 different veggies and zero of the added sugar and/or weird ingredients that you normally get in ready-made sauces. Boom! It’s just great to know that, using this sauce, you can feed yourself and the family a good, nutritious meal without having to faff about. For us, it comes mega handy especially on those days when the fridge is pretty much empty (yes, it does happen even in the kitchen of a food blogger!) or those when we’ve been out all day and I just haven’t had the time to cook anything from scratch.
2. Batch cooking FTW. I tend to do a batch of this stuff every 3 months or so for the 3 of us and it goes down a treat every time. It takes a little while to chop up all the veg if you don’t have a food processor but then you can just let the sauce simmer away while you get on with other stuff. It’s very straightforward to make.
3. This veggie-packed tomato sauce doesn’t just go with pasta, although this is what we mainly use it for. I’ve used it on potato gnocchi, pizza, enchiladas, with chickpeas in a casserole, with meat-free meatballs and in curries. Whenever you’re making a recipe that calls for chopped tomatoes, you can use this instead and up your veg intake in no time at all.
So what do you think? Are you going to give this a try?Print
Pack more veggies into your meal with this easy and freezer-friendly batch cooking recipe.
- Heat the oil in a large tall pan and gently fry the onion and celery until they’re starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a forther minute until fragrant.
- Add the carrots, leeks, peppers and courgette and cook together for about 10-15 minutes.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the Italian herbs. Mix well and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has softened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool down a little. Season with sea salt, add the basil and blend until smooth.
- Divide up this batch sauce into airtight containers, let it cool down completely and freeze. Best consumed within 3 months.
- Because babies and children only need a very small amount of salt in their diet, I recommend not to season the sauce with salt if cooking for your little ones.
- Alternatively, freeze a few small portions for the little ones before seasoning the remaining sauce for the grown ups.
I’d love to hear from fellow parents out there – what are your go-to recipes for when your kiddos are going through a fussy phase?