My daughter eats pretty much anything we put in front of her–sometimes with a little coaxing, but my 2-year-old regularly refuses things he doesn’t recognize or simply doesn’t like at the moment (and there are many). As a result, I’m always looking for ways to get vegetables into that little body, and if I need to disguise the veggies, so be it.
The following is a highly-nutritious, easy to prepare marinara sauce that delivers a lot more than just tomatoes. It’s adapted from a recipe I originally made from one of Annabel Karmel’s cookbooks. I serve it over brown rice animal-shaped pasta or whole wheat shells, spirals or elbows.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic glove, crushed
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 handful (5-7) mushrooms (I use shitake, button or crimini), sliced
1 14-oz. can of tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes
1 rounded tsp brown sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried (or 2-3 sprigs fresh) basil
pinch of dried oregano
sea salt to taste
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion until soft. Add the carrots, zucchini and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and spices. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Blend until smooth.
You can easily divide it into equal portions and freeze for a quick future meal.