My toddler is a picky eater – and I’m sure I am not alone here. I never thought a kid of mine would be a picky eater, but finding something that he will actually eat can be daunting at times. For the most part, I have to hide vegetables in his day-to-day food.
Hands down Oliver’s favorite food is pasta, so that is where I sneak in a dose of healthy. I make my Sneaky Marinara Sauce that’s packed full of carrots, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms. The “sneaky” part is I puree the veggies before I add it to my sauce. Once it cooks down, it’s completely undetectable.
Sneaky Marinara Sauce
2 jars of your favorite store bought marinara sauce (I use a simple tomato-basil sauce at Trader Joe’s)
2 cups of fresh baby spinach
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup broccoli (stems included), chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder, or one medium onion, chopped fine
*Optional – 1 pound extra-lean ground beef, turkey or ground veggie meat
Place chopped carrots, mushrooms, broccoli and spinach into a food processor and blend until veggies are the size of a rice grain. Set aside.
*If you are using ground meat in your sauce, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet and add your raw meat. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic and onion powder. Cook until well done.
For veggie sauce AND meat sauce version – Pour both jars of marinara sauce in large skillet and stir in all of the vegetables (for only veggie sauce version – add garlic and onion powder). Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Add a couple of pinches of salt according to taste. Stir and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve over your favorite pasta.