Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Parents magazine posted an article on facebook the other day chronicling the debate over whether its ok to “hide vegetables” in foods for kids. You know, like kale in smoothies and spinach in brownies, and other creative mommy-tricks like that.

According to the article, many advocate that sneaking in veggies to favorite dishes is the best way to get picky eaters to have the nutrition they need. On the flip side, other so-called experts argue that hiding vegetables in food is a form of deception and breaks trust in a parent-child relationship.

Ok, so, I think the latter is quite extreme. Yes, its important for kids to know what vegetables look and taste like in their natural state. And we need to encourage kids to eat more vegetables to fuel their growing bodies and provide nutrition critical to healthy development. However, I personally don’t see any drawback to enhancing other foods by adding some vegetables to them, even if that means its not visible to the naked eye.

One of the ways I like to add more vegetables to me and my family’s diet is to incorporate them into spaghetti sauce. Why just have plain tomato sauce when you can pack so much more into it and achieve the same, delicious taste?

Here’s how I make spaghetti sauce in our home. SImply add to your favorite whole grain noodles and enjoy!

Spaghetti Sauce
Yield: Makes 4-6 servings
Fix Portions (per serving): 1 green, ½  red, 1 yellow (noodles)

  • 1 green container onions, chopped extra-fine
  • 1 green container celery, chopped extra-fine
  • 1 green container carrots, chopped extra fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated (or minced)
  • 1 can san marzano tomoatoes, mashed (or jarred tomato sauce of your choice- read the labels, remember to eating clean is the goal, so look for one without lots of preservatives and oil)
  • 1lb ground turkey, 93% lean
  • ¼ cup red wine (optional)
  • Handful of fresh italian parsley and basil, chopped
  • About 1 tbsp each italian seasoning, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
  • About 1 tsp each black pepper, roasted red pepper flakes, paprika

  1. In a saute pan, brown ground turkey, remove from pan
  2. In the same pan, add a drizzle of EVOO and saute celery, onions, carrots, and garlic
  3. Once vegetables are tender, add the ground turkey back to the pan.
  4. Delgaze the pan with the wine and allow the wine to reduce for 1-2 minutes
  5. Stir in san marzano tomatoes or prepared tomato sauce. Add herbs and seasonings
  6. Add 1 green container's worth to your favorite whole wheat pasta (1 yellow container) and enjoy!


  • Store extra sauce in a freezer ziploc- be sure to label and date it- stays good in freezer for 3 months!


  1. Is that tablespoon each of that sauce or teaspoon

  2. I made it but seemed really overpowering and spicy

    1. The recipe calls for:
      1 tbsp each italian seasoning, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
      1 tsp each black pepper, roasted red pepper flakes, paprika

      The spiciness would come from the roasted red pepper flakes mostly. If 1 tsp makes it too strong for you, try reducing that to 1/2 tsp or you can eliminate that alogether- the fun thing about seasonings is you can adjust to your personal taste preference. Hope that helps :)

  3. So if I use 1 green does it count as any red?

    1. Here are the portions from the recipe list above: 1 green (sauce/veggies), ½ red (ground turkey), 1 yellow (noodles). So these are the portions you will check off if you scoop 1 green container of the sauce (because the meat is mixed into the sauce)- this is the way you measure mixed dishes like this- there is a page in the back of the 21-Day Fix Eating Plan book that explains it further. Hope that helps!

  4. How many green containers is a regular size can of tomatoes? How do you know? What about an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce? I can not find info on this anywhere. Thanks in advance!

    1. A green container equates to 1 cup or 8 oz. Hope that helps!

  5. I have a question. I have been hungry for lasagna so I stumbled upon a recipe for 21 day fix lasagna roll ups. If I would use this sauce instead of jarred sauce do I take the purple count out and sub it for the containers for this sauce? So Lasagna rollups are 1R, 1P, 1Y, 1B and 1G. So would I do 1.5R, 1Y, 1B and 2G?