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!
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)
- About 1 tbsp each italian seasoning, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
- About 1 tsp each black pepper, roasted red pepper flakes, paprika
- In a saute pan, brown ground turkey, remove from pan
- In the same pan, add a drizzle of EVOO and saute celery, onions, carrots, and garlic
- Once vegetables are tender, add the ground turkey back to the pan.
- Delgaze the pan with the wine and allow the wine to reduce for 1-2 minutes
- Stir in san marzano tomatoes or prepared tomato sauce. Add herbs and seasonings
- 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!