Hands up if you have a fussy eater? I’ve found a way to sneak veggies into kids food without them knowing… Even aubergine/eggplant!! Keep reading to see how and for the full recipe!
That’ll teach me for bragging!
Yes, shamefully, I was that braggy Mum, I loved to tell people how Mason ate everything and how much of a good eater he was! And then just like that, he stopped! He refused to eat veggies and anything that wasn’t pasta or a chicken nugget… and even then he would sometimes just eat the ketchup drenched breadcrumbs and not the chicken!
We’ve had tantrums, sitting at the table for hours, going to bed hungry, you name it… it’s happened. I’ve tried bribery, silence, iPad, no iPad, threatening Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny… literally everything! Somethings maybe got him to eat one pea followed by fake gagging! Meal times were becoming so stressful and I’d had enough! Ellis on the other hand is still in that dream baby stage where they eat everything… but no bragging from me this time as I know what’s probably to come!!
I had a think about what he likes and how I could sneak some nutrition into that! He loves pasta and pizza. So I created a hidden veggies sauce that can be used with pasta or on pizza… or with anything else like chicken, fish, rice, noodles! It’s jam packed with heaps of veggies and the best thing is… he doesn’t even know it! I even shred bits of chicken, fish or sausages into the pasta! The things we do as parents hey!
How to make the hidden veggies sauce.
Watch this quick video to see how I make my secret hidden veggies sauce. I make a big batch then portion it up into freezer bags or pots. They’re easy to defrost whenever we need them!
What you need
- Passata (strained tomatoes) or tinned chopped tomatoes
- tomato puree
- chopped brown onion
- diced aubergine/eggplant
- peeled and diced carrots
- chopped red pepper
- dry mixed herbs
- garlic powder
- olive oil
What to do
- In a large pan add a drizzle of olive oil followed by the carrots, aubergine and onion. With the lid on the pan allow to simmer and soften slightly.
- Then add the broccoli and red pepper. Again, cover with the lid and cook on a low heat, stirring frequently until really soft.
- In a separate large pan add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.
- Then add mixed herbs and garlic powder. Allow to simmer.
- Once the vegetables are cooked and really soft, blend them to your desired consistency. They should blend smoothly if you’ve cooked the vegetables for long enough.
- Add the blended veggies into the tomato sauce.
- Simmer on a low heat for an extra 5 minutes.
- Once combined and cooked, you may wish to blend this again if you used chopped tomatoes. With passata/ strained tomatoes there isn’t any need to blend again.
- When you’re happy with the consistency and taste, allow the sauce to cool.
- Separate into freezer bags or pots and freeze for use within 3 months.
- Before using defrost throughly (its takes a few hours).
- Warm up the sauce in a pan and for pasta sauce add a bit of butter to make it really creamy. Butter isn’t needed if you’re using it for pizza sauce.
It’s really that easy… And we always have a batch of sauces for quick dinners! Just sit back and watch them eat up all the veggies and nutrition without them being none the wiser. My secret ingredient in the sauce is definitely the aubergine/egg plant! It gives the sauce a sweet, smooth and creamy texture!
More to come
I hope this recipe is easy to follow and your little ones love it just as much as mine do! Essentially you can add any vegetables you wish and any seasoning too. The quantities are to taste so again these can be adjusted to suit.
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