Thursday, March 31, 2011

Super Healthy Tomato Sauce

Feeding your family is one of the most important jobs a mother has. Good nutrition in the first few years of life will help establish healthy life-long eating habits and condition their taste buds to enjoy food that is good for them. But if a child (or adult) won’t eat healthy foods, it doesn’t matter how nutritious they are.
I found this tomato sauce recipe by Jamie Oliver in the April 2011 issue of Parenting Early Years and made some adjustments to meet my family’s tastes. It features nine veggies, but your kids will never know it. To be honest, I didn’t think it looked or smelled very good when I first started cooking it, but when it was finished, it was very tasty. There is a little time involved in prepping the veggies, so this makes a big batch for you to freeze and have on hand to make a quick supper later.

Supermom’s Tomato Sauce
Yield: About 13 cups
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

1 large onion
1 small leek
2 stalks celery
2 red bell peppers
2 medium zucchinis
2 carrots
2-4 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
2 T Italian seasoning
1 small butternut squash
2 – 28 oz cans whole tomatoes (best quality)
1 – 8 oz can tomato paste
2 c water
Salt and pepper to taste

Prep veggies (everything is going to go into a blender at the end, so no need to make everything look pretty and small): chop onion, slice leek lengthwise and cut into ½” slices then swish in a bowl with cold water and let sit, chop celery, de-seed and chop bell peppers, slice zucchinis lengthwise twice then slice, peel and chop carrots, smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife.
Put oil in a large pot and add all the prepped vegetables except for leek. Spoon the leek out of the bowl with a slotted spoon. Do not pour off the water because it is full of all the dirt that settled. Discard water and add leeks to the pot. Cook over medium heat, covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Grate squash on a large box grater and add to sauce along with remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Put 2 cups of sauce in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into quart size freezer bag and remove as much air as possible when sealing. Continue until all sauce has been blended. Lay flat on a shelf in the freezer to keep until needed.

Serving suggestions:
  • · Serve over pasta
  • · Use in lasagna or manicotti
  • · Pizza sauce
  • · Add a little cream or milk and serve as a soup
  • · Use anyway you would use jarred spaghetti sauce

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