I get excited when I come across easy, healthy lunch ideas that the kids will enjoy. This summer, I have experimented with making a large batch of pasta sauce and using it for several meals. The trick though, is to incorporate other veggies into the sauce and the kids love this one so much, I had to share it! This recipe requires a little work ahead of time, but once you have it made, you can use it for a few different meals, if desired!
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, finely diced (optional)
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
3 ice cubes of pureed zucchini
2 ice cubes of pureed carrot (or 1 jar of carrot baby food!)
To make zucchini puree: chop zucchini into large chunks, puree in food processor for at least 3 minutes, or until super fine. To make carrot puree: Chop carrots into large chunks, steam for several minutes and then puree in food processor until smooth. Freeze both vegetables in ice cube trays.
To make sauce: Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil and onions (if you are using them), saute for a few minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and tomatoes and all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Once it boils, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. I usually serve the sauce with whole wheat penne or similar. Store the rest of the sauce in a large jar or tupperware and use later in the week. I have also browned up some ground beef, turkey or chicken and then add the sauce to it for a different meal. Or even use it for homemade pizzas!