Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti Sauce #SundaySupper

Today Sunday Supper is all about being sneaky and fun with food. Whether it is making food look like something else like meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting, or sneaking in some healthy veggies so that the kids don’t notice it. When it comes to sneaking in veggies I use to have a very narrow minded point of view of this practice before I had kids. I thought it sounded so deceptive and surely kids should just be taught to eat veggies? Ha, what a perfect parent I was before I had kids.

The truth of the matter is I think while we might have some element of control about what kids eat we don’t have it all. For example my daughter has never had a processed chicken nugget so she doesn’t even know what it tastes like so she doesn’t prefer them over homemade ones. So that is some element of control I might have. However that doesn’t mean she doesn’t sometimes just flat out decide she doesn’t like homemade chicken nuggets. Does that make sense. She goes through phases where all of a sudden she just doesn’t like something. But I know that actually she does like most things, it is just getting her to remember and try the foods to rediscover she does like it. Like she loves the taste of food when it has herbs and spices, but if she sees those flecks of green she says, “What are those sprinkles? I don’t like sprinkles.”. So the idea of sneaking veggies into food is much more complicated then it sounds and these days I am all for it to a certain degree. I know people who have kids that HATE any form of green veggie, just the sight of it near their food and they refuse to eat dinner. I have had parents message me a lot about trying to find a recipe that would work to get their kids to eat a bit more healthy.

I came up with this idea just trying to use up some veggies that were close to going bad and it has become a default sauce recipe for me ever since. It was simple, tasty and whether she knew it or not I don’t know but my daughter loved it so I didn’t care. Because you use a lot of red, orange coloured veggies it hides the green from the courgette, and if you kids still can see it just peel the skin. I love roasting the veggies for an even better flavour but today chose to share the first way I ever put this together.

Don’t forget to check out the other clever ideas the rest of the Sunday Supper crew is sharing today.


Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

1 courgette (zucchini), chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red peppers, chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried basil
1 tin of tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

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Cottage Pie with Parsnip Mash

Finally the sun is shinning and we are getting the much needed spring weather that we have so needed. I have been desperate to get cracking on my neglected gardening. This weekend I pretty much stayed covered in dirt and loved every minute of it. I just finished putting in broccoli, curly kale, beets, cauliflower, french beans, peas, 3 types of tomatoes and peppers. So far my tomatillo, courgette (zucchini) and squash seedlings haven’t sprouted like but I am hoping this weather will help encourage them.

Do you do much gardening? I remember for years thinking I had a black thumb because I just seemed to kill everything I tried to grow. But I know understand that I just didn’t know what I was doing. Learning more about growing and taking care of plants has shown me that I can do it. And I love it so much. I would spend every day out in my garden if I could. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my back and my hands in the soil is so therapeutic.

The one thing that I struggle growing are parsnips and carrots. My soil is very rocky and things like carrots and parsnips really do better in less rocky conditions. I made an attempt last year but I have decided to hold off on trying again until I can either build an above ground garden with soil without rocks or we finally sift out some of the rocks. So until then when I want to enjoy amazing dishes like this cottage pie with parsnip mash I am going to have to sick to the parsnips I get from the market.

If you do garden what is the one thing that you struggle to grow in your garden?

Cottage Pie with Parsnip Mash

250g (1/2 lb) lean minced beef
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic, minced
4 carrots (about 450g/1lb), peeled and coarsely grated
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp tomato purée
2 beef stock, cubes dissolved in 425ml/ 3/4 pint boiling water
1 tsp cornflour
350g (3/4 lb) potatoes peeled and cubed
350g (3/4 lb) parsnips, peeled and chopped
2-3 Tbsp skimmed milk
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

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Using the Turkey Carcass to Make Stock

I am all about finding ways to save money so utilizing every part of a meal is important to me. Which is why this confession is a bit embarrassing. I have never before boiled up the turkey carcass to make stock. That is until now. Now that I think about it all these years has been such a waste throwing it away and the broth can be used to make a wonderful soup for the cold winter days or used in any recipe calling for stock. I am going to be using some of mine in a risotto tonight. To give it a gorgeous golden colour you need to use onions that still have the skins on them. I didn’t do that this time because in the spirit of using up leftovers I had 6 onions that needed to be used that had been sliced for my attempt to make my own fried onions for my green bean casserole. Needless to say with all the work that needed to be done for my meal I decided this was a bit of an ambitious thing to try to do. So the colour of my stock wasn’t what I would have liked but the flavour was nice and strong and I am looking forward to the dishes and soup I am going to create with it.

What is your favourite soup that you would make with this gorgeous stock?

Turkey Stock

1 turkey carcass
4 Lt. (16 c.) cold water
2 large carrots, chopped
2 onions, quartered (do NOT peel)
1 Tbsp crushed peppercorn
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp garlic powder

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Mashed Turnips and Carrots

Turnips have gotten an very unfair rap as a vile, sour vegetable but that couldn’t be further then the truth. Turnips actually have a very sweet, pleasant taste very similar to a rutabaga. (swede) My husband has been encouraging me to give them a try so at the farmers market I stocked up. At first I felt I didn’t know what to do with it, however after researching them I found that they could be prepared in the same way that you would potatoes or rutabagas. My first attempt was to roast them in a vegetable medley which turned out even better then I could imagine. So after reading a new blog that I discovered, Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen, I was inspired to try it mashed. The result was the perfect blend of sweetness as the carrots nicely complimented the turnips. I would encourage everyone to give this poor misunderstood root a chance, it may surprise you.

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