I’m sitting here scarfing down some amazing pasta that my nephew and daughter made as part of their spring break fun! Finding something to do altogether can be a challenge when you have kids of three very different age groups. Unfortunately the infant had to sit this activity out, but he had a good ol’ time observing the cooking frenzy his older siblings were engaging in today. There was enough activities to go around for everyone and I even got them to incorporate some veggies into their meal without any gripe!
The kids are dedicating this recipe to my sister-in-law who has recently been on a health kick. I secretly am dedicating this recipe to them and their eating of veggies (yay!). No one knows the struggles of getting kids to eat healthy more than me and my picky eaters. I love making tomato sauce because it’s simple to make and easy to tweak and of course incredibly healthy! Did you know consuming tomatoes and tomato products will reduce risk of certain cancers, ultraviolet light-induced skin damage, osteoporosis, and other conditions? It’s also heart healthy! — Think red, think heart! Tomatoes are low in calories, but rich in nutrients like potassium, fiber and the POWERFUL antioxidant called lycopene making it a superfood!
We started off with a basic marinara sauce recipe, adding our usual carrots to sweeten and went from there to here!
- 5 peeled (and chopped) carrots
- handful of broccoli heads (adding some color and some much needed green in their diet!)
- 5 whole peeled garlic cloves (add more or less if you’d like)
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- 1 can of Hunt’s Whole Plum Tomatoes (believe me, it makes a difference!)
- 1/2 box of pasta (we used shells)
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- food processor
- chopping knife
- can opener
- two pots
- Adding a little olive oil to the bottom of Pot #1 and heat on a low to medium flame. Throw in garlic cloves and slowly roast for 20 minutes, careful not to burn them.
- While roasting the garlic cloves, in your food processor, throw in and finely chop both carrots and broccoli heads. We chopped them separately for more shared chopping time, but you can certainly do both at the same time.
- Open the can of Hunt’s Whole Plum Tomatoes and in a separate bowl, let your hands do the mashing to a consistency you like.
- Add mashed tomatoes, carrots and broccoli to the olive oil and garlic and let simmer on low for 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the sauce simmers, make your pasta as directed on the box.
A little less than an hour later, we’re here, sitting around the kitchen table eating up bowls of pasta with our homemade sauce. If there’s one way to get your kids to eat veggies is to have fun making them!
If you’re sitting around this spring break with nothing to do, whip up a Heart Healthy Tomato recipe for someone you love! Who will you dedicate your recipe to?
For more information about the health benefits of tomatoes, check out “Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits” and this interactive webinar: http://www.rippeinfoservices.com/conagra-foods-science-institute/webinars/tomatoes-webinar.htm
Check out the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp, which says we should try to eat one more serving of tomatoes each day because they are so nutritious!