Maybe this post should be called, “How to Get Your Kid to Eat More Vegetables and Have Your Store-Bought Spaghetti Sauce in a Jar Tastes Like Homemade.” That is more like what this is, but I can’t put that many characters into the title.
I am going to figure out how to do a good real homemade spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker. But I haven’t done it yet. And this is not that post.
If you have been reading this blog or my old blog, you probably realize that I have two boys (if you don’t count my husband). They are 6 and 2. They are amazing, wonderful, stupendous and awe-inducing. I love watching them do just about anything. It’s just the most beautiful thing to watch these two human beings change and develop before my very eyes.
One of the things that amazes me the most is how they can be so alike and so different at the same time. And they have the same DNA!
Along those lines, they both have different interests in vegetables. LM (The Little Man) likes carrots. Cooked or raw is great. LMII (The Littlest Man) likes carrots cooked but does not like them raw. He keeps trying them, but after the first bite, he hands it back to me. Everytime!
LM has gone back and forth with broccoli. He used to like it. A lot. Then about 2 years ago, he just stopped eating it. LMII has never liked broccoli.
Neither one of them seem to like zucchini if it is chopped, but LM really liked the zoodles I made the other night with my new Spiral Vegetable Slicer (thanks again, Ma). He kept grabbing them off the plate as he walked by. OK, whatever works.
All of this to say that I have been doing the normal parent task of figuring out how to
trick get my kids into eating more vegetables. I discovered that any kind of tomato sauce helps to cover up the taste, so that works great.
So, my first attempt (and I still use it to this day) was to bury broccoli in spaghetti sauce. Usually I would just heat up the jar sauce on the stove and add the broccoli. Once the broccoli was warm, it was ready to serve. (Over gluten free spaghetti, of course.)
Now, I don’t remember why I did this, but one day I decided to put it in the slow cooker. I wanted it to have meat, so I browned some ground beef, added the sauce and vegetables and let it sit for hours.
It was great. That jarred sauce no longer tasted like jarred sauce. It tasted like a homemade spaghetti sauce that had sat on the stove simmering all day.
And with our crazy schedule, I need something that will not take me any time in the evenings. It’s so nice to have this “homemade” sauce waiting for us when we get home.
And I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about tricking the boys into eating broccoli. They know it’s there. And they don’t care. Still one of their favorite meals.
More Dinner Recipes
Slow Cooker Mexi Potato CasserolePrint
Quick and Easy, Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Veggies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Kid Friendly)
- Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- 2 tbs Avocado Oil (or other high heat oil)
- 1 medium Onion (chopped)
- 2 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 lb. Ground Beef
- 3 – 25 oz. jars of Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 lb. bag Broccoli (frozen)
- 1 lb. bag Corn (frozen)
- Heat oil in large pan on medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.
- Add garlic and ground beef. Cook until ground beef is browned.
- Add beef mixture to slow cooker.
- Add jarred spaghetti sauce, broccoli and corn. Mix.
- Cook on low for 4 hours.
We get 3 meals out of this with the four of us. Easy. So, be prepared to freeze some for later if you have a smaller family.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours