I'm calling this kid friendly spaghetti sauce because, I generally like to put actual onions and garlic into my spaghetti sauce. However, my little one would turn her nose up at that in a heartbeat, and seeing as how she specifically requested spaghetti this week, I figured that I ought to oblige her with something that would suite her desires today, rather than my own.
Besides, who doesn't enjoy eating like a kid again? In my mind, that's one of the perks of being a parent; reliving all the things that you loved when you were growing up!
Though my mom was more of a Hamburger Helper sort of spaghetti maker.
She swears by Hamburger Helper 'Spaghetti' to this very day. Ugh.
Now, I know I've said it before but I feel that I should mention again that my daughter is one of the most picky eaters known to man. She is very nearly a vegetarian (only eating cold cuts of meat and an occasional hot dog.) I could almost name the few things that she will eat on my two little hands here. So, when she asked me to make spaghetti... I was absolutely thrilled!
"Yes, of course! Of course mommy will make you spaghetti!"
To make this sauce more kid-friendly for her, I basically took my usual spaghetti sauce recipe and swapped out all of the chopped vegetables for their dried spice brethren. I wanted to still have the flavors there without the actual pieces or texture for her to get perturbed with.
I wanted no excuses available to her.
Not. A. One.
What's even better about this recipe is that you can cook it in the crock pot or on the stove. Either way you'll end up with a spaghetti sauce that's so full of flavor that you won't even notice that it's kid-friendly. But, the kids will and they will thank you for thinking of them with their tomato-y faces!
Seriously. My little girl ended up eating her whole bowl full in one sitting without a single complaint! Which, trust me, is quite a rare thing indeed.
Healthy & Easy Kid-Friendly Spaghetti Sauce
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 Cup • Calories: 48.2 • Fat: 0.2 g • Carb: 10.7 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Protein: 4.1 g • Sugar: 2.4 g • Sodium: 370.4 mg
1 (28 Oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 (28 Oz.) Can Whole Peeled 'No Salt Added' Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Tsp. Dried Basil
1 Tsp. Dried Parsley
3/4 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
Combine all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Be careful when removing the lid to stir as the sauce may 'pop' at you!
Place all of the ingredients into the crock pot and secure the lid.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
I tend to go back about halfway though cooking to sorta 'smush' the whole peeled tomatoes up a bit.
Serve right away and enjoy!
I put this sauce over some quinoa (gluten free) noodles and added a sprinkle of parsley.