As I have mentioned in recent posts, I am really ready to throw in the winter towel in exchange for some fresh, spring-like dishes. But, with it still miserably cold here in the Northeast, comfort dishes are still a necessity. Once again inspired by the blog world, this time by Renee, I set out to make a slow cooker recipe that combined a little bit of comfort food with lots of healthy vegetables.
I gathered a bunch of carrots, green peppers, spinach, and a bit of onion for my sauce. My mom often puts carrots in her spaghetti sauce, and I love the sweetness it adds to the sauce. The other veggies just sort of blended in.
I slowly pureed all of the vegetables in my food processer, whipping up the spinach last with some garlic and olive oil creating an almost pesto-like consistency.
Veggie mush! Don’t worry, it all ended up okay As the batches of veggies were pureed, I added them to my slow cooker. Once all of the vegetables were added, I poured in two cans of crushed tomatoes, plus a grind of black pepper, a shake of red pepper flakes, a pinch of basil, and a grind of sea salt.
I also added a few teaspoons of leftover Tunisian harissa for some smoky spice.
I set the slow cooker to low and let it get cooking while I prepared several cups of baby portabella mushrooms. I roughly chopped them, then sautéed them on their own in a frying pan to pull out some of the moisture. I did not want watery sauce!
Once the mushrooms were cooked down, I added them to my sauce, which I cooked for six hours on low.
The kitchen smelled amazing. I made sure to check in on the sauce about every hour to make sure it wasn’t burning at the edges. The end result was beautiful and very hearty because of all of the mushrooms and vegetables. My husband had a later than usual night at work, and this was the perfect meal for two different dinner times. I served it over whole wheat rotini, topped with a generous shake of nutritional yeast, a product that I am loving these days.
It is full of vitamins and minerals, and with all of the illnesses I have had this winter leaving me feeling lethargic and bleh, I am trying to consume all of the nutrients I can get! Plus it really does taste just like cheese, and it thickened my sauce nicely. Have you tried it?
Do you make spaghetti sauce from scratch? I used to buy jars, but with so many easy recipes out there, I have started making my own and never turned back!