And now more than ever, I am on a mission to keep my own daughter healthy as she balances her high school honors classes with her exciting community theater schedule. As the Queen of Hearts character in Valley Youth Theatre’s (VYT) Alice in Wonderland upcoming production, she has spent many hours rushing from school to downtown Phoenix for lengthy rehearsals. VYT is a highly regarded professional children’s theatre with very impressive alums like Emma Stone. So this is a big commitment that my girl was excited to make. She had rehearsal last Saturday from 10am to almost 10pm and again on Sunday. We are now in tech week, so rehearsals go daily from 4:30pm to 10pm until opening night…happening this Friday. Very exciting that the countdown to opening night is now on…and especially now, keeping her in top form is a top priority.
So, in the meantime, it has been my job to do the best I can to keep her healthy. Some of my motherly deeds include a gentle nightly push to go to bed earlier than usual. I also prepare as many nutritious home cooked meals as I can muster. We are both working to keep her immune system strong and healthy. She has also done her part and made good decisions like choosing to stay in a couple of Friday nights (her night off from her weekly rehearsals) to rest over going out with pals. Next month, after having performed in over 20 shows, it will be over and will then be a cherished memory, so she can return to her Friday nights out. However, we both hope to keep eating clean beyond the demanding show schedule. My mother’s recipe accomplishes this clean eating goal. One surprise ingredient that makes Mom’s spaghetti sauce taste so good is the inclusion of cooked carrots. Carrots give the sauce a hearty, almost meaty consistency and taste. Give this recipe a try. So good!
What You Need:
4 to 6 carrots, cooked…I boiled in water until tender
2 green or red bell peppers
1 large tomato
1 yellow onion
1 red onion
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 to 3 stalks of celery
2 jars Trader Giotto’s (from Trader Joe’s) Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of agave nectar (optional for sweeter sauce)
Parmesan cheese to taste
healthy whole grain spaghetti pasta
What You Do:
1. First saute the peppers and celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until they turn soft, being careful not to overcook.
2. Then add all of other chopped up veggies (except the carrots) and saute until soft.
3. Add chopped up tomatoes, bay leaf, cooked chopped carrots and the 2 jars of sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. During the last ten minutes of simmering, add the basil and the oregano. If you like a sweeter sauce, you can add the agave nectar.
5. Pour over the cooked spaghetti and add grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy! This is one spaghetti dish that is super tasty and super healthy to boot! Just look at all of the veggies that your family gets in each serving! Thanks Mom!