Secretly veggie-packed marinara sauce.

Secretly veggie packed marinara sauce.
Secretly veggie-packed marinara sauce.

This week is known as my taper week. Sunday was my last double digit run of 10 miles.  This is the week I rest my body.  Lower running mileage.  Fuel, restore and replenish. Think of it as a rest day that pretty much lasts all week.  As good as it sounds, it becomes a bit maddening.  Why?  Well I run to get rid of the craziness and now I’m not running that much… at all.  So with a lot of time to rest and think… your mind goes to all sorts of places.  Good, bad and ugly.  On a positive note, I’ve gotten a solid 9 hours of sleep each night.  Fueling has NOT been an issue as I love to eat.  I’ve been reading a ton. My Bible, my new book.  Praying.  Meditating.  It’s all good.  Well, until my nerves hit then I can either cry or just plain freak out.  There you have it.  I’m human.  I suffer from nerves prior to a big race just like everybody else.  It is what it is.  And its happening to me now.

I haven’t been cooking all that much this week as I’ve really tried to be off my feet as much as possible.  This sauce I made Monday.  My youngest had been asking for spaghetti and I haven’t made it in a while.  This time, I made it with extra veggies I had on hand but hid them nicely so said youngest child doesn’t make a big deal about what was in the sauce.  Even at 13 – almost 14, we still inspect our food.


Olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4-8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of Italian Seasonings
1 tablespoon of parsley
Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small can of tomato paste
2 large (28 oz) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
Water or wine (to thin the sauce out) as necessary


In a large Dutch oven, heat some oil olive until hot.  Add your onions, zucchini and carrots.  Cook for about 6 minutes.  Then add garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.  Then add your spices – bay leaves, Italian seasonings, parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir into the veggie mixture.  Then add your paste and give a good stir.  Finally add your tomatoes with liquid from the cans.  Stir. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/3 cup of water or you can use red or white wine if you like.  Give that a good stir.  Cover and turn the heat to low.  Let that simmer for 1-6 hours, stirring occasionally.  Prior to serving, take a hand immersion blender and blend the sauce. This is the perfect way to make those veggies virtually undetectable. You don’t have to do this but if you have investigators… it’s a necessary step.   Taste before serving over your favorite zoodles or noodles.  Adjust salt and pepper.


— Knead to Cook

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