No one likes the mealtime battles. You know the ones: toddler screaming and crying, mom and dad begging for them to take one more bite while praying for bedtime. In general, our 18-month-old, Zemirah, is a good eater, but we have mealtime battles over vegetables every now and then. However, we never have battles over zoodles! Also known as zucchini noodles, these little babies make getting Z to eat her veggies a dream! Enjoy some pictures of our messy eater unknowingly eating green vegetables.
There are many options for vegetable spiralizers out there, but I just use the small, handheld one. It is cheap, easy, and small enough to fit in my “kitchen gadget” drawer. You can also buy pre-spiralized zucchini (and lots of other spiralized veggies!) to make this recipe even easier.
Bring this low carb version of spaghetti with meat sauce to your dinner table; I bet you won’t have any mealtime battles with this!
Zoodles with Meat Sauce
Serves six or seven, unless your toddler eats as much as an adult, like mine does.
- Four medium/large zucchinis
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For Meat Sauce:
- 1.5 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Eight mushrooms, sliced
- One medium onion, diced
- Three cloves of garlic, minced
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce (no salt added)
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 6 oz can of tomato paste (no salt added)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1.5-2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp pepper, divided
- 1.5 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- Place ground beef or turkey in a large skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until almost cooked through
- If using beef, drain fat, then return meat to pan
- Add olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and garlic to pan
- Once meat is cooked through, and mushrooms and onion are tender, add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine
- Bring sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
- While simmering, spiralize zucchini
- Dress zoodles with olive oil and seasonings
- Serve a large helping of meat sauce on top of seasoned zoodles
- Top with more fresh or dried herbs, if desired
I hope this simple, quick, and healthy meal can make its way into your weeknight rotation and end your mealtime battles. Give your toddlers disguised veggies…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!