Secret Garden Spaghetti Sauce

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Spaghetti + meatsauce - this tried-and-true classically comforting, and crowd-pleasing go-to may already be in your roster of weeknight staples. But as you know, I’m all about elevating favourite foods and otherwise boring basics to heightened and more nutrient-dense levels! Like I’ve said before, let your food work a little harder for you. Let it provide you with more nourishment AND flavour to help you feel your best and love the things you’re eating that much more.

Now on that note, let’s break down the basics of spaghetti + meatsauce to see how we can crank it up a notch…

Spaghetti: first thing’s first, if you have a gluten sensitivity you’re going to see problems here. An obvious switch would be swapping our that classic semolina for a GF option like rice, quinoa, or even chickpea-based pastas, but if you’re also grain-sensitive, legume-sensitive, or exploring an anti-inflammatory or sugar-conscious protocol, grains and legumes may be off-the-table for you at the moment. Spaghetti squash (pictured here) is a fantastic option, and for an even more carb-mindful approach, you can try zucchini noodles.

RECIPE: Power Green Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Basil "Alfredo Sauce"

RECIPE: Easy Oven-Baked Spaghetti Squash

Meatsauace: the first easy way to make your meatsauce way more nutrient-dense (as well as ethical and environmentally sustainable) is to opt for grass-fed or pasture-raised beef. This will improve the fatty acid ratio, making the meat less inflammatory, and will also allow for greater vitamin, mineral, and protein content and bioavailability (meaning your body can actually absorb and utilize the nutrients contained within the food). You can always swap out beef for venison, elk, lamb, etc. to allow for greater nutrient diversity…plus not relying too heavily on one meat source is a fantastic way to support balance in our ecosystem. Now of course, as the title of this posts suggests, hiding - or as I like to think of it as “featuring” - a cornucopia of nourishing veggies is a fantastic way to get more goodness into your body! Plus as always, I think it just tastes better. More texture, more flavour, more depth…it’s all good AND really doesn’t take that much more effort if you’re willing to give it a try. You’ve got vitamin A, K, C, as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron found in kale and zucchini, a whole whack of B-group vitamins hiding in those the ‘shrooms, and then the immune boosting benefits of the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs usually found in a classic spaghetti sauce. Did you know though, that the combination of the meat and veggies mentioned above complement each other and pave the way for greater absorption and assimilation of the nutrients within each ingredient?

OK, so I’m pretty sure you’re sold of this Secret Garden Spaghetti stuff now, so without further ado, the recipe…

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Secret Garden Spaghetti Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed beef

  • 2 loose cups chopped mushrooms

  • 2 loose cups chopped kale

  • 2 loose cups chopped zucchini

  • 2 x 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (no salt added)

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil)

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • salt + pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

 

Directions

  1. Brown beef in a large frying pan stovetop, and transfer to a large pot.

  2. Lightly sauté the chopped veggies in a large frying pan stovetop with a bit of olive oil,  and transfer to your pot.

  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients, give a good stir, and cook covered on low for about 30-minutes, stirring occasionally throughout.

  4. Give it a taste, add in any extra salt, pepper or other additional flavourings you want (fresh herbs, more paprika, etc.)

    *NOTE: of it’s looking a little watery, you can remove the lid and let it simmer a little while longer until it reduces a bit.

  5. Serve on top of easy oven-baked spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or pasta of choice!

 

Want to try it in a SLOW COOKER or INSTANT POT

  1. Brown beef and transfer to slow cooker

  2. Add all other ingredients to slow cooker, give a good stir, and cook on high for 1 hour.

  3. Give it a taste, add in any extra salt, pepper or other additional flavourings you want (fresh herbs, more paprika, etc.)

  4. Switch setting to low and let simmer uncover for about 30 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit (can also be done stovetop).