After much trial and error I have finally settled on our favourite ratios for this veg packed sauce, christened ‘Magic Sauce’ for two reasons – firstly, one big batch can provide you with multiple different easy meals across the week and, secondly, it is the only way I have ever managed to make my kids eat mushrooms. Magic! (OK, they don’t realise that they are eating mushrooms, but one step at a time….).
Here are just some of the quick dairy & egg free lunch and dinners you can make using magic sauce; you can also make all of these gluten free using GF alternatives for pasta and pizza bases:
- Stirred through pasta, with tuna and vegan cheese
- As a topping for pizza – see my dairy free store cupboard pizza for inspiration
- As a pastry pinwheel filling
- As a pasta bake sauce
- With meatballs
- As a puff pastry tart topping
Because I use this sauce so much, I tend to make a double batch and freeze half of it. To portion it up, I use a silicon mini muffin mould to freeze initially. Once frozen, you can tip the portions into a reusable freezer bag and it’s easy to just take out the amount you need. It can be very quickly defrosted in the microwave
For babies: This is a great way to add to a range of vegetables to your baby’s meals. All the lunch and dinner ideas listed above work well as finger food for baby led weaning. Tomatoes can be a bit acidic and irritating to sensitive skinned babies like mine, so when they were little I put a bit of lansinoh nipple cream around their mouths before eating tomatoes, which worked really well to protect their skin.
Ingredients and method:
This makes approx 800ml of sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil, for frying
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 130g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 70g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 400g chopped tomatoes or passata (using better quality really makes a difference to the flavour here. My favourite is Mutti)
- Pinch of brown sugar
- 200ml low salt vegetable stock (always check the ingredients – Kallo is dairy, soy and gluten free)
Firstly prepare your veg as outlined above. You want to chop into relatively small pieces so it cooks quickly, but don’t worry about dicing too finely as you will be taking a blender to the whole thing at the end! If your blender is not very powerful then you will want to chop into smaller pieces.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and fry the chopped onion and carrots for a few minutes until they soften. Then add the garlic and sliced mushrooms, and cook for another five minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes (chopped or passata), balsamic vinegar and sugar. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Then, add the veg stock and simmer, uncovered, for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once cooked, blend until smooth using either a stick bender or food processor.
This will keep for around 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. It also freezes very well – I freeze into portions using a silicon mini muffin tray!
If you’re looking for more egg, dairy and soy free family dinner ideas, you might like to try:
- Smoky shredded chicken
- Dairy free mac and cheese, with sneaky butternut squash!
- Egg free mini lamb burgers
- Dairy free fish pie
- Creamy avocado pasta
And for lots more dinner ideas check out my FREE downloadable meal plan. 4 weeks of family dinners, all free from dairy, soy, egg & gluten x
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