I’ve christened this multi-use vegetable packed sauce as ‘Magic Sauce’ for two reasons. Firstly, one big batch can provide you with multiple different easy meals across the week. 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….).
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Inspiration for how to use this vegetable packed multi-use sauce:
Here are just some of the quick dairy & egg free meals you can make using magic sauce:
- Stirred through pasta, with tuna and vegan cheese
- As a pizza sauce – see my dairy free store cupboard pizza for inspiration
- With meatballs
- As a pastry pinwheel filling
- As a pasta bake sauce
All of these can be made gluten free using GF alternatives for pasta, puff pastry and pizza bases.
How to use magic sauce for baby led weaning
All the lunch and dinner ideas listed above work well as finger food for baby led weaning. This sauce is a great way to add a range of vegetables to your baby’s meals.
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. That worked really well to protect their skin.
Batch cooking and freezing:
Because I use this vegetable packed sauce so much, I tend to make a double batch and freeze half of it. To portion it up, I use a silicone mini muffin tray* 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.
Magic sauce; multi use sauce, packed with vegetables
- 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil, for frying
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 130 g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 70 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 400 g chopped tomatoes or passata (using better quality really makes a difference to the flavour here)
- Pinch of brown sugar
- 200 ml low salt vegetable stock (always check the ingredients for allergens)
- 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!
- 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, veg stock and sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes covered, then a further 10 minutes uncovered to allow it to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir occasionally.
- Once cooked, blend until smooth using either a stick blender 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 silicone mini muffin tray!
- If you or your child has an allergy, always double check that the recipe and all of the components are suitable. This includes checking ‘may contain’ statements on each ingredient and making your own assessment of risk based on personal circumstances.
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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