Eat Your Veggies! A Meat-Free Midweek Meal for World Vegetarian Day!

Posted on Oct 1 2014 - 3:26pm by Jessi Meehan

Dinner doesn’t always have to mean “meat and potatoes”…it COULD mean zucchini and tomatoes! LOL Let’s celebrate World Vegetarian Day and “peel up” Zucchini Ribbon pasta with all-veggie marinara! Every family has a favorite comfort food, and it doesn’t always have to be something indulgent…one of mine has always been my mom’s marinara sauce that simmers for hours. Here’s a quick take on fresh marinara in less than one hour with tasty gluten-free “all veggie” pasta: zucchini ribbons! A perfect mid-week meal that will have the family eating their veggies and loving it!

This marinara is simple to make, easily freezable, and works great as a pizza sauce too. To make 2 quarts of sauce you’ll need:

– 3 (28 oz) cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
– 3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
– 3-4 stalks of celery diced
– 1/2 of a large onion, diced
– 3 cloves of minced garlic
– a bit of olive oil for the pan
– about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning
– a few teaspoons of sugar, as well as salt and pepper to taste

The How-to:


1. Add olive oil to the bottom of a large pot, and turn heat to medium/high. Add diced carrot, onion and celery and “let it sweat” for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Then add minced garlic and stir for about 2 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, and then slowly add sugar…one teaspoon at a time tasting as you go along. This will cut the bitterness of your tomatoes.


3. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.


4. Carefully ladle sauce into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth…and you’re all done! This sauce can be served immediately, frozen for a later date, or saved for a Friday night Pizza Party!

Peeling Up Zucchini Ribbons:

You’ll need about 4-5 large zucchinis to yield 4 servings of zucchini ribbons. Use a peeler to peel zucchini as you normally would, but turning the zucchini as you go along to create even ribbons.

Once you have a bowl full of ribbons, I like to add a touch of olive oil and sauté ribbons quickly in a pan, or heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You can then serve them one of two ways.

Plate your ribbons and top with sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese like so:


OR: Delicately toss your ribbons in the warm marinara sauce before plating to further soften your ribbons and get that saucy goodness in each bite!


Happy World Vegetarian Day! Continue on this healthy train with a new trend: “Meat-Free Mondays”…you can whip up light, tasty meals without meat that the whole family will enjoy. Stay tuned on the blog as we feature Family Friendly Fun Fridays: including quick flatbread pizzas!