Movin’ right along (ba da bum ba da bum)

How does your family go on road trips? The VS family loves a trip to the country and after years of travelling a couple of hours to visit grandparents, the kids are pretty awesome in the car. No screens, they each pack a bag of things to do, and good tunes are essential to make the trip more interesting (and distract them from whatever argument they’re having).

As a child, my family never left home with out the Muppet Movie soundtrack. But we’re not such nice parents and actually, after a couple of years, kids songs were making me a bit stabby. We went on a music offensive, determined to get them onto stuff we liked too. If you’re still stuck on non-stop rotation of Wiggles, here’s a list of songs that saved my sanity and got the kids onto more palatable music.

These days, the kids’ tastes are awesome and we can chuck on anything. Which leads to the new interesting dilemma of swearing in songs. We usually just let them slide by and mostly they don’t even notice. In fact, after several intense weeks of Icona Pop, Miss F only realised there was naughty words in it when she was in a friend’s car and they heard the bleeped radio edit. And of course, my kids mostly sing along to most songs with their own mondegreens, which makes the whole swearing thing much easier. Like this Yacht track, which we belt out with “When the ship hits the sand” (awesome video but maybe watch first and decide if it’s ok for your kids). Also on our playlist, this Unknown Mortal Orchestra song is apparently all about Ninjagos and Miss F is positive that Florence Welsh is singing, “long live salami” in What the water gave me.

Which segues us nicely into pizza territory. Finally I’ve done up a Vegie Smuggling pizza sauce, which I dollop generously onto small pita breads (conveniently bowl shaped to hold more sauce), and top with salami or ham and cheese for the kids and more elaborate with roasted eggplant, olives and rocket for the adults.


Six-vegie pizza sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 large potato, peeled, grated
4 button mushrooms, grated
1 tsp Italian herbs
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
400g can crushed tomatoes

The onions cook slowly for a while – get them going, then do the rest of your prep while they’re cooking.

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion, and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes. Keep the pan covered, and just stir every couple of minutes. When the onions are translucent, remove the lid, sprinkle over the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown.

Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so before tossing in all of the vegies. Again, you want to sweat them down, so give the mix a good stir, cover and give them about 10 minutes cooking time (lift the lid and stir every few minutes).

Remove the lid, add in the herbs, vinegar and tomato paste. Pour over the can of tomatoes and mix really well before recovering and simmering on the low heat for 10 minutes more.

Blitz the sauce up and use on pizza or mix through pasta.

Makes about 4 cups & freezes really well.

Make mini pizza & customise toppings to suit.

Make mini pizzas & customise toppings to suit each person.

Like this recipe? It’s from my latest cookbook, ‘Kitchen Collection’. You can check out a copy here.

16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Natural New Age Mum said,


  2. 2

    Tracey said,

    excellent, i made my kids pizza last night, used a sr flour and greek yougurt dough (so Easy) then topped with ham, spinach ,red capsicum,onion and tinned corn, plenty of pizza cheese and they couldnt even see the vegie, but this pizza sauce will make my pizzas even better!, Thanks

    • 3

      wendyblume said,

      it’s such an easy winner with kids, isn’t it. I’ve got this sauce in small portions in the freezer, so it’s my current quick & easy, can’t be bothered dinner.

  3. 4

    Your sauce looks really yummy! I never would have guessed that you include zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms in it. And potatoes and tomatoes too? You’re a magician!

    I grew up listening to my parents’ music in the car. They usually put on Jimmy Buffet and we all sang along!

    • 5

      wendyblume said,

      funny isn’t it. you do just get used to whatever music is being played.

      and yes, the potato is great for thickening up the sauce. An italian friend of mine also swears by a cup of mash in her pizza dough – I’ve tasted it and it’s true, adds a great crunch to the base.

  4. 7

    Gen said,

    Sounds yummy! I don’t ever remember listening to kids songs in the car when I was growing up. We listened to beach boys and rock and roll! Last weekend I left my 3 year old with my father for an hour and came back to find them both rocking to queen! I think I can safely get rid of the wiggles now!

  5. 9

    Sam said,

    Wendy we had that soundtrack too! Mixed with Abba and Julio Inglesias. Now I’ve got Fozzie singing “Send someone to fetch us we’re in Saskatchewan!” in my head :/

  6. 11

    Claire Bailey said,

    This sounds delicious! I ill have to try it the next time the kids ask for pizza. I try not to put it on the weekly menu or else they start asking for it every single night, so I wait until they have asked a few times and then cave in. It will make me not feel quite so bad when they ask for ham cheese and pineapple with the addition of olives on Miss3’s.

    We just got our kids their first CDs each this weekend gone. Mr5 chose The Misfits, and Miss 3 chose The Cure. We were both very happy with those choices 😛 I don’t really remember listening to kids music when I was little, although we did watch the muppets movie every new years eve. My mum was Kenny and Dolly and John Williamson and my dad was lots of classical which of course I rebelled against and started listening to the Beatles and the Doors along with a bit of JJJ when it started (no I wasn’t born when they were around, I was late 70s). As long as they get a variety of styles to listen to it’s all good.

    • 12

      wendyblume said,

      Totally agree about the pizza toppings, they always look so measley, but this sauce does make it all a bit better!
      Very impressed with the Cure and The Misfits! Mr M&P is an indie rocker at heart, but Miss F is now moving on into a new place with a lot of Katy Perry. But she’ll still bogie on down to french electro with me.
      I guess she’ll be telling me what to listen to in another couple of years!

  7. 13

    Sally said,

    Yum and what a clever idea!! I have tweaked this a little and swapped the potato for a large red capsicum and then left it to simmer uncovered at the end (instead of covered). Also added fresh tomatoes instead of tinned because I had some left from my most recent veggie patch harvest. 🙂 thanks.

  8. 14

    Lisa said,

    Have you done this in the thermy yet? Any tips for a new thermy owner…? Mr 4 just wants margaritas pizza with the new thermy pizza dough so thinking we might sneak a few veg in the sauce 🙂

    • 15

      wendyblume said,

      It’s on my list! just made my pumpkin soup very successfully in the thermy the other night. Will try to whip this one up soon.

      • 16

        Lisa said,

        Tried a basic one from the recipe community today (as I’ve only owned the thermy for 2 weeks). Added carrot and a handful of spinach and the kids devoured it as quickly as the store bought one. Yay! Now that I’ve tried it I’ll feel not confident to try yours next time 🙂

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