Secret Red Sauce for the Picky Eater

This recipe is for anyone who is a picky eater (or cooks for a picky eater regularly). This is the secret sauce.

Essentially, you are making a meat sauce for pasta, but with additional hidden vegetables that are barely obvious even to the most discerning of palates. This will add cruciferous veggies and fiber to pasta night. Additionally, cooked tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene. According to some epidemiologic studies, men who consume cooked or canned tomatoes had a 28% decreased risk of prostate cancer, so this would be a great food to cook for your picky father-in-law.

Servings 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 yellow onion diced
½ lb grass-fed beef
1 10-ounce (2 ½ cups) fresh or frozen cauliflower rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
1 24 oz jar of organic low-sugar sauce of choice (I like Primal Kitchen Marinara)
8 ounces spaghetti of choice: lentil, brown rice, organic flour, chickpea, etc.


  1. Heat a cast iron or stainless-steel pan to medium heat and add the extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add onion and let get translucent.
  3. Add the ground beef and optional cauliflower until the beef is fully browned, stirring frequently.
  4. Make a space in the center of the pan and add your garlic.
  5. When the garlic gets aromatic add the zucchini and carrots. Sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add your pasta sauce and optional chili flakes.
  7. Serve with your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Without pasta
Carbohydrates 16.4 g
Fiber 5.4 g
Net Carbs 16.4 g
Fat 17.3 g
Protein 15.8 g

With Chickpea Spaghetti
Carbohydrates 44.6 g
Fiber 9.9 g
Net Carbs 34.5 g
Fat 20.1 g
Protein 27.2 g

About the Author

Lia Klugman, Fitness and Nutrition Adviser, provides holistic nutrition expertise to support OnePeak Medical patients in meeting their health and wellness goals.

A second-generation foodie and health nut, Lia grew up eating nutritious foods. Her father is Israeli, so salad for breakfast with hummus and a hardboiled egg was frequent. Lia’s mother cured her sister’s asthma with nutrition alone and prepared a wide array of nutritious foods. Lia didn’t try candy until she was 6 years old! She also never believed in Santa Claus, but believed dried apple was bubblegum. When Lia got a little older, she realized she would only be allowed to eat sugar if she baked something with it herself. This loophole developed her love for baking, cooking, and her tendency toward blood-sugar imbalance.

Fast forward to 2017, Lia was working through her own health journey working at the front desk of an acupuncture clinic. She learned many different modalities such as Nutritional Response Testing, herbal medicine, meridians, and how energies flow in the body. She quickly realized how passionate she was about nutrition and health and decided to study at Bauman College of Culinary Arts. Lia completed her Nutrition Consultant Certification in 2019. After her degree, she started her own practice and has helped clients heal everything from their eczema to chronic digestive discomfort to managing their PCOS symptoms, as well as excelling in their workouts.

Lia strives to support her clients to build resilience and intuition through nutrition. After working with Lia, clients report feeling more in tune with their body so that they begin to crave the healthy foods their body needs to thrive. To Lia, success looks like being able to indulge during moments of celebration without overdoing it or feeling like you need a week to recover.

Lia believes nutrition is not just physical, but emotional as well and shares this wisdom in every aspect of her work. Many people are turned off by their bodies’ natural wisdom and instead rely on the next TV show or influencer to tell them how to eat. It’s much more difficult to create an enjoyable life if we can get stuck in a pattern of trendy restrictive diets or binge eating. They both are experiences of detachment to what our body actually needs. If we get educated, dig deeper, and enhance our intuition, we can get clarity on our own health. The more we listen to our body, the louder it speaks.

Upon working with Lia, patients report having more energy, confidence, and trust in themselves, so they feel better able to handle whatever comes their way. She does this by co-creating a plan with clients that is manageable, incorporating various healing modalities that include how to heal the mind, body, and spirit in conjunction.

One of Lia’s favorite sayings is from Ayurveda (Traditional Indian Medicine): “You are not what you eat but what you digest.” She believes this spans beyond just our health and food but includes information we intake, experiences we do, modalities, and medicines we take. Digestion is the act of assimilating external information. Practicing this is crucial to healing and growing.

Book an Appointment

Lia is currently seeing patients at our White City clinic or virtually via telehealth appointment. Call today to book your appointment with Lia!

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