Tag Archives: Tomato sauce

The First 5+

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c frozen spinach
  • 1.25c blanched, chopped kale
  • 12 0z canned tomato sauce (plain)
  • 1 L yellow onion
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetia

P1100258I had some major cupboard rearranging to do so I started the onions in oil with mustard seeds on ML and let them rest largely unattended for about 30m. Sprinkle on turmeric a few minutes in, mix. Turn stove to M an mix in pastes and other spices until a gummy mound forms; dispatch the mound with your spatula and a small dollop of tomato sauce. Add greens and let the food processor run for a couple of minutes; spoon it back into the pan and stir in the remainder of your tomato sauce. Heat and eat, or add paneer, meat or a meat substitute — I threw in some cooked chana dal (split chickpeas) and served it over Basmati rice. I ate this for lunch and again for dinner… and maybe I heated my dinner in a small Ikea skillet then ate it then licked the skillet. Don’t you judge me.

kaleI know that eating foods of color is the way to go, so I feel really good about not only the outstanding 5+ spoons of taste this delivers but also because the recipe is full of enough greens for me to want to add a +. Following the Wahls Diet is my goal, but still isn’t entirely possible — both financially (SNAP only delivers so much) and… because I am still a product of my fatty culture and will submit to its baser dietary desires.*

 

 

* Don’t you judge me.

Getting Over The Hump, Italian-Vegan Style

In my pantry today:

  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1.5 c macaroni, dry
  • 1/2 c Nutrela
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 drops doTerra oregano essential oil
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

meatlessmarinara

I started my morning by tossing some stuff in a crock pot and walking away. First, it was slice-chunks of onion and garlic in 1/3 c olive oil resting covered on the highest setting for about 20m. Stir in Balsamic vinegar, cumin and turmeric. Add a quick dash of salt. Cover and let continue to cook for another 20m. Now this all seems very time-dependent and I know most of us are not common to such luxury; in my defense all of the time between food handlings was wisely spent cleaning up after myself and getting ready for a day outside of the home. Food needed to be ready this evening so as to keep us away from unintentional glucose emergencies that end up requiring an errant drive through. In the cupboards were cans of tomatoes and macaroni. I am nowhere near a regimented dietary state, but I can foresee history’s repeats and perhaps solve a steep caloric intake of not-really-food items with a nice marinara. The power of a nice marinara should not be underestimated.

nutrelacrumbled

Before leaving the house, turn the crock pot to its lowest setting. Return home several hours later and rejoice at the odor which awaits you. Decide that the Nutrela deserves another chance because you have no other desirable proteins and a little extra time. Boil it for 17 instead of the 7 instructed on the box. Shrug at the point of defeat against texture; drain and fastidiously squeeze out the additional water inside each nugget (that’s not as bad as it sounds — just lay them all out and press a clean cloth into them with a firm hand). Dice them until they become almost a ground sausage consistency. In a small saucepan add the now-ground(ish) Nutrela with 1/2 tsp garlic paste and 1 drop oregano essential oil. Take a second to tenderly smash while stirring to ensure the not-meat’s submissive essence then set aside for a nutrela2few minutes while the macaroni finishes boiling. Add two drops of oregano oil to the marinara; stir. When those little elbows are drained, mix some marinara into the saucepan and serve over macaroni that was pelted before and after said sauce with Parmesan (or substitute a vegan option, since this recipe is vegan until this part). So the Nutrela downgrades a 5 spoon marinara dinner to a 4 spoon dining experience. Nutrela you are not a terrible foe, but my battles with you have only just begun.

Mediterranean Asparagus… Burritos?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lb asparagus, ends cut
  • 4-6 flour burrito-size tortillas
  • 1/2 c feta cheese
  • 1/4 c chevre
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In the past, I have only gotten as creative with this vegetable as “asparagus oven fries” (yes, they are as easy as they sound) but today’s pantry suggested that other avenues would be available. Tortillas won the coin-toss, so what else goes into one to ensure that they won’t just be wrapped around those sweet, green stalks? I could do a whole shebang with beans, cilantro, chili powder… ooh, but look at the cheese drawer! The butt-ends of the above-mentioned cheeses called out to me. Concoction time!

Put your thinly-sliced garlic and onions in an olive oiled pan on ML, stirring occasionally, until the onions become naked. While that’s going on, combine those last five ingredients up there into a little sauce, set aside. When translucency is acquired in the onion pan, turn the heat up to MH. Wait for it to heat, then begin tossing asparagus. Spritz with lemon and toss, then pour in 1/4c water and cover the pan for a minute or two — the spears should come out a victorious green! Of course, continue cooking if’n you like a softer texture, but the crisp texture works well in a steamed tortilla spread with chevre and sprinkled with feta cheese. Make sure there are plenty of onions and garlic in each of the meal-wrappers alongside the asparagus.

I forgot to put the sauce on these at first, photographed the ‘rrito, then realized… but as the sauce rather obscures all of its inner deliciousness, I kept the first. Don’t be like me and forget before the final wrap to dab in just enough sauce so that each burrito is edible without making too much of an embarrassing mess. This seems like such a simple arrangement, but it triumphs a tasty new way to have a quarter-pounder for dinner — 4 spoons!

 

A Chard Day’s Night

In my pantry today:

  • 6 leaves rainbow chard, stems removed
  • adversity-busting cheese filling*
  • essentially from scratch tomato sauce*
  • 2 c cooked gluten-free pasta shells

I am still trying to reconstitute my internal routine/schedule after a day in the ER last week; apparently on the comprehensive wine list of mismatched symptoms held by MS, nerves at the bottom of your brain stem can misfire and make you think your innards have been set ablaze by Pol Pot himself. You’ll only be able to suspect Pot, however, because your eyeballs will be spasming too hard to see his face. Oh, the delights of an invisible illness! But I digress. It felt wonderful to get back into the kitchen today even if what came out was a nonsensical mess.

The rest of the CSA stock from this past week needs clearing out and I had some open boxes of lasagna noodles in the cupboard… so I gleefully set about making a version inspired by Om Nomalicious’s Spinach Lasagna Rolls. It was going to be so much fun! Oh, except I didn’t check the lasagna boxes until after making the filling and sauce. Those noodles were so very broken; my heart too became as such upon their viewing.

But I had all these big leaves of chard uncut in the drainer behind me. They were big. And in need of justification through consumption. Just like this delicious cheese filling and that from-(mostly)-scratch tomato sauce.

Adversity-Busting  Cheese Filling*:

  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

This was made with all the joy of one who believes they are making lasagna. Mince your garlic and cook on ML in 1 tsp of olive oil for 10-15m. Add thyme and oregano shortly before removing it from heat and adding it to a bowl with all of your other ingredients. Set aside via refrigeration.

Essentially from scratch tomato sauce*:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced chunky
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder

Cook your onions and garlic on L-ML for 20-30m before adding thyme and oregano. Mix everything, then fold in your now-diced tomatoes. Let that come to a boil then splash in your red wine and let it return on M to a slow bubbling place. Add the can of tomatoes, turmeric and hot red chili powder; mix and let return to a gentle boil until as much of the soupiness mists off as you’d like. I gave mine about 20 minutes before being too impatient to let it thicken further.

And about right here is where I turn this from a delicious, first-class meal into a terrible abomination of textures. Everything up until now is stellar… but when layered using raw chard leaves in place of lasagna noodles, this dish crashes and burns. I imagine it was fun enough to play scientist about all this… and it did still have a delicious flavor. Not gon’ lie, I ate two servings. But because I could not look it in the eye while eating it this only gets 2 spoons. Shame! [EDIT: I hear it deserves more than 2 spoons]