(intentional leftovers: red sauce with eggplant)
One of the most common reasons that people give me for not eating like I do is that it is far too time consuming. Generally people are surprised to learn that I do not spend hours in the kitchen and that I don’t even cook every day. I can make this happen using a few tricks and techniques. One is that I intentionally overcook when I do cook. Those of you who have been reading me a while know that I refer to this as making “intentional leftovers” and it makes my life SO much easier. I keep these intentional leftovers in both the refrigerator and freezer. Additionally I keep items in the refrigerator which have multiple uses. For example when I make red sauce (marinara as we refer to it in the US) I always make a large quantity because if freezes beautifully and it has many uses.
Why cook your own red sauce when you can buy jarred?
Depending on the brand of red sauce you buy it can have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), too much sodium, added oil and it is not uncommon for it has either cheese or meat. Sometimes it contains chemicals and preservatives also.
Not only will undoubtedly contain at least one thing that you don’t want it to have it may not be flavored the way you like. I solve all these problems by making my own red sauce. You can simmer you sauce on the sauce, put it in a crock pot or make it in a pressure cooker. As you probably guessed I make mine in the pressure cooker these days because it is the quickest and easiest for me.
(farro topped with tomato and bean sauce topped with parsley)
What can you do with red sauce other than use it with pasta?
(whole wheat pasta with summer squash, seitan sausage and peppers)
In America red sauce is almost predominantly found on past and that is a shame because it works with so many things. I almost always add some variations of vegetables, mushrooms and beans to it and use it alone (with more veg like my pizza veggies) or on top of any cooked whole grain (which I also make in large quantities) and top it with nutritional yeast or walnut parm.
(Green salad topped with defrosted veggies, marinara sauce, and raw pumpkin seeds)
Another use for red sauce that happens often at my house is to use it cold for salad dressing the same way you have seen me use salsa. It makes a very flavorful non-fat dressing to moisten salad.
(zucchini spaghetti with creamy tomato sauce and artichokes)
You can take a little marinara sauce and combine it with raw cashews and make a creamy salad dressing.
(Pizza topped with red sauce, veggies, fresh arugula and sriracha)
Red sauce it great if you want to make homemade vegan pizza or calzones.
I use the red sauce as a base for soups if I want an Italian flavor. For example you can combine red sauce, raw cashews and other seasonings in your Vitamix and make a delicious cream of tomato soup. But you can also use the red sauce like you would canned tomatoes to start soup.
I hope hearing what I do with red sauce gives you insight into its many uses.
- Friday was a crazy day at my house. I was expecting it to be low key and relaxed but it turned out to be anything but that. However I am happy to say that it was nonetheless a good day. I managed to get a few things accomplished with was a miracle given my day. :-)
- We woke up to a beautiful light snow fall just before dawn. Mother Nature puts on quite a show doesn’t she? I never get tired to seeing the beauty in nature. I hope you find time to enjoy it too.
- Dan actually came home at a reasonable hour for dinner on Friday which was nice. :-) However he did this because he has to work on Saturday so that happy thought could be better. ;-)
- I made a quick delicious curried tomato sauce with “almond coconut milk”, frozen veggies and previously cooked chickpeas. I added fresh cilantro and whole wheat pasta and topped it with some sliced almonds. Dinner was ready in the amount of time it took to cook the pasta. Darn I love meals that come together that quickly and easily!
- My father was busy today obsessing over a minor medical procedure next Tuesday. While this isn’t easy for the rest of us to deal with it does remind me how lucky I am that I don’t make mountains out of molehills like I used to. That was a difficult habit to break but it made such a huge difference in overall level of happiness.
- We reached our high temperature in the morning on Friday and it got progressively colder throughout the day. I don’t have to tell you that I stayed in today do I? LOL
- Today I got a serious bargain on two items at Zulily (again). The first was a faux leather jacket in orange. The second was orange and fuchsia patent leather pumps. Both are pictures bellowed. The best part of this is not only are they cute but with shipping I spent less than $100. If you enjoy a good bargain please check out Zulily. I have gotten some great deals here and you all know I don’t need any baby or kid stuff. ;-)
(Curried veg and ceci in tomato sauce over whole wheat pasta - Dan's dinner on Friday)
(my new orange faux leather jacket)
(my new orange and fuchsia patent leather pumps)
I didn’t sleep well at all last night so I am definitely looking forward to getting some rest tonight. It is funny how you take sleep for granted when you get plenty of it and miss it terribly when you don’t get enough. ;-)
Tomorrow I have a few things to accomplish and Dan has to go to the office. However I should have time to write a post. *fingers crossed* Let’s all hope the ground predicts the end of winter and that the little rodent is correct. Ciao for now.