Saturday, November 17, 2012


Well hello, blog world! It's been a long time! As you can probably guess I've been extremely busy with my PhD program and I haven't made the time to do any blogging (or even really a lot of cooking!) these past few months. I assure you, I'm not giving up on the blog. Just needed a break to get used to being back in school. Also, for an awkward amount of time I was only making recipes from Oh She Glows and I didn't want you guys to get sick of recipes from the same place (even though they are delicious and you should all try them anyways).

I have a  new cookbook and I'm kind of obsessed with it. It is a little on the hippier side of the hippy spectrum but by that I mean it has a lot of wonderful, whole grain and whole food "healthier" recipes. Do not let this deter you from purchasing a copy. It is a fabulous cookbook and everything I've made out of it so far has been delicious. The cookbook is Dreena Burton's "Let them eat vegan!". Really, just go out and buy it. It's one of the few cookbooks I would recommend with no hesitation. For those of you who are gluten free, nut free, and/or soy free she has a lot of recipes in the book that are friendly for you! Also, she gives a proper substitutes that would make the non-gluten/nut/soy free recipes that way. Before getting on with today's recipe, here is a list of what I've made in her cookbook: "Steel-Cut Oats in an Instant!", "Whole-Grain Chia Pancakes", "Cocoa Almond Jumbles", "Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread", "Beans 'n' Greens Soup", "Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew", "Corn Chowder Quinoa Casserole", "Festive Chickpea Tart", "Sugar-Free Chocolate Cake", "Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream", "Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream" and maybe a few others I can't remember. I respect this cookbook because it has a substantial dessert section. Anyways, if you have any questions about it just shoot me a comment!

So the stromboli recipe doesn't come from this cookbook, but part of it does, which is why I mentioned the cookbook. I actually made this one up and I'm pretty proud of it. Sometimes, on a Friday evening, after a long week of classes, right before vacation, magic can happen in the kitchen.

I was planning on making a pizza and using up the leftover red pepper we had from something else and I thought that maybe I should do something a little more exciting. I remembered the "Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread" from Dreena Burton's cookbook and thought that it would be a good base for the pizza. Then I thought, why stop at pizza when you could make STROMBOLI?? So I did a little research and found an easy pizza dough recipe* (I wanted a dough that had to rise just to test out a new recipe, sorry mom) and a how-to stromboli recipe.

OK, here we go:

Spinach Cashew Pizza Cheese Spread recipe (from "Let them eat vegan!")
I halved the original recipe and added a few things so this is not the original recipe, just my version of it.


- 1/2 cup soaked raw cashews plus 1/4 cup soaked raw almonds, drained (soak for about an hour, that's fine)
- 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
- a few spoons of tomato sauce of your choice. (I used my mom's homemade tomato sauce that was in our freezer from her last visit an we used the rest of the frozen batch for stromboli dipping)

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth. This will take a minute or two of processing, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times throughout. Once smooth, use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. With the almonds, it has almost a ricotta texture.

Stromboli recipe:

1. Get your dough ready. I made the recipe posted above and added some garlic powder, dried basil and oregano, just for extra flavor.

Dough, right before punching it down.
Estes got flour on her face awwww
2. Since the dough has to rise for an hour, get your other ingredients ready, make the spinach cashew spread and hang out until the dough is ready.

I chose caramelized onions and diced red peppers (and olives - not pictured)
The spinach cashew spread - it's not the prettiest green color but it tastes wonderful, so trust it!
3. When the dough is ready, put your pizza stone** in the oven and preheat oven to 450ºF.

4. On a floured surface, roll out/stretch the dough into a rectangle.

5. Spread the spinach cashew spread on the base, leaving a little room around the top edge. Then add your other toppings (again, we used caramelized onions, red peppers and diced olives).

6. Carefully roll up, pinching the seams and folding the sides under.

7. Place on a cornmeal-dusted pizza board (or pan if using) and brush with olive oil.

8. Pop in the oven and turn down the temperature to 400˚F.

9. Keep a close eye on the stromboli. It's done when lightly browned on top. This took us about 25 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes then cut with a serrated knife and serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

I was worried it would be too dry in the middle but it was so perfect. I promise you won't miss the cheese in this. Michael said that next to his favorite stromboli from Gettysburg High School (don't ask), this is a strong second. I'll take it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

*I used 2.5 cups white all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
**I used a pizza stone, but you can use a regular baking pan- adjust the baking temperature and time as needed. If you have a pizza stone, definitely use that because it makes the crust nice and crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. Plus, your entire house will smell like a pizzeria and who doesn't want that!?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Testing testing

1 2 3! Just trying out a blog post from my new smart phone! I have finally evolved with technology and jumped on the smart phone bandwagon:)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quesadilla sans queso

We don't have much food in our house. It was a busy week. But, sometimes when the fridge and cupboards are almost bare, something magical happens in the kitchen...

Today I give you: quesadillas sans queso! Starring- leftover veggie refried black beans, a small avocado that fell through the cracks and a few other magical ingredients.

Here's what I used but feel free to play with the ingredients and get creative. Salsa would be great, as would some sliced olives or chopped cilantro (none of which we had). You can clean out your fridge too!

Ingredients (for 1 quesadilla)

2 whole wheat flour tortillas
a few spoons of vegetarian refried black beans
1 small avocado (or half a medium-large avocado), thinly sliced
hot sauce
lime juice
garlic powder

1. Spoon on and spread the refried beans, covering one of the tortillas. Place the sliced avocados on top and then sprinkle these with hot sauce, lime juice and garlic powder.

Before adding the avocado, lime juice and garlic powder (apparently I can't follow the order of my own instructions).
2. Microwave for about 20-30 seconds, until heated through.

3. Enjoy!

I hope everyone out there has a fantastic weekend. We are busy preparing for a stream of August visitors and I'm starting a PhD program in 2 weeks so things are getting a bit hectic here! Keep your eye out for some new posts here though- I have a few in the works:)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Banana soft serve

My friend Emily has been telling me about banana soft serve for months and I hadn't tried it until about a week or so ago. Let me tell you- it will change your life. Think: creamy, decadent, delicious soft serve ice cream. Made only from bananas. I didn't believe it until I tried it!! I really should listen to Emily more often.

There are so many ways you can eat this- just plain, or with cocoa powder and peanut butter, with vanilla, spices, etc. So many choices! You can also do some add-ins like chocolate chips, coconut, peanuts, fresh raspberries- the sky's the limit.

Oh She Glows (yes I know I talk about this blog all the time) has some excellent blizzard posts with cookie dough and brownie add-ins. I've made both and they are so delicious. I think I prefer the cookie dough but the brownie bites are also lovely- I just polished off a few this morning :p 

I love healthier dessert options because you can enjoy a decadent dessert without feeling guilty or disgusting afterwards. Sorry there aren't any pictures in this post- I ate the ice cream before I could take a picture.


bananas, peeled, broken into bite-sized pieces and frozen
splash of almond milk (if needed)
nut butter (optional)
vanilla (optional)
other add-ins as desired

Place the frozen bananas in a food processor and process until smooth and creaming, scraping down the sides as needed. If the bananas aren't breaking down add a splash of almond milk. Add whatever mix-ins you like and continue processing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4th cupcakes

I made these last year for the 4th of July and thought I'd post a picture for this year! You can make them with any kind of cupcakes but I used the lemony variation on the vanilla cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. For frosting, I just did a basic vegan frosting but added vanilla extract. You can google recipes for these or just use any of the recipes in Vegan Cupcakes.


15 cupcakes
white frosting

1. Prepare the cupcakes and let them cool entirely before frosting. Place the cupcakes in a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. Cut the strawberries in half. Using toothpicks (broken in half) gently pierce the fruit on one side and then put the other end in to the cupcakes, forming an American flag pattern. It takes some patience and the result is an abstract American flag but people will get what it's supposed to be. Be sure to warn unsuspecting eaters about the toothpicks!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Date night

We had a date night last weekend and it was so much fun. Our date night happened for a few reasons: reason the first- things have been pretty crazy around here since we got our little puppy Estes. It's been much more challenging for us to get out of the house for a date or even just to spend time alone without her. Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with our puppy but it's still important that Michael and I get some alone time!

Reason the second: I'm going back to school in the fall to work on my PhD and my schedule is going to be so crazy. We realized that I do most of the cooking (because I love to!) and I won't have that kind of time in the fall. So Michael is going to have to do more cooking which is great but not as fun for him to plan by himself so we decided to start trying out new recipes together.

So this post doesn't include any recipes but I thought I'd share some pictures of the food we made. By the way- whether you're in a couple or not a date night is something you should try. It would be fun with one of your friends or even just by yourself. The point is to try something you haven't made before and to take your time and enjoy the cooking process. We definitely took our time and enjoyed the process. It took us about 2 or 3 hours with all the prep and cooking but the meal was well worth it and it was enjoyable to spend the time together making something special we both could enjoy.

Our menu:

Potato kale enchiladas with mole sauce
Mexican millet
Strawberry plum crisp (all from Veganomicon)
Vanilla ice cream (from Chloe's Kitchen)

This took such a long time to make because I don't know if you've ever made it before but mole sauce takes some planning. It's easy to make and definitely something worth trying but I think next time we'd make it the day before or earlier on in the day so the meal could come together with less dirty dishes.

I'll leave you with some pictures:

Michael, prepping the mole sauce
Spice mix for the mole sauce
Millet on the left, potato/kale enchilada mixture on the right.
Finished enchiladas! They don't look delicious but they were.
Finished Mexican millet.
Michael, posing with our food.
Don't forget about dessert!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

W.O.L.F. Sanctuary

Michael and I stumbled across a neat organization on the Front Range called "W.O.L.F. Sanctuary". It's a nonprofit that helps wolves and wolf dogs. We came across this group from a random email I received from a Fort Collins vegan group asking for meals via Meal Train to give to volunteers from W.O.L.F. Sanctuary who were helping relocate and take care of the wolves displaced by the High Park wildfire. (As many of you know, since it made national news, there's a giant wildfire burning near Fort Collins. We're OK where we are- but we can see smoke from our bedroom window at night!) 

So anyways. I got this email asking for food for the volunteers and I thought YES! Food! I can help! I didn't know anything about the organization but I thought it'd be a great way to help with the wildfire in some way. We've recently been devouring the "Best Garlic Bread in the World" from Chloe's Kitchen (amazing- just Earth Balance buttery spread, nutritional yeast, minced garlic- our new "go-to" bread) and I decided to bring that with Chloe's "Ooh-la-la Lasagna". I hadn't made the lasagna yet so Michael and I made a double batch to try it out so we could have one too. Ooh la la! It was fabulous. The cremini mushrooms added a toothsome bite which was a nice addition. So glad we brought those helpful volunteers some yummy food.

Before going in the oven!
A really bad picture of a really delicious lasagna!
When we brought the food up to the people helping with the wolves one of the kind volunteers offered to give us a tour and meet some of the wolves! (!!) Michael and I actually got to get up really close to them and they licked Michael's hand! A lot of these guys were actually wolf dogs and we only got to see the calm and friendly ones (of course) but it was still so cool. They are huge and their paws are gigantic. It's so sad the fire got to where they live but from the sound of it they will get to go back once the fire has cleared. And apparently the fire is leaving some grassy patches.

So no recipes with this post but really, go buy Chloe's Kitchen- I haven't met a recipe in it I haven't liked! Also- check out the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary site. Also- they are having a fundraiser the end of the month that looks like fun. Check it out!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Mexican" style pizza

I think about food a lot. Yesterday I was thinking about how to use up the food we already have in our fridge before going on vacation. I had made Spanish rice with some salsa twice in the past week or so and had about 3/4 cup of salsa leftover so I thought hmmm I want pizza... but how can I use up the salsa.... !!! I decided to put the salsa on the pizza instead of tomato sauce. Really? I have no idea how I'd never thought of this before. I used my mom's pizza dough recipe but you can use whatever recipe you have. I'll do a dough recipe if I haven't already but here's what I did for the toppings at least:)


1 recipe pizza dough
salsa, enough to cover the pizza like a tomato sauce
a few cloves of garlic, minced
vegetarian refried beans
1 onion and 1 green pepper diced and sautéed
about half a can of black olives, cut in half
1 recipe cheeze sauce (or if you're not vegan, just use whatever cheese you like)

1. Preheat the oven and get the dough ready. I bake my pizza at 425ºF.

2. Prepare the toppings.

3. To assemble the pizza: Sauce, garlic, dollops of refried beans (to taste), onion and pepper, black olives, cheeze sauce.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes. This depends on the kind of dough you have and the method you choose for baking- just make sure the dough is lightly browned on the bottom and no longer doughy.

Really, you can put whatever you'd like on the pizza- I bet some fresh cilantro or some salsa verde or other kinds of peppers would be fantastic. I was just trying to use what we already had:) I'd post more pictures but I have to pack!

I enjoyed my slice with a nice bottle of Somersault:)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grilled pizzas with spinach, artichoke hearts and olives

Ever since we made the grilled kale/sweet potato/pesto pizzas from Chloe's Kitchen I've been wanting to try grilling other kinds of pizzas. Last night I got my chance! We just recently purchased a chest freezer for our basement (hooray for stocking up on foods!) and I was cleaning out our freezer and found some leftover naan dough- basically, pizza dough. I decided use it to make.... grilled pizzas! Michael and I are going away soon and I didn't want to get a lot of stuff at the store so I also checked out our cabinets and fridge and found some perfect toppings for this pizza. I pulled out another container of mom's tomato sauce and we were good to go! I also found a great recipe for a cheesy sauce on Oh She Glows which we drizzled on top of the pizzas. Don't be afraid to try this sauce- it's so easy to make and it does add a nice cheesy topping for the pizza. We'll be using it again on pizzas and definitely over pasta for a quick and easy mac and cheese.


pizza dough, rolled into individual-sized pizzas, about the thickness of a tortilla
toppings of choice- we used:
tomato sauce
minced garlic
sautéed spinach and onions
artichoke hearts

1. Get toppings ready. 

2. Pre-heat the grill. Roll out the pizza dough into thin, tortilla-like crusts and brush both sides with olive oil.

3. Be sure all your toppings are ready. Bring them outside with the prepared pizza dough. You might want to line the toppings up as on an assembly line. The grilling process is really fast!

4. Place each dough tortilla shape on the grill and grill for a few minutes on one side, until there are grill marks on the bottom. Flip over and quickly add the desired toppings while the uncooked side of the dough gets cooked. This happens really fast so do be sure to be quick but careful. I couldn't get a picture of this process but it's not difficult- just make sure all your toppings are ready to go on the pizza. We did our toppings in the following order: tomato sauce, garlic, spinach/onion mixture, olives, artichoke hearts, cheese sauce.

5. The pizza is done when the bottoms have grill marks on them. Really, they're probably done about a minute after you put all the toppings on. The dough was crispy and the toppings were gooey and zingy- a very nice way to enjoy a pizza!

The results were amazing! Michael even liked eating his as a pizza taco:)

And for the Estes fans out there- here's what she was doing while I was cooking: patiently waiting for her dinner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hot millet and quinoa cereal

I've been intrigued with millet lately. I love it in bread and have been experimenting with it in soups and other things. It's really yummy as a hot breakfast cereal and the quinoa here adds another interesting texture and flavor. The recipe was inspired by my google search which turned up this site. I tweaked it a bit to suit my tastes and then halved the amounts so I could eat it by myself for breakfast. I was pretty hungry and prepping for a run this morning and could just barely finish the two servings. But, I also added a banana to the mix so that probably didn't help things. This would be great with some chopped nuts or dried fruit or different kinds of sweeteners.


1/4 cup millet
1/8 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup water
splash of soy milk
splash of maple syrup
1 banana, smashed
cinnamon, to taste

1. Rinse the quinoa and millet and place in a small saucepan with the water and maybe a dash of salt.

2. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Add more water if it looks dry and cook longer if there's still water in the pan.

3. Add desired toppings and enjoy!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Clean-out-your-fridge fried rice

It's the end of my work week and it's been a week since our last grocery trip. This means that I'm tired and there's not a lot of food in the house. So, when looking through the cabinets this morning I decided to make some fried rice and clean out some of the older veggies and things from our fridge and freezer. I made the rice this morning (it's best if it's cold when you add it to the stir fry- this little gem of cooking knowledge is thanks to my friend Emily) and then popped it in the fridge for the day. All I had to do when I got home was press and fry the tofu and cut the veggies for the stir fry. So easy. Feel free to play around with the ingredients, especially the sauces. I used leftover homemade sweet and sour sauce from some skewers we did on the grill this weekend. I bet a simple soy sauce would be great too. I'll just put down the ingredients for what we had but again, feel free to play around with the recipe.

Ingredients: (4 servings)

cold brown rice (from 1 cup dry)
1 onion, cut in moon shapes
a few cloves of garlic, minced
a few handfuls of kale, chopped
part of a bag of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, peas and corn)
1 block extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into desired pieces
sesame oil
soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds

1. Make your rice ahead of time and stick it in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

2. When ready to make the fried rice, drain then press the tofu for about 10 minutes. Cut into desired shapes and fry in a bit of sesame oil until browned. Set aside.

3. Chop up the other veggies and heat up a splash of sesame oil in a wok (or a big pan, but really, a wok is fantastic).

3. When the oil is heated, sauté the onions until translucent or even starting to brown. Add the kale and garlic and heat until the kale is wilty. Add the frozen mixed veggies and a splash of soy sauce and sauté mixture until it's heated through and starting to cook. The kale should be all wilted by now.

4. Add the rice and fry for a few minutes, stirring and flipping it over as it cooks. Now add the sauce and stir until it's mixed in- add the tofu last and gently stir and cook for about another minute so it can absorb some sauce.

5. Serve with some toasted sesame seeds or soy sauce if desired.

This rice would also be great with some pineapple and cashews, maybe some beans instead of tofu, or with different spices and even non-asian influenced sauces. Go nuts!

Here's what Estes was doing while I was cooking:

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Peanut butter and banana toast

This is a super easy and very filling breakfast (or lunch or snack). My cousin made something similar to it last year when we were all in Florida and it inspired me to make this version. I was prepping for a big jog (woo! I'm running again!) and wanted a good breakfast in me.


2 pieces toast (I used Ezekial brand)
1 banana
1-2 Tbs peanut butter

Make your toast. Spread peanut butter evenly over each slice. Then, thinly slice the banana on top of the peanut butter. Drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

So easy. I have a few other posts up my sleeves but have been having trouble getting them up because of our lovely little puppy and her crazy schedule. Right now she's sleeping on the stairs so I thought I'd get a quick post in. More to come!

On a running note- for you locals, there's a 5K at Grimm Brothers Brewery in Loveland on July 4th. Free pint after the race! Michael and I are running in it! This will be my first race post knee injury so I'm excited and glad that so far the running has been going well. If this goes well we'll see about the 10K I have on my wish list for the end of July...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creamy pasta

Today was a long day and it's been a long week. I got home from work today and the only thing I wanted was to have take-out or a big gooey cheesy pizza or box mac n cheese. On days like today I try to take a step back and think about how I'll feel after I eat any of these things. I'm not saying I never have that food but when I'm already stressed the last thing I want to do is stress about how I feel after I eat. So instead of the tofu scramble we planned on having I decided to whip up a creamy pasta dish. Comforting, creamy, easy, and I already had all the ingredients on hand. I can't take any credit for the recipe- it comes from Oh She Glows. Angela served hers with some sautéed greens and I served ours with sautéed garlic, onions, red pepper and spinach. Basically we used up the veggies left in our fridge. Don't expect alfredo sauce but it really is a nice, creamy sauce. I think I'll play around with the non-dairy milk and try something other than almond next time. Sometimes the almond taste comes through too much for me, even though we use just plain, unsweetened.


16 oz or less of pasta
1/3 heaping cup raw cashews
3 garlic cloves
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
3/4 cup + 2 Tbs almond milk (as needed to make it as thin or thick as you'd like)
1 Tbs lemon juie
2 Tbs Earth Balance
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp miso paste (optional)
1 Tbs tahini
pinch of nutmeg
salt, to taste (about 1/4-1/2 tsp?)
1/2 tsp paprika, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
veggies or herbs of your choke to add into the mix

1. Cook the pasta according to directions. Cook veggies.

2. Add all ingredients except for pasta and veggies to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

3. When pasta is done, drain it and pour in the sauce and veggies and cook on medium heat until heated through.

4. Serve with a nice glass of red wine, especially if you've had a long week!

With just a little teeny bit of work you can skip the processed crap and still have an easy and comforting dinner after a long week. This dish took all of 15-20 minutes. You could even skip the fresh sautéed veggies and add some frozen spinach or broccoli and garlic powder into the mix. Even easier!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My first tofu scramble

I've been wanting to make a tofu scramble for a long time and tonight was finally my night! It came up on our menu because we're going to Moab with some friends soon and are planning on making tofu scrambles for breakfast and I wanted to do some test runs before bringing the recipe there. This one is definitely a keeper. I've been to some breakfast places and ordered tofu scrambles before and all they do is crumble tofu (unseasoned) into a scramble of veggies. Not too exciting. I like this recipe because it has a lot of spices for flavor and nutritional yeast to give it a more eggy/cheesy texture and taste. For those of you who love scrambled eggs and are leery about tofu- still give this a try but it might not do it for you, unless you're trying to cut out eggs from your diet. If you're like me and never loved scrambled eggs but liked them then you might love this recipe. OK so anyways, this comes from the Post Punk Kitchen blog site. It's a great base for whatever add-ins you'd like to use. I added onions, red pepper, spinach and some fake bacon bits.


Spice blend:
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs water

2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 5)
1 lb extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
fresh black pepper to taste
(+any other add-ons)

1. Stir the spice blend together in a small cup. Add water and mix then set aside.

2. Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic (and onion if using) in olive oil for about 4 minutes. Here is when I sautéed the chopped red pepper, followed by the spinach.

Here's what little Estes was doing while I was cooking:)
3. Break the tofu apart into bite sized pieces and sauté for about 10 minutes, using a spatula to stir often. Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don't let it stick to the pan, that is where the good, crispy stuff is. The tofu should get browned on at least one side, but you don't need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the ban. If that is happening, turn the heat up and let the water evaporate.

Before spice blend.
After spice blend.
4. Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and fresh black pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.

We ate this for dinner but it would make an excellent breakfast choice too, of course!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom's tomato sauce

I made this sauce on Sunday afternoon and for one of the first times our new house smelled like a home! I mean, it was probably a mix of the freshly cut grass from Saturday, the rain that was coming down and this sauce, but still! The sauce smells wonderful. But really, anything with sautéed onions and garlic smells amazing. It brings me back to my childhood when my mom often had a pot of this simmering on the stove.

A key to this recipe is the quality of canned tomatoes you get. I like Muir Glen because they are organic, good quality and the cans are now BPA free! My mom likes Red Pack. The point is- don't get the cheap store brand stuff. This recipe makes a lot of sauce but the good news is you can freeze it in small containers and pull it out as needed (which is what we did!). Feel free to play around with the herbs and spices in the recipe or to substitute fresh ones. I just pruned our basil plants and used them. I also added a splash more wine:)

Without further ado...

Mom's Tomato Sauce Recipe

2 cans (29 oz) Tomato Puree
1 can (29 oz) Whole Tomatoes (you chop or cut up)
 ½ cup dry red wine (or as much as you like)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 sm onion chopped well
4 garlic cloves minced or chopped and crushed
¼ cup green pepper chopped fine (you may omit this if you want)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (or agave nectar)
ground pepper (to taste)
2 tsp dried Basil
2 tsp dried Oregano
(I added some rosemary)

1. Cook onions and garlic in oil just until tender (don’t brown).

2. Add tomato puree, tomatoes and wine.  Bring to just boil and reduce to simmer.

3. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for about 1 ½ hrs (stirring occasionally).

4. Taste to adjust spices (may need more).

See! It's really easy. Plan ahead and freeze a bunch of containers of it and then you'll have sauce on hand for whenever you want it!