Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Marinara Sauce with Canning Instructions

Having jars of ready made sauce on hand can make dinner a cinch! Simply boil your favorite pasta, prepare salad, open sauce...
However, some grocery store pasta sauces have high fructose corn syrup, msg, and a boat load of other unhealthy ingredients, making your own is simple and healthy. If you don't want to can it then just freeze it in jars or ziploc bags.

Amounts will vary according to how much you want to make and the size of the pot. It really is one of those "throw it in and taste it" things. Trust me!
Italian seasoning blend or basil, oregano, thyme
Olive oil
Tomato paste if you want it thick
a splash of white wine
a chopped carrot
chopped celery stalk
For Trim Healthy Mamas omit the olive oil so you don't mix carbs with fat.  And be sure to use Dreamfields Pasta to fit the low-carb plan.
In a large pot, over medium high heat, put about 3 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, carrots and celery if using, when tender add the garlic, stir occasionally.

If using wine, add before tomatoes, it will bring up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot which add a lot of flavor.
Add all other ingredients, season to taste, in a 6 quart pot I usually use 3-4 tablespoons of dry herbs and 2 teaspoons salt.

If it tastes too acidic then add a bit more olive oil.
From here you can serve over pasta, bag and freeze, or can.
To can, ladle into clean, sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. adjust two piece caps. Process 35 minutes in a boiling water canner. (According to the Ball Blue Book)
After 35 minutes, remove from canner, allow to rest undisturbed for 24 hours, then wash, and label. Store in a cool dark place.
A few additional suggested uses, sub sauce, pizza sauce, add chicken stock and cream for tomato soup. Don't forget this is great for dipping bread sticks or mozzarella cheese sticks into, yum.
Go have fun with it, the work is finished; just pop the lid and enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another Simple Bowl Meal, Chicken with Fresh Corn and Veggies

 "Uni-meals"(everything in one bowl, pile, or casserole) are so appealing to me because it just seems simple, almost too simple, really, how could you not like them, all the flavors mingled together, lots of veggies on top of a bed of rice...yeah...
Loads of options here, skip the chicken to make it vegetarian, with or without a sprinkling of cheese for lactose free or vegan, white rice or brown, quinoa if you prefer instead of rice. I like choices. 
I rarely plan a "bowl meal", usually it has been a busy day and not enough of any one thing to make a meal, but a variety of little bits, which put together are plenty. I'll give you the ingredients to this one but, as always, make whatever substitutions you care to, that's what makes a recipe your own.
Serves 4
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks or chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
a dash black pepper
salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, chopped or mashed
3-4 cups cooked rice or quinoa
In a large skillet, heat oil and toss the leeks, red pepper and corn for 2 minutes. Add garlic and chicken, stir. Add herbs de provence, pepper, and salt. 
Spoon over hot rice, top with cheese and avocado if you are using. 

 I served this for lunch with fruit and confetti bread they looked so good together with all the little bursts of color. Thanks, Gail for having lunch with me, you and your family make life as fun and colorful as our meal.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maple Glazed Scone...How many does this make?

 Did you notice right away that one is missing? Yea, someone had to be the "guinea pig", this was one instance it was good to be the test subject. I used maple extract for the flavoring because syrup wouldn't give this enough flavor without adding too much moisture. Of course you could play around with the glaze and syrup, maybe a good brushing with syrup would soak in then a lighter glaze...
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 1/4 cups whipping cream or heavy cream
Lightly grease a sheet pan, set aside.
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix flour, sugar baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Mix the extract in with the cream
then add to the dry ingredients, gently stirring just until combined.
Shape in a disc, cut into 6 or 8 pieces, place on prepared pan.

Bake 9-11 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Glaze, or not.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream
Mix until smooth, thin enough to drizzle but not watery.

Did I mention how good these were with coffee? "Thou shalt not covet!"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dilly Cucumber Salad

My neighbor is blessing my socks off with overflow from his garden, so how about a simple, easy, fresh cucumber salad.
Serves 4-6
I had dried dill on hand but fresh would be great. There are two choices for the mayo and the sour cream, one for my exceedingly healthy friends and the other with ingredients most people have on hand. 
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like Celtic Sea Salt or Realsalt)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayo or Veganaise
14 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dried dill
2 tablespoons minced onion
Mix everything, except the cucumbers in a bowl. 

Add the cucumbers, toss to coat. 

Chill, enjoy.

Now wasn't that simple?
I served this with chicken tonight but it is great to double or triple and take to a picnic or potluck/oneg.
Trim Healthy Mama --S