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Healthy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Grandmas tomoato sauce

I love comfort food, and in the winter this easy homemade tomato sauce has been a life saver.   I made a double batch and have used it for zoodles and meatballs (above), as a base for a yummy taco sauce, and in a super simple tomato soup with tons of depth of flavour.  It’s super easy to freeze in portions so you can pull one out whenever you need a bit.

I’ve simplified the recipe from the Fixate cookbook (farourite cookbook right now!). It’s low sodium and packed with healthy things.
Get the cookbook in Canada here.

Healthy and delicious homemade tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz) can tomato paste (no salt added)
2 cans (28-oz each) whole peeled tomatoes or organic crushed tomatoes, pureed in a blender
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil or 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, until onion’s translucent.

Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, honey, salt, an dpepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally for 1 hour.

Enjoy!

calorie-free additions to make your food taste great

herbs and spices

Are you getting bored with the same old same old thing to eat?
Here are some ideas to add lots of flavour without adding any significant calories.  I like to call these my FREE foods. Big flavour, no guilt!

Herbs and spices – I love love love cinnamon. I’ll sprinkle it on sliced apples, in my yogurt, and in my oatmeal. Toss herbs and spices them into and on everything! Chicken with rosemary is great.  I use this Southwest mix on my roast veggies as well as grilled meats, instead of using a commercial (high-sugar!) BBQ sauce: 
Smoky Southwest Seasoning (add to meats and veggies before roasting or grilling)
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt

Red pepper flakes (ok, this falls into the herbs and spices category, but I loooove them.  Red pepper flakes are fabulous in scrambled eggs, and on top of mashed avocado on toast.

Lemon or lime juice – add a squeeze to fish or on top of any food that you want to add a little pick-me-up, or drop a wedge into your water.

Mustard – add to sandwiches or dressings for a big punch of flavour

Tabasco or Sriracha hot sauce – so good in eggs or with a bit of Braggs liquid aminos (a gluten free alternative to soy sauce) in a stir fry.

Garlic and ginger – add one or both to roast or pan-fried veggies

Salsa – while this isn’t calorie-free, it’s very low in calories, and you’ll only be using a little bit.  Add a spoonful to scrambled eggs, use as a sandwich spread, or as an alternative to salad dressing.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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I find it oh-so satisfying making my own vinaigrettes from scratch. It’s one of those ways in which I feel like I’m taking an extra little step in nourishing my family, and it’s super easy! Often all you need is a jam jar to shake shake shake.

This recipe requires a blender or food processor, and the result is a tangy-sweet strawberry delight that livens up any salad. I love making it with blueberries (frozen even, if that’s what you have!) too. I had it the other night on a yummy kale salad mix. I’ve been making batch after batch of this with fresh local berries, while I can still get them!

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (or blueberries)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend everything together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.

Source: slightly adapted from Karma Chow

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vanilla toasted coconut cashew butter

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Oh yummm.. yum yum yumminess. I made this weeks ago and then promptly forgot to share, as I consume more and more of it. I know, I’ve been holding out! This stuff’s amazing, and really not that tough to make. You just need either a food processor or a great high power blender, then you too can enjoy the coconutty vanilla-ey cashewey amazingness. It’s fabulous on toast, and even better on waffles.

vanilla scented toasted coconut & cashew butter

Slightly adapted from The Suburban Soapbox

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
2 cups unsalted raw cashews
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the coconut out and bake for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as you don’t want it to burn. Just let it get golden brown. Set aside

Toast the cashews in the same way (about 10 minutes), until golden.

Dump all your ingredients into a food processor or blender and just keep on blending until it’s nice and creamy.. Depending on the power of your machine, this could be 5-10 minutes.

Pour or scoop into an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks (OK, I’ve had mine in the fridge for a few months now, because I FORGOT ABOUT IT (not sure how!), and it’s still fine.. but best to stick to the 3-week guideline.