I could go on and on about all the different ways to use marinara sauce, it is super easy, low-cal, and delicious!  I usually make a big batch of it and then use it for multiple meals during the week, or use some and freeze the rest.

I always have diced tomatoes and tomato sauce (the plain canned version) in my pantry they are great to whip up chili, tacos, and marinara.  I love having these on hand because they can be used so many different ways and you can easily throw them together on a busy night.


Ingredients Needed:

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 large can tomato sauce

1 T basil

1 T oregano

1 t red pepper flakes (or to taste)

2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

Calories: approximately 65 per 1/2 cup

To get started you simple put some olive oil in a large pan or sauce pot next I like to quickly saute my minced garlic with the seasonings to release some of their flavors before adding in the tomatoes.  IMG_3402 After that simply add in the diced tomatoes I usually use a large can or two smaller cans.  IMG_3403 Then you add in a large can of tomato sauce.  IMG_3404 Let it simmer for about 10-20 minutes and then let cook on low heat for around an hour.  I never add any sugar or anything like that because when you let the tomatoes cook slowly for a longer period of time you get a really delicious tasting sauce with out adding in anything bad for you!IMG_0860 I always use this marinara for home-made pizzas and I find that even with a vegan style pizza it adds tons of flavor to the veggies and I really don’t miss the cheese at all!  Of course I always make two and the second one has all the cheesy goodness of a regular pizza that my hubs and daughter love!IMG_0851 IMG_0863 IMG_0853Then of course you have your traditional uses like with pasta, one of my husbands faves is with homemade chicken cutlets.  You can also make chicken parmesan by simply taking the chicken cutlets topping with sauce and fresh mozzarella and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes and it is so yummy!

IMG_3426 IMG_3428 IMG_3429Xo Meg

Pasta with Veggies…

There seems to be a reoccurring theme with many of my dinners and that is shrimp with veggies!  I don’t eat meat so they are a really easy substitute and I love them with veggies.  I try to mix up what I put them on and what flavors I use to cook them, even though many of my dishes look similar they do actually taste different!  This one is a really good one if you are in the mood for pasta.  I was really craving it this week, what I do is make a bunch of pasta and then I can tailor it to everyone’s specific tastes.  For example, I will eat it veggies and shrimp, my daughter eats just the veggies, and my husband eats it with just sauce and maybe chicken or a burger on the side.  This is usually how dinner goes every night, three different renditions of whatever is on the menu!  It helps to have one base ingredient that everyone likes and just use different add ins.

I first pulled out the marina sauce my mom made us from the freezer (thanks mom!) and let it defrost the day before.  Then that night I made a bunch of pasta almost a pound of Pasta Plus spaghetti.  Then I sautéed the veggies, I just use whatever I have in the fridge today it was zucchini, red onion, and baby spinach.  Then I cooked the shrimp and assembled everyone’s dish and topped with Parmigiano a necessity and only has about 20 calories per tablespoon but it adds so much flavor!

IMG_3042 IMG_3047 IMG_3048 IMG_3050 IMG_3051 IMG_3054I absolutely love the marina sauce that my mom and mom-mom make it is so delish and actually very easy to make.


1 Can Crushed Tomatoes

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 t crushed garlic

1/4 c diced red onions

Oregano, Basil, Salt, & Pepper to taste

*Cook onions and garlic in oil until translucent and then add the tomatoes and seasonings and heat through on stove top.  You could easily double this recipe and store extra in the freezer for a quick meal later!

xo Meg