Saucy…

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.

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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

Pizza Night…

I mean seriously who doesn’t love pizza? Growing up as kids we always looked forward to Friday night pizza after a long week of cooking homemade delish meals it was a good way to give my mom a night off from cooking.  It also helped that our hometown has an Italian pizza shop on pretty much every corner so there were lots of options!  Pizza is one of my husbands all-time favorite meals I swear he could live on cheese pizza alone, but since we have been moving all over we realized how hard it is to find a decent slice!  When we lived in Washington the only place we found homemade pizza was at the Nordstrom Cafe in the Tacoma mall of all places they seriously have the best food there!

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For a while we ended up trying to make our own with the store bought crust that comes in a can and it was good but didn’t taste the real deal.  So I decided that I was going to try and make dough from scratch and turns out its really pretty simple! You can use this recipe for foccacia bread which is amazing or bake a loaf bread.  The great thing is that it’s so simple you can flavor it however you want.  You could use garlic oil, rosemary, or Italian seasonings and they all work wonderfully!

Recipe

1 Packet Rapid Highly Active Yeast

4c Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1/2c Olive Oil (I use Garlic infused)

1/2c Warm Water

1t Sugar (I use Truvia)

1 Salt

Seasonings of your choice

Directions:

  1. First you want to take your yeast packet and warm water and combine them with the sugar to activate the yeast.  Do this in a separate glass cup or small bowl and wait until it gets really frothy looking.  If your yeast doesn’t work for some reason you can just start over without wasting all of the flour.  Make sure the water is warm to the touch but not scalding hot!
  2. I use my Kitchen Aide mixer with the dough hook to combine the rest of the ingredients.  Put the flour, oil, salt, and yeast mixture in and slowly mix until it forms a smooth ball.
  3. Leave in the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and put in the microwave or any non-drafty place to let it rise for about and hour.
  4. Remove the dough and place in your bread loaf, a sheet pan for foccacia, or shape into large circle on a floured surface for pizza!
  5. A helpful tip is to lightly flour a large flat pan and spread the dough out so you won’t risk ripping the dough to move it into the oven.
  6. Top with anything you like! For us its spinach and garlic for me (vegan friendly option) and plain sauce and cheese for the rest of the fam!

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same exact dough recipe as the pizza just spread out onto a sheet pan with sides and topped with sea salt and Italian seasonings!

xo Meg