Archives for category: tomatoes

Homemade Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

slow-cooker-homemade-marinara-sauce-recipe

I’m all about Whole30 recipes lately. They are healthy and delicious, full of clean eating foods, and fresh ingredients. Here’s an easy way to make a big batch of marinara sauce, perfect for spiralized zucchini noodles AKA zoodles, or baked spaghetti squash. The best part is you can freeze the leftovers in individual portions for later. Yay!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1  1/2 c. finely diced carrots
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and garlic. Sauté veggies until carrots soften, approximately 5 minutes or so.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker. (I use crock pot liners so there’s less mess to clean later)
  • Add remaining marinara sauce ingredients to slow cooker then whisk to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

This makes a thick, somewhat chunky sauce, which I love. If you prefer a thinner sauce however, you can use an immersion blender to thin it out.

Freezing Instructions: Prepare as instructed above. Cool sauce to room temperature, then ladle into freezer-safe containers or ziplock freezer bags (in 1 or 2 cup portions, depending on how much you will need at a time). Before serving, thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight. Or, empty frozen sauce in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sauce comes to a simmer.

Slow Cooker

recipe adapted from Whole30.com

Italian Zucchini UNpasta Salad

The zucchinis in our garden are growing like, well, zucchinis in August, ha. I love using my spiral cutter to turn them into noodles AKA zoodles. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is a great make-ahead option since the more it marinates in the dressing the more intense the flavors become. It has all the usual ingredients of an Italian pasta salad — red onions, black olives, oregano, basil, salami, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cheese — minus the pasta! It’s a great recipe to keep on hand for summer potlucks because it is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Italian Pasta Salad without the pasta - Spiralized Zucchini noodles
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci, and she uses a fancy big ol’ spiral cutter called “The Inspiralizer.” However I just use a basic GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer. No matter how you slice it (pun intended) spiral cut zucchinis are an awesome low-carb alternative to pasta.

Alrighty then. Here’s the recipe…

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiral cut into “noodles”
  • 1 can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a combination of red and orange)
  • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 c. sliced salami
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. sliced black olives
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • fresh basil, minced, to taste (I used 4 large leaves)
  • Parsley, chopped, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

In a large bowl combine zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, onion, and olives.

In a separate bowl, whisk these together to make the dressing: vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing on top of the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the dressing starts to soften the zucchini. Serve chilled.

 

 

spiral slicer

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Ahhhh the spiralizer. I love this kitchen gadget. You can turn veggies like zucchinis, cucumbers, and carrots into awesome healthy low-carb dishes. Turn zucchinis into noodles = Zoodles!

Here’s an easy no-cook salad that’s perfect for summer veggies from the Farmer’s Market or your garden. It has the delicious flavor of a traditional Italian caprese pasta salad, but without the pasta.

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Zucchini Caprese Salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, cut into spiral “noodles”
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes (I used a combination of orange and red)
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Place zucchini and tomatoes in a mixing bowl.

Make the marinade in a separate bowl by combining the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic.

Pour marinade over the zucchini and tomatoes and stir gently to combine. Place in fridge to marinade for 10-20 minutes (the longer the zucchini marinates the more flavorful it will become).

Remove from fridge, add the cheese and basil to the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.

recipe adapted from Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci

I tried a pasta and cream sauce recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and added a few goodies: red wine, red pepper flakes, and oregano. It was easy and delicious! Here’s how it turned out:

Pasta with Red Wine Cream Sauce - so delicious - ditch the jars of boring spaghetti sauce! This recipe is THE one to use.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle of dried oregano
  • dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 lb. dry pasta

WHAT YOU DO:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain, reserving 1 c. of pasta water, and set both aside.

In the empty pan used to cook the pasta, heat butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.

Pour in tomatoes, red wine, and add sugar and spices.

Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings, adjusting if needed.

Stir in pasta, thin with some of the pasta water (if needed). Add chopped basil and serve.

Here’s a show and tell of my lunch 🙂 I sauteed fresh veggies in a teaspoon of EVOO, and added some red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and garlic. I added a serving of whole wheat penne pasta, but have done this with feta, chicken, brown rice too. I included the estimated nutrition information, WW points, and the 21 day fix container counts for each option.

Choose Your Own Adventure Veggie Toss - includes nutrition info for a ton of options and 21 Day Fix contianer counts - pasta, chicken, feta, brown rice

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 c. (which is 1 green 21 Day Fix container) fresh asparagus, cut into pieces

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) portabello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

To taste: lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.

Options:

  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz. (1 red container) baked chicken
  • 1/4 c. (1 blue container) crumbled feta cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

In a saucepan, saute the EVOO, veggies, and garlic. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes to taste.

Mix in your pasta, rice, chicken, or feta to desired temperature, and serve.

Veggie Toss - choose your faves - includes nutrition info for 21 Day Fix container counts and nutrition info for each option

Estimated Nutrition Info for Fresh Veggies sauteed with your favorite option - 21 Day Fix and WW friendly

Here’s a healthy, low-carb, pizza option: instead of crust, use roasted eggplant slices. This is similar to my earlier zucchini pizza recipe, except this has a homemade sauce. It takes a little longer to prepare but it’s worth it! You could also add your favorite vegetable or meat toppings to these.

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe

I didn’t have Italian Seasoning, so I make my own little combo of herbs, as you will see. 

Eggplant Pizza Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 globe eggplant, around 8 ounces or so
  • 1 Tbs. salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
  • For sprinkling on eggplant before roasting: 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (*or see note below for what I did)
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend*
    (*note: I didn’t have Italian seasoning so I made my own combination, to taste, with dried basil; dried oregano; dried parsley; garlic powder; onion powder; black pepper; and red pepper flakes.)
  • Optional toppings when serving: red pepper flakes, garlic powder, parmesan cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut 3/4 inch thick slices. Put eggplant slices on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the salted eggplant sit for 30 minutes or so, to draw out the liquid.

While the eggplant is sitting preheat oven to 375°F.

Also while the eggplant sits, make the sauce. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat 2 tsp. EVOO, adding the garlic and sauteing just until it becomes fragrant (don’t let it brown). Add tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning (*or whatever combination of herbs you want), and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks. Add water as needed, a few spoonfuls at a time as the sauce cooks, keeping it hot until you need it for the eggplant slices.

After 30 minutes, wipe eggplant dry with paper towels, which will also remove most of the salt.

Mist a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray (I used parchment paper), lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with EVOO, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning (*or your own herb combo mentioned earlier).

Roast eggplant for 25 minutes or so, making sure not to overcook them, which would make them soggy.

While eggplant roasts, combine grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

After eggplant pieces are done, remove from oven and turn oven temperature to broil.

Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, and top with cheese. Place under broiler for 1-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot, with optional toppings.

recipe adapted from kalynskitchen.com

Roasted Eggplants Pizza Recipe - slice evenly then let sit with salt to remove excess moisture

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe - make an awesome red sauce with tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and herbs

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe - roast slices then top with sauce and cheeses, then broil

Roasted Eggplant Pizza - top roasted eggplant slices with sauce and cheeses then broil

Roasted Eggplant Pizzas Recipe - sooooo delicious

Use a baking sheet for awesome eggplant pizzas

Here’s a lasagna that I made in a cast iron skillet, that can go straight into the oven to bake. Gotta love one-pot meals! I used ground turkey since it’s a little healthier than beef, but any ground lean meat would work. It was cheesy and delicious.

Skillet Lasagna - from the stove to the oven in just minutes. So easy and so yummy

One-Skillet Lasagna

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 c. diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes containing garlic and onions, undrained
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 c. water
10 oz. wide egg noodles
4 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. shredded Italian Blend cheese
optional: fresh basil for garnish

WHAT YOU DO:

In a cast iron skillet (or oven-safe pan), brown turkey over med-low heat until thoroughly cooked.

Drain grease from turkey, and return to skillet.

Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins. Add garlic and oregano and cook for another minute or so.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and noodles.

Cook, stirring often, for approx 10 mins, or until noodles are al dente.

Stir in ricotta, then and add salt & pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese. Let sit for about 5 mins to allow cheese to melt.

Place skillet in oven and broil for 3-5 mins, or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly.

Garnish with fresh basil (optional) then serve.

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recipe adapted from ihearteating.com

20 Minute Baked Cheesy Taco Pie

Put a twist on Taco Tuesday! Add taco meat to a round casserole dish, add tortillas, salsa, and cheese, and you’re 20 minutes away from a baked cheesy taco pie! Customize with your favorite toppings: sour cream, cilantro, olives, green onions, etc.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - it's like a circle lasagna of taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes.

20 Minute Baked Cheesy Taco Pie

WHAT YOU NEED:
– 4 large flour tortillas (burrito sized)
– 1 jar black bean & corn salsa
– 1 package taco seasoning
– 3 c fiesta blend shredded cheese
– 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
– optional toppings: sour cream, cilantro, olives, black beans, tomatoes, additional salsa and cheese, green onions

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In medium-sized skillet, brown ground meat and drain then prepare according to taco seasoning package directions.

Once meat is cooked, pour a small amount of the mixture into bottom of a 2.5 quart round oven-safe casserole dish.

Place a soft tortilla on top of meat mixture.

Spread the tortilla with 1/4 c beef mixture, 1/4 c salsa and 1/4 c cheddar cheese.

– Repeat for each later and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven for approximately 15-20 min until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Garnish with optional toppings, if desired, and serve.

recipebookandmorewordpress.com

 

recipe adapted from pintsizedtreasures.com

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - it's like a circle lasagna of layered taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - circle lasagna of layered taco-y goodness! Just 20 minutes and only 5 easy ingredients. This one's a keeper.

5 ingredient Baked Cheesy Taco Pie - Just 20 minutes and easy ingredients. This one's a keeper.

 casserole dish

One of my favorite summer recipes is a mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil and olive oil salad. We recently had some leftover crusty garlic bread (I don’t know why, but I hate the word “crusty”) so I made a crostini with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil, and the bread. It was basically the mozzarella and tomato salad on top of garlic-y toasted goodness. Here’s how it turned out:

Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil crostini. Delicious healthy ingredients on top of thinly sliced toasted bread.

 

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Crostini

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • French bread, cut into thin slices (however many slices you need)
  • A few Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 10-20 cherry tomatoes (depending on how many slices of bread you have), chopped
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella cheese (I used one slice per crostini)

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Brush bread slices with EVOO and sprinkle with garlic. Place on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 3-5 mins until toasted.
  • In a bowl, mix tomatoes, a drizzle of EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • After bread is toasted, place slices on a serving platter. Top with a slice of mozzarella, then tomato mixture. Garnish with fresh basil.

Delicious and simple crostini - just a few ingredients but tons of flavor.

 

Also check out these meatless options:

Stuffed Baby Bellas

Fresh Pesto

Homemade Ranch Hummus

Wasabi Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Feta, Avocado & Tomato Pita “Nachos”

Mango Salsa

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Whole Wheat Noodles with Fresh Veggies

Lemony Smashed Dill Mustard Potatoes

Skinny Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (no cream – Greek yogurt!)

Our basil plants are still growing like crazy. I have used them in pesto, tomato salads, and now in this creamy tomato basil soup. It is lightened up by switching out cream, and using nonfat plain Greek yogurt. There are only 125 calories and 7 grams of fat! Creamy Tomato Basil Soup - Greek nonfat yogurt instead of cream! Fresh ingredients and only 125 calories for a big bowl. Perfect for eating light - Meatless option.

recipe adapted from fannetasticfood.com

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 C. chicken (or vegetable) broth – try homemade!
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped + extra for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 C. plain nonfat Greek yogurt

WHAT YOU DO: In a medium sized pot add olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes and saute on medium heat for a few minutes. Add broth, basil, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to med-low, and let simmer about 15 mins. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 mins. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in small batches) to puree. Then reheat it, add yogurt and serve. Garnish with fresh basil.

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ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFO:

125 cal.

7 g fat

9 g carbs

o.5 g fiber

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup - Greek nonfat yogurt instead of cream! Fresh ingredients and only 125 calories for a giant bowl. Perfect for eating light, and Meatless Monday option.