While making my usual batch of veggie broth for future new creations, I realized I had an opportunity to use my leftover marinara/tomato sauce. If you think anything like me, wasting leftover pasta sauce after slaving away to make it nutritious is the worst! Not only that, but as my mom always said, there are starving people in [insert most starving country to inspire me to clear my plate in thankfulness].
This got me thinking, I wonder how many other people out in cyber space spend time slaving over their gourmet pasta sauce, just to have most of it go to waste? There are so many things you can do with pasta sauce. My blog is all about finding ways to increase the nutritional content in recipes. Since this means I cook “real” and “unprocessed” foods, it also means I am always reusing parts of my recipes to create new ones. The most amazing part? Leftover spaghetti sauce is even more flavorful after you’ve let it sit.
As you know, all of my recipes on this blog are vegetarian. My recipes are vegetarian, vegan, or raw because real vegetables and fruits are what real people never get enough of in their diet. Protein? If you look at most diets nowadays they are rich in protein. People don’t have a problem working that in, however, vegetables can get boring from time to time. And when is the last time you can say you truly incorporated the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet? Every day? If you can’t recall, or only know how to do it through juicing, have no fear! Tomato sauce is here!
My husband doesn’t tend to like the texture of vegetables, so we are constantly adjusting the textures to fancy his taste buds.
Here is my husband’s favorite version of pasta sauce, also suitable for any kid who runs at the sight of a vegetable. 😉
- 1 box of Pomi diced or whole tomatoes or glass jar of a natural tomato sauce
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 tomato paste can full of water
- 16 oz of pureed spinach (we usually wait to cook it until its in the sauce)
- 2 peeled and pureed zucchinis (cook it once its in the sauce)
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp oregano (my husband sometimes likes 2 tbsp oregano)
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp cumin
Sauce the onions in a little oil then simmer with the rest of the ingredients for at least 1 hour. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it becomes. I usually use my iron skillet since I like how wide it is for an evenly cooked sauce, but a sauce pot will work fine too.
How to use this pasta sauce in leftovers?
Add 2 tablespoons of your tomato sauce to your soup base to make a great tomato based soup. Talk about a pumped up veggie soup!
Need a veggie broth recipe?
For 2 quarts of broth: Make a great veggie broth at home by letting whatever leftover veggies you have simmer in the crock pot before you leave for work, or on a weekend when you have some hours you can leave it to brew. When you get home the veggies should be mushy and tasteless because all the flavor will be in the broth. When you get home from work, (8-9 hours on low crock pot heat) strain the broth, throw out the vegetables, and its ready to go! I usually pour these in ice-cube trays unless I’m using it immediately.
Pro Tip: My favorite broth includes turnips, carrots, leeks, onion, garlic, parsnips, and bay leaves. You only need to scrub the vegetables and chop them roughly. No peeling needed!
Once you have your broth, try my minestrone! I will have it posted tomorrow, January 23, 2015.
2. Dipping Sauce
No recipe needed! Use the tomato sauce as is or add a little sweetener and/or finishing salt
My favorite way to use this is to make zucchini sticks (see picture on the left), which I will have my recipe out for at some point.
3. Pizza Sauce
Cook down a 1/2 cup of tomato sauce for half an hour, add 2 tsp honey, a dash of cayenne, and use on your favorite pizza! I usually make my own since I have a bread maker to do the heavy lifting, but if you don’t want to make a crust (I’ll be providing a recipe soon!), try Ezekiel’s sprouted english muffins or a gluten-free bagel for personal pizzas.
Make a saucy ratatouille! Ratatouille is usually just vegetables baked with herbs and tomato paste, but add sauce and you just modernized this oldie but goodie! Check out Laurie’s fabulous recipe on the right here.
5. Any kind of loaf: quinoa, lentil, tofu or meat loaf
Replace your favorite recipe’s ketchup with tomato sauce, add a little honey (or sweetener of choice), and you have a super healthy dinner with an added 5 vegetable-blend bonus to your loaf. Check out Stephanie’s recipe on the left!
There you have it! 5 fast and family-friendly meals for a work week. No one will go hungry and you will know your family has the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
*The picture used at the top is from my lasagna recipe. Check it out here!