Homemade Tomato Sauce

homemade tomato sauce | homemade marinara sauce

I started making homemade tomato sauce a couple of  years ago using fresh tomatoes from my garden. I loved the taste so much more than store-bought tomato sauces but sometimes I just couldn’t find the time to go through the process of removing the skin and seeds from all the tomatoes. So, instead of forgoing homemade sauce for store sauce when I was short on time, I started using canned tomatoes. It’s so fast and still better than store-bought!

Ingredients

  • Pam Cooking Spray
  • 1 –  28 oz. can diced tomatoes with the juice drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

Drain tomatoes and pulse in blender or food processor. Don’t liquify them, they should still be slightly lumpy.

Spray a large pot pot with pam and saute garlic over medium heat for about a minute. Don’t allow it to brown. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, brown sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. To speed things along you can cook it just until desired consistency but I like to simmer it longer to give the flavors time to mingle.

Remove bay leaves and celery and serve.
Variations:

Saute these additions with cooking spray & garlic until tender, before adding the tomatoes.

– add 1 onion, finely diced

– add 1 green bell pepper, diced

– add 2 carrots, diced

– add 2 stalks celery, finely diced

Vegan Almost Raw Blueberry Dessert Bars

vegan almost raw blueberry bars recipeFor my husbands birthday last week a friend made him some blueberry streusel bars. They were delish! I ate them for breakfast, snacks & dessert until sadly, they were gone. Craving more I decide to make a batch myself but wanted to cut down on the sugar and make them healthier to alleviate some of my guilt. The results were amazing! A friend of mine even gave them the “best dessert EVER” award!

Even though there are 3 parts to the recipe, the crust, filling & topping, it’s actually pretty easy to make! The recipe uses nuts in the crust & the topping and although it’s a healthy fat, you may opt to cut down on some of the fat by replacing some of the nuts in the streusel topping with oats. Enjoy!

CRUST:
2 cups walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla

Add crust ingredients to food processor and process until crumbly. Pat down into bottom of pan.

FILLING:
4 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar or 1/2 cup pitted dates (processed until fine)
4 teaspoons potato starch or corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tbsp water.

Put all filling ingredients in saucepan. Lightly mash blueberries leaving them chunky & cook on low until desired consistency. spread over crust.

STREUSEL TOPPING:
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup unsweet coconut
2 cups dates
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg.

Process streusel ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle on top of blueberry filling. Chill until crust sets, about an hour. Eat. Yum!

Variations:

– Substitute blueberries with mixed berries

– Substitute blueberries with diced apples