Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simple Tomato Sauce

Getting some children to eat vegetables can be tricky.  So I'm a big believer in tricking them!!  This quick and easy tomato sauce can be loaded up with grated vegetables to increase their intake of fiber and vitamins. 

Tomatoes are  loaded with lycopene -- a substance that protects against many cancers. Cooking tomatoes makes them even healthier because the heat releases the lycopene. Also, pairing tomato foods with a good fat, like olive oil, helps the body absorb more.


Simple Tomato Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

This is a quick and easy tomato sauce that you can adjust to suit your family’s taste. The red pepper is optional.  If you have an extra tomato on hand you can add to the canned tomatoes to brighten the flavor.

Basic Sauce

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
4--5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
Salt and black pepper

Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor in  10 --1 second pulses; set aside.
Cook the garlic, tomato paste, pepper flakes(optional) and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the pureed tomatoes and sugar and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This hold in the refrigerator for several days.

This is an easy recipe to supplement from what you have in the kitchen.  Grated carrots or zucchini (1/4 cup) can be added with the garlic to increase the fiber and vitamins.  Minced parsley is a bright addition to the basil.  Whole or chopped tomatoes can be used in place of canned diced tomatoes or use fresh. 

I like to use tomato paste in the tube.  You squeeze out what you need so there is no waste in using a partial can of paste.

To make this into a dipping sauce, cook about 45 minutes or until the desired consistency.

Cradle Mountain Kitchen

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