Tag Archives: olive oil

The Sauce And The Mess

Are you a clean freak?  I am.  I can go INSANE with the cleaning.  And, I do – especially in the kitchen.

I’m obviously looking for affirmation.  So, tell me you’re crazy like me!  Are you?

And nothing – and I mean nothing – messes up a kitchen like making your favorite marinara sauce.  Whether from scratch or Semi Olie-Made, it’s all a mess.  But, what’s a girl to do when all she wants for dinner is to hit up the sauce?  You make it anyway and worry about the consequences after the delicious meal is over.

See my pretty kitchen?  That sauce looks harmless right?

It’s not.  It’s a tomato-licious volcano ready to explode EVERYWHERE.

A closer look only proves my point.  The pot is already spewing and I can imagine the horror and catastrophe to be left behind once it really simmers.  (Are these my actual thoughts when I cook?  Yes.  And, yes – I have problems.  No judgment!)

At this point you may be thinking/pondering of the following:

1.  Why didn’t she just use a bigger pot?  Great question folks!  I have no answer other than – I didn’t think it would get this large.  That’s what she said.

2.  What is that around the stove trim rings?  Don’t know what I’m talking about.  Look again:

This is my NUMERO UNO tip for keeping your stove clean – FOIL!  If you have ever cleaned them, you know it’s a mess.  You have soak, scrub and sometimes repeat the process. 

I tend to cook many meals at one time and it takes a toll on my stove top.  If you’re like me, you know that things get stuck after that much heat.

Wrapping the rings in foil is a trick my mom taught me to ensure that I have one less thing to clean.  I not only wrap the ring, but I also the part under the ring – the cup-like part with the hole in it.  (That’s what she said.)  If you think of the name – tell me and I can delete this whole pathetic paragraph with one word!

Easy keep-it-clean tips/tricks like these help me relax just a little bit more when I cook.  Tips/tricks like these help me relax just a little bit more while I enjoy my favorite marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) canned tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of cherry tomatoes, halved (or you can use regular tomatoes – 1 cup chopped)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey (vegan option: sugar)
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled finely with your hands
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat large (don’t make the same mistake I did) sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Pour olive oil and heat.
  3. Add onions and garlic.  Saute until translucent.
  4. Add fresh tomatoes, honey, salt and bay leaves.  Cook until the tomatoes become soft and the juices start flowing – approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Pour entire can of tomatoes into sauce pan.
  6. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
  7. 30 minutes before the sauce is done – add the tomato paste, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper.

Extra:

–  I added tempeh to mine as follows:

  • 30 minutes before the sauce is done, I saute 8 oz tempeh (roughly chopped) in another pan with some olive oil until fully heated inside and a bit browned on the outside.
  • Add it into the sauce about 15 minutes before the sauce is done.

–  This is a chunky sauce.  If you want it to be smoother, run the final sauce (prior to the addition of any tempeh) through the blender.  Or use your immersion blender.

How do you keep your kitchen clean while you cook?  What’s your keep-it-clean tip/trick?  Do you wrap your stove rings in foil?  Are you a clean freak?

11 Comments

Filed under Favorites, garlic, Italian, olive oil, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Cilantro You Glad I Didn’t Say Basil?

Did I mention that I love sandwiches?  And I have been having them!  They have been delicious – especially the addition of hummus.

But, as with the seasons, it was time for a change.

There’s a new sandwich spread in town and it’s not fancy.  It’s not shmancy.  It’s just really good.  Like really. good.

Cilantro Pesto.

Say hello.

Note:  I hate raw unadulterated cilantro.  It’s got too much of a bite that I can’t take.

So, when I started making this, I thought this might be a no-go.  Not so.

The mix of the spicy cilantro with the mellow walnut and the nutty parmesan really make this spread/sauce work beautifully together.  Like having the perfect number of people on the see-saw to make it go up and down. 

You didn’t just have one person on each side did you?  If so, well…we rolled a little differently at my school.  It could have been that the swing-set was always ‘under repair’ from some kid that broke it or tossed up the swing seats and got it rolled on the bars – were you that kid?  If so, I’m mad at you.

Back to the pesto!

It’s yummy.

It’s cheap.  Basil is way more expensive than cilantro.  And, pine nuts – don’t even get me started on that price!

Helpful hint:  Instead of having to mince garlic for the spread, put it first into the food processor before adding everything else.

So you can imagine what my lunch looked like today!

A fabulous sandwich with sliced turkey and gouda.

It pairs well with dijon mustard.

For all that is good and great – go home, make this dip.  It will change your life.

Cilantro Pesto

Inspired by KERF

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Mince garlic cloves in food processor.
  • Add cilantro, walnuts and parmesan cheese; puree  until it forms a paste.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • While processing, add olive oil through the spout until everything is mixed together well.

15 Comments

Filed under Favorites, garlic, olive oil, Vegetarian

The Way Veggies Should Taste

Have you seen those ranch commercials?  Where everything is a vegetable and kids are happily eating it because they have the option of dunking said vegetable in ranch dressing?

I see those commercials.  And, I crave ranch dressing.  I love ranch and could/have eaten it on everything.  Forgive me Father for I have sinned….with Ranch Dressing.

Despite my obsession with ranch dressing, the idea of enticing kids to eat vegetables slathered in ranch (or cheese flavored sauce) is a little off.

I admit – I don’t have kids.  But, I hated uncooked vegetables growing up.  To this day, I have some reservations.  The thought of eating raw broccoli without any sort of dressing/liquid makes my mouth dry.

I too would rely on ranch dressing to save my non-liked raw vegetables.  It made every bite of my raw broccoli taste divine.  After a couple of months, I realized that every salad or vegetable that I dunked (literally) in ranch dressing was not me craving vegetables, but rather a not-so-secret way of getting my daily dose of ranch dressing.  I don’t know if I left liking the vegetable more.  I dare say I did not.

I fell victim to this.

What has changed today?  Nothing with regards to broccoli.  Raw – the florets are a little hard for me to chew through.

My non-ranch resolution?

HUMMUS!!

Nowadays, I use hummus on almost everything.  A replacement for mayo, the protein in a wrap, dip for my veggies – even broccoli.

What’s your healthy replacement?  Do you like eating raw veggies?  Raw broccoli?  If not, how do you deal?

Hummus

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained but reserve 1/4 liquid
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • Throw everything into the food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and top with the paprika and one more tablespoon of olive oil.  If you have sumac spice on hand, use that in place of paprika.

18 Comments

Filed under garlic, Health, olive oil, Vegan