But as usual, I digress. I'm sure I had a point when I started out...oh yeah, cooking from scratch. First, it does require some planning. If I don't have anything planned out, or at least some general idea of what I want to fix, then it's hard to do much 'homemade'. However, with a little planning, and a little internet searching, and some trial and error along the way, you will find that you can prepare healthier, tastier, dishes from fresh ingredients without relying on a box or mix or frozen entree. Or take out. For example, I have bought spaghetti sauce in a jar for years. I always assumed trying to make a homemade spaghetti sauce was way to much trouble when you could open a jar and be done with it. However, my husband has never been a big fan of jarred sauce. I've experimented with different sauces, trying to find the "right" one. He likes a nice thick sauce, (without a lot of chunks of tomato/peppers). People are picky like that. Some like a thin sauce, some like thick, some like sweet, some spicy, blah, blah, blah. Therefore, you may not like this sauce, but we thought it was good. I call it 'semi-homemade'...oh, well, maybe not - seems like that catchy little phrase is taken (and probably copyrighted). So, we can say it's.... 'sort of homemade'. Obviously, you can sub the store-bought canned tomatoes for fresh, or if you have tomatoes put up from last summer. (if so, I'm jealous)
adapted from Nanny's Spaghetti Sauce from allrecipes.com
*We like a meat sauce, so I started out with a pound of lean ground beef, cooked and drained.
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
32 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 of small onion, diced
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 tablespoon white sugar *I used one packet of stevia
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes *omitted and added to my plate
- In a large skillet cook the onion and carrot in a little olive oil until it starts to soften (abt 3 minutes?), add garlic and cook for a minute. The stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, sugar, vinegar, oregano and
red pepper flakescooked ground beef. Stir all together and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes (for the best flavor). Stir frequently to prevent burning.
This made a nice thick sauce that had much more flavor than the Heart Healthy Light No Sugar Added sauce I have been using! It really needed the addition of green pepper....somehow I forgot those, and I had some in the freezer! I grated my carrot really fine, and made sure I mashed up the chunks of tomato for my hubs and middle child (my oldest will not eat sauce). Carrot adds a sweetness to the sauce, so keep that in mind if you add sugar. (Carrot also adds some fiber and beta carotene!)
Bottom line, this is an easy sauce to prepare, even on a week night. Play with it, make it your own, and you will feel good about feeding it to your family.
Of course, I should not mention that I had Wendy's for dinner. But hey, it's Friday. I don't cook much on Fridays :) (I actually did cook the kids' dinner - fresh fruit and corn and baked chicken nuggets- but they ate earlier in the evening. Hubs and I ate fast food and ate late. What a terrible combination!) I definitely better hit the spin class in the morning. We'll see - it starts at 8:15!
hmmm, what's that expression...'do as I say, not as I do?!'
I'm a day late, but I'm linking this up with Think Tank Momma's Share a Spoon! Thursday's theme was ground beef!