Hello eKa CIRCLE
Every time we shop for fruit and veg I try to spare and hour or two to prep some things for easy meals. It means the fridge gets a clean out and an organise as well. A few simple make ahead ideas stocking the fridge pantry and freezer is what makes all the difference to eating healthy meals. I like to blog on this quite a bit as I find people need simple ideas to make fast healthy meals. This is what makes it a lifestyle change as opposed to a diet. See the word LIFE in lifestyle and the word DIE in diet? Say no more.
This week I made a delicious chunky tomato sauce that tastes great on simple pasta, gnocchi or a quick homemade pizza base. It’s great spread on some fresh crusty bread and drizzled with olive oil. Use as an accompaniment for chicken or meat dishes or bake into some kind of oven bake like a basil pesto lasagne or a moussaka.
This week capsicum were on sale so I decided to add them to the sauce for an extra kick of vit C. This is absolutely optional though. The tomatoes were for sale in a large bucket. Often markets or fruiterers will discount something in bulk if they are turning ripe and they have an oversupply. This is exactly what you should look out for to make ahead. Local seasonal produce is always fresher, cheaper and more flavoursome.
Here is the recipe; add or subtract what you prefer. It is great with a kick of chilli. Paprika is also good or try adding extra vegetables like zucchini, celery or carrot. I just toss the herbs in whole for a slow cook sauce as they tend to fall into it well and break apart themselves. Save me some chopping time, I am a lazy cook at heart where there is a short cut I will take it if it doesn’t compromise flavour.
Chunky Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
5 onions, peeled and chopped
3 capsicum, roughly chopped
20 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
a handful of fresh herbs, I used parsley, oregano and rosemary from the garden
5 cloves preserved garlic
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 cups water
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp organic raw sugar
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan. Saute the onion & capsicum until soft. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, a generous handful of fresh herbs, some fresh or preserved garlic . Top with the water, season and simmer for 40 mins or longer. Until it becomes a rich thick sauce. Store the hot sauce in clean sterile jars with secure lids. Don’t forget to recycle your jars for next time.
I spotted one of my all time favourites the old fashioned rhubarb. So I swiftly moved that into my trolley and stewed it with some green apples, lemon and cinnamon. This is a great way to encourage the family to cut back on flavoured yoghurts. Buy some plain naturally set yoghurt and add a spoonful of poached fruit- it is delicious, and will keep well in the fridge for the week if you keep the fruit separate in an airtight container. Save the apple cores and skin as I will share a recipe for how to make apple cider vinegar. It’s always handy to have this on hand for salad dressings, tonics and cleaning. Its effectively a free gift if you are using the apples for another recipe- just add water and a spoonful of sugar.
Stewed Rhubarb & Apples
1 bunch rhubarb, cut into pieces, discard the leaves as they are not edible
5 green apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 lemon, halved
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup filtered water
Simmer the rhubarb, apples,sugar, cinnamon and water for 20 mins or until softened. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Home-Made Apple Cider Vinegar
Pop your green apple cores and skins in a glass bottle and top with filtered water and 1 tbsp of raw sugar. Make sure the apples are submerged. Cover the top of the jar with some muslin and a rubber band. Leave on the bench for 3 weeks, stir regularly until the apples shrink and sink. Don’t allow the apples to be exposed the the air or they will rot. Strain the apples from the vinegar ( you can add them to the compost) then return the vinegar to the jar and store in a cool dark place for 6 weeks to 6 months depending on how fermented you need the vinegar.
This is a great way to cut down shopping budgets and work on becoming a no waste kitchen. Let me know what other tips you do to cut down on food waste? Should any mould grow in any ferment discard the batch.
love & light
M & E