Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blender Spaghetti Sauce

Since I've bought my Blendtec blender, I've used it to make a couple different soups, at least 20 smoothies, hummus, salsa, flour, and pancakes. Lately my focus has been to eliminate foods with preservatives, so this week I expanded my blender creations to include spaghetti sauce.

Give the recipe below a try and see what you think. I added a couple handfuls of torn, fresh spinach while I was simmering the sauce and then spooned it over some rice noodles with a side of steamed asparagus. Mmm-mmm-mmm. I was quite pleased with myself to say the least.

3 cups tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 onion, quartered
6 oz. canned tomato paste (I didn't have any, so I threw in an extra tomato—still tasted good but made sauce too runny.)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon agave

Put all ingredients in a Blendtec blender in the order they are listed. Put the lid on and press DRESSINGS. Then pour into a saucepan and simmer for 45 minutes.


Jacqui said...

I like your new blog, Mildred. I've been thinking a lot about this lately--getting rid of the preservatives (I write this as I'm eating my 5th Oreo cookie).

I read a YA novel where the main charater did the same thing. It was called Fat Cat. I think you'd like it.

I'm intrigued. Was it really hard to do? Do you think it's something I could conceivibly do with my children and husband who are addicted to milk, cheese and ketchup?

Kate said...

1. Jacqui, it was surprisingly easy for me. It’s still baffling, because heaven to me is a tall glass of milk and a stack of Oreo cookies, so I can definitely empathize. And cheese? Don’t get me started. On average I would eat 3 servings of cheese a day. But I think I’ve figured out why it was so easy—the hope of finding a better quality of life outweighed the reasons to hold onto my “favorite” foods. And I didn’t focus on what I couldn’t eat anymore. Instead it was a fun challenge to find recipes that did accommodate my new healthier lifestyle. The added energy I feel now is reason enough for me to never go back to my old way of eating. Granted, I was pretty much a slug when I made the food switch two months ago, so maybe I’m about at a turtle pace now, but it’s still improvement!

2. Jacqui, you of all people can do it! You’re the queen of “putting up” and creative cooking. I am 100% confident in your abilities. A gradual transition might be the best. I would start by replacing all your butters, shortenings, and oils with cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil. It’s a significantly health change, but no one's taste buds will notice much difference.

You could also start by gradually substituting cow’s milk with rice or almond milk. Your kids won’t notice much of a difference on cereal. They will notice the taste difference in a straight glass of almond milk, but maybe they’ll like it. I’m not to that point yet, although it is amazing in hot chocolate! Start giving them more juice or smoothies instead of milk.

The hardest part for me is knowing how to replace granola bars and string cheese and fruit snacks—my on-the-go staples. My best substitutes so far are nuts and garbanzo beans. I don’t eat peanuts or cashews anymore (no tears) because they’re acidic, but I eat a lot of almonds and Brazilian nuts, and my next goal is to learn how to sprout nuts.

Another help is buying agave or stevia to replace white sugar. For a while I was using honey to sweeten things, but I’ve even done away with that. 1 cup sugar = 2/3 cup agave.

So back to your question, do I think your family can handle the changes?—yes. Sit down with your hubby and discuss the pros and cons until the hard work now and the healthier future outweigh the easier diet now but the more serious health consequences down the road. Your kids will thank you!

PS: I just did some quick Googling research, and there’s a positive link between coconut oil and Down’s syndrome. One Web site said that coconut oil helps balance glucose levels, so it often helps children with autism or Downs’ syndrom, who don’t get enough glucose to their brains . . . at least, that’s what I understood. We’ll have to keep talking about this!