Al’s Spaghetti Sauce
FYI - If you make this recipe to save money and/or time - it will do neither. It will give you the satisfaction of making a great homemade product. Truly a labor of love.
2 - 28oz cans Dei Fratelli Chopped Italian Tomatoes
1 - 28oz can Dei Fratelli Diced Tomatoes
2 - 15oz cans Dei Fratelli Tomato Sauce
1 - 12oz can Everyday Essentials Tomato Paste
1 - Medium Sized fresh tomato (optional - had one on hand)
2 - Cups Cherry Tomatoes - halved (optional - had some on hand)
1 - Large (or 2 Medium) White Onion - diced
1 - 8oz package of Mushrooms - diced
2 to 3 - Medium sized Zucchinis
2 to 3 - Medium sized Yellow Squash
2 - Medium sized carrots - peeled and fine grated.
Minced garlic (you decide how much)
Penzey’s Dried Oregano
Fresh Thyme (stripped from stem)
Fresh Basil (several leaves fine chopped)
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 - lbs Ground Chuck.
The ingredients used above will fill a 7QT pot. Scale your batch accordingly. We freeze measured amounts of sauce in a container - enough for 3-4 servings.
Place a 7QT pot on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pot. Add carrot, 1/2 of diced onion, zucchini, squash, 1/3 of diced mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, & oregano. Stir.
Sauté until veggies are tender (about 5 - 10 minutes). You might have to add more EVOO during sauté time. Onions will start caramelize. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Add about a teaspoon of fresh thyme and tablespoon of fresh basil.
Add all tomato products and 1/3 of diced mushrooms to pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce to a texture of your liking. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a screen and stir often. The goal is to reduce the water content and concentrate the tomato mixture. This process will take 2 to 3 (or more) hours. Place a teaspoon of the sauce on a plate to see how much liquid spreads out from the edges. I don’t like much water in my sauce, so there’s very little. Season to taste with salt and pepper after it’s done reducing. Salting too much before reduction will also concentrate the salt. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano and more fresh thyme if you like. Stir
While tomato/veggie mixture is reducing, brown the ground chuck.
In another pan sauté the remaining diced onions, remaining diced mushrooms, and some garlic until soft. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Add ground chuck. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle of dried oregano. Break up and stir. Drain excess grease. If you are freezing the entire batch - allow to cool before adding to sauce. If you plan to use the sauce right away - add meat to sauce if it’s reduced to your liking.
Cool before freezer packaging. Fill sink with enough cold water ice to reach 1/2 up the sauce pot when placed into sink. Stir every few minutes.
Seasoned Vegetable Medley with Shrimp
Seasoned Vegetable Medley with Sauteed Shrimp
This veggie dish has become a favorite in our house. I make a large batch so I can have left overs. I like to make an omelet with these veggies.
This dish is all about timing. You don't want the shrimp to get done first and get cold. You don't want to leave the veggies in the pan waiting for the shrimp to get done.
The veggies will cook at different rates; you can help adjust for that by paying attention to piece size. Cauliflower and carrots tends to take longer to cook due to their density. I like to have a bit larger pieces of cauliflower, so those go in first. I try to keep the carrot slices about 1/4" thick. Broccoli, squash, and zucchini cook pretty quickly - keep a close eye on them so they don't turn to mush.
I tend to like my veggies on the crunchy side, so adjust the cooking times to suit your tastes.
1/2 lemon - quartered
Grass Fed Butter
Granulated garlic (Penzey's)
Granulated onion (Penzey's)
Tuscan Sunset (Penzey's)
Fresh ground pepper
1 lb raw, peeled, devained, and cleaned shrimp
Granulated garlic (Penzey's)
Granulated onion (Penzey's)
Forward (Penzey's) Adds a bit of heat and spice
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Place shrimp on a plate.
Season shrimp with garlic, onion, Foward, salt & pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Mix well.
Set aside while working on the veggies
Cut veggies into bite sized pieces. Place large saute pan on medium high heat.
Add olive oil to pan. Add cauliflower. Stir.
Squeeze lemon pieces over cauliflower and add lemon pieces in the pan.
Add splashes of water to create steam. When water has evaporated, add a bit more. Do this through out the entire cooking process.
Lightly season with granulated garlic, onion, Tuscan Sunset, salt and pepper.
Stir. Allow cauliflower to saute/steam for about 2 - 3 minutes.
Heat another saute pan for shrimp.
Add carrots - lightly season - stir - add a bit more water - stir for 3 - 4 minutes.
Add a bit of olive oil and shrimp to other saute pan. Stir.
Add broccoli - lightly season - stir - add a bit more water - stir for 1 - 2 minutes.
Add squash and zucchini - lightly season - stir - add a bit more water - stir for 1 - 2 minutes.
Remove shrimp pan from heat. Shrimp should be pink.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter to veggies. Stir while melting.
Taste and add additional seasoning if needed.
Remove the lemon pieces.
Plate the veggies, top with shrimp.
Until the next good eats - cook well and be well.
Cold Pasta Salad
For those of us without kids, we are going to squeeze every last bit out of summer before it slinks into fall.
Summer time = cookouts and family gatherings
Cookouts and family gatherings = cold pasta salads!
Any cookout worth its salt has a cold pasta salad present. Years ago, a relative of Peg's brought this [non-gluten-free] pasta salad to a summer family event. Peg said that I'd really like it - it was tangy, zesty and a bit spicy. Yup - sounds like right up my alley, but I couldn't touch it.
Until today...we made this salad for our group's annual cookout! Nothing is off-limits at this cookout!
Gluten?!? We don't need no stinkin' gluten!
Jovial Foods was kind enough to send us some samples of their pasta [my sole intent was making a rightous cold pasta salad]. I think we accomplished that mission!
1 lb Jovial Gluten-Free Penne Rigate Pasta.
1 Small Onion
1 Green Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Small Zuchinni
½ lb of Mozzerella cheese (cubed)
½ lb of Hormel Pepperoni Slices (chopped)
¼ lb Hillshire Farms Hard Salami Slices – chopped.
3 Stalks Celery (sliced)
3 Fresh tomatoes (sliced or chunked)
1 can pitted black olives (sliced)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup of canola oil
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup Heinz White Vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon Penzey's Orgeno
½ teaspoon Penzey's Pizza Seasoning
¼ teaspoon Penzey's Garlic Powder
Mix dressing ingredients, veggies & meat chill for at least 2 hours. Do not mix in cheese.
Make gluten-free pasta several hours before eating. Allow to cool (room temp).
Mix pasta, dressing with veggies and meat, and cheese together. Chill until needed.
Gluten-free pastas have a tendancy to harden when cold. Jovial's Penne has a much better texture [softer] when chilled overnight.
Jovial's GF products are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.
Vegetable Beef End of Summer Soup
1 - 2 pounds stew meat (not pre-seasoned or pre-marinaded)
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 32 oz carton GF beef stock (Kitchen Basics, Swanson’s, Pacific, Imagine)
1 48 oz bottle V8 Juice
2 - 3 cups cubed fresh rutabagas
2 - 3 cups peeled & sliced fresh carrots
2 - 3 cups chopped fresh green beans
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 ears cooked fresh corn cut off the cob or frozen
3/4 cups of frozen peas
3 cups chopped cabbage
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
optional: 1 packet of HerbOx beef bouillon
optional: 1 small 5.5oz can of tomato juice
Add olive oil to your soup pot or dutch oven and brown stew meat.
Add beef stock and V8 juice to pot and stir.
Add carrots and rutabagas. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all the rest of the veggies and bay leaf.
Stir and simmer covered pot for about 3 hrs.
Rinse the bottle of V8 and add water to pot [about 1-2 cups].
The amounts of veggies can be adjusted to your tastes. I added the additional HerbOx and tomato juice because I felt there was more veggies than liquid. I didn't want to loose flavor as I added liquid, so I used the HerbOx
This recipe is adapted from Living Without Summer 2005 issue.
It's one of our favorites and gets rave reviews from all who've tried - gluten-free or otherwise.
We save it for the fall/winter when it is cold and yucky on the outside and warm and yummy on the inside.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion - diced
2 medium carrots - sliced
2 stalks celery - sliced
1 medium potato - diced
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 small zuchinni
1 tspn oregano
2 tspn salt
4 cups GF chicken broth (Kitchen Basics, Swanson’s, Pacific, Imagine)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup fresh or frozen green bean (1 1/2" pieces)
1 15oz can kidney beans - drained & rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional) or 2 cubes of frozen homemade basil pesto (See Al Notes)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Add olive oil, butter & garlic to a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute until onion is transparent and soft.
Add celery, carrots, potato. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and chicken broth.
Bring soup up to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes. Veggies should be tender.
Add the corn, green beans, kidney beans, zucchini and simmer for another 15-30 minutes.
Stir in fresh basil or add frozen pesto cubes and allow to melt.
Serve hot and don't eat too much. You could also top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Since we made a double batch, we use both kidney beans and black beans.
In the summer I will make fresh basil pesto. This is usually a Saturday project for me. We have a little farmers market downtown and I'll get several bunches. I'll whiz up a batch and pour it in ice cube trays and freeze it. After about a month of pesto making, we'll have several freezer bags full of pesto cubes we can use for a whole bunch of things...like this soup!