Today has been crazy and I am just finding a moment to sit down. I have a love/hate relationship with days like this. They go fast, but then it is 4:30 (time to start thinking about dinner) and I haven't accomplished what I exactly needed to (work).
I'm pretty excited with my comments on Facebook and the general interest y'all are showing toward this 'cleanse'. I have had many great conversations about my reasons for losing weight, my eating plan, my exercise routines... It has been extremely therapeutic. It has been fun to reconnect with people that I haven't seen in years. I woke up this morning so happy and that has been a long time coming. I have good friends! It is also comforting to know that I am not alone in this diet.
So those that are joining me on this, now that you are nearing the end of day 1, how are you feeling? What kind of stuff do you need from me to help you be successful in your endeavor?
I am going to share with you my favorite marinara recipe that I personally think knocks the socks off of any homemade sauce EVER (if you've got something better, send it my way!)
(this recipe was adapted from the 1998 Jr. League of SLC 'Always in Season' cookbook. pg. 116. I'm not sure if you can still get this book or not?? I inherited it from my Grandma Seegmiller when she passed 10 years ago)
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 tsp pre-minced from the jar)
1 cup chopped parsley or flat-leaf Italian parsley (fresh)
1 cup mushrooms (add more/less if you love/hate them)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes, or 8 large fresh tomatoes (I use 1 quart of puree that I canned last year)
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine or beef broth (I only add this when I use store canned tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes and home canned tomatoes have plenty of liquid)
1 1/2 tsps each dried oregano and basil leaves (fresh is good, too)
1/2 tsps each garlic salt and pepper (or more to taste)
Saute the onion, garlic, parsley and mushrooms in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Add undrained tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and stir in 1 cup of wine broth (if using). Reduce heat to low and add the water, basil, oregano, garlic salt & pepper.
Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup wine/broth (if using) and simmer for 10 minutes longer, or until desired consistency.
I love to add ground turkey (cooked in another pan) or Italian turkey sausage in the last ten minutes. In the fall season, I add squash, zucchini, and eggplant to it. You can add any veggies when you add your mushrooms. You can also add 1/4 cup kalamata olives when you add your spices. I can get about 3 meals out of this recipe for my family of four.
In the good ol' days we ate this over gobs and gobs of angel hair pasta, but recently I've eaten it over spaghetti squash. To prepare a spaghetti squash, I cut it in half and clean the guts out. Then I bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400*. When it is done, you can shred it with a fork. It is good! I usually prepare the kids regular pasta because mine won't eat squash (although 1/2 the time I sneak squash into the sauce anyway). Leftovers will keep in your fridge for a few days.
Other uses for this sauce:
I take 4 large chicken breasts and pour about 2 cups of sauce over the top. Bake it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 375*. I used to add mozzarella to the top in the last 10 minutes. If that would make your family more excited, add it.
It is good over roasted eggplant. Just cut your eggplant in slices and dry them out for a bit on a paper towel. Add a little olive oil and garlic salt to both sides. Roast in the over for about 10 minutes at 400*. Flip the eggplant circles and top with sauce and cook for a few more minutes.
Mix it with ground turkey and make meat loaf.
I know we all want to dip cheesy breadsticks in it, but resist! I promise it does not taste like a healthy food!