Tag Archive | vegetarian

Marinara Sauce

English: Ravioli Marinara (Mangia Trattoria)

English: Ravioli Marinara (Mangia Trattoria) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh I just have to share that I don’t like spaghetti and sauce. I am extremely picky when it comes to red sauces. I’ve made one with meat and canned it even for years. But it never seems to be sweet enough for me.  I even learned a trick of sticking a whole carrot into the sauce as it cooks and it soaks up acidity.  Yesterday I wanted to make a quick dinner. I had bought some premade tortellini from Costco thinking it would be fast. Well I just didn’t want to open a can of red sauce I decided to make my own and try a different simple recipe.  I even made a white sauce to go with it thinking I would at least be able to mix the two and I would like it better. Well I have to say the red sauce was fantastic. I’m so excited about it!! By the way it’s super easy!

Marinara Sauce (Meatless)

Brown 1 med. onion in 1 T olive oil
3 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cans water
1 can pumpkin (this is what sweetens it and adds another veggie for picky kids)
3-4 cloves garlic
3 tsp Italian spices
salt & pepper to taste

Simmer as long as you can. I only had 1 hour and it was still great.  This made a large batch. Enough for 2-3 meals. Freeze the leftovers.

Stir Fry

It’s late and I should be sleeping. I am so ready for school to start but one more day until it does. I am all about vegetables and cleansing my body right now. I have a bit of cravings still from eating sugar over Christmas. Wow my body really reacts to corn chips and pure sugar.  I have to get back to last year when there was none of that in my house so then I wasn’t tempted!  I need to go grocery shopping so tonight I used up the last of my fresh vegetables and made Stir fry.

Electric rice cooker including scoop, containi...

I love rice cookers


I cooked short grain brown rice in my rice cooker. (If you don’t have one I highly suggest it! It’s made my life so much easier in the kitchen and no more wasted burnt rice down the sink.)

Easy Stir Fry

3 T coconut oil

1/4 head of cabbage, shredded fine

4 carrot sticks sliced thin

1 c chopped Broccoli

1/2 head of cauliflower

1/2  red onion, sliced into strips-pole to pole

1/2 T grated fresh ginger(makes all the difference if fresh)

1 heaping T chopped fresh garlic

The key to good stir fry is keeping the pan hot. Turn on your pan to low with the oil in it while you chop. Then right before you are ready turn the heat to high. Then add your onions. Saute 2 min. Then add your veggie that takes the longest to cook like cauliflower or carrots. Saute 2-3 min. Then add your second veggie like the broccoli & sauté 2-3 min.  Add your garlic and ginger. Once your veggies are done to your liking add the sauce but only cook a minute if you using arrowroot. You don’t want to boil arrowroot or it doesn’t stay thick. Serve over brown rice.  This is a great recipe to use up whatever veggie you have in your fridge. You can add meat, chicken or shrimp. Just remove the veggies add more oil to your pan and cook the protein then add the veggies back in and add the sauce.


1-2 T soy sauce or coconut aminos

2 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp Mirin

A bottle of commercially produced Japanese mirin


1 tsp Rice wine vinegar

1 tsp + sesame oil

1 T arrowroot powder or corn starch
These are estimates cause I love to just throw it together and hope it tastes good. Oh did it!!  So try it and if it’s not to your liking adjust. I think the Mirin was particularly great in it. Find it in the Asian section of the grocery store.

Cold-fighting Cabbage Soup

I found this great recipe for fighting colds on a wonderful blog called Frantically Simple. I thought I would try it since I had cabbage and carrots that needed to be used in my fridge. No one in my house has a cold right now but it can’t hurt.

I needed a crockpot meal so I did it in my crockpot.  I browned the onions while I put everything else in the crockpot. Once the onions were browned lightly I put my about a cup of my veggie broth into the onion pan to soak up all the wonderful browned flavor sticking to the bottom of the pan then I dumped it into the crockpot.  I cooked for 4 hours on high.
Cold Fighting Cabbage Soup (Vegan)

Health Benefits of Cabbage Soup

  • Cabbage is an excellent natural source of vitamin C.  Did you know that cabbage has even more vitamin C than oranges?  Unlike oranges, however, cabbage is not mucous producing.  Heaven knows, you don’t want any more of that when you have a cold.  (I am horrified that I used the word mucous in a recipe post, but there it is.)
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic.  Perfect for fighting off the nasties.
  • Both garlic and cabbage are blood cleansers, helping to remove toxins from the body.
  • Vegetables are easier for the body to digest than meat.  This frees up some of your body’s energy for cold-fighting.
  • This soup is cheap to make.  What, that’s not a health benefit?  Well, I always feel better when my money stays in my purse.  Don’t you?

Other benefits:

  • It only takes a half an hour to make.
  • This recipe makes enough to for several meals.
  • Did I mention how cheap this soup is?  Especially if you make your own (free!) vegetable stock.
  • Most importantly, it’s filling, satisfying and really yummy.

Newt and I each enjoyed a couple of bowls  for lunch.  When we heard that Newt’s Grandma wasn’t feeling well, we took some over to her.  There was still a whole lot of soup left over.  I ladled it into pint canning jars and put it in the freezer.  Next time we want some, I’ll just pull out a jar and pop it in the microwave.  It’s the perfect serving size for two.
Why don’t you make up a batch to freeze and have on hand for the upcoming cold and flu season? You’ll thank me later.

Cold Fighting Cabbage Soup
Recipe type: Soups
Author: Heidi @ Frantically Simple
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 10 – 12
This soup is filled with cold-fighting power, and it tastes great too! Carnivores, don’t let the vegan label throw you. This soup is great no matter what.
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium sized white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 a large head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (if you prefer, chicken broth could be substituted)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: cubed or torn day-old bread and additional olive oil
  1. In a large stock-pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent – about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to cook until onion is slightly browned.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except for bread and additional olive oil). Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until carrots and cabbage are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. To serve, ladle into bowls. Top with a handful of cubed or torn day-old bread and a drizzle of olive oil.
Update:  I took the leftovers to a friend for lunch and we added yellow summer squash, 1/2 tsp italian seasonings, and sprinkled fresh sage over the top.  It was much better. I think this soup is a good catalyst for adding more things. Served with wonderful homemade honey oat bread and cucumbers.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I found a  great new cookbook from the library called The Vegetarian SlowCooker.  

I tried this new recipe and my whole family ate it. My hubby gave it a score of 7. Which is pretty good for a vegetarian dish.  Because it was so healthy and easy  I would give it at least an 8.5!  I served it with a Thai Coleslaw.

Lentil Sloppy Joes (With my adaptations. I also doubled this and had enough leftovers for lunch the next day!)

1 T butter

1 onion, finely chopped

4 celery stalks, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c organic ketchup

1/4 c water (more if adding uncooked lentils)

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T sucanat or brown sugar

1 T Dijon mustard

2 c cooked brown or green lentils, drained and rinsed (I soaked my lentils for a couple of hours then put about 3 cups of the soaked lentils right into the crockpot.)

In a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 min.  Add garlic, oregano, salt to taste and cook for 1 min.  Stir in ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Transfer to slow cooker. Add lentils and stir well.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours until hot and bubbly. Add hot pepper sauce if you want. I didn’t. Serve over homemade buns!

Thai Coleslaw

This is from another cookbook I found at the library.  The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook.  I haven’t been as impressed with this one but have only tried 3 recipes from it. This dressing scored big with me. Again with my adaptations.

1/2 a head of cabbage shredded small

2 carrots shredded

1/4 tsp sea salt

3/4 c Sesame Orange Vinaigrette(below)

I think it would be yummy to add mango, peanuts, fresh pineapple or roasted sesame seeds. I didn’t as I was in a hurry and my kitchen was a mess with my husband trying to install a dishwasher, that’s another story.

Sesame Orange Vinaigrette

1/2 c orange juice (freshly squeezed yum)

1/4 c rice vinegar

1/4 c maple syrup

2 T grated ginger(don’t skip this)

3/4 c olive oil

1/4 c toasted sesame oil (I just realized I skipped this and it was still yummy)

1 T sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all together and pour over salad!