Monday, August 16, 2010

Basic Tomato Mixture

I have not shared a recipe with you girls and guys in awhile and I thought a dinner recipe would be a nice change from my usual breakfast ideas.  This isn't so much a full on recipe as it is a base for your dinner creations. 

When Bill and I started dating, he made it pretty clear that he was watching his sugar intake.  I was concerned that he wasn't getting enough vegetables.  Enter my Basic Tomato Mixture to save the day!  This is what could loosely be called a tomato sauce and I use it for the base of pretty much everything: chicken saute, pasta, stuffed zucchini, herb sauce for grilled eggplant etc.  You name it, this mixture works for it...except, say, in smoothies.

Basic Mixture
1 Red Onion (or yellow...doesn't matter), chopped
Few cloves of garlic (your preference)
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil (a tablespoon maybe?  I am pretty liberal with the EVOO)
Saute all over medium until onions are soft.  Watch your garlic so it doesn't brown/burn
Add 1 or 2 cans of unsalted tomatoes (stewed, chopped, whole...whatever) OR a few fresh tomatoes
Add a few handfuls of spinach (I use regular, not baby.  Its cheaper)
Add some seasonings...fresh herbs from your garden, mixed dried Italian herbs, some red wine maybe, crushed red pepper.  Go wild!  Or go boring - your call completely.
Saute down until it tastes and looks good to you.

The Add Ins!
You can do pretty much anything here:
Simmer chicken breast in the Mixture
Add it to pasta
Throw in some grated cheese maybe
Cook it with some lean ground turkey and stuff a zucchini or peppers (maybe add bread crumbs and an egg) and bake
Add in cooked chicken sausage
Add in a can of cannellini or butter beans

In this photo its the Basic Mixture plus zucchini from the garden and a can of butter beans:

This is a complete meal (including dairy if you add cheese) and it is delicious.  And Fast!  It may sound like a lot of steps, but I whip this up a few times a week and the time it takes is minimal.

Now for my new secret ingredient!  For years I have been making the Mixture as stated above, but about a month ago I received a pack of Garlic Gold!

I have been adding this stuff to everything, but mostly to the Mixture or to sauteed or grilled veggies. 
Which flavor do I add?  All of them!  Or 1 of them...they are delicious and easy to use because they are mild.  Seriously - Bill even used these all on his own one night to make me some zucchini and it was great!

***My apologies for no weekend post as promised - Bill and I got all gussied up for our anniversary dinner and I was going to do a special post so you all could see what we look like when we are not climbing a mountain...but alas, camera malfunction***

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