Posts Tagged ‘tomato sauce’

So my summer tomato craving has extended to canned tomatoes.  I use jarred pasta sauce often, but every once in a while I like to make my own sauce.  This is a 40 minute meal from start to finish.  You could cut down on the prep time by simply browning the ground beef and adding it to the sauce instead of making the meatballs.  My kids love meatballs so we almost always make them.  I used fresh basil and oregano from my yard for this recipe.

You may find it strange that I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs in my meatballs.  I wanted to use something whole grain that served the same purpose and oatmeal is great alternative.  Just be sure to use plain quick cooking oats.  Start heating your pasta cooking water after you get the meatballs in the pan so that it boils while the sauce simmers.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (ground round or leaner)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons quick cooking oatmeal
  • ¼ milk
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounce can peeled crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup total fresh basil and oregano leaves roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Mix together the meatball ingredients with a fork until well combined.  Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 12 inch non-stick pan (I like Calphalon’s hard anodized 12 inch sauté pan).  Form 1”meatballs adding them to the pan as you form them.  Make sure to leave some room in between each one.  Brown well, about 4 minutes, flip them carefully and brown the other side.  Remove meatballs to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Pour all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the pan and add onion and garlic.  Sauté until fragrant, about 90 seconds and add the chopped fresh herbs.  Sauté briefly then carefully pour in the canned tomatoes.  Season with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and very gently stir to submerge most of them in the sauce.  If you like your sauce thinner cover the pan and turn heat to low.  If you like a thicker sauce like me, leave the pan uncovered and the heat on medium low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes while your pasta cooks. Serve with whatever kind of pasta you like and parmesan cheese.  We like the non-fancy kind in the green can.  Serves 5.

New Camera = lots of pictures 🙂


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So I’ve been reading YOU: On a Diet, which is really interesting by the way, and Doctors Oz and Roizen really want us all to eat more cooked tomatoes.  Tomatoes contain lycopene which is full of antioxidants that  reduce the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration.  I have no idea of what macular degeneration is but it sounds bad and I’m sure you’ll google it if you want to know.  The amount of all this good stuff is concentrated in cooked and canned tomatoes.  I love pasta with tomato sauce but the family would probably get sick of it if we had it 3 times a week.  I came up with this pizza because its super easy, the crust is just a whole wheat tortilla, and it has whole grain, tomato sauce, cheese for protein and veggies all in one.  I like to use jarred pasta sauce because I can screw the lid back on and heat it up later in the week with some cream cheese mixed in for cheesy tomato spaghetti.

Lean Ham and Pineapple Pizza

Seriously Simple Personal Pizza is extremely versatile, make it any way you like.  Kids can make their own pizza, keeping them busy for a few minutes and making them feel important.  Use good quality olive oil based pizza or pasta sauce.  Poorer quality sauces might have the dreaded and evil high fructose corn syrup, (see below if you want to know why it is so evil), and they usually have a higher water content that makes the crust soggy.  Don’t limit yourself to mozzarella cheese, use whatever you or your kids like.  We usually use Colby jack, and a sprinkle of Parmesan.  It’s a fun way to have your kids help cook and its fast and I’m fairly sure healthy – as long as you don’t use half a pound of cheese on one pizza.

You will need:

  • Whole wheat burrito or enchilada sized tortillas (Check the label for wholesomeness, but I usually get the store brand ones because they are slightly thinner and get crisper)
  • Pizza or Pasta sauce (about 1/4 cup per pizza)
  • Cheese (about 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup per pizza)
  • Whatever toppings you like, ham and pineapple, mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, onions, spinach, leftover rotessiere chicken, olives. 
  • You will also need non-stick cooking spray and cookie sheets.  One cookie sheet per 2 pizzas

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray the cookie sheets with cooking spray.  Top your tortilla crust with about 1/4 cup of sauce.  Use more if you like a lot of sauce but your pizza may not get crispy in the middle.  Top sauce with cheese and other toppings.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes on lowest oven rack.  If you are using 2 cookie sheets use the 2 lowest racks and switch them halfway through.  Let them rest for a minute of two before slicing.  Enjoy! (seriously)

The Sweat of the Devil, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)  

My new friends Doctors Oz and Roizen say that your body doesn’t even recognize HFCS as food because it is so remarkably unnatural.  When you eat calories from a healthy food like nuts your brain recognizes the right kind of calories and sends “I’m satisfied” messages to you brain so that you stop eating when you’re full.  That part of your brain can’t recognize HFCS so your desire to eat is less inhibited and you eat more of the “bad ” food because your brain doesn’t think you’re satisfied.  Not only do you eat more of the processed food item at the moment you may eat again sooner because you still feel hungry. 

It really is a fascinating book, a little technical, but it explains so much about why we eat the things we do and how it all affects the way we think and feel and vice versa.  They also have YOU: The Owner’s Manual which contains a lot of the same info, but isn’t focused on weight loss.  For more info www.realage.com.


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