Lazy Sauce

Cut tomatoes around the core to make them easier to seed and chop.

When you think of spaghetti sauce do you think of slaving over a stove for hours stirring your life away?  That’s how I learned to make it.  Slaving in the kitchen for something that turns out amazing.  It’s worth the work if you have the time.  And the patience.  There are days that I don’t have either.  When my Filipino tapeworm rumbles, it must be fed or there is no end to the grumbling.  Add to that the nature of my job being so physical.  Sometimes I don’t want to be in the kitchen forever.  My feet like to rest, too.

These days my sauces for pasta are easy.  Things that won’t take me a long time to do.  Chop, chop, chop, throw in pot.  Or pan.  Stir a few times.  Voila!  Easy.

What makes it even easier is when you have leftovers to use up but don’t know what to do with them.

Tonight, I made a meat sauce chock full of vegetables.  My intention was to just use tomatoes and a zucchini.  That’s all I bought for the sauce.  However, I found myself with half an eggplant that needed to be used or it would end up tossed and some mushrooms that Chaz bought, but didn’t use.  That would be a lot of chopping though.  I didn’t want to do a lot of chopping.  My body is still in recovery from being glutened 4 times in 2 weeks and work has been very busy which

Veggies in the food processor

has added to the physical stress on my body.  I also had an ACE treatment (acupuncture, chiropractic, and energy work) this afternoon.  So the other question was, prep before or after the appointment?

I chose before.  I threw all the produce in the food processor and then added it to the crock pot with the leftover meatloaf.  It didn’t look quite so colorful as before I started the processor, but there was still flavor and lots of nutrients!

This sauce lends itself to using just about anything for a pasta sauce that you might need to use up.  It helps to stretch that dollar.  You can stretch it even more by saving your veggie trimmings in a ziploc bag in the freezer for making broth later.  I like to use carrots in my sauce when I have them.  I don’t normally use eggplant because it does change the color and the taste of the sauce significantly.  I always use tomatoes and garlic, though.  Always.  That is a must.  I’m hoping the tomato plant I bought Sunday will yield some nice tomatoes in the future for more Lazy Sauce.

Lazy Sauce (serves 6)

1/2 leftover gluten-free meatloaf (if you don’t eat meat or want meat that night, use beans)

Pasta with Lazy Sauce

5 tomatoes, seeded

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 zucchini, 3 inch slices

4 baby bella mushrooms (ends trimmed)

1 handful basil leaves

salt

Process tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, and basil in food processor for about 4 minutes.  Add veggies through the tube if everything won’t fit at one time.  Place the processed produce in a slow cooker on low with the leftover meatloaf (or beans).  Stir after an hour to help break up the meatloaf.  Cook for at least 6 hours on low.   The longer you have it in the slow cooker the more flavor develops and the juicier it becomes.  Add salt about 30  minutes before serving.  Garnish with anything you like.  Fresh herbs, cheese, etc.  For tonight’s dinner, I garnished with Parmesan cheese and Crushed Chili Pepper.

Comfort Food

Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, & Roasted Brussel Sprouts

My first time making gluten-free meatloaf, I left out the bread crumbs and relied on egg and flax seed to help hold it all together.  It was tasty, but my husband wasn’t fond of it not really sticking together.  I can’t say I blame him.  It’s hard to adjust to old favorites done differently, at times drastically.

I made it again a few months later, this time using gluten-free bread crumbs from Katz Gluten-Free.  I was amazed.  It was even better than my gluten-full recipe.  Alas, I forgot to write it down.

It’s been pretty cold around here and when I made last week’s menu, I decided I needed some comfort food.  There is only so much snow I can take you know.

If it is at all possible, I think the meatloaf was even better than the last.  I nominate it for Best Meatloaf Ever.  I didn’t even add tomato sauce or ketchup on top.  I couldn’t find the sauce I thought I had when it was time to put it on and said screw it and let it bake some more without it.  It was so good that I didn’t even have any saved for later use in spaghetti sauce.  Yes, I ate it all.  Well, most of it.  Okay, 2/3rds of it.

Best Meatloaf Ever

2 pounds ground beef (I used grass-fed beef)

1 cup gluten-free beef broth (I make my own)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread crumbs toasted with minced garlic, then tossed with fresh parsley (I made the bread crumbs from some gluten-free bread)

1 egg

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

salt

pepper

pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, or ketchup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with your hands.  Pour into a loaf pan (if you have a meatloaf pan, use it).  Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Add the tomato based sauce on top in a thin layer and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caraway & Leeks

I love Brussel sprouts.  I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t pass them up.  I usually make them pan roasted with either ground coriander or ground cardamom.  This time I oven roasted them with leeks and caraway seeds.  So easy and so tasty.  The caraway seeds kept jumping into the mashed potatoes and adding a little flavor to those, as well.  I do miss rye bread and bite that caraway gives it.  I thoroughly enjoyed this.  If you don’t like caraway, it would be fine with just the leeks.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caraway & Leeks

Brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered

Grapeseed oil (or other oil of your choice)

1 leek, halved lengthwise, sliced, and rinsed

caraway seed

salt

pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Place all ingredients in a baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 because I had a lot of Brussel sprouts), toss, and place in the oven.  Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.  Bake longer if you like your Brussel sprouts well cooked.

This post is linked to Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance

This post is linked to The GFE Virtual Gluten-free Support Group at gluten-free easily.