Have you ever left a restaurant savoring the moment of a scrumptious pasta entrée you just devoured, been summoned by the aroma of a mouthwatering red sauce, bean dish, or better yet, enjoyed a bowl of fresh garden delight? It’s all about that base of tomatoes and herbs that produces the taste of satisfaction. If a plate of an Italian, Western, or homegrown veggie choice tickles your fancy, then try one or all three of these tomato base recipes. As always, we want to continue to ask God to bless all of the foods we partake for the nourishment of our bodies. Amen and Bon Appétit.
Herbal Tomato Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
½ white onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped (optional)
½ cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh sweet basil, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
6-7 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoon sea salt
Season freshly ground pepper to taste
In medium pot, boil water. Add tomato chunks, cook until the skin begins to peel. Remove skins and blend the tomatoes in a food processor or by hand if you prefer a chunkier sauce. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat oil over low heat. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil until softened, add onion, bell pepper, oregano, parsley, sweet basil, and brown sugar. Stir until flavors are well-blended. Adjust heat to medium and add tomatoes, sea salt and ground pepper. Bring to a simmer. When sauce thickens, reduce heat and Cover for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
If you find the fresh tomatoes inaccessible, you may substitute with canned tomatoes (drain can juices prior to usage). Store in refrigerator up to a week or canned.
Quick Chili Con Corn
2 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef, ground turkey, or meat substitute
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stem, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 cups chopped tomatoes (or substitute 1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes and 1-15 oz can of tomato sauce to replace the fresh tomatoes)
1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans or black beans or both (Do not drain)
1 – 15 ounce can sweet corn (drain)
In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add olive oil, brown ground beef, ground turkey, or meat substitute (drained). Add garlic, onion, celery, red and bell pepper and stir. Then add chili powder, sugar, sea salt, and black pepper and stir. Pour in the tomatoes, beans, and corn and stir repeatedly. Cover and simmer for an hour. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Serve hot with any of your favorite toppings: grated cheese, green onions, Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
4-5- fresh tomatoes, diced
1 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh sweet basil, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 baguette, cut into slices
In mixing bowl, dice fresh tomatoes, drain slightly. Add garlic, sweet basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. Mix all ingredients, adjust seasoning to taste and cover. Leave it at room temperature or refrigerate for an hour then serve.
Slice baguette, brush with olive oil, and toast. Top with tomato mixture.
…And there you have it.