Tag Archives: Vegetable

The Perfect Pizza Sauce

People think making homemade spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce is so difficult that they turn to store bought, preserved junk. I prefer to can my sauces in the summer and enjoy freshly made sauces all year long. My recipe for the perfect pizza sauce is simple and delicious.

Pizza sauce should be thick, somewhere between a sauce and a paste. When you add meat and vegetables the fat and liquids tend to dilute the whole thing which leads to the tragedy of the cheese sliding off. This is a true tragedy that can be avoided!

You will be amazed how a few simple ingredients can truly make a difference. When I make this pizza, my friends all seem to show up at my house. I am not sure how this happens.

IngredientsHomemade Sauce
8 large tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh basil (if using dried herbs, use half)
1 teaspoon fresh oregano (if using dried herbs, use half)
1 tablespoon julienned sun dried tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of allspice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers

Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and allow it to come up to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for 60 minutes. Check on it periodically to ensure it does not burn. Let cool and store in the fridge for up to a week. I free large batches and also can them.


Indian Style Creamed Spinach

As I had stated in my previous post “Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice,” the perfect plate companion for a spicy meal is a cooling dish. Indian Style Creamed Spinach has a taste of the tropics with coconut flurries and coconut milk that balances perfectly with my Tomato Rice. I love to make this dish a bit on the watery side so I can immerse every spoonful of rice in the sweet flavors.

Dish Includes Indian Style Creamed Spinach

My mom makes this dish a lot when we are at home but I have tinkered with the ingredients to make it my own. I am a coconut fanatic!

I remember when I was a little girl and ice skating was all the rage, I would win the gold metal and leave Kristi Yamaguch wanting to learn from me and skate over to the living room banister to enjoy my coconut pieces sprinkled with raw sugar. I have to mention that the coconut growers of the world were my endorsers. Ah, the imagination I had was unrivaled!


1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 packages frozen spinach, thawed and all of the liquid removed

two tablespoons sour cream

½ can coconut milk (do not get the low at version)

¼ cup unsweetened coconut powder or flurries

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 small chili pepper, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers

In a large pan, heat the oil to medium and add the spinach, cumin powder and chili powder and allow the ingredients to cook for two minutes. Add the coconut milk and coconut powder and let simmer for 10 minutes until it condenses. Serve!

Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice

My parents visit India often to see their family and to visit the many temples throughout the country. As we all know travel can be exhausting and when you get home after a long (20+ hrs) flight there are three things you want to do: shower, eat a huge delicious meal and sleep in your own bed.

Ever since I can remember, I have cooked the same meal for my parents homecoming, Thackalli Thokku Sadam with Moore Keera. You understood that, right? That translates to Indian Style Tomato Rice and Indian Style Creamed Spinach. It is the perfect combination of deliciously spicy rice that is cooled off by a creamy spice infused spinach. So, when I parents got back from their pilgrimage to Indian, I had a plate full of comfort waiting for them. I’ve never seen a plate emptied so fast.

Thackalli Thokku is a spicy tomato spread that is made in Southern India and we like our food hot! We spread it over everything and it is one of my favorite dishes. I like to make it super-hot and it leaves even me grasping for air.  Don’t worry, I’ve tinkered the recipe to ensure the heat level is acceptable for all. Today, I will share the rice portion of the meal and the next post will include the creamed spinach. People think that Indian food is complicated, this recipe will prove to you that is really isn’t.

Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice 2Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice 1

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large riped tomatoes, quartered
Pinch of Asafoetida (if you don’t have it, omit)
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked rice

In a large pan, add the oil and let heat to medium.
Add the tomatoes and spices, and let cook until it comes to a bubble.
Lower the heat and let it cook down for 20-30 minutes.
Mix into the rice and serve.

Tip: I like to make the Thackalli Thokku then cook the rice in it to infuse it full with flavor.
Feel free to use the tomato spread on anything and everything. I love to make a veggie sandwich and load it with the spread, it adds a special kick.