Sauces Toppings Dressings

Chimichurri

chim

What you’ll need:

-2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves

-3 garlic cloves

-1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves 

-1/4 cup red wine vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper

-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 -black pepper to taste

-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method:
  1. Place all ingredients except oil in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Usually takes 1-2 minutes.
  2. With motor running, pour in olive oil and let run until well incorporated. You may need to stop and scrape the mixture down a few times. When done, transfer to Mason jar or any airtight container you have on hand. Sauce can be stored up to one week. 
 
Notes: For the best results, prepare sauce a day before you plan to use it to give the flavor some time to settle. 

Marinara Sauce

florida11

To make my marinara I use organic homegrown vegetables  fresh from my garden. Like most vegetables,  tomatoes at the top of the dirty dozen list and are genetically modified. As a conscious consumer, it’s very important to me to avoid GMO’s, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and preservatives.

Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

What you’ll need

-2 tbs olive oil

-56 oz tomatoes

-1 white onion

-3 cloves garlic

-1/2 cup fresh basil

-1/2 cup fresh oregano

-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to food processor until diced and mixed.
  2. Heat olive oil on medium heat and add your mixture. Cook on low for about 45 minutes.

Hot Pickled Peppers

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What you’ll need:
-1 1/2 lbs hot or sweet peppers
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-5 cups distilled white vinegar
-1 cup water
-Mason jars
peppers2
Method:
Choose your peppers. I use spicy. Pictured above is a mixture of long hot peppers and jalapeño. I also enjoy ghost and habanero peppers. You can even use sweet peppers or a mixture of hot and sweet. Whatever you’d like.
Wash and remove stems. Cut peppers into rings or leave them whole. If leaving them whole, poke a few small holes so the peppers will absorb the flavor. For a less spicier version, remove the seeds.
Place lids in boiling water. Once they are heated, let them sit in the water to stay warm before adding to the jar.
Combine vinegar, water and garlic in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Strain and discard the garlic.
Pack peppers in a mason jar. I use about a handful of each pepper I’m using.
Pour mixture over the top until jar is full. Seal tightly with lid.
If you’re using the canning method, at this point you’d want to boil the jars for 10 minutes. I skip that step.
This recipe will make one jar of the peppers. Double or triple it for more.
The longer the peppers sit, the more flavorful. Store in the fridge for months or in a dark, cool place. Can be stored for up to 1 year using the canning method.

Homemade Basil Pesto

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There’s no greater feeling than being able to pick fresh herbs from my own backyard and transform them into one of my favorite sauces.

What you’ll need:
-Handful of fresh basil
-2 tbs pine nuts
-2 tbs olive oil
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-2 cloves of garlic
-1 tbs vegan Parmesan cheese
Method:
  1. Add all ingredients to a high powdered blender or food processor and blend until creamy.
This recipe makes one serving of pesto. If you’re planning on sharing, double or triple the ingredients. If you’d like the sauce to be thinner, add a generous amount of oil until you reach the consistency you’re looking for.
The combinations for pesto are endless. For example, you can swap the basil for kale/spinach or the pine nuts for almonds. I’ve noticed the almonds give it a thicker texture so if you want to go creamy, pine nuts are your best bet. There’s also pistachios, walnuts or cashews. Be creative! Still flavorful either way and extremely versatile. In an air tight container, pesto will last for about a week. If you’re like me and prep your meals, you can make extra to freeze. I use ice trays. The ice trays really come in handy when I have an overload of veggies or herbs to preserve.

 

My favorite way to use pesto is on top of no-cheese pizza. It’s become my go-to alternative for the traditional tomato sauce. It adds so much flavor I forget the cheese isn’t there. If you’re looking to go beyond pizza and pasta you can:

-Drizzle some over your burritos or wraps.

-Add it to fresh or baked bread.

-Mix a little in your salad dressing or other dips like hummus or guacamole.

-Drizzle on top of soup or stew.

I have a few recipes listed under lunch/dinner. Check out the zucchini and tomato pesto pasta.

 

3-Ingredient Apricot & Nectarine Jam

necjam

This jam went great with my homemade bagels.  Fresh and warm out of the oven, nothing like it.
bagell
What you’ll need:
-8 nectarines, seeds removed
-2 cups organic cane sugar
-1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Method:
  1. Place nectarines, lemon juice and sugar in a large pot.
  2. Over medium-high heat, allow mixture to boil until it becomes liquidy.
  3. Continue to cook and stir for about 20 minutes until it becomes thick. Be sure to keep stirring or it will start to burn.
  4. When ready, store in a mason jar.
This jam will last in the fridge for about a week unless you’re using the canning method. In that case, it’ll store up to a year.  I use the same method for strawberry and peach.
Notes: Use ripe fruit and don’t remove the skin. The skin of the fruit naturally contains pectin that will really help with the texture. For a little extra flavor, feel free to add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

4-Ingredient Dairy-Free Mayo

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Serving size: 2 cups

There are some really tasty alternatives on the market but homemade mayo has a freshness you won’t find in store. It takes less than 2 minutes and all you need is a high powered mixer.

What you’ll need:

-1 cup olive oil

-1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used organic, non GMO soy milk)

-2 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

-dash of sea salt. garlic optional

Start by placing your milk, oil, salt and vinegar in a wide mouth jar, bowl, or blender and pulse until mayo appears. It will be light and fluffy in texture.

Note: I use an immersion hand blender for the best results. You can use any plant based milk you’d like but soy gives it a thicker texture. Feel free to  mix it up a little with your oil. Grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, etc.

 

Italian Vinaigrette Dressing

italian

Serving size: 1 cup

Time: 5 minutes

 

What you’ll need:

-3/4 cup olive oil

-2 tbs white wine vinegar

-2 tbs red wine vinegar

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-1 tbs shallots, minced

-1 tsp dijon mustard

-1 tsp honey

-1 tsp oregano

-1 tsp basil

-1 tsp parsley

-1 tsp thyme

-Crushed pepper, salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust as needed. I usually add more crushed pepper because I like to give it an extra kick.

Keep refrigerated and it’ll hold for up to two weeks. This recipe makes one cup.

If you’re looking for a creamier, Olive Garden styled Italian dressing, you can also try this one:

italiandressing

What you’ll need:

-2/3 cup olive oil

-3 tbs Dijon mustard

-1 tsp honey

-1/2 cup lemon juice

-4 garlic cloves, minced

-2 tsp oregano

-2 tsp basil

-1/2 tsp crushed pepper

-1 tsp salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust as needed.

This recipe is more of a base and can go any way you’d like it to. I find myself adding more garlic and herbs.