Save the Veggies, Save the World

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So I don’t know about you but generally the way I plan for the week is by deciding ahead of time what we are going to have for dinner each night, or at least each night that I know we will be home and will need feeding.  It’s a little type-A, but I learned it from my mom and it always worked for her.  However once the menus have been planned, and the food bought, life tends to get in the way.  And by life I mean, all of a sudden we are going to watch Zero Dark Thirty and clearly need to have sausages and potatoes for dinner, or WMATA fail epically and it takes 2 hours to get home so ordering Chinese food is the only option.

When “life” plays these kinds of tricks on you occasionally there vegetable casualties, and I absolutely hate to waste an entire eggplant, or a bunch of tomatoes, or some darling zuchini that looked like they needed a good home (in my belly).  Luckily there is a surefire way to use up whatever random veggie you have floating around…spaghetti sauce!  Spaghetti sauce is a great vehicle for using up veggies, as its quick, easy, requires very little prep time, and you can leave it simmering on the stove for hours (in fact leave it simmering for hours, makes it SO much better).  It has the added advantage of being easily freezable, so not only can you rescue almost dead veggies but you can also stash it away for one of those nights you don’t want to cook but want something super yummy.

People have asked me for a sauce recipe and I don’t have one, I kind of just add stuff, but for those who want more guidance here is a loose guide to making awesome sauce;

  • Chop up some onion and garlic and add to a large pot with hot olive oil in the bottom, if you like food with a kick add some crushed red pepper flakes;
  • Then add all veggies, depending on the type let them cook for a bit (for eggplant or mushrooms you want to give them a little bit longer), at the same time add red wine (the cheaper the better);
  • Once that starts to smell yummy add a big can (28oz I think) of crushed tomatoes, and a squirt or two of tomato paste (I recommend buying the resealable tube of paste as they last forever and even if you buy the small cans of tomato paste you can never use them fast enough and they go to waste, and that defeats the whole purpose of today’s activity);
  • From there season till you think it tastes good, I recommend tasting it with bread as that best approximates what it will taste like on pasta without having to have a pot of noodles at the ready;
  • I generally bring the whole concoction to a boil, and then turn it low and let it lightly bubble for a couple hours.

If you want to freeze all or part of your creation wait till it cools off and portion it out, I tend to use soup containers from the Chinese place we keep in business.

Now, go forth and save some innocent veggies!!

 

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