Friday, January 27, 2017

Eating More Vegetables: Homemade Italian

Last year Kristin over at LiveSimply.Me posted a hearty roasted vegetables spaghetti sauce recipe. At first  I was sceptical, but I was also somewhat desperate to get more vegetables into my picky toddler's belly, not to mention my dear husband. Pasta is one of my little boy's favorite foods and he doesn't mind if it is whole wheat so I made the sauce and boiled a pot of whole Einkorn Spaghetti Noodles  and he gobbled it up. I altered the recipe a little to suit my family and the sauce turned out delicious. Although my husband didn't care for the whole grain pasta, he also enjoyed the sauce. 

Since that night I have been serving up this vegetable packed sauce with spaghetti with grass-fed ground beef in it and in lasagna. I am very excited that Jovial is now making traditional pastas and I have great hopes my husband will enjoy them. 

Einkorn seems to make a huge difference in my health as well as my family's and I count it as an important part of our diet. I make a big order from Jovial from time to time and stock my pantry with einkorn wheat berries, pastas, sea salt sourdough crackers, beans, tomatoes, olive oil, and all-purpose einkorn flour. I feel the taste and nutrition is well worth the higher price tag.

The first time I made cheese pizza for lunch with this sauce and einkorn flour crust, my toddler said, " Mom, this is the best pizza I ever ate!" Aaaw, it is so satisfying to make a nutritious meal that everyone loves and I don't have to worry about making up for the nutrition later.

*Hearty Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

Bethany Thompson Style Inspired by Kristin Marr

3 med size Carrots (about 1 ½ cups chopped)
2 med size Zucchini (about 2 cups chopped)
1 orange Bell Pepper
1 med size yellow Onion
4 whole Garlic cloves, peeled
2 TB extra virgin Olive Oil
1-2 cups halved white Mushrooms
1 tsp Salt, divided
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 - 28 oz can Whole Plum Tomatoes (with juice)
2 TB Tomato Paste
2 cups Chicken Stock
1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp dried Organo
finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Chop the carrots, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini into equal size pieces as best as you can. Spread vegetables onto a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper if desired. Sprinkle the whole garlic cloves onto the pan of vegetables.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle ½ tsp of the salt and all the black pepper over the veggies. Using your clean hands, mix the vegetables to evenly coat them with the oil and seasoning.
Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, and add the halved mushrooms. 

Use a wooden spoon to stir the mushrooms in with the roasted vegetables. 

Roast the vegetables again for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked & soft.
Carefully slide the vegetables into a large Dutch oven or pot and add the canned tomatoes (with juice).

Blend the veggies and tomatoes together with an immersion blender.
To the pot, add tomato paste, chicken stock, oregano, and the rest of the salt.

Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Stir in the Maple Syrup and adjust seasonings to taste.

When ready to serve, stir in the parmesan cheese.

This makes a lot of sauce, so I usually fill a few freezer safe jars at this point, chill them in the fridge and then store them in the freezer. A pint is usually all I need to make a pizza or spaghetti, but lasagna takes about 1-2 quarts. I just defrost, add fresh grated parmesan cheese and assemble.

I add cheese to what is left in the pot, and usually some browned beef and serve over noodles, in a pizza, or in lasagna. 

Store the sauce in the refrigerator​ up to 

4 days, or in the freezer up to 4 months. 

*Easy Pizza Crust

1.25 cups of lukewarm Water

1 tsp Active Yeast

1 tsp Sugar or Maple Syrup

1 tsp Salt

3 cups of whole Einkorn Flour or All-purpose Einkorn Flour

2 Tbsp Butter

1 clove Garlic minced

 In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water. After about 7 minutes, the yeast will begin to foam. Stir in the salt and flour using a Dutch whisk or wooden spoon.
Cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
* Dough may be stored in refrigerator at this point for 24 hours until ready to make Pizza.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
While the oven is heating prepare the sauce and garlic butter and shred the cheese.

 For the Garlic Butter: Melt butter and add minced garlic to it. Mix with basting brush.

Brush large stoneware bar pan with some garlic butter.
After 30 minutes, gather and cover dough with flour, place on pan and pat into pan. Or if using a preheated stone form with floured hands and place on parchment paper.
Baste crust with garlic butter and par-bake 10 minutes.
Top with some sauce, cheese from grass-fed cows' milk, and other toppings.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is golden and cheese bubbles. Makes 2 small pizzas or 1 large.

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