Homemade Marinara and Meals to Match

Mushroom and Rice Balls
Mushroom and Rice Balls

Rao’s is my absolute favorite marinara (I know, I should be a walking advertisement for them), but it’s expensive and has oil so I wanted to find an alternative to stay on track and keep Rao’s as a treat. There’s a Rao’s Marinara recipe I found on Pinterest and I think it’s from Martha Stewart. The most important thing is to use canned San Marzano tomatoes because they’re the best quality and have a natural sweetness so no sugar needs to be added to the sauce. I cut the recipe in half because there’s only two of us, and I used the batch for two different recipes this week. The last time I made homemade marinara is was chunky, so this time I used my immersion blender because I prefer a smooth sauce and it turned out great! This is a great recipe and can be used in so many different ways.

“Rao’s” Marinara (edited)

2 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp dried oregano

5-10 fresh basil leaves, torn

  1. In a large sauce pan, saute diced onion until tender and add garlic and cook until fragrant. I add a few tbsp of water to prevent sticking and wait until evaporated.
  2. Add canned tomatoes to a large bowl and use your hands to crush them up and take out any hard pieces of skin or stem, then add it in to the sauce pan. Add a sprinkle of salt.
  3. Bring sauce to a boil and then tun down to a simmer and let thicken for about an hour or so.
  4. Add torn basil and oregano and cook for about 1 minute then use!

Original- https://www.marthastewart.com/328007/raos-marinara-sauceIMG_1077.png

A friend of mine sent a picture of these mushroom “meat”ball sliders and the recipe and I wanted to try them out as faux meatballs. They were pretty good, but not as good as the chickpea balls I made a few weeks ago. I’d rather have the chickpea balls, so if comparing, use that recipe (on the blog). This one is really light and low calorie and made from mushrooms and brown rice. I paired them with whole wheat penne, my marinara, and roasted asparagus. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but removed all of the oil, added a tbsp of Vegetarian Better than Bouillon Beef flavor and a tbsp of tomato paste to the veggies and I baked them in the oven on 400* for about 40 minutes on a silpat mat.

I used the other sprouted pizza dough from Trader Joe’s to make this eggplant, mushroom, onion, and crispy kale pizza topped with homemade marinara and cashew parmesan.

Sprouted Grain Pizza

1 sprouted whole grain pizza crust

3/4 cup marinara sauce

10 oz baby bella mushrooms

1 eggplant, peeled and cubed

1/3 yellow onion, diced

4 cups chopped kale

3 tbsp cashew parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 500*
  2. Dice vegetables and saute them over medium high heat.
  3. Top crust with marinara, veggies, and fresh chopped kale.
  4. Sprinkle with cashew parmesan and bake for 10-15 minutes until kale is crunchy and crust edges are turning brown. Serve with a side salad and it’s a filling meal.
Eggplant, Mushroom, Onion, and Kale Pizza
Eggplant, Mushroom, Onion, and Kale Pizza

I follow Veganuary on Instagram and am part of a vegan Facebook group that helps give ideas and keeps me motivated since I don’t know of really any other people around me that are vegan. Sometimes they post things like this and it makes me stay committed to being plant based. There’s so many things that I had no idea about before I started this lifestyle and did my own research, so I know others are the same way. I started this lifestyle purely for health benefits for Josh and I, and once I started learning more and more, there are so many more reasons I want to continue being plant based. For my health, for animals well-being, for the environment, and even future generations. If you just do it for your health, you’re more likely to quit because we usually give up on ourselves when it gets hard, but if you have multiple reasons why you’re doing something it makes it a lot easier to keep going.

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