Sauce for any night

Sauce for any night

This one of my go-to recipes that I like to cook on weekends to enjoy weeknights. I am not quite sure how I most prefer to eat it. It is just so tasty, easy and you can have it with anything, it is not your normal tomato sauce, it is so much more. It makes any meal taste little more luxurious. Tonight I just reheated it and throw in a bowl with zoodles, roasted Brussel sprouts, asparagus and some sweet potato.

I learned from the Smith & Daughters: A cookbook (that happens to be vegan) (by boss ladies behind the legendary Smith & Daughters, and my favourite sandwich heaven Smith & Deli) to use cherry vinegar when cooking rich tomato sauces and I love it now! This book is wonderful for inspiration and ideas!

Spanish Tomato Stew (4 sides or 2 mains)

1 red capsicum
2 stalks of celery
1 onion
3 garlic gloves
2 tbs of olive oil

8 ripe tomatoes
2/3 C water
1 tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs smoked paprika
1/2 tbs dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 tbs of cherry vinegar
Salt & Pepper (generously)

  1. Cut capsicum, celery and onion cubes. Crush garlic gloves.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan.
  3. Add cut veggies and garlic. Let soften for five minutes over medium heat.
  4. Season with paprikas and dried thyme. Cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the cherry vinegar and let cook until the sauce thickens, 20-30 mins.

Serving option 1:

As a pasta sauce with pan fried mushrooms. Pan fry mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Meanwhile, boil pasta (I eat brown rice pasta). Serve with parsley and nutritional yeast (or pecorino cheese). We eat this at least once a fortnight, so nice and hearty.

Serving option 2:

Steam broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. Bake sweet potato chunks in the oven with salt and pepper. Chop basil. Eat in a bowl with fresh spinach. So nice and warming but healthy.

Serving option 3:

Poor in bowls. Sprinkle some parsley or basil on top. Cut some nice sourdough. Potentially open a nice cheese (I love Botanical Cuisine Persian Feta that is based on macadamia nuts). Use a piece of bread as a spoon and enjoy every last drop of the stew.

And yes I make this on Sunday and we eat it later during the week because the taste gets even better when reheated! Hope you like it. It is definitely a budget meal too and you can mix things up by adding mushrooms, olives, greens, carrots, you name it.

The photo below is taken just after adding tomatoes. They will continue to get stickier while cooking. I love to have this cooking and smelling amazing on the stove top while I relax.

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Treat me real good

Treat me real good

A few weeks back I baked a birthday cake for my boyfriend with this recipe and he absolutely loved it. It was so yummy, spongy and flavorsome – you know not “healthy tasting” at all! Today I tweaked the recipe a bit and baked some brownies – what a mission. I think brownie lovers are nowadays too often mistreated with some raw “brownies” (aka blended cacao, dates, and nuts – yum, but nothing to do with a brownie) or some sad chocolate -flavored protein powder bakes. This one is a real thing, though!

Also if you are not a fan of cacao – use vegan cocoa powder instead. If you are making a cake double the recipe and make double icing or coconut cream frosting.

I made these just because Sunday. They went down as a treat paired with some prosecco while enjoying the sunset on the balcony with a friend. The small things!

Brownies (GF, vegan)

2 flax eggs (2 tbs of ground flaxseed soaked in 6 tbs of water)
1/3 C almond mylk
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/3 C maple syrup
3 tbs coconut sugar (or more maple)
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
1 shot of espresso/strong coffee (or more almond mylk)

1 C of mixture of apple sauce + steamed pumpkin (I blended a raw apple and some steamed pumpkin and measured 1 C to the mixture, use the leftover sauce in a breakfast oatmeals or a smoothie)
1/4 C melted coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 C cacao powder
1/2 C almond meal
1/3 C buckwheat flour (blended oats work too)
2/3 brown rice flour

Icing
1/2 avocado
3 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla beans
1 tbs of cacao (adjust to your taste)

  1. Soak the flax seeds in water
  2. Mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar. Add baking soda, let sit for a minute.
  3. Meanwhile, blend steamed pumpkin and apple. You can also use ready apple sauce.
  4. Add coconut sugar, maple syrup, coffee, coconut oil, vanilla and apple-pumpkin mix to the bowl with flaxseeds. Mix and get rid of the lumps. 
  5. Add in almond mylk mixture. Mix.
  6. Add dry ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle some coconut oil to baking paper and set it in a square brownie tin.
  8. Pour mixture into the tin using a spatula to even the surface.
  9. Bake at 175 C for 30 min.
  10. Make the icing. Blend all the ingredients. Store in fridge until the brownies have cooled down. (Note: some blenders are impossible when blending only small amounts. In this case make a bit bigger portion of icing, using a whole avocado. You can use leftovers as a chocolate mousse snack or add it to a smoothie next morning or spread it on a toast with PB, you name it!)
  11. Spread icing on cooled brownies and cut. 

Trust me, this is a crowd pleaser!

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