Light & Easy Marinara ~ Meal Plan Approved ~ Noreen’s Kitchen

My girls decided to start a meal plan for the summer. On this plan they have limited items that they can pick from and must weigh and measure everything they eat. So appetite fatigue is a real thing. When you get tired of eating seared chicken, half a cup of rice and a cup of steamed veggies everyday for dinner, you ask mom to help. This light and easy sauce is one of the recipes we came up with for them to enjoy. The sauce is quite simple and uses pantry staples to create a delicious, flavorful, veggie packed sauce that can be used in a variety of ways. Make up a bunch at the beginning of the week during your meal prep and you can use this to brighten up lunch and dinner throughout the week.

This sauce is delicious, healthy and full of flavor. The bonus is that it can be made with items from your pantry! That really is a bonus in my book. Of course you can use fresh tomatoes if you like, but using canned is time saving and you get awesome flavor. This recipe can be doubled if you like so you always have this available. You can portion out and refrigerate or freeze it as well. Making this super available for when you need to eat on your plan.

Molly and Micah are using a balanced meal plan along with a workout routine. They are not doing “Low/No Carb” “paleo” or “keto”. They are doing simple, back to basics, meal planning with the help of a trainer who has created their plan. We are not experts and will not advise as to the efficacy of the diet plan you may be on or how well this recipe may work for you. It is simply a suggestion for you to use if you desire to add to your own eating plan. Additionally, you should simply give this sauce a try because it is dang delicious. No need to save it for an eating plan.

I started with finely diced onion and minced garlic. I sauteed this in a bit of olive oil until the onion began to brown a bit to get that awesome, caramelized flavor. then I added a small can of tomato paste. I like to cook the paste out as well to get the rawness out and give it more depth of flavor. This will take about five minutes. I added all the seasonings at this point as well to bring out all their natural oils and give this sauce even more excellent flavor.

Once the paste and the veggies are cooked through, add in a large can of both crushed and diced tomatoes. Stir well to break up the paste mixture and get everything going. I like to simmer this over medium heat for at least ten minutes. Longer is better to give this quick and easy sauce a slow cooked taste.

That’s it! How easy was that? We are using this sauce to simmer some fantastic chicken meatballs that we are making in an upcoming video. The meatballs and sauce get served over zucchini noodles and this is what the entire family will be having for dinner. You can top with a bit of Parmesan cheese and some ribbons of fresh basil for even more delicious flavor.

Be on the look out for the chicken meatball video coming up later this week. I know you will not want to miss those. They are seriously addictive and versatile.

As for this sauce. Yes, simmering meatballs is one way to enjoy it. But think of all the possibilities! You can use this as a base for eggs in Purgatory/eggs Diablo and once the sauce is ready, break some eggs into it and simmer until done. This would make and excellent sauce for Shakshuka which is similar to the the latter, but with roasted red peppers mixed into the sauce. Use this sauce for a delicious baked fish by simply laying cod filets in the sauce and baking until flaky. You can add sliced zucchini, yellow squash and other seasonal veggies to the sauce and serve that over pasta for a delicious Primavera style dish. Your imagination is your only limit here. There is so much you can do with this sauce you will always want to have the ingredients on hand!

I hope you give this light and easy stovetop marinara sauce a try sometime soon and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

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