Sunday, June 7, 2009

Delicious Spaghetti Sauce

So by now you know I love to be thrifty and feed my family delicious food. I was staring at my pile of White Beans in my freezer pondering on another way to use them. My kids don't love eating beans everyday, so I've been getting sneaky. We're also famous here in Happy Valley for record-breaking zucchini gardens. So I've been looking for ways to use my frozen, shredded zucchini, as well. Here's what I discovered yesterday.

I decided to try to hide some beans and zucchini in my marinara sauce, and it worked...and was delicious!

Delicious, Nutritious Spaghetti Sauce
You'll need:
#10 can of Contadina Spaghetti Sauce from Costco (for less than $4)
2 cups Freezer White Beans, blended until smooth (use the Freezer White Beans recipe from my Thursday, November 6, 2008 posting)
1-2 cups shredded zucchini

Pour spaghetti sauce into large bowl. Add blended white beans and shredded zucchini. Stir until well blended. Makes about 14 cups of delicious spaghetti sauce.

The beans add flavor (extra garlic from the recipe) and tomato sauce-like texture. The zucchini absorbs the flavor of the sauce and looks like seasonings. It is delicious and SO good for you! Serve over noodles, or use in the Meaty Lasagna recipe. Freeze in 1 cup or 1 pint jars, and thaw when ready to use. Enjoy your high-protein, high-fiber spaghetti sauce!

Yummy Garlic-Cheese Bread Rolls

My friend Wendy Williams gave me the fabulous idea for this recipe. Her creativity in the kitchen never ceases to inspire me. I whipped these up this week, and they disappeared very quickly! My husband stashed a few for the next day, and they reheated beautifully in the microwave.

Garlic-Cheese Bread Rolls
Use my Pizza Dough Recipe from the January posting.

You'll also need:
Butter or margarine (I like country crock in the spreads easily)
California Garlic Seasoning (Wendy recommends the kind from Costco, I used Kroger brand)
Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese (or whatever kind sounds good to you!)

Make pizza dough. Divide into two pieces (you can make one pizza and one batch of rolls if you'd like...or you can cook one batch and freeze the other). Roll dough out on a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll until dough is less than 1/2 inch thick. Spread a thin layer of butter/margarine all over dough. Sprinkle California Garlic Seasoning Blend over butter. Sprinkle thin layer of cheese over butter mixture. Roll up the dough jelly-roll/cinnamon roll-style. Cut into rolls (I cut them about 2-inches thick), and place on rimmed baking sheet or stoneware. Repeat with other piece of dough. Preheat oven to 350F. Let rise until about doubled in size. Bake until cooked through, about 15-30 minutes (it takes 11 minutes in my convection oven). Makes 24-30 garlic-cheese bread rolls. Serve with ranch or marinara dipping sauce. This also makes a great companion to Minestrone soup, or fresh salad.

If using after freezing dough, remove from freezer and let thaw and rise until doubled in size (4-6 hours). Bake at 350 until cooked through, 15-30 minutes.

Sweet and Sour for the Freezer

My friend Lisa Joy is seeking out a great Sweet and Sour recipe, so here it is! I'll give you all two to choose from, and you can decide which you like the best. You can make the sauce and freeze it alone, or you can freeze your cooked meat and raw veggies in the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
(from Make-A-Mix, by Eliason, Harward, and Westover)

2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 and 1/4 cups pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

In saucepan, combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup pineapple juice until smooth. Stir in remaining juice and remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until smooth and slightly thickened.

Note from Avalie: You can freeze the sauce, or serve it immediately.
When ready to serve, simply thaw the sauce and reheat.

Here's the next recipe. My family prefers this one.

Deborah's Sweet and Sour Chicken
(from Once-A-Month Cooking by Wilson and Lagerborg)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 eight-oz can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 cup coarsley chopped onion
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 cup coarsley chopped green bell pepper
1 four-oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 eight-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in white vinegar, juice from pineapple chunks, soy sauce, salt, garlic, paprika, ginger, celery, and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in pineapple chunks, chicken, bell pepper, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Put in an 8-cup freezer container and freeze.

To prepare before serving, thaw chicken and put in a baking dish treated with nonstick spray. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes. Prepare rice according package directions. Serve chicken over rice.

Note from Avalie: I omit the paprika and freeze the sauce without the chicken and veggies in it. We use this sauce over my Fried Chicken Chunks.