Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This weekend I had a mini freezer cooking day. I always think it sounds like such a good idea to do one big cooking session, get a bunch of meals made and then freeze the food to eat later. I just don't get around to doing it very often.

On Saturday, I set out to make homemade spaghetti sauce and dinner rolls.
I started with this sauce recipe, but I ended up changing it quite a bit. I'm going to write down the recipe I used, so that I will remember it for the next time I want to make it. It was really good!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1/3 cup olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1/3 cup chopped spinach
4 cloves garlic
3 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
2 T. basil
2 T. oregano
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Heat oil in skillet on stove. Saute onions, pepper, carrots, spinach and garlic on medium heat until the veggies are tender.

In a large crockpot, mix together the sauted veggies along with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low 2-3 hours, stirring frequently. Freeze in gallon zipper bags.

According to Daniel, it was the best spaghetti he has ever had. I don't know about that, but it was quite tasty. Next time, I might think about omitting or substituting something for the sugar. I also might try to sneak in some more spinach to trick the picky eaters in my house (aka ME!) into eating more veggies.

We had this for dinner on Saturday night, and then I had five more bags to put in the freezer. With this meal, I added ground turkey to the sauce, but we thought it would be really good as just a marinara sauce.

For the dinner rolls, I used this recipe with a couple of changes. I substituted sucanat for the sugar, and I replaced half of the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour. The rolls were also really good. I cooked a few for dinner on Saturday, and then put about 30 more rolls in the freezer.

It is fun to have a few homemade things in the freezer ready to go for future meals. But, by the end of the day, I was questioning if it was worth it. Saturday was a rough for day for our girls; they were both really fussy. Daniel and I both had work we needed to get done, and it was stressful to try to fit in all the cooking as well. This is what my kitchen looked like when I was done (and this was after I had cleaned up a lot of things!).On one hand, I really enjoy cooking from scratch and eating better quality, healthier foods. On the other hand, it's a lot of work! When I think about how much time we spend preparing, eating and cleaning up food, it is a big part of our day. All four of us eat pretty much every meal at home (with the exception of Sunday lunch when we always go out). That is a lot of food to prepare and clean up. Sometimes I think it would be easier if we just didn't have to eat at all! Think of how much more time we would have!


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