Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Easy marinara sauce

So I was trying out a new recipe ” Pasta Pomodoro”. However, I did not like the consistency of the sauce to accompany the pasta. Traditional Italian “pasta pomodoro” refers to a pasta dish that is prepared with olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and other fresh ingredients. The tomatoes from the can I was using were cut into rather large chunks and I ended up just pureeing the sauce. Therefore, creating another marinara sauce recipe.

I will have to revisit “Pasta Pomodoro” some day and I will be mindful of the size of the tomato pieces.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 can organic tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
fresh oregano leaves to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat the olive in small pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. (This is when I blended the sauce in the blender and returned it to pan after.) Add basil and oregano leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Pour the sauce over pasta (we used farfalle pasta) and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy =)

Farfalle with marinara sauce

Farfalle with marinara sauce

Healthful notes:
* Homemade marinara sauce has fewer ingredients than most store-bought pasta sauce. It also will likely have fewer calories and will have a lower sodium content.
* You can easily use garden-fresh tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes. Our tomato plants are still fairly small and have not even started flowering yet.

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Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant

I love eating curry but I don’t eat it very often. This is partially due to not eating out very often in Thai restaurants (maybe the Thai restaurants here aren’t so good?!) and not really knowing how to make curry.
Recently, I came across this curry recipe and I figured I had to give it a try.

Hans and I enjoyed the outcome, but I will have to work out some kinks to make this recipe better. Any input is GREATLY appreciated.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil (some extra oil to possibly add later)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 eggplant, quartered and sliced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coconut milk
1/2 veggie bouillon
1 cup water
(6 kaffir lime leaves, I could not find these and left them out)
1 orange sweet potato, cubed
2 teaspoons raw organic sugar (I would suggest only starting with 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lime juice (I used the juice from one lime)
2 teaspoons lime rind
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat the oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the onion and green curry paste and cook, stirring, over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
2. Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. (Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the kaffir lime leaves.) Simmer until the eggplant and sweet potato are tender.
3. Mix in the sugar, lime juice, and lime rind. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed rice (we used Jasmin rice).

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with sweet potato and eggplant in wok

Green curry with Jasmin rice

Green curry with Jasmin rice

Notes:
* Make sure that the eggplant is small and skinny. Larger eggplants tend to have lots of seeds inside. I found those seeds a bit distracting in the dish.
* Make sure to get the lime rind before squeezing the juice out of the lime.
* While the taste of this recipe was good, I somehow felt that something was missing.

Recipe adapted from “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” (Murdoch Books)