Monthly Archives: September 2019

Herbed Tomato Sauce

Herbed Tomato Sauce

A tomato-canning recipe for those who like preserving foods or have an abundance of tomatoes coming in from the garden. This tomato sauce is seasoned with an Italian-style variety of fresh and dried herbs and spices and can be used in most tomato-based pasta recipes.

Herbed Tomato Sauce (Canning Recipe)

Ingredients                Makes: 5 pints                 Time: 5 hours
20 lbs. tomatoes (making approx.10 cups cooked-down tomato – about 45 medium-sized tomatoes, preferably paste)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, de-stemmed and chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves (remove before canning)
1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp honey ~or~ 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cane sugar
1 Tbsp pickling salt, or more to taste
approx. 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 Tbsp per quart jar ~or~ 1 Tbsp per pint jar)

Instructions
Sterilize jars and prepare canning equipment. Sterilize jars by boiling them with the lids removed in a large stockpot for a couple of minutes; only necessary if jars have been used for other canning purposes. If the jars are relatively clean, a soap and water bath is good enough. Ensure that the seal on the lids are not damaged in any way, otherwise replace. Take out the stockpot or canner, the canning wrack, jar lifter and any other tools you will require when getting ready to can.

Prepare the tomatoes for blanching. Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, in this case the tomato, is scalded in boiling water then plunged into an ice-water bath to halt the cooking process. Begin by preparing an ice-water bath for the tomatoes by filling a large bowl 3/4 full with ice-cold water and some ice-cubes.

Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems. Cut out the top of the tomatoes and any wounds, then cut a small ‘x’ on the bottom of each one. Gently squeeze out any seeds, then transfer tomatoes to a large bowl.

Blanch the tomatoes. In a large sauce pot, fill half-way with clean or purified water and then bring to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water in batches, full but not enough to over crowd. Cook for about 1 min. then using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to cool.

When the tomatoes have cooled for a couple of minutes in the ice-bath, the skins should slide right off. Remove the skins and then gently squeeze each tomato to discard the seeds and extra water; then transfer the skinned and gently squeezed tomatoes to a large clean bowl. When finished, drain the excess water out of the tomatoes using a large fine mesh strainer.

Cook the tomatoes. Transfer tomatoes to a large sauce-pot over medium heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until much of the clear liquid is cooked off and a thick saucy/chunky tomato mixture begins to form; then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally with wooden spatula to prevent burning. Chop the larger tomatoes into smaller pieces using the spatula while cooking.

Prepare the other ingredients. Dice the onion and set aside, then mince the garlic and set aside. In a skillet over medium-low heat add the olive oil and the diced onion and cook until transparent and tender; stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant. Transfer the onions and garlic to the sauce-pot of tomatoes.

Chop the fresh basil leaf and then also transfer to the tomato mixture. Stir in the remaining seasonings which include the dried oregano herb, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, honey and pickling salt.

Simmer the sauce. Allow the seasoned tomato sauce to simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes to allow flavours to blend. Remove the bay leaves when ready to can.

Fill the jars. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each single pint jar or 2 tablespoons to each quart jar. Using a large ladle, fill the jars with the tomato mixture to about 1/2-inch from the top; then give the contents a gentle stir to remove any bubbles or air-pockets and then refill if necessary again to 1/2-inch from the top. Wipe the rims and tighten the lids on until finger tight; not loose but not too tight.

Process the jars. Fill the canner or stockpot to about 2/3 full of luke-warm water. Transfer the filled jars to the canner into the rack using the jar lifter. Ensure the jars are covered by 1 to 2-inches of water, then bring the water to a boil. When water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium to a gentle boil.

Process the jars in the water bath for 40 minutes for elevations up to 1000 Ft (for elevations 1,001 to 3,000 feet process for an additional 5 minutes; add 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet; add 15 minutes for 6,001 feet to 8,000 feet). After the jars have finished processing, turn off the heat and allow the jars to rest in the hot water bath for at least ten minutes before removing.

Transfer jars to counter to cool. Line some clean dish towels on a counter to transfer the jars when they are done processing in the water-bath. Carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter without tilting or shaking to the towel to be left undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not re-tighten the lids if they have become loose. As the jars cool you should hear a “popping sound” telling you that your jars are sealing.

Cool jars undisturbed. Allow the jars to cool upright completely undisturbed for 24 hours to guarantee success. Check the jars have sealed properly by pressing down on the middle of the lid, if it pops back, it is not sealed. The disc on top should be curved downward and not move when pressed if properly sealed. Label the jars including the date they were made. Store the sealed jars in a cool dark place like a pantry, cellar or cold-storage room. Canned tomato sauce keeps well for 1 year.

If the jars did not seal properly, just put the jars in the fridge and use within a week. Any extra left-over tomato sauce that does not fill a jar or if you are not canning, can be stored in a refrigerator, just use within a week.

Recipe shared by J. Marshall

Nutritional Information
~Tomatoes are excellent sources for the essential nutrient Vitamin C.

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Banana Pepper Salsa

Banana Pepper Salsa

 

A canning recipe for a delicious, perfectly balanced medium-heat salsa that can be adjusted to be mild or hot by reducing or increasing the amount of banana peppers used in the recipe.

Banana Pepper Salsa (Canning Recipe)

Ingredients                Time: 4 hours                 Makes: 4 pints +
6 cups tomatoes, cooked down (approximately 20 medium-sized tomatoes)
1 large sweet onion, diced (approximated 1 1/2 cups)
2 large bell peppers, diced (approximately 1 cup)
4 large banana peppers, finely diced
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 Tbsp pickling salt
3 Tbsp sugar (optional)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Canning Equipment
4 clean or sterile pint jars, rims and lids
stockpot or canner
canning rack (to hold jars in canner)
jar lifter

Instructions
Sterilize jars and prepare canning equipment. Sterilize jars by boiling them with the lids removed in a large stockpot for a couple of minutes; only necessary if jars have been used for other canning purposes. If the jars are relatively clean, a soap and water bath is good enough. Ensure that the seal on the lids are not damaged in any way, otherwise replace. Take out the stockpot or canner, the canning wrack, jar lifter and any other tools you will require when getting ready to can.

Prepare the tomatoes for blanching. Blanching is a cooking process wherein a food, in this case the tomato, is scalded in boiling water then plunged into an ice-water bath to halt the cooking process. Begin by preparing an ice-water bath for the tomatoes by filling a large bowl 3/4 full with ice-cold water and some ice-cubes.

Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems. Cut out the top of the tomatoes and any wounds, then cut a small ‘x’ on the bottom of each one. Gently squeeze out any seeds if you can, then transfer tomatoes to a large bowl.

Blanch the tomatoes. In a large sauce pot, fill half-way with clean or purified water and then bring to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water in batches, full but not enough to over crowd. Cook for about 1 min. or until the skin just starts to wrinkle and peel off. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to cool.

When the tomatoes have cooled for a couple of minutes in the ice-bath, the skins should slide right off. Remove the skins and then gently squeeze each tomato to discard the seeds and extra water; then transfer the skinned and gently squeezed tomatoes to a large clean bowl. When finished, drain the excess water out of the tomatoes using a large fine mesh strainer.

Cook the tomatoes. Transfer the peeled and drained tomatoes to a large sauce-pot over medium heat and cook gently for about 10 to 15 minutes or until much of the liquid is cooked off and a thick saucy/chunky tomato mixture begins to form. Stir occasionally with wooden spatula to prevent burning. Chop the larger tomatoes into smaller pieces using the spatula while cooking. When the tomatoes are finished cooking, remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the other ingredients. Dice a large sweet onion and a couple large green bell peppers and then transfer to a large bowl. Finely dice the banana peppers and finely mince the garlic cloves, then also transfer to the large bowl. Lastly, de-stem the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves, then also add to large bowl.

Prepare salsa. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, add the cooked down tomatoes along with the other prepared vegetable ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients which include the cumin, black pepper, pickling salt, sugar and apple cider. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Fill the jars. Using a large ladle, fill the jars with the salsa mixture to about 1/2-inch from the top; then give the contents a gentle stir to remove any bubbles or air-pockets and then refill if necessary again to 1/2-inch from the top. Wipe the rims and tighten the lids on until finger tight; not lose but not too tight.

Process the jars. Fill the canner or stockpot to about 2/3 full of luke-warm water. Transfer the filled jars to the canner into the rack using the jar lifter. Ensure the jars are covered by 1 to 2-inches of water, then bring the water to a boil. When water reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium to a gentle boil.

Process the jars in the water bath for 15 minutes for elevations up to 1000 ft (for elevations 1,001 to 3,000 feet process for an additional 5 minutes; add 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 feet; add 15 minutes for 6,001 feet to 8,000 feet). After the jars have finished processing, turn off the heat and allow the jars to rest in the hot water bath for at least ten minutes before removing.

Transfer jars to counter to cool. Line some clean dish towels on a counter to transfer the jars when they are done processing in the water-bath. Carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter without tilting or shaking to the towel to be left undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not re-tighten the lids if they have become loose. As the jars cool you should hear a “popping sound” telling you that your jars are sealing.

Cool jars undisturbed. Allow the jars to cool upright completely undisturbed for 24 hours to guarantee success. Check the jars have sealed properly by pressing down on the middle of the lid, if it pops back, it is not sealed. The disc on top should be curved downward and not move when pressed if properly sealed. Label the jars including the date they were made. Store the sealed jars in a cool dark place like a pantry, cellar or cold-storage room. Canned salsa keeps well for up to 2 years.

If the jars did not seal properly, just put the jars in the fridge and use within three weeks. Any extra left over salsa that does not fill a jar can be stored in a refrigerator without canning, just use within a few weeks. Enjoy!

Recipe shared by J. Marshall

Nutritional Information
Tomatoes and bell peppers are excellent sources for the essential nutrient Vitamin C.

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Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

 

Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

 

Attractive, flavourful and always popular salad appetizers that can compliment many types of dinners and pot-lucks.

 

Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

Ingredients                Makes: 20 to 24 cucumber cups                  Time: 45 minutes
2 large cucumbers
2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
15 cherry tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
12 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, de-stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup fresh feta, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions
Prepare the cucumbers. Peel the cucumbers fully or with the option of leaving thin strips of skin going down the entire length of the cucumber for a more decorative appearance. Trim the ends of the cucumbers and then cut the cucumbers into 1-inch thick pieces. Scoop out the seedy center of each slice with a small spoon, leaving a thin lining on the bottom in order to form little bowls.

Prepare the Mediterranean stuffing and then combine ingredients. Finely chop the red onion and bell pepper, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. De-seed the tomatoes and also finely chop and add to the same bowl. Finely grate the garlic cloves. Pit the olives, slice and then quarter the pieces. De-stem the parsley and then chop and then transfer all to the bowl. Crumble in some rinsed feta, sprinkle in the oregano, sea salt and pepper; and then add the lemon juice and olive oil. Give the salad stuffing mixture a stir just until it is evenly mixed.

Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the Mediterranean salad mixture into each of the cucumber cups. Garnish with small additional pieces of parsley and feta, for best appearances if desired.

Storage. The Mediterranean cucumber cups keep well and can be made ahead of time and stored in a refrigerator for up to 12 hours, though they are best if eaten within a few days.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Nutritional Information

~This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Iron and Calcium.

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Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad

A flavourful pasta salad that serves great at potlucks and compliments many summer menus; made with bell pepper, celery, red onion, pickles and a creamy yogurt-based dressing.

 

Macaroni Salad

Ingredients                    Makes: 6 cups                    Time: 1 hour
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 red onion, diced
1 cup of celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup pickles, diced (sweet or dill)
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup ~or~ liquid honey
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Prepare pasta. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse the cooked pasta under cold water until completely cool, drain and set aside.Macaroni Salad

Prepare vegetables. Dice the red onion, celery, bell pepper and pickles, then mince the jalapeño and set aside.

Combine sauce ingredients. In a medium to large bowl combine the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper.

Stir in vegetables. Sir the prepared vegetables into the yogurt dressing until well mixed. Taste test the salad and add any additional sea salt or black pepper if required.

Chill. Chill the pasta salad for at least 1 hour. While the salad cools the sauce will thicken, and the flavours will absorb into the pasta. Taste test the salad before serving and add any salt or pepper needed for final seasoning. A tablespoon of yogurt could also be stirred in to give the salad a creamier and fresher appearance, but not necessary. Serve chilled and enjoy. Keeps for up to 5 days.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Nutritional Information

*This recipe is an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Calcium.

Visit the:

Article Archive – View our health reference articles on how to maintain a well-balanced diet, the nutritional value of essential nutrients, nutrient-rich foods and the beneficial foods that can help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.

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Dads Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

 

Perfect oatmeal cookies just the way you like them. Baked to be chewy or crispy, as well can be made with chocolate chips or raisins, depending on your personal preference.

Dads Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients           Makes: approx. 20 cookies           Time: 1 hour
1/2 cup unsalted butter (sub. 1/4 cup for coconut oil)
2/3 cup organic sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup quick rolled oats (sub. 2 Tbsp for ground flax and/or chia seed)
1/4 cup chocolate chips ~or~ raisins (optional)

Note: The substitute options offer nutritional alternatives to the recipe. The coconut oil substitute will cause the cookies to flatten out more when baking than if using only butter.

Instructions
Prepare cookie sheets. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking and to reduce burning bottoms of cookies.

Combine wet ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar together well. Add egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Combine dry ingredients. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, sea salt and baking soda.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. When the dry ingredients are almost incorporated, add the rolled oats; as well the ground flax and chia seeds if including. Lastly stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.

Create cookies. With slightly wet hands, create walnut-sized balls of cookie dough and place them onto the parchment lined aluminum cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. Wet hands prevent the cookie dough from sticking to the hands. Slightly wet hands to flatten cookies to just under 1-inch thickness, they will flatten more while cooking.

Bake. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 8 to 10 minutes. For a chewy texture bake cookies for 8 minutes, for crispy cookies bake for a full 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven immediately after baking and transfer to a cooling rack with a spatula. Cookies keep good for a week, enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Nutritional Information

~Rolled oats are an excellent source for the essential nutrients: Vitamin B1, Magnesium, and Protein.

Visit the:

Article Archive – View our health reference articles on how to maintain a well-balanced diet, the nutritional value of essential nutrients, nutrient-rich foods and the beneficial foods that can help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.

Recipe Archive – View all of our delicious healthful recipes.

Home – Go to top of the home page.

~Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well~