Place all ingredients except cornstarch into a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. When the sugar has melted, add cornstarch mixture and allow to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken, about one minute.
Remove from heat, allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.
*Red pepper flakes can be purchased in the spice section of the grocery store, labeled as “red pepper flakes” or “crushed red pepper”. You can make your own with dried chili peppers using a mini chopper or sharp knife.
Yield: One cup. Serving size 2 tbsp, 38 calories per serving
Hack: Chili sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat gently to restore consistency.
Hack: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in it’s frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Yield: 2 cups
Serving size: ¼ cup, 175 calories per serving
Hack: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or frozen for 12 months. I recommend freezing in ice cube trays and then removing portions to a freezer-safe container so you can thaw just the amount you need.
Hack: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.
Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use.
Remove outer skins of garlic, leaving only the skin that covers the cloves.
Cut ¼“ off the top of the garlic bulb so that all the cloves are exposed. Set upright on aluminum foil. Drizzle oil over the bulb, making sure that the tops of all the cloves have been covered. Seal tin foil over the bulb.
Bake for 40-60 minutes, until the bulb is soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Remove the bulb from foil, turn upside down and gently squeeze garlic from the skins into a small bowl.
Mix in cream cheese, salt, pepper and chives.
Allow to rest for at least one hour while flavors blend. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Serving size: 2 tbsp, 105 calories per serving
Hack: For a more dip-like texture, substitute ½ of the cream cheese for sour cream
Cover beans with 2 cups of water and allow to soak for 6 – 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
Add 2 cups of water and beans to a saucepan. Turn heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until tender, checking occasionally to ensure there is enough water to keep beans from scorching. Drain excess water, if necessary.
(NOTE: The above step can be done ahead. Store beans tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
Heat the oven to 475℉ degrees.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute for 5 -10 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin and saute for 30 seconds.
Add the beans, water and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake until the cheese has melted, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as browned as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve immediately with corn chips, crusty bread, pita or rice.
6 servings, 245 calories per serving (dip only)
Hack: Freeze leftover portions sealed in serving-sized portions for future use. Allow to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating.
Hack: One cup of frozen onions can be substituted for fresh onion in this recipe.
Nothing beats basic homemade tomato sauce…it’s fresh, delicious and eco-friendly! Local tomatoes are now available to us now so stock up!
Basic HomemadeTomato Sauce
3 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 8 medium)
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tbls lemon juice
Remove stems, if necessary, from tomatoes. It is not necessary to remove core or seeds.
Drop tomatoes in the blender and blend until smooth, in batches if needed. You should end up with about 8 cups of puree.
Put puree in a large saucepan, straining through a mesh colander, if desired, to remove seeds. Add salt. Simmer on low for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice.
Yield: 4 cups tomato sauce, 70 calories per cup
Hack: To make tomato paste, double line mesh colander with cheesecloth and place in bowl. Put 1 cup cooled tomato sauce in the colander. Cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight. Using cheesecloth, squeeze out any remaining liquid. Yield: 3 tbls.
Hack: Freeze cooled sauce in one cup servings in sealed freezer safe bags or containers for future use.
Hack: If you have leftover tomatoes and no time to make sauce, simply puree them in the blender and freeze the fresh puree in sealed freezer bags or containers to cook with at a later date.
No need to run to the store for a packet of ranch dressing mix. You probably have all the ingredients for this homemade ranch dressing /dip right in your kitchen!
Homemade Ranch Dressing /Dip Mix
3 Tbsp dried parsley
1½ tsp black pepper
4½ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp salt
4½ tsp onion powder
2 tbsp dill weed
Combine all ingredients in a tightly sealed container and shake to mix.
For dressing: Combine 1 tsp mix with ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup milk (or buttermilk), 3 tbsp sour cream and 1 ½ tsp lemon juice. 4 servings, 85 calories per serving. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
In recipes: Substitute 1 tbsp mix for 1 packet of ranch mix.
Hack: Anchovies can be covered in oil and sealed in a sandwich bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Alternately, they can be spread out in a single layer and frozen (still in the sandwich bag, if desired. I suggest you double bag the fillets before storing them.