Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

This super easy simple homemade marinara sauce can be made in advance and frozen to have on hand for dipping goodies at your next get-together or game night!

Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

Simple Homemade Marinara Sauce

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 168 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 dried Thai pepper, optional
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp)
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp sugar or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and dried Thai pepper..
  • As soon as garlic sizzles (don’t let it brown) pour in tomatoes and water.  Add salt, basil and sugar.  
  • Turn heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 1½ ro 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens.  Use a fork to break up tomatoes during cooking.
  • Remove Thai pepper and discard.
  • Use a blender or immersion blender to smooth the sauce if desired. Press sauce through a mesh colander to remove the seeds if desired.
  • Total yield: 2 cups sauce.
  • Hack:  2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes can be substituted for fresh tomatoes.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 6 months.
  • Hack:  If you have leftover tomatoes that are becoming over-ripe and don't have time to cook, simply puree them in the blender and freeze the fresh puree in sealed freezer bags or containers to use in recipes at a later date.  No need to core, peel or seed ‘em...just toss ‘em right in.  Run the puree through a mesh colander if you want to remove the seeds.
Keyword appetizer, easy, homemade sauce, hors d'oeuvres, keto, low calorie, low carb, marinara, marinara sauce, simple, tomato sauce, vegan, vegetarian

Tomatoes are a nutritional powerhouse while being low in calories and carbs!  Check out the facts here!

Suggestion:  Serve this with easy cheesy sausage balls or Italian meatballs!

Easy Cheesy Sausage Balls

These cheesy sausage balls make great hors d’oeuvres or appetizers.  They would also be a welcome addition to any buffet table.  Use any leftovers for a tasty sandwich!

Cheesy Sausage Balls

Cheesy Sausage Balls

(Courtesy: Penny Jacques)
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 balls
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz breakfast sausage
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Shape into 30 balls.
  • Bake the balls for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160℉.
  • Hack:  Mix things up by using maple or Italian flavored sausage.
  • Hack:  These balls can be made up in advance and stored, cooked or uncooked, for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Hack:  Lay sausage balls, cooked or uncooked, in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in freezer until solid.  Transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Keyword appitizer, breakfast sausage, buffet, gluten-free, ground sausage, hors d'oeuvres, italian sausage, keto, low carb, maple sausage, meatball sandwich, meatballs

Did you know?  It’s likely that meatballs did not originate in Italy!  Click here for some fun facts about meatballs!

Suggestion:  Serve these sausage balls with fresh whole cranberry sauce or honey mustard dipping sauce.

Easy Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan crusted scallops are fast and easy to make. They fit nicely into a vegetarian, low-calorie, keto and/or gluten-free lifestyle. Round off this healthy meal with Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes!

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ lb sea scallops (about 18 medium)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½  tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash paprika

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Rinse scallops and pat them dry.  Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and lay scallops out in a single layer.
  • In a small bowl, mix together butter, wine, lemon juice, 2 tbsp parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and cayenne pepper.  Set aside until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the butter mixture evenly over the top of the scallops. 
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until scallops are opaque and have an internal temperature of 115℉.  This should take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the scallops.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and take off the aluminum foil.  Sprinkle scallops with remaining parmesan and paprika.
  • Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack to the broiler position.  Place the baking pan back into the oven and broil until the cheese is browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Hack:  Reheat leftovers in the oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on size.  Microwave reheating is not recommended.  
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. 
Keyword baked seafood, gluten-free, keto, low calorie, parmesan cheese, scallops, seafood, vegetarian

Did you know?  Scallops are considered to be one of the healthiest kinds of seafood!

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

This summer squash sausage skillet combines caramelized onions and summer squash with Italian sausage for an easy one-pan meal that’s low in carbs and calories!

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet
Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

 

water

2 Italian sausage links (6 oz)

1 medium summer squash (12 oz)

½ Vidalia or sweet onion

4 tbsp butter

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Pour water into a skillet until it measures ½“ and put on the stove over medium-high heat.  Add Italian sausage links and simmer, turning occasionally, until sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160℉, 12-15 minutes.

While the sausage is cooking, cut summer squash into ¼“ rounds and thinly slice the onion.

Remove sausage from skillet and turn heat to medium-low.  Put butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the skillet.  Allow butter to melt and add squash and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and squash are soft and caramelized, about 45 minutes.  Add more butter, if necessary, to keep the food from sticking.

While the vegetables are cooking, slice sausage into rounds. Add the pan when vegetables are done and heat through.

Serve immediately.

 

3 servings, 405 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in airtight containers for up to 12 months.

 

 

Warm Roast Vegetable Salad

Warm roast vegetable salad takes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and carrots tossed with lemon turmeric dressing for a unique and nutritious side dish!

Warm Roast Vegetable Salad

Warm Roast Vegetable Salad

(Courtesy: Penny Jacques)
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 1
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (2 whole)
  • ¼ cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon turmeric dressing*

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Combine vegetables and parsley in a small bowl and toss with olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Roast for 10 to 20 minutes, or to desired tenderness. Toss with lemon turmeric dressing and serve immediately.
  • *Turmeric stains anything it touches so use caution!
  • Hack: Matchstick carrots can be found in the packaged section of the produce department. Freeze any leftover carrots for use in cooking
  • Hack: Check the produce department of your local grocery store for pre-cut broccoli and cauliflower florets to avoid having to buy an entire head. Frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets would also work in this recipe.
  • Hack: Check the produce department for loose Brussels sprouts and shallots. If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.
  • Hack: Shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.
Keyword broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cruciferous vegetables, healthy, keto, low calorie, low carb, salad, side dish, vegan, vegetarian, warm salad

Did you know?  Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts are part of the cruciferous collection of vegetables that are associated with lowering the risk of some types of cancer.

Suggestion:  If you like warm salads, try this Brussels sprouts Caesar salad!

3 Egg Omelette with Asparagus

This delicious vegetarian 3 egg omelette with asparagus will get your day off to a great start! Pair it with hash browns or home fries for a complete breakfast!

3 Egg Omelette with Asparagus

3 Egg Omelette with Asparagus

Course Breakfast, brunch
Servings 1
Calories 430 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat an 8” saute pan on the stovetop over medium heat.
  • Crack eggs in a deep bowl. Add milk and whisk with a fork until well blended.
  • Coat the pan with cooking spray and pour eggs carefully into the pan, covering the bottom of the pan evenly. Allow to cook undisturbed until eggs are set. If a “harder” cooked omelette is desired, gently flip it when it's cooked enough to be manageable.
  • Heat asparagus in the microwave just until warm, 20-30 seconds. Place in a single layer on half of the omelette, sprinkle with Gouda and fold the omelet in half to cover.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Keyword asparagus, breakfast, brunch, eggs, fast and easy, keto, light meal, low carb, lunch, omelet, omelette, quick and easy, quick meal preparation, vegetarian

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Suggestion:  Pair this with some homemade crispy hash browns for a complete and delicious breakfast!

Beef Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Over rice, on a sub, with potatoes or by itself …it’s good any way at all! How do you like your beef pepper steak stir fry?

Beef Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Beef Pepper Steak Stir Fry

Course Main Course
Servings 2
Calories 285 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • 1 cup Korean Beef, thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Add green pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper and garlic.  Saute until tender, about ten minutes.
  • Add beef and saute just until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  • Hack: Serve with rice or horseradish potatoes, if desired.
Keyword beef, green pepper, keto, leftovers, low calorie, low carb, onion, spicy, steak, stir fry

Did you know?  Beef has gotten a bad rap due to its high fat and cholesterol content but the health benefits make it a healthy addition to a balanced diet!

Do you want more ideas on how to use your leftovers?  Click here for my thoughts on the subject!

Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts

Roasted asparagus with pine nuts is a super easy dish that can be on the table in less than 15 minutes! It’s also a nutritional powerhouse that can’t be beaten!

Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts

Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts

Course Side Dish
Servings 2
Calories 235 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Place asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle pine nuts and Parmesan over asparagus and toss to coat.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or to desired tenderness.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, lay cooled asparagus spears in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until completely frozen. Seal in a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Hack: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.
Keyword asparagus, easy, fast and easy, healthy, keto, low calorie, low carb, pine nuts, quick and easy, roast vegetables, side dish, vegetarian

Asparagus is a healthy addition to your diet with many nutrients and a good amount of fiber!

Suggestion: Use leftover pine nuts in Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut BechamelScallion Pesto or Baked Rice Pilaf!

Suggestion: Use leftover asparagus to make a 3 Egg Omelette with Asparagus for breakfast!

Super Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

These easy classic deviled eggs are the perfect nutritious, low-carb solution for brunch, buffets, picnics or just a delicious snack!

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

(Courtesy: Suzanne M. Woodworth)
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 3
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tsp mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp honey
  • Paprika (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and let the pan sit, still covered, for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, drain hot water from the pan and fill it with cold water and ice to cool. Peel the eggs.
  • Cut each egg in half lengthwise and gently squeeze white to pop yolks out into a small bowl.
  • Mix mayonnaise, mustard and honey with yolks. Scoop the filling back into whites. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired
Keyword appetizer, brunch, buffet, deviled eggs, easy, eggs, football snacks, hard boiled eggs, healthy, hors d'oeuvres, low carb, protein, snack, vegetarian

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Hard-boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for one week so consider making a few extra while you’ve got the water boiling! They make a great snack alone, pickled or in egg salad.

Fast and Easy Salsa Verde Eggs

Salsa verde eggs are a quick and easy meal that’s spicy and satisfying. It’s a healthy, simple and low-calorie treat for any time of day!

Salsa Verde Eggs

Salsa Verde Eggs

Course Breakfast
Servings 1
Calories 173 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup fresh salsa
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions
 

  • Coat small saute pan with cooking spray.
  • Add salsa to pan and over medium heat until simmering. Push salsa to the sides of the pan, making a “well” for the egg.
  • Crack the egg into well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes to the desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cover until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Keyword breakfast, breakfast ideas, cooking for one, eggs, fast and easy, healthy, keto, low calorie, low carb, meal for one, one pan meal, one skillet meal, quick and easy, salsa

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Suggestion:  Serve this over a slice of simple white toast!

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