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!trcarbs

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.

 

 

Oven Braised Pork Roast with Red Cabbage and Leek

 

Oven Braised Pork Roast with Red Cabbage and Leek
Oven Braised Pork Roast with Red Cabbage and Leek

Oven Braised Pork Roast with Red Cabbage and Leek

 

 

4 tsp paprika, divided

2 tsp dried thyme, divided

1½ tsp salt, divided

1½ tsp black pepper, divided

1 tsp dried sage

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pork roast (2 lbs)

1 small red cabbage, quartered and sliced (1 lb / 6 cups)

1 leek, cleaned and sliced (¾ lb / 6 cups)

1 large carrot, julienned (5 oz)

1½ cups beef broth

1 tbsp tomato paste

 

Preheat oven to 350℉. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Combine 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and sage in a small bowl. Dry pork roast using paper towels and rub with spice mixture. Add pork to hot oil and brown on all sides. Remove pork from the pan and place in a 10”x13” baking pan.

Arrange cabbage, leek and carrot around pork roast in the pan. Combine remaining spices, beef broth and tomato paste, pour evenly over vegetables.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until pork reaches an internal temp of 145℉. Allow pork roast to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

 

4 servings, 300 calories per serving

Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in tightly sealed containers for up to 3 months.

Hack:  Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need.  They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put them back on the shelf for sale.  If you find that you have leftover cabbage, use it to make this tasty Roasted Red Cabbage with Shrimp or colorful and creamy broccoli coleslaw!

 

 

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

3 Egg Omelette with Asparagus

 

3 eggs

1 tbsp milk

½ serving of Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts (10-12 pencil stalks)

3 tbsp smoked Gouda, shredded

 

Preheat 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 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.

1 serving, 430 calories

 

 

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.

Low Carb Broccoli Cheese Fritters

These low-carb broccoli cheese fritters, made with eggs, Parmesan and garlic, make a great snack or side dish! Make a double batch and freeze some for later!

Broccoli Cheese Fritters

Broccoli Cheese Fritters

(Courtesy Amanda Buswell)
Course Snack
Servings 2
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ½ ib broccoli florets
  • 1 ` egg
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ½ clove garlic, minced (½ tsp)
  • tsp salt
  • tsp black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook them just until they are fork-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the broccoli well, allow to cool and rice in a blender/food processor. Alternately, use a large, sharp knife and cutting board to cut them into very small pieces
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the riced/chopped broccoli, egg, Parmesan, flour, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined.
  • Place a cast iron or non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan (a non-stick pan needs less oil).
  • Scoop out 2- to 3-tablespoon mounds of the broccoli mixture into the pan, flattening the mounds slightly with a spatula and spacing them about one inch apart.
  • Cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and cook them for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until they’re golden brown and cooked through.
  • If you prefer, fritters can be baked at 425℉ for 10-12 minutes.
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Hack: Riced broccoli can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. Steam according to package instructions.
  • Broccoli Hack: Check the produce department of your local grocery store for pre-cut broccoli florets to avoid having to buy an entire head. If you don't see them, ask a clerk if they're available.
Keyword broccoli, fritter, homemade, low calorie, low carb, ranch salad dressing, snack

 

Did you know?  Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse!  Check it out here!!

Suggestion: Serve these fritters warm with ranch dressing.

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