How to Be a Sauce Boss

These awesome sauces can be served on pasta, rice, or even meat dishes or mashed potatoes… the possibilities are really exciting 😉

Butternut Squash Sauce with Sage

Butternut Squash Sauce.jpg

(Source: FoodNetwork)

This gorgeous golden sauce packs a powerful nutritional punch, with lots of vitamins! You can also try this recipe with pumpkin instead of butternut squash–either way, this is a fantastic and very inexpensive fall recipe to try this year.

Serves: ~6

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (we will explain how in this recipe!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Optional: Cheese

Seasoning

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 6 sage leaves, cut into thin strips

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Microwave
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Blender

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare butternut squash: wash the outside of the squash. Cut off the top “stem”. Microwave on a microwave-safe dish for ~5 minutes, or until you can pierce easily with a fork. THE SQUASH WILL BE VERY HOT!! You can either wait for the squash to cool, or dunk it in a LARGE BOWL OF ICE WATER to help speed up the cooling. Then you can peel the squash, cut it in half, scoop out the insides, and cut the flesh into ~1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic.
  3. Add squash and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add bay leaf, nutmeg, sage, and chicken broth.
  5. Cover the pan and cook for 8 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. Puree the sauce with a blender until smooth.
  7. Serve over pasta of choice–pictured here is gnocchi!
  8. Add cheese of your choice.

Easy Marinara Sauce

Marinara.jpg

Marinara is a classic tomato-based sauce that you can make in huge batches and store in the fridge in jars or freeze in zippered freezer bags. Making your own can take some time, but it’s a great way to cut down on salt (also known as sodium) in your diet. You could also select “low sodium” or “no sodium added” varieties of pre-made sauce, but nothing really tastes quite as good as homemade! Adding lentils, canned beans, ground meat, or canned tuna can complete this meal with a great source of protein.

Serves: ~4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • Optional: 1/2 cup lentils or 1 can tuna
  • Pasta of your choice
  • Drizzle of oil of your choice to grease the pan

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced

Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Bowl
  • Refrigerator
  • Saucepan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes with their juice. Crush and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in seasoning and lentils/tuna (if desired), and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Healthy Spaghetti Sauce Boosts

If you do want to use pre-made tomato/pasta sauce, adding lentils will boost protein without much additional cost. Lentils provide more than just protein–they are also a source of iron, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. As always, you can add as much of any veggies you would like: 1/2 a package of frozen spinach or 1 can of drained mushrooms would also be delicious in this sauce!

Serves: 3-4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 can/jar of regular pasta sauce
  • 1/2 can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp oil (canola or olive)

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced (OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 small onion, chopped

Seasoning

  • Optional: 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning (or oregano +/- basil +/- parsley)

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Grater (for the carrot)
  • Saucepan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, stirring, until sizzling.
  2. Add carrot (or other vegetables), lentils, and pasta sauce.
  3. Add the seasonings, if desired.
  4. Heat through until all ingredients are mixed and sauce is hot (bubbling slightly). Pour over prepared pasta and serve. Feel free to add some cheese!

Mushroom Sauce

Mushroom Sauce.jpg

(Source: FoodNetwork)

This creamy, silky sauce is absolutely scrumptious over any pasta, and goes wonderfully with chicken. You can use any type of mushroom you like–button mushrooms are the least expensive, but feel free to use portobello, cremini, or any other type of mushroom. You can always mix and match! If you’re not a fan of leeks (or just don’t have any at home), you can use an onion instead.

If you want a super-fast version of this sauce (even though it won’t be the same), try using a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup with only ~1/4-1/2 a can of milk, and let it simmer over low heat to allow the sauce to thicken. Then you can serve over pasta or anything else of your choice.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 sage leaves, chopped
  • 6oz mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 1/2 leek, roughly chopped

Seasoning

  • Salt and pepper to taste

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped leeks, garlic, and sage, and cook until leeks soften (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Pour in cream and heat slowly. DO NOT “scald” the cream–keep stirring until bubbles begin to form, then bring the heat down (or remove from the heat) and continue to stir as the sauce thickens.
  5. Serve with pasta of your choice.

A Cornucopia of Corn Recipes!

Corn is easy to add to any recipe–throw it in a pot of chili, mix it with a bowl of soup, or sprinkle it on eggs for breakfast… whether it’s fresh, frozen, or canned, the possibilities are endless!!

Sauteed Corn and Tomatoes

Quick, simple and easy, this recipe can be used as a sauce or a side.

Serves: ~2

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw!)

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Pan or skillet

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-low heat and sautee garlic for about 1 minute, or until softened.
  2. Add diced tomatoes (with the juices) to the pan, along with basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir to combine and bring heat up to medium.
  3. Allow skillet to simmer for about 1 minute, or until most of the juices have evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
  4. Add the frozen corn to the skillet and stir to combine. Heat thoroughly (about 3-5 minutes).

Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Salads are super easy to throw together and you can add more or less of each ingredient depending on what’s available (and what you like!). You can store this salad in the fridge for 4-5 days (will stay fresher if you store the salad and the dressing separately).

Serves: ~4-6

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1-2 cups canned corn (could substitute with fresh or frozen!)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Fresh/Frozen

  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • Optional: 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (lemon would work too!)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (can use more or less depending on how spicy you like your food)

Seasoning

  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook or rinse corn according to instructions.
  2. Combine corn, black beans, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl. (Feel free to add any other vegetables you may have lying around, like carrots, cucumber, peppers, celery, etc.)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, lime juice, ground cumin, jalapeno, and salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables.
  4. Mix well and serve.

Corn and Cheddar Chowder

For a hot, satisfying dinner on a chilly day, whip up some of this quick chowder!

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Non-perishables

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (12oz) corn, drained

Fresh/Frozen

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (if you don’t have this available, you could also use cheese slices or 1/2 cup of Cheeze Whiz)

Seasoning

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT

  • Large saucepan/pot

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan/pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until they begin to soften. Add carrots and potatoes, and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and stir well until mixed completely with the butter. Gradually add chicken/vegetable broth and milk.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  4. Turn down cooking temperature to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender.
  5. Add corn, cheese, salt, and pepper, then continue stirring and cooking until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.