Ok, first things first, it feels SO DAMN GOOD to be back on the meal prep bandwagon. Being away was great, but it was hard for me to find alternatives at every meal & I often found myself eating a lot of the same foods over & over again. Safe to say, I got bored. This kinda goes back to what I always say about a routine – when you fall into one & it becomes a permanent part of your lifestyle, you appreciate jumping back into it THAT MUCH MORE after taking a little break from it.
As you guys know, I like to meal prep for the week on Saturdays so that’s what went down in my kitch today! The fact that temperatures reached a low of -40 today made it that much easier to want to do nothing but stay inside, warm & cozy & do what I love doing: COOK & BAKE MY DAY AWAY!
I have so many exciting recipes to share with you guys, the first of which is this vegan & gluten-free homemade blender marinara sauce! I get asked quite often if I have any pasta sauce recipes & I definitely do, but most of them are vegan & made with pumpkin, cauliflower, butternut squash, greens &/or nuts! Today, I wanted to make a classic (but cleaner) take on traditional marinara sauce, but with a vegan & gluten-free spin! SUCCESS!
PLUS, WHY BUY STORE-BOUGHT WHEN YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN?
This sauce is all things: creamy, rich, indulgent, naturally sweet, delicious & versatile! Amp up your pasta dishes, use it as a sauce over chicken breast, fish or seafood or for homemade pizza!
It has a roasted delicious flavour (Trust me, roasting the tomatoes is a very necessary & crucial step, which you will thank me for later! It makes all the difference in the flavour of the sauce!).
It’s cleaner than anything you’d buy off the shelf because it contains no preservatives, no fillers, no refined sugars, no gums, no added salt. NO BAD STUFF. NO BULLSH*T! JUST REAL FREAKING FOOD.
It’s packed with vitamin C & antioxidants & has some added benefits for digestion & detoxification thanks to the fresh Italian parsley! Vegan pasta sauces made with starchy or cruciferous veggies are fun & all but a good ‘ol tomato sauce is great every now & then too.
Plus, tomatoes have tons of health benefits that should not go unnoticed: they contain tons of vitamin A, C, K, potassium, folate, magnesium & B vitamins, which makes them great for fighting off free radicals, promoting eye health, strong bones, boosting energy, helping with digestion, lowering blood pressure, fighting off certain types of disease & boosting immunity (due to their vitamin C & antioxidant content) & help lower cholesterol & maintain healthy blood pressure. I added in loads of parsley for added immunity, reducing inflammation, cleansing & detoxifying the liver & improving bone health.
Okay, now that you know why this sauce is so DANG GOOD for you, let’s talk about how to make it.
- 1 large pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium white onion (diced)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup of fresh Italian parsley (or other fresh herb of your choice – basil, cilantro or thyme will work too!)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. of dried herbs of your choice
- 1 tsp. dried minced onion
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp. all-natural coconut sap/coconut sugar
- Celtic sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of filtered water (Add more if you want a more liquid consistency).
- Preheat the oven to 400F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the tomatoes on the baking sheet & roast for 30 minutes until they start to burst & look shriveled.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven & let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Spray with coconut oil cooking spray & sauté the onion & garlic until browned + fragrant.
- Add all the ingredients to your blender & blend for a minute or until desired consistency is obtained.
- Sauce will be creamy, thick & silky.
- Add more water if you want to thin it out.
- Store in a mason jar or airtight container & refrigerate!