Tag Archives: dinner

Fast, Cheap, Vegan Red Sauce

I bought this really great loaf of bread of a few days ago when I was in Holland at Pereddies. The rosemary salt loaf has been a guilty pleasure of mine for many years. The inside is just barely cooked through so it’s still a little gooey,  and the outside is crunchy and salty, like a pretzel almost. It’s a perfect food. However, one can’t, no wait, shouldn’t eat just a loaf of bread for dinner, right? It is probably frowned upon. As I am a total slacker in the grocery shopping category right now, I had limited foods in the fridge; however, out of necessity/laziness, a red sauce was born…a little of this…a little of that and you have a pretty tasty red sauce for pasta or just bread dipping…I won’t judge you.


  • 5 red bell peppers, cut into slices
  • 2 cans, 14.5 oz roasted tomatoes or regular tomatoes
  • 1 jar crack tomatoes from freezer (optional)
  • 1 can, 15 oz tomato sauce (no sugar added please)
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 1 T Italian seasoning, or fresh herbs
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 medium sized shallots, diced

In a pan with a significant edge (think saute, sauce, or dutch oven), saute the sliced red bell peppers and the shallots until roasted over medium high, nearly caramelized. Add all other ingredients and bring to low boil. Cover, turn heat down to simmer and forget about this dish for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place 1/2 to 3/4 of sauce mix into blender and process until smooth. Return blended sauce to pan, stir to combine. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, gnocchi, etc. Freeze remaining for up to 6 months.


So you are probably wondering why I haven’t published in a long time.  I was wondering the same thing and then I realized, I’m human.

I began a PhD program in Public Policy and Administration last fall and somehow managed to make it through without dropping a single ball from the ever increasing load I juggled which included teaching part time, working full time, taking full time classes, doing homework, and oh, yeah…being a wife.  It was then that I realized, I don’t sleep and I don’t exercise-I’m crabby and chubby.  Something had to give.  Turns out it is/was this recipe blog in order to pick up exercise.  I still don’t really sleep.

I still cook a few times a week from scratch, and hit up leftovers on the other nights, but creating new things has not been in my enjoyment wheelhouse for the last few months.  I don’t project it will be in the cards again until the CSA’s start their march into my kitchen in April/May and I can’t ignore them for they perish.

So this note is really to say, I’m sorry for not posting.  I’ll post on occasion through my journey when relevant or new.  But for the most part, I’m living from my freezer [thank goodness I stocked it before school started], archived recipes from this blog, and by my wits end.

I’m heading to the kitchen right now to make rice for the week, Sriracha Tofu for dinner tonight and sandwiches this week, and then to bake off some potatoes for a few quick meals in upcoming days.  If you can’t stand to be without my quick wit, you can catch up with me professionally at 834 Design & Marketing’s blog and wait patiently for The Mode Life to relaunch this spring [that’s a big project of its own and we are seeking writers-hint, hint].  Until then, eat well.

So…are you going to do it?

Faux Chicken BBQ Pizza

I’m not a huge faux meat fan.  I don’t eat meat because, I don’t want to, not because I want to eat something that tastes like it, but isn’t it.  Did that make sense?  At any rate, there are a few things I do miss about being vegetarian:

1.  Bacon

2.  Chicken Hot Wings

3.  Tuna Steak

4.  Barbecued Turkey

I discovered this product at Whole Foods on my last jaunt to Ann Arbor, and thought I’d give it a try.  That trip was about 5 months ago, so it keeps well in the freezer although I think it was sold in the fresh case, by the lunch meat etc.

Mostly, gardein bbq pulled shreds tasted like, well bbq sauce.  The “meat” didn’t have flavor, in fact, after I ate it, THEN I went back to see what it actually was, you know like any responsible consumer-vital wheat gluten, or Seitan in the veg world, which I can make at home.  All-in-all, not an offensive product.  I think it gave Mr. Wonderful his bbq pork/chicken fix for a little while and it was a quick dinner after a long day.  I love this idea of “pulled pork” or whatever and think next time, I will try my own homemade bbq sauce which is much lower in sugar and “pull” my own Seitan.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Faux Chicken BBQ Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat up bbq shreds according to package directions, from frozen it took just 3 minutes on high.

Put naan directly on oven grate for 1-2 minutes until a little crisp.

Add bbq shreds, onion, grated cheese onto the naan then pop back into the oven until cheese is melty and naan is crispy.

Don’t forget your napkin.

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