Super quick and easy homemade pizza sauce

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This sauce is so easy and so simple that I almost never use anything else anymore. For the longest time I used jarred spaghetti sauce but this version makes the perfect amount for 2 pizzas so I don’t have half a jar of sauce sitting around in my fridge.

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir it together and it’s ready to put on the crusts. You don’t even have to heat it first! If you made your crusts ahead of time or have a store bought version you can have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes. Whoo hoo!


Honey Baked Lentils: lentil beans part 1

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I’ll admit it. I love beans in almost any form. I’m not too crazy about limas unless they’re fresh and my dear friend Mrs. Diane makes them. 😉 I’m not sure which bean is my favorite but lentil beans rank right up there with a big ole pot of pintos cooked with a ham bone.

I love that lentils are so versatile. Some of my favorite recipes are lentil soup, lentil tacos and lentil spaghetti. One slightly unusual lentil recipe we love is Honey Baked Lentils. It takes a few minutes to prep the veggies but then you throw everything in a casserole dish and pop it in the oven. If you’re trying to eat a little healthier but are craving the comfort of a casserole this recipe fits the bill.

I like to get all the ingredients out first.

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Oops, forgot a couple of things.

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Did you see that red pepper? That is one pretty pepper! The kids didn’t want me to cut it up.

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I mix everything right in the casserole dish to save clean up. Then bake on 350 for an hour and a half and serve with a bright green salad and cornbread. (a pic of the complete meal would have been nice; too bad I didn’t think of that!)

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The basic recipe came from the Mothering Forums.

1 cup lentils (I always rinse mine)
2 cups water or stock
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I love to use Nama Shoyu but if I don’t have it I use low sodium soy sauce)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

That’s it for the basic recipe. Mix and bake on 350 until the lentils are tender which takes about an hour and a half.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever veggies you have on hand. I’ve heard of people adding everything from kale to spinach to sweet potatoes. I always add the following:

1 medium potato, cubed
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 small carrots, cubed
1/2 red pepper, diced

It’s cold and rainy in New York today (what happened to spring??). We might have to enjoy this recipe again tonight!


About as frugal as you can get — Pottage

Did you know you the library has cookbooks you can check out? I was so excited to discover this a few years ago because I love to browse through cookbooks. At this busy time in my life it is my choice of free time activities.

My pottage recipe came from a library cookbook. Happily I jotted down the recipe before I turned in the book but I have no idea which cookbook it was in.

Pottage

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (really any oil would do here)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (I rarely have unsalted; salted butter works just fine)
2 cups sliced onion (I usually just slice up one medium onion)

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil and butter until butter melts. Add onion slices and cook slowly, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to moderate toward end of cooking period to brown onion a little.

In the meantime —

1 cup lentil beans, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water

While the onions are cooking, place lentils and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain lentils and return them to saucepan.

3 cups vegetable broth (I make this with 2 vegetable bouillion cubes and 3 cups of water)
1/2 cup long-grain rice (I usually use brown rice that I have soaked a few hours ahead of time)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
A few grinds of black pepper

Add above ingredients to lentils. Reserve 1/3 cup of the onions and stir the rest into the lentil mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until rice is tender. (this takes a little longer with brown rice; about 45 minutes if the rice was not soaked ahead of time) Spread the reserved onions over the top and serve.

And that’s it! Pretty easy although you do have to plan ahead a bit. It isn’t a super quick supper. But brown rice and lentils together make a complete protein so it’s a fairly healthy supper. I like to serve it with cornbread and a nice green salad. Last night we had some left over apple pie from Sunday church that I served for dessert. Kenny likes pottage so much that he skipped the pie and ate extra pottage for dessert. 🙂


Homemade granola

I love to make granola and my family loves to eat it up — all of them!! In fact, I have to make at least a double batch or I won’t have any for a meal. It gets eaten up as soon as it’s cool enough!

There are literally thousands of ways to make granola. I’ve tried a good many of them. 🙂 This one is our favorite:

Almond Coconut Granola

Ingredients
• 2 cups old-fashioned oats
• 3/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (I buy a one gallon container of big unsweetened coconut flakes from Tropical Traditions. I have only bought this once about 2 years ago and I haven’t run out yet!! Currently they have the gallon container on sale for $9.99)
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons honey

Preparation
Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Melt butter with honey in heavy small saucepan over low heat. Pour over granola mixture and toss well. Spread out mixture on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Granola will not look completely dry when you get it out of the oven but will be perfect after it cools. Store airtight at room temperature.

I’m hoping to get a batch or two of this made today. I’ll post a picture if I remember to get out the camera before all the kiddos eat up the granola!! 😉

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This picture is a batch of granola made months after the original post. I was lucky to get this shot before the granola was all gone. I almost had little hands in the picture!