I just love this red sauce! I was walking past a farmers market in Kinston, Ontario yesterday and I came across the most delicious looking organic, heirloom tomatoes and right next to them was a mound of freshly picked, organic baby beets. As soon as I saw those two I immediately thought how delicious they would taste in a salad, but then, how am I going to get my kids to try them? That’s the idea right? Try and get the kids to eat as many different vegetables as possible? O.k., a good challenge and this Rockin’ Raw Red Sauce is what I came up with after a little searching through my new favorite cookbook Whole Foods to Thrive, by Brendan Brazier. The sauce is raw (uncooked) in order for the body to extract the highest nutritional value the produce has to offer. Brazier discusses how “ high temperature cooking and processing of food destroys enzymes and nutrients needed for efficient digestion”. If you get a chance to browse through his book, I highly recommend it.
So here it is, my new favorite red sauce. It’s thick enough to serve on crackers, use as a dip for fresh veggies, spread on bread, or toss with cooked pasta. Remember, to obtain the highest amount of the foods nutrients from this sauce, keep it raw (don’t cook it). Ladle it over hot pasta, stir it over cooked rice or quinoa or just toss it over grilled veggies. I keep mine in a glass container in the fridge for a week and the taste just seems to get better as all the spices and ingredients marinate together.
Of course, the real test was the kiddos. I’m happy to report that both loved it on their pasta and I even put some on their Fiesta Beans and Rice (see earlier blog entry for this recipe) the other night with rave reviews. So here it is for you. Feel free to add in other fresh produce as well. Sometimes I may add a handful of kale or spinach or maybe that lonely little cucumber. The possibilities are endless!
Rockin’ Raw Red Sauce
– 1 cup of sundried tomatoes (rehydrated in a small amount of water)
– 5 medium tomatoes sliced in half
– 2 carrots chopped
– 3 baby beets, scrubbed and/or peeled (golf ball size)
– 1/2 a large onion
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1/4 cup of olive oil
– 1 cup of freshly chopped parsley and basil
– spices (dried or fresh such as rosemary, thyme, oregano or whatever you have)
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp. paprika (I used a smoky blend)
– salt and pepper to taste
– soak the sun-dried tomatoes in water while you assemble the other ingredients (reserve soaking water).
– combine tomatoes, carrots, beets, garlic, onions, drained sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs in the food processor and chop. You may need to do this in batches depending on the capacity of your machine.
– Add olive oil and mix into a smoother sauce.
– Pour sauce into a larger mixing bowl and add in cayenne and paprika then salt and pepper to taste.
– Use the reserved soaking water to make the sauce reach your desired consistency.
– If you like the sauce more chunky, roughly chop a portion of the vegetables by hand, rather than using the food processor and add into the sauce at the end of the mixing process.
And that’s all folks! Super easy, minimal mess and best of all, you don’t need to use the stove on a hot summer day. Any way you serve this, chunky or smooth, over crackers, vegetables or pasta, everyone is going to love it! Have fun and feel free to substitute more fresh vegetables as needed to create your own masterpiece!! Enjoy!!!