Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tomato sauce/ketchup substitute

Wow!  Its been a while.  I have completed my certification and licensing to be a Holistic Health Practitioner and have launched a business (which we celebrate our official 1 year anniversary tomorrow!).  I have been working on my cookbook and hope to publish soon.  I will be selling it through my business and at a local health clinic.  If there is interest, I will also sell online.  Stay tuned!

Several of my clients are on restricted diets and I shared this wonderfully simple tomato sauce recipe I have been working on today with one of them.  Enjoy!

Butternut squash is an EXCELLENT tomato substitute! This "tomato sauce" recipe can be made with only the squash and the tomatoes omitted if necessary and still tastes great!  I find adding tomatoes to the butternut squash sauce rounds out the flavor really well.  I am working on a similar sauce with acorn squash that makes somewhat of an Alfredo sauce.  I'm still working out the details though, sorry, don't mean to bait you all!!

1/2 small Butternut squash
2 tomatoes (preferably organic because they taste better and have more minerals and less acid)
Vinegar (any kind... I use rice vinegar)
Cooking wine or Cooking sherry (or any wine or sherry... I use Mirin, a Japanese rice cooking wine)
salt and pepper
herbs (like your favorite dried italian herb mix or chopped fresh ones like parsley, basil, oregano, sage, or cilantro)
Chicken or veggie broth (or water or milk.... really any liquid)

1) Cook butternut squash (roast, grill, or steam).  It cooks much faster if you cube into very small chunks

2) Dice tomatoes very small.  Put in a small sauce pan with 1-2 tablespoons (a "splash") of vinegar.  If the tomatoes are not very "juicy", add a little water.  Simmer on med-low with a lid on, stirring occasionally until paste like.  Be careful not to burn when it starts cooking down. Turn the heat down if it cooks down before it becomes paste-like.  It often helps to peel the tomato and cut out the harder center part out before putting it in the pot to cook.

3) Combine cooked squash and cooked tomatoes in a small blender or food processor.  Add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp wine/sherry (pour just a tiny amount in if you don't want to measure it out)  and enough broth/liquid to thin it out to your desired sauce consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste and herbs to taste (this is the fun part because you get to taste it between each addition!).

4) Serve over pasta or any recipe calling for tomato sauce.  This makes 1-2 servings of sauce, depending on the size of your 1/2 squash.

And..... just for fun..... if you want to make ketchup.... add liberal amounts of vinegar and plain white sugar and a little bit of ground cloves.  Have fun!