Two Different Pasta Dishes & Homemade Tomato Sauce

pasta with fresh tomato sauce

pasta with fresh vegetables

Soo, I’m still doing the cleanse – first day! For dinner today, I plan on eating a raw salad made from shredded zucchini, carrots, bok choy leaflets, and broccoli. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was as easy as shredding vegetables and mixing together with a little lime juice. However, for a dinner recipe today, I wanted to share the meals I made for the rest of my family, and especially wanted to share the homemade tomato sauce I made. It was really easy and delicious – tasted just like Italian tomato sauce but with more fresh tomatoes! My siblings ate the pasta with tomato sauce only, while my parents enjoyed the pasta with some fresh vegetables. Therefore, I broke down both recipes below. I hope you enjoy! They’re both easy, healthy, and delicious recipes for a simply Italian family dinner.

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Tomato Sauce Pasta: The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

5 – 7 medium tomates, sliced

1/4 cup of fresh basil

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves grated 

2 tbsp oregano leaves

Salt and pepper depending on much you want

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Tomato Sauce Pasta: The Directions

1. Cook the pasta on the side while you make the tomato sauce.

2. Place the olive oil on a saucepan and sauté the garlic cloves in the oil. Then, place the sliced tomatoes on the saucepan as well and cook for ~ 5 minutes, stirring to get them to boil completely. Mash the tomatoes a little as well to make it more saucy.

3. Take your entire mixture and place it into a blender or food processor. Add in the basil, oregano, and salt/pepper. Blend till all of the ingredients create a tomato sauce consistently.

4. Mix into your cooked pasta after you have drained out the water and serve warm with some extra basil on top!

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Vegetable Pasta (no Tomato Sauce): The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 2 cups

2 cups cooked pasta

1/2 squash, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 cup broccoli, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 cup green beans

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove grated

1 tsp – 2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp oregano leaves

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

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Vegetable Pasta (no Tomato Sauce): The Directions

1. Cook the pasta on the side. Drain out the water when finished.

2. Mix all the chopped vegetables, spices, and olive oil together in a saucepan and sauté.

3. Throw in the pasta once the vegetables are done and serve warm!

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Homemade Fresh Chili Chutney (Indian Style Sauce)

Another dish I made tonight was a homemade chili chutney (chutney means sauce in Hindi). This sauce is an authentic blend of different spices, cilantro, raw green mango, green chilies, and an unexpected ingredient: fresh mint! This sauce is perfect for dipping or spreading – we top our salads, sandwiches, and vegetable dishes with it daily. It’s also really delicious with fried treats like samosas, onion rings, potato chips, french fries, etc. I made this recipe about 3 cups worth of the sauce so you can easily refrigerate the remaining amount and it will remain fresh for about two weeks or freeze it and it will last for over two months! The sauce is just the right about of spice and has a fresh hint of sweetness and mint, which makes it the perfect sauce for any dish or snack! I hope you enjoy this authentic Indian chili sauce. Spread and dip away!! 

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The Recipe

Yields 3 cups

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup raw green mango

1 tsp salt

1/2 lemon squeezed or 3 tbsp lemon juice

2 – 3 green chilies

1 tbsp cumin seeds

5 – 7 fresh mint leaves

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Directions

1. Simply blend all of the ingredients together until it has the consistency of a sauce (basically like salsa or tomato sauce). It will be bright green as you can see in the picture. I would taste it after it is blended to see if you want to add more chilies or not depending on your spiciness tolerance and interest!

dipping an Indian flatbread into the sauce – yumm

Vegan and Nut-Free Avocado Spinach Basil Pesto

So for lunch today, I’m making an avocado spinach pesto whole wheat pasta dish for my family. I thought maybe you guys would want to know how I made the pesto sauce because it is absolutely delicious and in-fact, nut-free because my brother is allergic to almost all nuts. So this is perfect for those of you who are as well! If you aren’t, feel free to add in the pine nuts (as indicated below) to the recipe, but the recipe alone will satisfy your tastebuds!If you haven’t noticed already, I really really love avocados. Yes, they are high in fat, but healthy fat so I never feel guilty eating them. They taste good with almost anything, honestly. I have them in salads, in rice bowls, in pasta sauces, etc. It’s such a delicious fruit that provides a great source of MUFAs. I highly recommend trying to eat avocados a few days a week, especially as a replacement to all the trans and saturated fat that you may or may not have in your diet!

Anyways, click here to see how I used this avocado spinach pesto to make a yummy wheat pasta dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe. : )

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The Recipe

Yields 4 – 6 Servings

2 small avocados, peeled and pitted

2 – 2 1/2 cups of raw baby spinach leaves

2 cups fresh basil leaves

3 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 – 6 tbsp olive oil (I added 4 tbsp but you can add more depending on your taste)

1 tsp salt (optional)

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Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients and spices into a food processor or blender.

2. Blend together until smooth and store in an airtight container. Depending on how ripe your avocado was, the pesto will stay fresh for a few days. I used mine immediately so simply scooped it out of the blender to make pasta!

Savory Avocado Spinach Salsa Spread

Ahhh so yesterday, I was craving something made from avocado but I didn’t want my typical guacamole so I decided to get a little creative with an avocado spread. I opened up my fridge and took out some random ingredients that I thought tasted good with avocado and played around with them. I ended up making this avocado spinach salsa spread that was both creamy and crunchy, and altogether very savory. I ate it on two slices of Arnold’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread, and this morning, enjoyed a spoonful alone. It was really delicious – a new version to a typical guacamole. It’s definitely something different so try it out, and let me know what you think! You can use this recipe as a spread, sauce, side dish, or a snack because I personally think it can be eaten alone or with something else like chips, bread, pasta, rice, etc.

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The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 2 tbsp of spread

1/2 avocado, pitted and diced

1 cup raw spinach

1 – 2 tbsp diced bell pepper

5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced or diced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 – 1/2 tsp of chili powder (optional depending on your spice interest)

1 lemon wedge or 1 tsp lemon juice

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Directions

1. Cook your spinach and bell peppers for a few minutes. I simply steamed them on the stovetop with a saucepan and some water.

2. Place the tomatoes, avocado, and cooked spinach and bell peppers into a bowl. Sprinkle in the spices and the lemon juice. Mix everything together. Continue to mix until the spread becomes the consistency of guacamole.

3. The spread will last only one-two days because the avocado will turn black so I made the spread for 2 servings. 

4. Enjoy on crackers, bread, as salad dressings (cut the tomatoes finer if you want it as a dressing), or even alone!