Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FAUXmato Marinara Sauce

You might be asking yourself..."Why on earth wouldn't you just eat regular tomato sauce?"

Well there are a few reasons but mainly an allergy or a sensitivity to "Night Shade Plants" Now you might ask "What is a night shade plant?"  And I would say that is an entire post by itself.  However night shades do include, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

All these foods are good in themselves but they contain  a certain kind of "lectin" that can in some individuals be particularly difficult on the digestive system.  They can do a real number on the intestines not unlike when a person is sensitive to gluten.  Many cleanses temporarily remove foods that include these particular nasty lectins giving the body a much needed break to heal the gut(yes...gut) but also serving to aid in finding the ones(lectin) that an individual may be sensitive to.

Some of the top "lectins" that seem to be commonly troublesome are found in:

Nightshades(listed above)
Some oils

If you have ever been on a cleanse you may have noticed that many of these foods are on the NO list!  Now don't go marking these off you list of good foods.  They are CHOCK full of good things.  In this day and age we tend to think in terms of "good and bad" when it comes to food.  This creates many problems as we delve into the world of whole foods and whole living.  For the most part you can tell when something doesn't work for you...if you pay attention.  However cleansing is a good way to find out and if anything give your body a break from the same foods over and over again.  There are methods to reduce lectins in food through proper preparation but, again that is an entire post on it's own.  

Now to the point:  Here is a recipe for no tomato -tomato sauce.  Even if you are not concerned about tomatoes it is fun to make and a good change of pace as well as a VERY LARGE serving of veggies that you may not otherwise get your family to eat(for instance...beets)  And YES my kids love this!  They even named it Faux-mato Sauce.

Faux-mato Marinara:


2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 lb (455g) peeled and cubed butternut squash (from a 1 1/2 lb (680g) squash)
1/2 lb (225g) peeled and cubed red beets 
1 stalk of celery, coarsely 
4-5 medium garlic cloves (minced)
1 large onion, diced
2 TBLS Ghee or Coconut oil 
1 - 1/2 cups  (250-375ml) water /broth, to consistency
1 cup (250ml) red or Marsala wine cu
3 tablespoons apple cider/coconut vinegar, to taste
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
1 cup packed (20g) fresh basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano (2 teaspoons if fresh)
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
cracked peper to taste.
Special equipment:

Stove top or electric steamer 
Immersion blender wand or blender


Prepare the first 6 ingredients as stated above (chopping, mincing, etc…) setting the garlic and onions aside. Steam the carrots, beets butternut squash and celery together till soft. This takes about 35minutes over a medium high heat. 

While the veggie mixture is cooking, heat the ghee over medium heat till melted and hot, then add the garlic and onions to the hot pan. Cook until soft and and much of the onion mixture is caramelized. Set aside will the veggies are ready.

Transfer the steamed veggies, onion mixture wine, 1 cup of the water, vinegar and lemon juice to a medium sized sauce pan or blender container. Blend till almost smooth. I like mine to have a little texture to it. The immersion blender is perfect for this. 

If you didn't use the immersion blender, transfer the puree to a medium sauce pan. Add more water/broth as needed to reach a consistency you like. 

Add herbs, salt and pepper and more vinegar or lemon juice to taste, then let simmer for a few minutes. It will splatter a lot, so watch out. If the mixture is to liquid, keep simmering till it reduces down some. If it is too thick, add more liquid. Remove from heat and cover. Leave to set for about 10 minutes to let the flavors mature, then serve. 

This sauce can be kept in the fridge for a few days, in a covered container. However it will get quite thick and will need to be thinned out some. Reheat first the add wine, broth or water as needed.

Don't be afraid to change the proportions of the ingredients to suit your families tastes. The recipe is super flexible and very forgiving.