Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grillin' Time

The weather in Minnesota is more reminiscent of early summer than not quite spring. We were wooed by the perfect 70 degree day this weekend to grill. Our friends were coming over to visit a friend who was visiting from California, so despite yesterday being St. Patrick's Day we went with an Italian theme because vegan Italian is much more accessible than corned seitan.

When making a marinara without olive oil, the trick is to really give the tomatoes time to develop depth. This is the difference between tomatoes straight from the can and tomatoes that simmer for about an hour. Good marinara sauce is simple. Carmelize some onions in pan (no oil needed if you get the pan hot, stir and use broth or water to loosen the browned bits from the bottom.) Add the oregano, garlic, basil to the onions. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer away. If you want to lower the salt content, try tamari (or reduced sodium soy sauce) instead of salt. Super tasty!

If we were making this just for us, we would have piled the veggies in with the spaghetti. I'm glad we didn't because it gave my fiance the idea to grill up a ratatouille. Using broth, garlic and pepper, he marinated ratatouille's EZPOT (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions and tomatoes) and some portabellos for good measure.  We cut them into bite size bites and added a LOT of fresh basil. Holy delicious! We'll be making this again, for sure.

Serve this with a fresh salad and you'll get easily 3-4 servings of veggies in one meal!

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