The list of things that I intend to accomplish in 2017 is vast. There’s a qualifying paper for my PhD, kids in transition, summer excursions, bodies to get into shape, education reform that needs leadership, friends to catch up with, and plenty of fun to be had. It takes some planning.
Weekly menu planning is something that I’ve done for years. By setting out a day by day food agenda, it helps me with my shopping list and even if we don’t follow it, there’s no stress around the question of what’s for dinner. The slow cooker has been this working mom’s friend for a long time but recently, I’ve branched out from the traditional one-pot meals and stews. Why it took me so long, I have no idea.
The notion of making tomato sauce in the slow cooker is golden. This is a throw it in the pot and walk away recipe that fills the larder for a few weeks. Tonight, we’ll use it on polenta and roasted vegetables but it’s versatile and can be served with pasta, chicken parmesan, Italian sausage, or act as a base for other recipes.
As my kids are growing up and are more independent, having real food that they can grab from the fridge is important. Admittedly, I give in to a few of Amy’s frozen burritos but if I have spaghetti or soups or stews available, they’ll dig right in for an after-school snack or weekend lunch. Given that it’s winter here, I used canned tomatoes but this could easily be prepared with fresh tomatoes.
- 2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 carrot, chopped small
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- crushed red pepper or chopped fresh jalapeno to taste
Make ahead sauce and menu planning are a couple of things that help me accomplish the other things on my list.
What are some of yours?