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Vegan Veggie Marinara

January 6, 2016

My hubby was, unfortunately, diagnosed with high blood pressure approximately ten years ago when he was in his early 30’s. We were familiar with this medical condition, but with his diagnoses came a whole new way of doing things in our kitchen. We learned very quickly that he is really sensitive to sodium, which meant that almost all the prepared foods he enjoyed before, were the very things that were now hurting him most.

One of the things that he always loves making for us is… spaghetti with marinara sauce, and ground meat!

Well, giving up the red meat wasn’t too hard because he was already used to eating other meats because of me. So the transition for him wasn’t quite as shocking to his body, as it could have been for someone that hasn’t eaten a vegetable in their life. We searched high and low for a low-sodium marinara, and found very few, and they still fell short of what we needed. So, I finally gave up looking and went to the drawing board, or so to speak.

Place all of these…

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion (peeled and chopped)

5 celery stalks (washed and chopped)

4 medium to large carrots, brushed and shredded

… in a large pot, and turn the fire on high. Stir every so often until the onions start getting light-looking. Then, add…

1 & 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic

… and keep on stirring for another minute or so.

Then add the following…

2 (29 oz.) cans of plain no salt added tomato sauce

29 oz. of water (use a can of tomato sauce to measure out)

2 (14.5 oz.) cans of petite, or regular, diced no salt added tomatoes

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon of lavender balsamic vinegar (This particular one is really good. I got the phone number of the shop in the picture, in case you want to try it out.)

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1/2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (This one works good!)

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1/4 cup red wine (This one was suggested to me, so I use it. It does pretty good in recipes calling for red wine as an ingredient. BUT… if you have a favorite red wine, use that one instead!)

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1 tablespoon dried sweet leaf basil

2 teaspoons of dried Herbs de Provence (the kind with lavender is what I like to use… see the tiny purply-looking bits?)

Herbes de Provence

Allow to cook on low for another 30-40 minutes, and then enjoy!

And as with any recipe, have fun experimenting with flavors and switch it around to your taste. This may be the one I really like, but you may want to try something  different; like different veggies, or lime juice instead of vinegar, or different spices. Whatever your taste is, go for it, and then let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear about other combinations!

And don’t forget… it freezes great too, so make a big batch to save portions in the freezer for later use. Be sure to date/label the containers, so you always know what it is and when you made it.

Enjoy!

 

*For more information on what high blood pressure is all about, here’s a great resource…

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/basics/definition/con-20019580

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