Wow, guys. Thanks so much for all the love you showed to me and my blog yesterday. It may seem kind of silly, but yesterday really did feel very special to me. ChiaSeedMe has seen me through so many moments this past year, and it has been such a blessing as it’s allowed me a place to express myself in so many different ways. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it. A blog makes it possible for a person to have a responsive audience to whatever it is you need to share – fears, hopes, dreams. It also has allowed me to express myself through photography and writing, which I never would have had the opportunity to do otherwise.
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday was hearing all the comments from those of you who love chia seeds! These little guys are taking the world by storm.
And speaking of chia seeds, last night I added them to a meal that I’ve never added them to before. And they were delicious as always.
When I was growing up, it was a rarity for my mom to not have a homemade meal on the table. It was a norm for her to call us in from playing outside five times before we would actually come, and I remember never wanting to stop for dinner (who was I?). But now I hold very dear the memories of our whole family sitting around the table every night. My mom was (and is:) a great cook; some of her specialties included mexican casserole, tacos, meatloaf, chicken and rice casserole, roast with cooked potatoes and carrots, and last but definitely not the least – her famous spaghetti sauce.
I always loved spaghetti nights. The sauce would simmer on the stove for hours as each flavor mingled together giving off the most mouth-watering aroma you can possibly imagine. It would fill the entire house, luring us in from any part of the house; she probably got so tired of us inquiring “when will dinner be ready, mom?” Sitting here right now I can vividly taste the slightly sweet, warm tomato flavors.
Now that I am older I can appreciate more than ever before the fact that my mom valued having a healthy, homemade meal on the table (almost) every single night. Having my own family (minus kids) now, I realize how challenging it is to meal plan, get the groceries bought, plan ahead for preparation and create a tasty meal in time for dinner. But I’m so thankful that it was important to her to do so and that she instilled that importance in me.
Last night’s dinner was the ChiaSeedMe version of spaghetti sauce. Honestly, it doesn’t taste a whole lot like my mom’s. But, I’ve dabbled in making from scratch spaghetti sauces before, and this one is by far the most delicious. The flavors are much more complex and they work so well together, but this recipe was super easy as well.
I started off by sauteeing some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil until both turned slightly golden and then adding one and half chopped bell peppers.
As soon as the peppers had turned tender, I poured in the tomato puree, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, mixing them together until the different textures became one and it became smooth. Already my nose was being filled with the fresh italian aroma.
Next came the seasonings – basil, a lot of italian seasoning, rosemary, garlic powder, sea salt and ground red pepper. Dumped them all in and stirred like crazy. When they were all incorporated well, I completed the second best step – the taste test. I recommend you definitely not skip this step as you may want to adjust the seasonings to perfectly suit your tastes:)
And lastly, it was time to add in the namesake of this recipe…the star of the show.
As many of you know, the chia seeds did not affect the flavor of this sauce, but what they did add is protein, iron, omega 3’s and 6’s, calcium, fiber and other vitamins. After sprinkling them over the sauce, I stirred to incorporate them well and then allowed the sauce to simmer for another ten minutes or so. This gave the chia seeds time to soften and gel up; they were undetectable in the sauce, but they gave it a little bit thicker texture and absorbed some of the liquid so that the sauce wasn’t the least bit watery when ladled over the noodles.
After adding the chias, I took a quick break from the sauce to toss a handful of thin spaghetti noodles (the best kind) in some boiling water so they’d have just enough time to cook. We can’t forget the noodles!
My only question is: how did I never think of this before now?
Spicy Chia Spaghetti Sauce
- 29 ounce can tomato puree
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- small can tomato paste
- 2 tbsp italian seasoning
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground red pepper
- 1 – 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
- 1.5 bell peppers, any color, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil, for sauteeing
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until both are slightly golden.
- Add bell pepper and continue to saute until tender.
- Pour in tomato sauce, tomato paste and tomato puree and stir until well combined.
- Add in garlic powder, basil, rosemary, sea salt, italian seasoning, ground red pepper and stir well.
- Lastly, add chia seeds, stirring to combine.
- Allow sauce to simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes.
Serve over whole wheat thin spaghetti with a sprinkling of Angela’s vegan parmesan and a side of sprouted bread slathered with Earth Balance and garlic powder and toasted in the oven until slightly crispy.
Mexican look out – italian just might be moving in for good!
How did your family handle dinnertime when you were growing up? Did you eat around the table like me? Was it family night around the TV? Do share – I love hearing how other families live!
**Also, don’t forget to enter ChiaSeedMe’s one year anniversary giveaway for some chia seeds or a special secret care package of my favorite little things! You can enter by clicking here or by clicking the button on my side bar.