Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

White Sauce or Cheese Sauce

I use this for lots of dishes, from mac and cheese, to cauliflower cheese… as is my persona, I pretty much always add cheese =)

I’ll add a pic once I take one

White Sauce or Cheese Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
a dash pepper (though I always add more)
1 cup milk
Grated cheese (omitting will make this a white sauce)

Melt butter.  Add flour

Gradually stir in milk, salt, and pepper.

Bring to a boil.  Add cheese if desired.

Sauce will thicken as it cools.


Marinara Sauce

So this one is probably my favorite thing to make, I’ve never been a fan of the canned ready made marinara sauces, but goodness I love homemade.

I figure this is a good one to start with out of my recipes, since I’ve got a few friends who insist I make it for them when they are in town =)

This recipe started out as my mom’s recipe she brought over with her from England, she converted the measurements for me, and I slowly changed parts of it over a few years partly for personal preference, but also partly just to make it faster… prep and cooking time total around 20 minutes.

Marinara Sauce

2 Tbsp Olive Oil (I really just splash some in the pan so there is enough to fry the onion in)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I use pre-minced from Costco)
1 small onion, diced
1 14-16 oz can tomato sauce (I always use Hunts, it tastes better)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (also prefer Hunts)
1 14-16 oz can stewed tomato, do not drain! (I usually use petite diced for smoother sauce, once did the jalapeno kind, and it was a great spicy version)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp basil
1-2 tsp oregano

The garlic, onion, salt, basil and oregano are pretty flexible, use more or less depending on what you have on hand or your preferences, I often skip on the oregano and go heavy on the basil and garlic

Dice the onion, put it in the pot with the oil on medium to brown.

Once the onion is golden, toss in the garlic to roast it a little.

Add the canned ingredients, then the rest, stir

Cook for 5-20 minutes.

If you are using larger stewed tomatoes, you will want to cook a little on the longer side, so they can soften, if you are using diced you wont need to.

Carrot Greens Pesto

Not only a great way to not waste carrot greens, but also a yummy variant to regular pesto, submitted by Shanti Ellis.

This is a bit of a variant on the regular pesto.  It still has a very traditional flavor, but you get to use up any carrot greens you have!  (Although you can omit them and just use the parsley and basil, but double the amounts, adding more if necessary to thicken.)

1/2 cup carrot greens (if using)
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup basil
2 – 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 shallot

Add the pine nuts to a cold pan (no oil).  Heat on a low to medium flame and toss constantly.  They can burn easily.
When they are browned, remove from the pan.  This should only take a few minutes.

Roughly chop the shallots and saute slightly (about 3 minutes) in very little oil or a cooking spray.  Remove from heat.

Don’t worry about cutting the basil, parsley, and carrot greens because now you’re throwing everything into the blender (or food processor).  Blend to the desired consistency.  If it’s too watery, add more greens.  If it’s too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time (or lemon juice, if you’re a big lemon flavor fan).

This should make several servings.  It’s a bit thinner than some pestos; so have some flaky bread on hand to sop up the remainder in your bowl.  Done!  : )

Veggie Broth

This is an absolutely great tip from Shanti Ellis, for when you want a more healthy alternative, or just don’t want to be wasteful with veggie scraps.


“I don’t have pictures of this, but it might be worth mentioning.

I make my own stock (or broth or whatever you want to call it).  Basically, when I’m cooking, all of my veggie scraps (you know, asparagus ends, onion tops, carrot shavings, beet greens… anything I’d throw away but is full of nutrients) go into a bag in the freezer.  When it’s full, I put on a pot of water and boil the hell out of them for a couple of hours, adding any herbs and/or garlic that might be in my fridge that are going to go bad before I can use them.

This way you can make sure that you’re not getting ridiculous amounts of salt, and you know exactly what’s going into it.  You’re also not wasting all of those wonderful vitamins and whatnot that are in the food you already paid for.

I use the stock in everything from pasta to rice to beans to soups to quinoa.  Anything that will soak up what it’s cooked in, basically.”

Southwestern Egg Rolls w/ Avocado Ranch

These sound so good I wish the stores weren’t closed for the night, they have a bit of a lengthy ingredient list, and filling the wrappers sounds messy, which is the only reason why I didn’t label them “easy” I may change that after I give them a try!


Pesto is great for lots of dishes.  I love it on pasta, for a change-up to my usual cheese or marinara sauce or on sourdough toast, it’s also in some of the other recipes here… If you just need it for another recipe, it can also be bought pre-made in most grocery stores.