Doesn’t the title of this blog and picture already make your mouth water?? Yum!
The cool thing about this “eat real food” journey for me is that I’m constantly searching of ways to make things healthier and eliminate store packaged items. I’ve been really wanting to make homemade tomato sauce (and ultimately freeze it so I have tomato sauce during the winter) so this last Sunday at the farmer’s market I decided to pick up some heirloom tomatoes.
Recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce:
- 5-7 large ripe heirloom tomatoes
- fresh basil (handful)
- balsamic vinegar (maybe a TBL to 2 TBL… I sort of just threw some in)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- garlic powder (to taste)
- 1/8 tsp of unrefined sugar
Please note, the amount of tomatoes used was quite minimal so if you are using the sauce for spaghetti or something else, I’d increase the amount of tomatoes 2-fold.
I first put the tomatoes in water and boiled them for about 10-12 minutes. Now looking back, I probably could have boiled them a lot less because it seemed like they were really squishy. I cut the tomato in half along the equator line to de-seed. When I tried to get the seeds out (I feel like I failed miserably at it) it was as if all the juices were drained as well. I put all the de-seeded tomatoes in a food processor and blended it until it was liquidy. I noticed there were still a lot of seeds left in my sauce so I’m not sure if anyone has a better way of de-seeding the tomatoes.
I prepped the onion and garlic in the food processor to get them into very small pieces. I also put about a handful of fresh basil in the food processor to quickly chop the herb. I added some olive oil to the pan and added the garlic and onion until they became soft. I then added the tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper and garlic powder to the pot and mixed well.
I let it simmer for maybe an hour to 2 hours. About an hour into it, I added 1/4 cup filtered water because it was getting thick fairly quickly. I didn’t have many tomatoes to start with so I figured adding some water would help it simmer a little longer without it drying out. At the end of the cooking time I had a delicious, not to sweet but sweet enough sauce. I put it in a tupperware and put it in the fridge for later that night.
I now had successfully (in my eyes) completed my first go at homemade tomato sauce! But what to cook with it was the next thing to figure out. Pasta is not really big in our house because I’m limiting Andrew’s intake of grains due to the fact that his body can’t break it down well at his age. I do my best to make everything I have in this house suitable for Andrew to eat as well. So, pasta was out of the question. The next thing that popped into my head was Chicken Parmesan!
Sometimes cooking chicken breast can be pretty boring because it’s easy to get caught up in the same recipe. Chicken Parmesan can sound a little daunting because it seems like a complex dish but really, to my surprise it’s not. My recipe was inspired by one of I found off Simply Recipes
Chicken Parmesan Recipe:
*Please remember, using organic and pastured products makes this dish much more nutritious.
- 1 large chicken breast, sliced thinly and pounded
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I found raw, organic at Whole Foods!)
- 2 pastured eggs
- unrefined salt
- mozzarella cheese
- homemade tomato sauce
- fresh basil
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Take the chicken breast, slice it thinly and pound with a tenderizer or mallet (it resulted in 4 pieces of chicken!). In one bowl, mix breadcrumbs plus 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. In another bowl, whisk eggs. Dip each piece of chicken in the eggs first, then in the breadcrumb mixture.
|I used the balled mozzarella because it was $2 cheaper than the big chunks.|
Pan fry the chicken in some sort of fat (I used lard because it is stable at high heats unlike olive oil and makes the breaded chicken come out really nice and crispy) until golden brown on both sides.
Pour tomato sauce on the bottom of a glass baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Place each golden brown chicken breast on top of sauce. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked and in pan.
Place mozzarella on top of chicken. Sprinkle the last 1/2 cup of parmesan on top of the chicken and garnish with thinly sliced basil.
Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. *I baked mine for 10 minutes
Take it out of the oven and enjoy your deliciously made chicken parmesan. Some people like to serve it on top of spaghetti but we ate it by itself accompanied with a fresh salad and some sauteed broccoli and cauliflower. It was SO good! The chicken was crispy but juicy, the sauce tasted fresh.
Yum! I have to say this was one of my favorite meals and I will most definitely be making chicken parmesan more often. It’s really easy, and really tasty.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul