Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Quick & Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Happy meal prep Sunday! Here’s a marinara sauce I made for a veggie lasagna (recipe coming soon!). I decided to make my own because it’s quick, delicious and budget-friendly. I never realized most tomato sauces have sugar as one of the first few ingredients, since sugar brings out the flavor in tomatoes; sometimes those sauces are just too sweet then. It’s hard to find a sauce without any added sugar (Whole Foods’ 365 brand does have a great one). This Basil Marinara Sauce is so easy and literally ready in 20 minutes — plus you get the satisfaction of it being homemade and making it from scratch. With only 5 ingredients, there’s no added sugar or salt, while still bursting with flavor.

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish

Lightened Up Lasagna

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I have a confession. Well, actually I have two I suppose. The first is that I don’t own an 8×8 or 9×9 pan so hence why my lasagna looks like a pie (and sheet pan was way too big for this). Might need to change that… The second is that I haven’t made lasagna since moving to Boston. Crazy, right? After assembling and making Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, I realized I’ve been missing ricotta in my life. I made a homemade red sauce in the slow cooker (recipe here, minus the meatballs and plus a hearty amount of red pepper flakes) and cooked the spaghetti squash ahead of time. The key to keeping this a true lasagna is removing the excess water from the spaghetti squash. Then you can really pack the squash to make a thick layer  Then you can layer to your heart’s desire. This lasagna is lightened up with less cheese, chicken sausage and swapping noodles for spaghetti squash. Ignore the poorly plated end result because a) it was too dark to take a picture of the whole pan and b) the slice is an odd shape thanks to the pie pan, but I assure you that it’s truly fullllll of flavors.

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Italian Dinnah

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This smells heavenly. I mean my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant while these bad boys cooked. Who knew this was so easy? I have a confession to make. This was my first time using my slow cooker. I love that it was a dump in the ingredients kind of recipe with minor prep (for the meatballs), and then I walked away to study for finals about a month ago. I was left with a hearty, yet light dinner (thanks, zoodles). I also don’t think I can buy sauce again. I’ve since doubled the recipe for this, tossed it in the slow cooker, kept some handy in my fridge and froze the rest. On this cold, rainy/snowy/sleety day in Boston, hope this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs over Zoodles adds a little color (and warmth!) to your day!

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