Here at Bridging the Gap, we love to eat. And Carol Lund, our fearless leader, is an amazing cook! Actually, she’s amazing at a lot of things. We all love her as if she were our own mom. We’ve all been begging her for years to let us in on the secret of her to-die-for chili and spaghetti. She’s always told us that she just throws everything in from the garden, simmers it down, then adds stuff. “But how much of each item?” we ask. Finally, she’s put it all down for us and boy, you’re in for a treat!
Carol raised five kids and grew a huge garden from which to feed them. Getting vegetables into kids isn’t always easy, but with this recipe, the kids are eating all kinds of healthy vegetables but are none the wiser.
To start with, you want to make the basic tomato sauce and from there you can add the ingredients for chili, spaghetti, or chicken parmigiana. So basically, you cook once and have the potential for several meals. My favorite way to cook!
Basic Tomato Sauce
3/4 canner/large stockpot-full of washed tomatoes with skin
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 medium zucchini
4 large onions
5 or 6 large carrots
1 large bunch celery
Salt/pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons garlic (you can use the garlic that’s sold in a jar if you’d like.)
Cook down till tender. Add 2 large cans tomato paste and let cool (all night, if necessary).
When cool, pour mixture into blender and purée. (It’s critical to wait until it’s cool if you don’t want to end up with tomato sauce all over your ceiling and cupboards. Not that that has ever happened, mind you.) Pour into 4 or 5 one-gallon Ziploc bags. Place several filled bags flat on a cookie sheet & freeze.
Add to half the tomato sauce (about 2 Ziploc bags full):
1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste.
1/2 cup vinegar, or to taste.
Chili powder to taste (we like a lot).
3 Tablespoons liquid mustard, or to taste.
4 or 5 cans of a variety of beans, or amount to your taste.
This is easily doubled!
Add to a bag of tomato sauce:
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon basil, or to taste.
More garlic to taste. This is easily doubled!
Bake chicken breasts to half done. Add to a bag of tomato sauce:
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon basil
More garlic, to taste.
Pour over chicken. Continue baking and add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, to taste. Bake until chicken is done.
Recipe: Carol Lund, Text: Nancy Holte