I am currently stuck at my house today. Illinois is being hit with another snow storm and because of it, I can’t get to work. So instead I have grand plans to clean, do a bit of site designing, and any other random things I’ve been wanting to catch up on. I’ve got a few non-recipe post lined up and I thought it’s as good of a time as any to share an update on canning. I can’t believe I waited so long to can- these jars have been amazing to have during the winter (and to not have to buy canned goods form the store.) I better make friends with a farmer once I move out to Cali because I’m going to want a rather large lot of tomatoes!
It’s been a little over six months since I posted my “I love canning” post and I thought it would be kind of neat to show and tell a little about what I’ve been doing with all those canned goods! If you are curious about the recipes I used, check out the original canning post and links!
While I’ve loved having pickles, peach salsa, and jam- the tomato products have really helped me get through this winter. I never realized how awesome it was to take fresh tomatoes and preserve them for use all winter (or for however long they last me during the winter). Tomato season ended in late August/early September and I’ve been grateful to have all the different tomatoes jars since then!
Here’s the run down of canned good/recipes used:
1. Tomato Chutney
Honestly, I didn’t know quite what I was going to do with this but I did know that the end result was amazingly delicious. I realized, however, that chutney makes for an awesome flavor layer when added as a topping to a curry dish, served with warm brie (or hummus!), or a spread for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Recipes I’ve used/made with the chutney:
- I topped yesterday’s Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry leftovers with a dollop of greek yogurt and a couple spoonfuls of this chutney.
- Along similar lines for a super quick meal, I make up these curried lentils and instead of using the rhubarb chutney, I used the tomato chutney. This is such a wonderful, quick meal!
- I’ve made my Curry Yogurt Acorn Squash with Cilantro Quinoa and topped it with this chutney.
- This Stuffed Curried Sweet Potato is wonderful by itself but again, I love the chutney/curry combo so I often find myself putting a nice chutney topping on it.
- Finally, a non-curry option (and probably my favorite way to use this chutney), I make a Tomato Chutney and Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It’s definitely a serious grilled cheese sandwich.
I feel like I don’t need to really tell you how much I’ve loved having salsa during the winter. I’ve used it atop many different tacos, quesadillas and tostadas (along with topping scrambled eggs for breakfast). It’s also been great to have whenever my friends decide to have taco night- I always offer to bring the chips and salsa!
Recipes I’ve used/made with the Salsa:
- When I’m in need of a quick go-to meal, I whip up a simple quesadilla with cheese, whatever veg, and salsa I have. (of course, a cumin-lime zucchini quesadilla is always a good choice too!)
- I’ve also been known to sustain on black bean and rice bowls for weeks on end- the salsa makes for a great, flavorful addition.
- The salsa also makes a great pairing for the sweet potato and black bean burrito- I’ll often add the salsa right into the burrito.
- I’ve been on a kick with avocado and egg tostadas for breakfast and the salsa makes for a great addition.
- Tacos. All sorts of tacos. I’ll whip up the Roasted Veg tacos and instead of the avocado cream, I’ll use salsa!
3. Pasta Sauce (Marinara)
While envisioned nights of fresh homemade pasta with this sauce, things have turned out a bit different. I find myself making tons of pizzas with this sauce and the occasional lasagna. I still have a couple jars left and am also planning on making a couple pasta bakes too!
Recipes I’ve used/made with the Marinara:
- I’ll make these acorn squash stuffed shells and instead of the butter topping I’ll use this Pasta Sauce.
- When I make Lasagna I don’t follow a recipe and use whatever I have on hand (clearly- I don’t even have a recipe for regular lasagna on my site!)
- I’ll whip up some Butternut Squash Ravioli and heat up the marina (I didn’t believe squash and tomatoes went together, but they do!)
- Homemade pasta, all the way with this marinara. So simple and yet, just perfect! (I have done this a couple times- just not as much as I thought I would!)
- Calzones/Pizza. There is nothing like homemade pizza with homemade marinara. (now if I can get the homemade cheese part down- I’ll be in heaven!)
4. Tomato Sauce
It’s a toss up between the sauce and the stewed tomatoes on which one I am more happy to have. The tomato sauce has come in super handy when making tomato soups and the occasional red sauce for enchiladas.
Recipes I’ve used/made with the Tomato Sauce:
- This Curried Tomato and Brown Rice Soup has been my go-to meal recently.
- I’ll sub in this tomato sauce in the Roasted Corn and Ricotta Enchiladas. A couple simple additions and you’ve got a killer enchilada sauce! (I’ll also use butternut squash or sweet potatoes in place of the corn!)
- Instead of using the peeled tomatoes, I use the tomato sauce to make this Chipotle Tomato Soup.
- I’ve always had a soft spot of veggie bulgur chili, especially with a bit of cornbread to go with it!
- I’ve also been known to sub out the ketchup and strained tomatoes for tomato sauce in Sloppy Joes.
5. Stewed Tomatoes
I think next summer I’m going to pack away 5 times the amount of these tomatoes. I’m in love with have jars upon jars of stewed tomatoes- they are so versatile. Of course, these tomatoes were the first gone!
Recipes I’ve used/made with the Tomato Sauce:
- I’ve formed an addiction to one skillet meals and this Curried Butternut Squash and Brown Rice Skillet is perfect for a hearty evening meal.
- I still have a slight addiction to buffalo sauce and this Buffalo Chickpea Chili always hits the spot!
- Red Lentils and Spinach Masala is one of my go-to meals when I’m in the mood for something spicy.
- Stewed tomatoes make the perfect addition to the Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew.
- They are also great to have around just incase I run out of either the tomato sauce or the marina- I can easily whip up something similar from these tomatoes.