Cranberry Sauce

As a kid, my parents served canned, jelled cranberry sauce every year for Thanksgiving. I liked the flavor of it, but the jelly part always seemed a little odd. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized you can make cranberry sauce, and it’s really easy. After cutting way down on my sugar intake, though, the standard recipe pairing a 12-oz bag of cranberries with a cup of sugar seemed a little too sweet. This year, I created this sweet-tart version for our holiday feast.

cranberry_sauceCranberry Sauce

3 cups whole cranberries (340 g)
1 qt orange juice

  1. Add cranberries and orange juice to a 2 qt pan and place over high heat
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for until thickened (about 60 min)

Yield 2 c cranberry sauce

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

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Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce

When I first gave up nightshades, I believed I would never be able to replace tomato-based sauces and I grieved deeply for my collection of Italian and Mexican recipes. After reading about the amazing tomato-free Nomato Sauce, I was inspired to try making my own version. It took many, many tries in the kitchen to get the flavors to blend well, but I finally found a combination of fruits and vegetables that really worked well. If you’ve seen my Cranberry-Beet Ketchup recipe, you already know that beets and cranberries stand in well for tomatoes. This sauce has a fuller body than the ketchup and makes a great base for my marinara, bolognese, and enchilada sauces. The next test: tomato soup!

Tomato-Free Tomato Saucetomato-free sauce

1 T olive oil
1 med onion, diced (110 g)
1 sm carrot, chopped (50 g)
1 med stalk celery, chopped (50 g)
2 sm fresh beets, chopped (170 g)
1½ c fresh or frozen cranberries (170 g)
1 t salt
4 c water, divided
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and beets, and saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent
  3. Stir in cranberries and salt, cooking for an additional 60-90 seconds until fragrant
  4. Add 3 c water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat
  5. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beets are softened and sauce begins to thicken (2-3 hours)
  6. Blend until smooth and add remaining 1 c water

Yield 1 qt sauce

Updated to add: Try out this recipe in my Unbelievable Chili (click here for recipe)!

Do you have a favorite red sauce?

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Cranberry-Beet Ketchup

A few years back, I was craving BBQ ribs, but didn’t have any ketchup on hand. I did, however have fresh tomatoes from a community garden we’d joined that year. I played a bit and came up with a great tomato ketchup recipe. Then I discovered my need to avoid nightshades, so tomatoes were off my plate. After some success with a marinara sauce that used cranberries and beets instead of tomatoes, I thought I’d give ketchup another try.

My kids all pronounced it, “Yum!” and my daughter proclaimed, “It tastes just like real ketchup.” My husband and I can’t quite agree with the latter (beets and cranberries just won’t taste like tomatoes), but the yum was unanimous.

cranberry-beet_ketchupCranberry-Beet Ketchup

¾ c chopped beets (100 g)
1 c cranberries (100 g)
2 T coarsely chopped onion (21 g)
2 c water
⅛ t lemon juice
1 T apple cider vinegar
½ T honey
½ T minced garlic (5 g)
pinch of allspice
⅛ t salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beets are soft, about 90 min
  3. Remove from heat and blend until smooth
Yield 1 c ketchup
The next thing I’m looking forward to making with ketchup is Bacon Meatloaf. The kids’ vote is for hot dogs and french fries. What else should I put on the menu?

Korean-Style BBQ Sauce

I feel like I need a disclaimer on this post: I have never eaten actual Korean BBQ. However, in researching non-tomato-based BBQ recipes online, I kept coming across sauces that were similar to this one, all labeled “Korean BBQ.” So, while this may not be exactly authentic, it’s still pretty yummy! It also makes a great BBQ beef to take to a picnic and pairs perfectly with Sweet and Savory Gingered Carrots.

korean-style_bbq_beefKorean-Style BBQ Sauce

¼ c soy sauce
2 t sesame oil (or coconut oil, melted)
⅓ c finely diced onions (60 g)
3 T minced garlic (28 g)
2 t blackstrap molasses
1 t black pepper

  1. Stir ingredients together until thoroughly combined
  2. Use as a marinade or sauce for your favorite cut of meat

Yield: ¾ c BBQ sauce (just about the perfect amount for a 2 lb roast)

What is your favorite sauce for dipping or glazing meats?