Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce

You know those recipes for pizza and pasta sauces? The ones with the 15 ingredients and the hours of simmering to get that authentic taste?

This isn’t one of them.

My cooking style is best described as no-nonsense.

We like to make flatbread pizzas, and we prefer a sweeter pizza sauce.

Store bought ones always taste a little flat, and even though they are often on sale, I can do better on my own.

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Pizza Sauce

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Red Pepper Flake
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. In a small microwave safe container that has a lid, combine the contents of the can of tomato paste and a splash of olive oil. 

  2. Add spices to taste. And I mean really taste - add them in, mix it thoroughly and taste it. Add more of what is missing.

  3. If sauce is too thick, mix in a little water.

  4. Microwave with the lid covering the dish but not on tightly (let steam escape, but use the lid to protect the top of the microwave if it explodes). Heat in 20 second intervals stirring after each until sauce reaches desired temperature.

Recipe Notes

This creates a thick, sweet sauce which we like to use on flatbread pizza.

Because it is thick, it is also a good sauce for zoodles (those "noodles" made from spiralized zucchini) since those tend to be watery and will dilute the sauce to a better pasta sauce texture.

Leftovers can be refrigerated, or frozen.

This does not keep long in the refrigerator because it contains no preservatives, but does well in a freezer bag and reheats just fine.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Better Buns

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

Low-carb life has it’s challenges.

Take hamburger buns. They aren’t very good for you – white flour is pretty much persona non grata in a Type-2 Diabetes household.

The special low-carb versions? Not very much taste, super expensive and when you read the label, not really impressively better for you.

We swapped to Whole Wheat English Muffins. Technically, because we like the Trader Joe’s brand (not a paid endorsement – just our favorite), they are called “British Muffins”.

The nutrition* is better where it counts.

Whole Wheat muffins have better nutrition than standard hamburger buns.
Nutrition info from Myfitnesspal.com

And they are more flexible – if you have a surplus of hamburger buns in the house, your choices are pretty much hamburgers. If you have a surplus of British Muffins, you can always use them for as a base for quick pizzas, sandwiches or, I suppose, breakfast.

 

*I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. You should never take advice from a paper crafter without consulting an actual professional.

Super quick guacamole

Three ingredients, no chopping!

Guacamole is magic.

Simple ingredients, quick prep, and super versatile. Depending on where you put it, it’s a dip, a spread or main ingredient.

That doesn’t mean the recipe can’t be abused – I saw a celebrity chef on PBS once take 18 minutes to create “classic guacamole” and it involved five different roasted vegetables and sweet peas.

More importantly, though, the recipe can be super simplified.

I have a basic recipe (which requires six ingredients and takes 5 minutes) and this one, which requires three items and takes less than 60 seconds.

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Super Quick Guacamole

Also called "Cheater's Guac" at SuzerSpace

Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to Large Avocado Ripe
  • 3 teaspoons Chunky Style Tomato Salsa
  • 1 splash Lime Juice

Instructions

  1. Remove the pit from the avocado, and scoop flesh from the peel. 

  2. In a bowl, add the salsa to the avocado. Use a fork to smash.

  3. When close to the desired consistency, add the splash of lime juice and stir to combine

Recipe Notes

Top guacamole tip: Only make what you can consume in one sitting. Sure, there are a million tricks for keeping it from turning brown, but it is really best served fresh.

The best (and safest) way to pit an avocado

I’m sorry I didn’t post this last week in time for Cinco de Mayo, but it was while I was looking up recipes for dinner that night that I realized, again, that sometimes the Internet lies.

Post after post, video after video, all explaining and showing what has come to be believed as the best way to pit an avocado.

I’ll link to this one for you, but you probably don’t have to see it. Using a very big knife, you are supposed to cut all around the avocado pit, creating a nearly cut in half item that needs to be twisted apart. Once the parts are separated, you are to smack the pit with the big knife to remove it.

I have several issues with this technique, but I’ll limit myself to two here:

  1. What is up with all the huge knives in the avocado videos? When ripe, you don’t need German or Japanese forged steel to force them open.
  2. I don’t know about you, but usually when I’m making guacamole, alcohol is involved. Smashing down toward my hand with a sharp knife doesn’t feel like a recipe for success (pun intended, sorry).
In my opinion, here is really the best way to pit an avocado.

Using a butter knife, cut into the avocado the normal way, cutting down until you hit the pit, and the running the knife all the way around until you come back to where you started.

Instead of twisting the pieces apart at this point, rotate the avocado and cut around the pit again, creating four quarters that are now held together by the bit.

Cutting an avocado into quarters is a safer way to remove the pit

With your hand, remove the quarter sections of the avocado, one by one.

cutting an avocado into quarters is a better way to remove the pit

The pit will stick to the last section, but enough of it will stick out that it will be easy to grip with your fingers and remove it.

Slice up the remaining quarters to use as needed, or smash them to make guacamole.

Teeny Tiny Tip: Orange Cubes

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

At work, we somehow wandered down a conversational path that took us from fruits we don’t like to eat (canned fruit cocktail) to fruits that are good frozen, and most of the ideas offered were ones I already knew.

Someone threw out the idea of frozen orange slices in drinks for the summer.

It was late on Friday afternoon. I was already looking forward to Happy Hour. Suddenly I couldn’t hear anything else anymore because frozen orange cubes in a cocktail just sounded amazing.

Repeated testing throughout the weekend proved that to be correct.

Two tips:

  1. Remove as much of the white part of the orange as possible (it gets weird when frozen). Supreming them is an option; I just peeled them very close.
  2. Separate the slices slightly when freezing so they don’t form a frozen orange ball.