By this point in the winter, the produce section at your local grocery store is probably a pretty scary place- both in terms of the quality that is available and the prices.
One jewel you should have in your pantry at all times is canned tomatoes. Here is why:
Ounce for ounce, canned tomatoes have some of the highest nutrition count for the lowest price. Canned tomatoes contain higher amounts of lycopene, which is a well-known cancer and heart disease fighting agent. Also, they are super versatile. For a healthier option, choose low sodium.
Cook 1 lb of your favourite short pasta (ziti, penne, rigatoni, etc.). Drain. Grease a 9×13 pan. Drain a 28 oz. can of tomatoes but keep the juice. Stir the tomatoes, 1 tsp of Italian seasoning and 2 tsp of parmesan cheese in the baking dish. Add the pasta and stir to coat. Add reserved juice as needed to mixture, making sure it is very moist. Cover completely with slices of provolone cheese. Bake at 325°F until cheese is melted and pasta is bubbly.
Cream of tomato soup
When it’s chilly outside, is there a better comfort meal than a piping hot bowl of homemade soup and crusty bread?
Chop finely one clove of garlic and one onion and sauté in 1 tsp of olive oil until softened and the onion is translucent. Empty one 28oz can of diced tomatoes with puree into the saucepan. Bring to boil. Add about a tsp of chopped fresh basil and stir well.
To finish soup, slowly add about a cup of milk, depending on consistency, over low heat. If needed to thicken, add about 1 tsp of tomato paste. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavours meld.
Brown a pound of ground beef and drain. Add a tsp of Mexican seasoning. Add 1 cup of frozen corn and 1 28 oz. can of tomatoes, with juice. Cook until bubbly. Microwave 16 tortillas for about 20 seconds. Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with a thin layer of prepared enchilada sauce. To fill tortillas, coat each well in sauce. Lie flat and fill with hamburger mixture. Roll and place seam down in pan. Cover with enchilada sauce (about a half cup) and shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350° F.