Marinara Sauce

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A few weeks ago I did a post calculating the astonishing amount of sugar that a five-year-old could consume in a single day by eating typical processed and restaurant food.  As a follow-up I said that I would post some recipes for dishes that could be substituted for the more sugary, processed items that populate grocery store shelves.  Today’s post, marinara sauce, is the third in that series.

Marinara sauce is one of those kitchen staples I try to always have on hand.  It’s the simplest of tomato sauces, consisting of just tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and a few seasonings, simmered together until the sauce has reduced slightly and the flavors have blended.  (Depending on whom you ask, it may or may not have onions – my preference is to leave them out.)  It’s also extremely versatile, serving as a sauce for not only pasta but vegetables and meat as well.

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Chile Rubbed Chicken Thighs

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The idea for this recipe was sparked by the most mundane of tasks – a trip to the grocery store.  I’m always on the lookout for healthy items that can be prepared with minimal effort for weeknight dinners.  On this particular trip, I noticed a display case with packages of bone-in chicken thighs with a chile rub already applied.  The instructions said to bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes.

Terrific idea, I thought!  I took them home and, a few nights later, popped them into the preheated oven for the specified amount of time.  Voila!  Combined with a couple of easy-to-make sides I threw together while the thighs were roasting, dinner was done!

Now, being the sort of person who assumes that any prepared food that possesses the winning trifecta of being quick to prepare, healthy, and good tasting won’t be available for long (case in point:  I no longer buy my old go-to  jarred tomato sauce because it now has added sugar), I immediately started to consider how to replicate the idea at home. Read More