It’s really hard for me to stick to things like an editorial calendar for my blog.
I have one and write in it, every day. The only problem is I always have new inspiration to write something else. What ends up happening is the same few posts keep getting pushed back, back, and back. I have this fantastic pork crockpot recipe, creamed spinach that is way better than the boxed stuff, and I keep meaning to share a tour of my completed chicken coop with you. I do have them scheduled for October and I plan to stick with the plan…
The other problem is that there are only so many posts you can cram into one week and I like to have things a bit spread out. I’m trying to keep a consistency where I publish a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
There’s a small part of me that really likes the consistency but then there is my wild side where I just like to “roam free” and post when I want. I like it, I don’t. I like, I don’t. I like it, I don’t. #StoryOfMyLife
Eeeesh. I need to get it together and just pick one or the other. Or not, and you’ll just learn to ride the waves with me and accept me for who I am. 🙂
Anyway, I had originally planned to share a really cool and inspirational way to save up for your dream vacation (Scott and I never took a honeymoon and we’ve been talking about saving up but haven’t) today but then I got side tracked. Don’t worry, I’m sharing that with you tomorrow.
So what did I get side tracked on? Well, a 6 quart pot of homemade freezer-friendly meat and veggie pasta sauce that was simmering on my stove and making my house smell all warm and cozy. Now, if only the weather in Florida could cool a bit so I can actually feel warm and cozy.
It all started when I posted this picture on my Instagram and a few people mentioned how it was a great idea and asked how to actually do it.
Gah. The light lit up!
I would have never thought to share this recipe and how to save large batches of pasta sauce for easy future meals, had I not shared the picture on Instagram. Thank you Instagram.
So, I snapped a few pictures as I was racing against time and the natural light shining through my garage door window, to share this with you.
Since I almost burned my house down and ruined my 6 quart normal pot a couple months ago by trying to boil swiss chard that had no water in it, I was excited to finally use my Le Creuset dutch oven. Yes, I’m sure there are other creative and fancy ways to use a dutch oven but let me tell you what, this baby worked like a charm and produced an amazing sauce. It also made my pictures look beautiful — bonus!
Sometimes the most simplest ways are the best.
The thing I love about this freezer-friendly meat and veggie pasta sauce is that it is totally customized to whatever you have on hand or whatever your taste buds are longing for. For example, I had frozen spinach so I threw in a few handfuls of frozen spinach in the pot. If you don’t have frozen spinach on hand, but you have zucchini that needs to be cooked pronto, slice them up thin and throw them in the pot.
The recipe I’ve provided for you is a great “base” for sauce so please add whatever extra veggies you like or have on hand at the time (mushrooms, leeks, etc). Also, please note that the amount of seasoning in the sauce is also a “base.” If during the simmer time, you realize it needs more salt, more pepper, more oregano, or whatever, add more to your liking.
I’ve included how to freeze the sauce in the recipe card found below.
- Large, 5.5 qt pot (like my pretty Le Creuset or this one)
- Mason Jars (I used pint jars but you can use whatever size you need) OR recycled jars
- 2 lbs ground beef (grass-fed if possible)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 glass jars of diced/whole tomatoes (I really love Jovial's tomatoes)
- 1 rib of celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 3 Tbs unrefined sea salt (I love this budget-friendly sea salt)
- 2 Tbs black pepper
- 3 Tbs dried oregano
- 3 tsp dried sweet basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Handful of fresh basil
- 2 bay leaf
- 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- On medium heat, brown ground beef and onion together in your 6 quart pot; drain if you want (I don't)
- Add minced garlic, saute with beef and onions for a couple minutes
- Add in the rest of your ingredients; stir well
- Once the sauce begins to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for 1-4 hours; stir occasionally; add more seasoning if desired
- When you're done simmering, remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes (or more, depending on how well your pot holds heat)
- Ladle sauce into desired jars; leave an inch of space from the rim to allow for expanding
- Let cool some more if still really hot
- Label and date your sauce (I used dry erase marker on the lids); place in the freezer for later use
- Remove jar(s) from freezer and place on the counter for 10 minutes to thaw a bit.
- Put warm water in a pot or bowl, and place the jar in the water until it has thawed enough to come out of the jar.
- Pour defrosted sauce into a pot and warm as if you were warming up a pre-made sauce from the store.
This post is sponsored by Le Creuset. However, the opinions and photos are of my own. Authenticity is important so I would never promote any brand or product that I wholeheartedly don’t believe in.