We see lots of great recipes on Pinterest and other social media sites, don’t we.
Do you sometimes think “what will I ever do with that sauce or pickled veggie once I go to the trouble to make it”?
I know I do.
The farmer’s market, supermarket, and even our own backyard gardens are brimming with produce at its peak, just calling out to us to make something new with it.
When I see something that inspires me, I begin wondering if my family will even eat my creation once I have spent time in the kitchen coming up with something to knock their socks off!
With this Recipe Renovation® I may have found something yummy they will enjoy that is quick and super easy to make and very versatile for a variety of recipes once it is done.
I have several cherry tomatoes that I received from Natures Fresh as a prize in a contest I entered — and won that I just don’t want to waste. I can only use so many in my salad each day!
The abundance has gotten my creative juices rolling and I decided I would make a recipe that would retain the tomatoes unique shape and robust color but could be used in a variety of ways in recipes my family already loves. The best part is, I can store the excess to use later without having to throw away any spoiled cherry tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes pack the same nutritional punch as the larger variety – good sources of Vitamin C, fiber, B6, Vitamin A, potassium, zeaxanthin, and lycopene to name a few of the healthy compounds they contain. A cup is only 27 calories!
A good thing to know is that all colors of cherry tomatoes (red, yellow, orange and tangerine colored) give us a good source of lycopene, not just the red varieties. The other colors may give us a form that is easier to absorb than the red varieties.
Lycopene is a flavonoid compound with antioxidant properties that has been linked to health improvement in many ways, including cardiovascular health and bone health.
Using Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden or produce stand can be used in salads and are especially delicious in spinach salads. Using them on fresh veggie platters add a juicy alternative to broccoli florets.
Serving them as part of pasta primavera, chopped into your favorite recipes, topping tacos, and making spaghetti sauce are traditional ways many use cherry tomatoes.
Sometimes a recipe calls for halving your cherry tomatoes and I have a tip to help you cut them quickly when you have a lot to cut in half. I really like my special tomato knife for cutting these smaller tomatoes – it’s a definite essential tool in my kitchen!
I hope you enjoy these photos!
I decided to renovate the usual tomato sauce that many would cook to use their excess tomatoes into a slow cooked version that combines the best of the flavor and shape of tomatoes with the versatility of a sauce without the added ingredients that can often add unwanted sodium or the loss of texture and taste.
I don’t usually add the sugar to this fresh version, as you would in traditional sauce, because the cherry tomatoes were ripe and sweet on their own.
This Recipe Renovation® is easy to prepare, since the crock pot does the work for you after tossing in the ingredients, and is so flavorful with the full-bodied cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs joining together.
The sodium in the renovated version is only 9 mg per serving, compared to 420 mg per serving of prepared tomato sauce.
Not just your taste buds, but also your heart and blood pressure, will love this fresh twist on a classic! Enjoy!
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves fresh garlic (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar (**if desired for sweetening)
- Wash hands and all prep surfaces before beginning.
- Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half.
- Put tomatoes into the bottom of your crock pot on medium heat.
- Add garlic, onions, peppers, basil, oregano, and olive oil.
- Sprinkle in sugar if desired.
- Mix together.
- Cover and cook for about 6 hours or until tomatoes are soften and sauce-like.
- Promptly store any leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator and reheat before serving.
- Serves 4
- Serve over your favorite pasta, fish, chicken or pork, as a pizza sauce, topping for bruschetta or wherever you would use a tomato sauce.