Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chef AJ's Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Marinara

Ever since Chef AJ posted her video on how she lost her last 30 pounds

I've been giving her older recipes another look over. Some have had to be adapted to be more in line with Dr. McDougall's MWLP guidelines, others are fine as-is. This is one that needs the slightest adaptation. This recipe is in her book, Unprocessed, and can also be found at various sites on-line.

Quick Sun-dried Tomato Marinara
This sauce takes minutes to make but tastes like it was slow simmered for hours. The best part is, there are not pots
to clean or vegetables to cut up.


1 cup oil-free sun dried tomatoes, soaked in water
3-4 fresh Roma tomatoes (approximately 12 ounces)
1 red bell pepper, seeded (approximately 8 ounces)
1 -2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3-4 pitted dates
one shallot (approximately 1 ounce) or red onion equivalent
1 Tablespoon Sun Dried Tomato Powder
3-4 fresh basil leaves
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier consistency, use a food processor fitted with the “S” blade and process all ingredients until desired consistency is reached. 

Serve over your favorite healthy noodles such as those made from rice, tofu, sea vegetables or zucchini. To make zucchini noodles peel zucchini then make noodles using a Spiralizer, Saladacco or vegetable peeler.

Chef’s Note:

If you have a high powered blender, you can make this sauce hot right in the blender.

The adaptation? Omit the dates. I made this for the first time and decided to leave them in, but if you're used to making tomato sauces without added sugar, leave them out. I never add sugar to other tomato sauce recipes so will leave them out from now on.

I used slightly more than a cup of sun-dried tomatoes because that's what I had left in the container. It was maybe one or 2 pieces of tomato more. I also had 6 very small plum tomatoes that needed to be used to there was a bit more of those, too. These are really small tomatoes, maybe only 3 inches high. I figured 6 of those would equal 4 regular sized plum tomatoes.

For the sun-dried tomato powder I used Dr. Fuhrman's Mato Zest because I still have more than half a jar of it and always forget to use it in other recipes.

Like Jeff Novick and Chef AJ, we love garlic in this house, and used about 8 cloves. I may use more next time.

And it wasn't until we sat down to eat when I realized I forgot to add the basil leaves. Stupid! I had them all ready in the refrigerator, too. Oh, well.

OMG! This stuff was fantastic! This is how it looked in the pot before I added the spinach to it. It's so thick, rich and creamy! My husband asked if it was too much work to make, because he really would prefer to have this as our basic pasta sauce from now on. I told him it would be no problem at all.

For the record, I made this in a Ninja blender and was as smooth as can be. I tried letting it run 5 minutes on high to see if it would heat up the way people say soups and sauces do in the high priced blenders. It got a little warm but certainly not hot. That's okay with me, because when I use jarred sauce I never heat them, just open and dump. The hot pasta (and spinach) warms the sauce up nicely.

1 comment:

  1. Someone just told me about this. How nice!!!