When I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, switching over to a gluten free diet wasn't the miracle cure I was expecting.
You see, whilst I did eliminate the number one enemy, I wasn't yet aware that there were quite a lot of smaller enemies as far as my stomach was concerned. All of the years of eating gluten destroyed the lining of my stomach, leaving it extremely sensitive.
As time went on we identified these enemies (and as I healed those enemies disappeared!), however, there was one food that was a serious challenge for me to eliminate....
I was the girl who lived off tomatoes. I ate them like apples, my favourite pasta sauces were tomato based sauces - I even shopped at one particular fruit and veggie shop solely because they stocked a range of different tomatoes in all sorts of colours and shapes.
Eliminating tomatoes was tough and I had to learn to live without them... though, in true Kristy fashion, I wasn't going to eliminate them - I would experiment with alternatives until I came up with something that would serve as a suitable alternative.
The experiments started with pumpkin - but there were only so many times I could have creamy cheesy pumpkin sauces.
Then whilst making a carrot based soup, I had an idea... what about if I added carrots into the mix.
Combining pumpkin and carrot worked but it wasn't the right colour and something was still missing - so I added beetroot. Beetroot gave me the bright red colour I wanted whilst everything else contributed to the texture - then I just needed to season it and tweak the other ingredients until everything was perfect.
After quite a few batches, I finally perfected the recipe (after thinking I perfected it previously - but we all agree this version is the best yet) and that's what I'm sharing with you today.
Whilst it may not be exactly like tomatoes, it's pretty darn close and the best alternative we can come up with. We use it in pasta, we use it on pizza, we use it as a salsa, we use it to make tomato free chicken parmigiana - we use it on ALLL THE THINGS! So much so that I'm even planning on making us "pizza toasties" for lunch with nomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni :P
It's free from capsicum, chilli and other nightshade ingredients so it's perfect for those with a nightshade intolerances (or those like me with random intolerances) and it's packed full of veggies so you get a nutrition boost too!
So let me share the recipe with you! >>
The Ultimate Nomato Sauce Recipe
A tomato-free tomato sauce alternative for those with nightshade or tomato intolerances
low fat, gluten free, clean eating friendly, sugar-free, vegan option
2 small onions or one large onion*
4 cloves garlic, crushed*
1 tbsp butter or oil
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
3/4 cup butternut pumpkin/squash, peeled and cubed
2 medium beetroot or 4 small beetroot, peeled** (see notes)
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock***
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely dice your onion and crush your garlic.
- In a large non-stick saucepan, saute your onions and garlic in your butter/oil until soft and translucent, adding a splash of water if needed to stop them sticking.
- Add in all of your other ingredients and the mix to the boil before reducing to a simmer and cooking until your carrots and pumpkin are soft.
- Once your veggies are soft, blend them until your nomato sauce reaches your desired consistency, seasoning to taste. .
- Use immediately or allow to cool before storing in a glass jar in the fridge (this prevents staining) or freezing portions in zip lock bags to use later. The nomato sauce will keep for around a week in the fridge.
- *If you also can't have onion or garlic, you can leave this out, however, I'd suggest adding in some celery instead for that savoury flavour. I can't eat celery, however, I did try another version with around 1 cup of celery instead of the onion and garlic and whilst it was different, it was still a hit with our testers!
If you can't tolerate onion but can have leek or shallots, use them instead!
- **We find you get the best taste and texture using pre-cooked beets (like lovebeets) and it saves the cooking and peeling. If using raw beetroot, steam or bake your beets prior to adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- ***You can use water instead of stock, we just find the taste is better with chicken stock.
If so, what are the foods you miss the most?
And what's one food you could not live without?
I always say I couldn't live without peanut butter - and friends and family actually joke (it's pretty cruel!) that Jesse and I will have a kid with a peanut intolerance and I'll be the one stuffing myself stupid with peanut butter as soon as I leave home and showering/brushing my teeth/changing my clothes before coming back again.