Easy Pizza Sauce

Make this lively red pizza sauce recipe for your homemade pizzas! It comes together with basic pantry ingredients in about five minutes, no cooking required. It’s like…

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easy pizza sauce recipe

Make this lively red pizza sauce recipe for your homemade pizzas! It comes together with basic pantry ingredients in about five minutes, no cooking required. It’s like magic.

This recipe yields a classic Italian red sauce base for your home-baked pizza pies. Despite its quick preparation, this sauce tastes rich and full of flavor, which further develops during the pizza’s blast in a high-heat oven.

pizza sauce ingredients

I like my sauce to have a bit of texture to it, and this sauce strikes the perfect balance. Many pizza sauces are either thick and dull or watery and flavorless. Not this one.

I originally developed this sauce recipe for a pizza recipe in my cookbook, Love Real Food. Since I just re-shared my favorite pizza dough recipe, I’m providing my go-to pizza sauce to go along with it.

Both the dough and the sauce come together very quickly, so you can enjoy homemade pizza with minimal fuss. How about pizza tonight?

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Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

How about pizza tonight? Homemade pizza nights should be fun and easy, and that’s where this pizza dough recipe comes into play. It’s ready in 15 minutes,…

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whole wheat pizza dough recipe

How about pizza tonight? Homemade pizza nights should be fun and easy, and that’s where this pizza dough recipe comes into play. It’s ready in 15 minutes, start to finish. That’s a lot faster than delivery!

This quick pizza dough yields a crust of medium thickness that’s crisp across the bottom and a little chewy in the middle. It has a lovely, yeasty flavor with just a hint of whole wheat. I love this dough so much that I shared it in my cookbook, Love Real Food.

proofing yeast for pizza dough

This dough doesn’t have the elusive, stretchy, chewy, sourdough texture that I crave in authentic brick oven pizza. This homemade dough is fantastic, though. A few reasons to love this recipe:

  • It’s made from scratch with basic, wholesome ingredients.
  • You can make it in your food processor (or by hand).
  • This dough requires zero proofing time. You can make your pizzas right away.
  • The dough requires minimal effort—just a couple of kneads and a few rolls with a rolling pin.

Let’s make some pizzas!

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Pasta alla Norma

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish…

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pasta alla norma recipe

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish because it is a completely satisfying vegetarian dinner. I’m craving a bowl as I type.

Most pasta alla Norma recipes are made with fried eggplant, but this recipe features roasted eggplant. Eggplant really absorbs oil like a sponge, so this lightens up the dish. Another plus? Roasting eggplant is easier and less messy.

I further lightened this classic recipe by using more eggplant and less pasta, so this dish won’t put you to sleep. It’s nice and saucy, just the way I like it.

pasta alla norma ingredients

I don’t speak Italian, so I first assumed that “norma” meant eggplant. Not the case! Norma is capitalized because she’s a lady. Or an opera, depending on how you look at it.

Here’s the backstory: Pasta alla Norma comes from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the hometown of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera composer who lived in the early 1800s. One of Bellini’s most famous operas, Norma, is named after its lead character.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his first bite of this pasta dish, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (“This is a true Norma!”) That’s quite a compliment.

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How to Make Crostini

Who doesn’t love golden, crisp crostini? Crostini is crusty bread brushed with olive oil, toasted in the oven or in the grill to perfection. I love how…

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homemade crostini recipe

Who doesn’t love golden, crisp crostini? Crostini is crusty bread brushed with olive oil, toasted in the oven or in the grill to perfection. I love how it shatters between my teeth, offering the perfect contrast to a creamy spread or dip.

The word crostini means “little crusts” in Italian. I typically associate crostini with party appetizers and cheese plates, but you don’t have to throw a party to enjoy these little toasts.

For example, you can resuscitate a stale baguette by turning it into crostini. You can whip together a fun lunch or snack in no time with crostini and condiments from your fridge. Or you can make an everyday dinner more festive by starting with a round of crostini and a creamy spread. Crostini is the answer!

how to make crostini

I recently baked up some crostini to accompany my upcoming caponata recipe. As I consulted my bruschetta recipe for guidance, I realized that I must not be the only person wondering how to make crostini. So here I am, waxing poetic about Italian toasts. Did you know that the singular form of crostini is crostino?

Today, I’m sharing all my best crostini topping suggestions and a simple, foolproof recipe for homemade crostini. Do tell me how you enjoy your crostini in the comments!

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Refreshing Hibiscus Mocktail

I’ve indulged in my fair share of cocktails this year, but sometimes, I just want a fun, fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. Something cold to savor on a hot…

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sparkling hibiscus mocktail recipe

I’ve indulged in my fair share of cocktails this year, but sometimes, I just want a fun, fizzy, non-alcoholic drink. Something cold to savor on a hot afternoon, or an enticing alternative to chilled wine in the evening. Something party-worthy to offer my friends and family members, and all the cute kids who come with them.

This beauty is refreshing and hydrating, and so colorful that it makes a slow afternoon seem downright festive. The outrageous pink color comes from hibiscus tea, which is easy to find at the grocery store if you look for Tazo’s “Passion” blend.

how to make a mocktail

Once the tea has had a chance to cool, we’ll fill our glasses (or a pitcher) with ice. We’ll finish off these drinks with some honey simple syrup (as little or as much as you want), a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a gentle glug of Topo Chico, the finest of sparkling waters.

I’ve been on a Topo Chico kick this summer, but really, any sparkling water will do. The end result is full of flavor, lightly sweet, and irresistibly bubbly.

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Fresh Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Let me introduce you to one of the best meals I’ve had all season! These fresh black bean burrito bowls are made from scratch with simple, wholesome…

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best burrito bowl recipe

Let me introduce you to one of the best meals I’ve had all season! These fresh black bean burrito bowls are made from scratch with simple, wholesome ingredients. While the components initially take some time to prepare, they make great leftovers to enjoy all week long. These bowls pack well for lunch, too.

In fact, these burrito bowls represent how I eat at home. I like to make a few components that play nicely together, and mix and match them all week. That way, I don’t get bored, and I don’t have to start from zero with every meal.

ingredients (rice, lime, cilantro, red onion)

“Tell me more, Kate,” you say. Ok, so maybe you first enjoy these burrito bowls exactly as shown here. You could change up your next bowl by adding some avocado and a fried egg.

Or, you could make a simple quesadilla, top it with pickled onion and cilantro pesto, and serve it with a side of black beans and rice. Another option? Turn these components into black bean tacos (or a burrito). Maybe you have some extra rice, so you warm it up and toss it into your green salad for lunch.

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How to Cook Black Beans (From Scratch!)

Meet my go-to, foolproof black bean recipe! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans…

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best black beans recipe

Meet my go-to, foolproof black bean recipe! If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook black beans from scratch, this guide is for you. These beans are rich and creamy, yet lively and full of flavor. They rival the frijoles negros I’ve loved in Costa Rica, Mexico and Belize, and they make a delicious side dish or meal component.

Home-cooked black beans offer far more flavor than canned beans, especially when you include the right seasonings. I’m thrilled with how these turn out. Dried beans are also less expensive than canned beans, and they reduce waste (no cans to throw away).

black bean recipe ingredients

Plus, black beans are very good for you. Black beans are rich in fiber and plant-based protein, and a fantastic source of folate, thiamin (vitamin B1), phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. If you’ve ever read that beans are “unhealthy,” it’s because beans contain lectins until they’ve been sufficiently cooked. Lectins, which are naturally present in many plant foods, are considered an anti-nutrient. If you’re eating properly cooked beans, as instructed below, there’s no reason for concern.

You might be surprised to hear that black beans are actually so blue that they appear black. Black beans are full of anthocyanins, a powerful group of flavanoids that also makes blueberries, purple cabbage and red onions so nutritious. You can read all about black bean nutrition here.

If you’re learning to cook dried beans, start them early. The wild card with dried beans is that you’ll never be 100 percent certain when they’ll finish cooking. Better to start cooking well before you’re in a rush for dinner. Let’s get to it!

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Gluten-Free Banana Bread (Made with Almond Flour)

Are we still baking banana bread? Is that still a thing? Of course it is. I developed this gluten-free banana bread recipe in response to one of…

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gluten-free banana bread recipe

Are we still baking banana bread? Is that still a thing? Of course it is. I developed this gluten-free banana bread recipe in response to one of the most common questions on my healthy banana bread recipe: “Can I make this with almond flour?”

While my go-to banana bread recipe offers other gluten-free options within the post (including a delicious oat flour option), the almond flour answer is not as straightforward. I think it took me seven tries to get this recipe just right!

This version required several modifications, so I’m sharing it as its own recipe today. I’ll also walk you through how I modified the recipe to work with almond flour, which might be helpful if it’s your preferred flour, or you happen to have a surplus in your pantry.

gluten-free banana bread ingredients

This banana bread is very tender, moist and decadent. These qualities are natural by-products of using almond flour and additional eggs to hold the bread together. This “bread” almost reminds me of pound cake in texture, and it could definitely pass as banana cake—perhaps you’d like to top it with cream cheese frosting.

While it’s different in texture from my favorite banana bread, this gluten-free banana bread is awesome in its own right. Like the other recipe, it’s easy to mix together—by hand, in one bowl, no less! It’s also naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. And, I believe it qualifies as paleo as well. Ready to make some?

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How to Make Flax “Eggs”

Let’s talk about flax eggs! We’re living in a strange alternate reality where flaxseed is often easier to find than actual eggs. Flax eggs, made simply with…

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how to make a flax egg

Let’s talk about flax eggs! We’re living in a strange alternate reality where flaxseed is often easier to find than actual eggs. Flax eggs, made simply with ground flaxseed and water, are a pantry-friendly substitute that just might save you a trip to the store. In fact, you can also make chia seed “eggs” using this technique, if you have those on hand.

If you’re vegan or have an egg allergy in your family, you may be well familiar with flax eggs already. I didn’t invent them and I don’t know who did, but I’ve learned a lot about them over the years.

I’ve been guilty of referencing flax eggs as a substitution option without providing more detail. Now, I can link to this page so you’ll know what the heck I’m talking about. Today, you might learn more than you ever wanted to know.

flax egg ingredients

Flax eggs work well when they’re a small component in baked goods, pancakes, and other flour-based recipes. Flax eggs yield a “gluey” substance similar to egg whites, which helps bind ingredients together. They also contain some fat, like real yolks do. As a bonus, they also offer some fiber, which you won’t find in real eggs.

Unfortunately, flax eggs don’t offer as much structural support as real eggs, and they definitely don’t work in egg-focused recipes like scrambled eggs or frittatas.

Flax eggs are an imperfect substitute, but in the right recipe, they can work great!

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How to Make Oat Flour

Let’s talk about oat flour! Oat flour is a nutritious whole grain flour that is easy to make out of—you guessed it—oats. Oat flour offers a mildly…

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oat flour made from old-fashioned oats

Let’s talk about oat flour! Oat flour is a nutritious whole grain flour that is easy to make out of—you guessed it—oats. Oat flour offers a mildly nutty flavor and a tender crumb. Plus, oat flour is gluten-free if you make it with certified gluten-free oats.

“Can I use oat flour?” is one of the most frequent questions I’m receiving on recipes for baked goods. This question tells me a few things:

  1. You’re having trouble finding traditional flours at stores.
  2. Oat flour is going mainstream.
  3. You’re curious about how oat flour works.

old-fashioned oats for oat flour

So today, I’m sharing how to make oat flour. Plus, I’ll provide guidance on how to substitute oat flour for best results. Oat flour is more suitable for some recipes than others.

You’ll also find recipes that are designed specifically for oat flour, including my all-time favorite waffles. I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes that use this wonderful flour soon!

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