Home-made tomato sauce and a course on child nutrition

The Course

As usual, a strange, but pretty accurate title. So here is what happened. Loulou Maya is now one month old and breast feeding on demand. This means that my life practically consists of feeding her, changing her diapers and comforting her. As much as I adore her, I really want to do something to help myself grow as well. My beloved partner, who knows that I am a somewhat hyperactive person that needs to be busy with something creative at all times, has found for me a self-paced course on Coursera, which is just what I needed.

Congrats to us for keeping our child alive for one month!

Congrats to us for keeping our child alive for one month!

This is the course: Child Nutrition and Cooking. It is brought to us by Stanford University, but don’t let that fact scare you. It is a really easy course, the lecturer is pleasant and all the info that she delivers is useful and clear. The quizzes are very simple (some times ridiculously simple, to be honest) and there are some cooking demonstrations in there as well. What I liked about this course:

  • Even someone who has never read anything about nutrition can follow it. It is ideal for people who just now started exploring food choices and nutrition.
  • The videos are short but full of information. Even if you have just 10 minutes per day, you will learn something new.
  • The lecturer, Maya Adam, talks a lot about moderation and does not promote a specific diet. She talks about nutrition using facts and not ethics or personal preferences.
  • Maya also talks about the social and environmental impact of our food choices.

The only thing that I didn’t particularly like about the course is what I mentioned before: the quizzes could be a bit more challenging. But I might be wrong on this one, as I have done quite some extensive research, when it comes to nutrition and where our food comes from. Now, if you are vegetarian or vegan, I have to warn you that Maya does cook meat. I was not particularly bothered by that fact, as she does talk about the importance of limited meat consumption both for health and environmental reasons and I think that if the whole Western World limited our meat consumption, it could make a huge difference. I also believe that this is a much more feasible goal than everyone becoming veg*an.

I feel really lucky that I discovered this course, as it is the perfect start for me to keep exploring other courses, that might be more challenging. Coursera as a really easy platform to navigate too, so go ahead and try it out!

The Home-Made Tomato Sauce

In one of her videos, Maya made a very simple tomato sauce. Even though I used to do that a lot in my early cooking days, I haven’t bothered for many years. But after the course reminded me of all the ingredients that go into store-bought pasta sauces, I decided to start making my own again. It takes very little time, the difference in taste is remarkable and you know what goes into your body. So today I went ahead and made my first jar of home-made tomato sauce. The recipe that I am giving you is just a guideline. You can adapt/adjust according to your own taste.

Simple, home-made tomato sauce.

Simple, home-made tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Enough olive oil to cover your pot (4-5 tablespoons)
  • 8-10 ripe tomatoes
  • a pinch of salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or less, if your tomatoes are really ripe)
  • spices of your choice. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, mild paprika and oregano.
  • A tablespoon of flour of cornstarch (optional)

Instructions

  • Chop up the onions and garlic. Chop them finely, if you can.
  • Thoroughly wash and chop up your tomatoes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a big pot.
  • Add the garlic and onion bits and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes, a glass of water, the salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and boil for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the sugar and the rest of the spices and simmer until it thickens. It took mine about 30 minutes to thicken to the desired consistency.
  • If you want, you can add a bit of flour or cornstarch, to thicken your sauce a bit more.
  • Store in a jar in the fridge and enjoy.
Simple but delicious.

Simple but delicious.

P.S.: I am pretty sure there will be days that I will use store-bought pasta sauces. I don’t know for how long my enthusiasm will be greater than my fatigue, but for however long it will last, we will enjoy it.

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