The Kaiser – A German Restaurant Review

Gasthouse Kaiser

One of the benefits of knowing someone who has lived where you’re visiting, even if it’s just for a short time, is that you often have access to a guide, someone in the know, as it were.  My wife’s sister clued us in to the Kaiser, in Freiburg.  When you have a guide (especially one who speaks the language) you get to do things like try authentic regional cuisine, and sometimes even write German restaurant reviews (although, strictly speaking a guide isn’t necessary for that, but it helps to understand the menu).

A view into the kitchen area

Although we were well prepared for the food to be amazing, thanks to my sister-in-law, we weren’t prepared for the service.  We had been warned that sometimes the service can be a bit surly.  The lady you can almost see was our waitress.  I wish I could remember her name, and I wish I had gotten a better photo of her.  She was awesome.

The dining area

This was the dining room right as we got there.  We got there early so that we could go on a little excursion later in the afternoon, just missing the lunch rush (pretty much the main reason we didn’t get a photo with the waitress; they got BUSY).

Der Kaiser Menu

This is the menu at the Kaiser.  I love the design.

More menu

Unfortunately it’s all in German.  Crazy, huh?  Good thing we had good guides to help us (thanks guys!).

The view

This was the view of Freiburg from my seat.  Again, more of the sense of place I’ve been talking about.  It felt somewhat bustling like any city, but also somehow a little sleepy and comfy at the same time.  It’s hard to put into words.

Kaiser Salad

Their salad was amazing, the garden fresh flavors bursting in my mouth.  The corn was a sweet little surprise.  It really tasted green.

fruit and crepe

This is the crepe my son ordered.  The fresh mint, melon, pomegranate, and orange was a nice touch.  That’s homemade apple sauce on the plate (pretty much my favorite thing to put on or in a crepe).  Crepes are fairly popular in the regional cuisine in the Black Forest area (as well as in Austria and other areas, my sister-in-law tells me).  They’re not just French.

Brickteigtasche

This dish is a Brickteigtasche.  Tasche means a purse or bag.  The crepe acts as a purse for all the goodies inside (pasta similar to orzo with roasted vegetables). This is my sister-in-law’s favorite dish.

Schnitzel and Spaetzle

My brother-in-law Collin had the schnitzel and spaetzle.  I was lucky enough to try some.  The sauce is to kill for, absolutely.

Radler

I am not a beer person.  At all.  I’ve never liked it.  But I was in Germany, so I had to try something.  This was a radler, pretty much half lemonade and half beer.  And it was transcendent.  Sublime.  Liquid joy distilled into a glass for my lunch.  I’m pretty much a convert now.  If America could figure out how to make beer like this I’d drink beer more often.

Schaeufele

The cool waitress whose name I can’t remember really came through for me with this one.  I couldn’t decide what to get, and I was teetering toward getting schnitzel, but I wasn’t sure.  So she suggested I get the schaeufele, a local regional specialty.  It’s essentially a smoked and braised pork shoulder, served with perfectly roasted vegetables (turnips, carrots, celery and so on) and the most amazing bacon mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.  It was perfect, so of course I had to tell our waitress.  The best part is that it seemed to really make our waitress happy that I enjoyed it.  The smile on her face was awesome.  I was touched by how touched she was, knowing that she shared this amazing regional dish with me.  It wasn’t just food.  It was an experience.  My sister-in-law went back to the Kaiser since we left, and our waitress told her that she ‘locked that compliment in her heart.’  Which is pretty much the best thing ever.

Public Transportation

So, if you enjoyed my German restaurant review for the Kaiser, all you have to do is get on a plane (if you live in the States), fly to Germany, take a train to Freiburg, then walk there or take the public transportation (although honestly the public transportation system in Freiburg seems a little messed up right now until they have their main street repairs completed).  You might just want to walk there.  There’s an Aldi right across the street.

Any misspellings are completely my own.  Additionally, I haven’t been compensated for this review at all.  It’s all about love.

Schneider Bäckerei Konditorei Cafe – Touring a German Bakery

Schneider Bakery

I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Schneider Bakery in Heuweiler, a small village outside of Freiburg, Germany.  It was a rather impromptu affair, my host Jochen suddenly asking me if I wanted to come along and see the family bakery.  Of course I said yes.  Who wouldn’t want to tour a real, working Germany bakery?

Outside the Bakery

It was about a ten minute ride from Denzlingen to Heuweiler.  My wife’s mother was a Schneider, and it was somehow exciting to me to learn that another branch of the family had this really amazing bakery.

Inside the Bakery

The first thing you notice when you walk in the front door is the smell.  The aroma of baked cakes, bread and other goodies just kind of assaults your nose.

Fresh Baked Cakes

I also had a chance to tour the back rooms where they do all the baking.  These are tasty cakes cooling after baking.  They have a modern convection oven, but they still sometimes use an old style brick oven.  Apparently this is pretty rare these days in Germany.  It’s nice to see that tradition still matters.

Racks

More baking equipment.  Cooling racks are important when you have a large amount of baked goods coming out of the ovens.

Delivery Van

The Schneider bakery also supplies desserts and cakes to many of the finer hotels in the area.

It was incredibly exciting to be able to tour the bakery.  I was even more excited a few days later when we had the opportunity to come back out to Heuweiler as a family.  Rosemarie, one of the German Schneider relations, works at the bakery, and had graciously arranged a selection of cakes and other desserts in their cafe for us.

Extended Family

This is some of our extended German and American family, outside the bakery.

Various Cakes

The cakes were unbelievable.

Cakes

I mean how can you choose just one, right?

More Cakes

Another obligatory shot of the cakes.  I’m a food blogger.  It’s ok.  I can take pictures of food.  It’s not as weird as it sounds.

Poppyseed Cheesecake

This was a very unique cake.  It’s a poppyseed cheesecake.  The texture takes a little getting used to, I admit, but it’s quite tasty.

Strawberry Cake

The kids had these little strawberry tarts (I had some when they weren’t looking; they were amazing).

Strawberry Cakes

More strawberry tarts.

Tiramisu

I also had this delectable tiramisu cake.  And yes, it was quite gloriously boozy.  And wonderful.

Espresso Machine

I even managed to kind of sort of save the day, using my long dormant skills as a barista to resurrect this espresso machine in an effort to make a cappuccino.  It really wasn’t that hard, mostly deductive reasoning.

Cappucino

And the machine did most of the work anyway.

I was kind of blown away by the kindness and hospitality shown to us by our German family.  These desserts were expertly crafted.  I wanted to savor every bite, trying to taste the sense of place in every morsel.  I know it seems odd, but every bite seemed to taste like ‘here,’ if that makes sense.  The experience was rooted in place, in history.  It also felt great that our kids were there, so that, even if it flies over their heads right now, they can get a sense of where they come from, in part, and what their heritage is.

Because if I’ve learned anything from visiting a German bakery, and tasting their hospitality, the love and care that goes into every bite, it’s that we’re all family.  All of us.

Home, Heart and Place – Traveling to Germany

Over the Ocean

Over the Ocean

It’s an odd feeling, to be homesick for a place that’s not your home.  But that’s how travel can change you.  At least, that’s been my experience, with our recent trip, traveling to Germany.  We had an opportunity to make essentially a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Freiburg, Germany, to visit my wife’s extended family of cousins there.  In a real way it was so magical, so heart warming, to be welcomed into another family, another home (we stayed with my wife’s distant cousin Jochen and his family in Denzlingen, a small village outside of Freiburg), another country.  I confess, I kind of fell in love, with the country, the people, the place.

I’ve always believed that places have a spirit, as odd as that sounds.  Some places are special.  Magical.  Everywhere I went I could feel it.  Not just the feeling of wonder, how many countless generations it must have taken to wear to stones smooth.  No, it was a sense of recognition.  Of feeling at once at home and also completely alien, lost.  It’s an odd sensation.

Never mind the commonplace miraculous, the wonder of modern travel, being out-of-place almost instantly, and the sheer joy of being somewhere-else.  It probably took my distant ancestor Barnabas Horton months to sail across the ocean from England to North America.  It took us 10 hours to fly from Dallas to Frankfurt.

Frankfurt Bahnhof

We flew into Frankfurt, and ended up taking a train from Frankfurt to Freiburg.  The Frankfurt train station is amazing, a modern marvel.  It looks like a spaceship from the outside.  It’s pretty majestic from the inside, as well.

brother and sister

Our kids seemed to enjoy it just as much as we did.

Another few hours of the comfort of modern high-speed train travel and we were in Freiburg (seriously, America needs trains like these).

Schneider Family

Once we arrived we were welcomed by our extended Schneider clan with delicious desserts, coffee, milk, apple juice, the most enchanting mineral water (that’s definitely making it to my top 10 list of things I miss) and Fanta (always a hit with the kids).

cheesecake

Did I mention the desserts?  Seriously.  The Germans know how to bake.  I mean, seriously (more on that in another post).

Morning coffee

The hospitality we were shown was boundless.  The coffee machine in our host family’s kitchen was a little miracle.  Espresso every morning, at the press of a button.  The gift of wakefulness in a fog of jetlag.

breakfast

And breakfast!  Every morning it was fresh bakery rolls and bread, served with the most delectable preserves and butter.

with nutella

And nutella.  Can’t forget the nutella.

love and family

The most amazing thing though, was the gift of family.  Of being so utterly at home somewhere else, being given the gift of being able to share their culture, their food (and wine, and sometimes their cherry schnapps), their smiles and laughter and joy.  Honestly, I had a lot of anxiety about traveling to Germany.  The unknown always scares us, at least a little.

But everywhere things are the same, no matter how different they are.  People love their kids.  Family is universal.  People love people.

The gifts we’ve been given are priceless.  In the end, we were homesick for our home, and it was time to come home.  But there’s always going to be a part of our hearts that will dwell in Denzlingen, in Freiburg, in Germany.

My next few posts will be about various aspects or events on our trip.  Not all of it will be focused solely on food.  I hope you’ll stick around to read about it, though.  Let me know if you’ve traveled to Germany, and where you went, and what you experienced.  You can connect with me on Facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Buffalo Sriracha Tofu

Buffalo Sriracha Tofu

Buffalo Sriracha Tofu

The tangy spiciness of a good buffalo sauce is transformative.  It can take a downright crappy day and turn it into something somewhat better.  Suddenly your mouth is on fire, you’re looking for that glass of milk to cool down your tongue, but you’ve got a smile on your face.  Because the burn is that awesome.  But you can’t always be making a midnight snack of some Tyson anytizers and buffalo sauce.  You just can’t.  So, as a somewhat healthier version, I offer up Buffalo Sriracha Tofu (and in the process give up my buffalo sauce recipe, pretty much the tastiest buffalo sauce I’ve ever had).

This is the real deal.  Seriously.  If you’re not as brave as some, I would highly recommend using Tabasco or some other milder hot sauce.  Using sriracha in these quantities is not for the faint of heart.  You’ve been warned.

The technique:

First, cube a block of extra firm tofu.  Pat the cubes down with some paper towels.  You want the tofu to be as dry as possible so that when you fry it it browns easily.  Fry the tofu cubes in olive oil in a nonstick pan until they’re good and browned on all sides.

frying tofu

Next, make the buffalo sriracha sauce.  This is so amazingly easy you’re going to wonder why you’ve never made this before.

butter and garlic

Dice a garlic clove into tiny little bits.  Add it to a cup or ramekin with butter and fresh cracked pepper.  Warm these up in the microwave until the butter is fully melted.  This should take 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your microwave.

hot sauce

Next, add lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce and sriracha hot sauce.  Mix well.

sauce and tofu

Finally, coat your fried tofu cubes well, tossing them in the sauce.  The fried tofu pretty much wants to sit there, bathing in this hot sauce for a few minutes.  The tofu will absorb the sauce as it sits, amplifying the flavor (and heat) so resist the urge to immediately gobble this up.  If you have any left over save it in the fridge and add it to a stir-fry the next day.

And that’s it.  Another minimalist recipe, but I think the results speak for themselves.  I hope you enjoy the buffalo sriracha tofu.

The ingredients:

  • 1 block of tofu, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, diced fine
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • dash of Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce

Soup for the Summer: Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

tortilla soup

tortilla soup

(a note from Peter:  This is a guest post by my friend Sarah White, who writes the wonderful craft blog Our Daily Craft.  If you’re not familiar with her blog, check her out)

Summer in the south is not the time or the place for soup, at least if you’re like me and think that soup needs to be warm. But there is one soup I will make in the summer, one that’s actually better in the summer, and that’s tortilla soup. Most of the ingredients — hot peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado — are things we think about eating more of in the summer anyway, and most hit their peak when the weather is hot. This is also a pretty quick and easy recipe, with make-ahead components if you’re into that sort of thing. You can add chicken at the end, too, if you like, but it’s plenty filling and soul satisfying without any meat. Trust me on this one. The ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 large can roasted, crushed tomatoes (or 1.5 pounds fresh)
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 1 quart stock (I use organic, low-sodium veggie stock, but use what you like, homemade or storebought)
  • salt, pepper, oregano
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • farmer’s cheese or other white cheese you like
  • corn tortillas and oil for frying, or tortilla chips
  • lime

The technique: Cut the tops off the peppers, cut them in half and take out the seeds.

jalapenos

Broil for about 15 minutes, or until nicely charred.

charred jalapenos

Place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and allow to cool. Remove the skins. (If you’re using fresh tomatoes, quarter them and broil at the same time.) Chop the onion and garlic. Heat up your favorite non-reactive soup pot on medium heat and cover the bottom with olive oil.

chopped onion and garlic

Cook the garlic and onions until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

cooked onions Chop the peppers (and the tomatoes, if using fresh). Add the peppers and tomatoes.chopped jalapenos Season with salt and pepper to taste and a teaspoon or so of oregano (or epazote, if you have it). Add stock, stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.simmer

Add the beans. And/or chicken, if you want.finished tortilla soup At this point you can let it cool, refrigerate overnight or just eat later in the day.tortilla soup garnishes When you’re ready to serve, prepare your garnishes:

  • cilantro, cut into little pieces
  • avocado, in chunks
  • cheese, in smaller chunks
  • tortillas, cut into strips and friend in 350 degree oil for just a few minutes until lightly brown (or use chips if you must, but fresh is way better)
  • lime wedges for squeezing over top

cutting tortillas Spoon the soup into your bowl, pile on the garnishes and enjoy. Go back for a second layer of garnishes when you quickly devour the first. tortilla soup Thanks, Peter, for letting me visit! Come see me at Our Daily Craft sometime for posts about crafting with and for kids and creating the life you’ve always wanted.

(Thanks to Sarah for showing us how to make an amazing Vegetarian Tortilla Soup!-  Peter)

Carolina Blueberry BBQ Sauce and Grilled Ribs

Grilled Ribs with Carolina Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Grilled Ribs with Carolina Blueberry BBQ Sauce

There are a few things that a true gentleman should be able to cook, in my opinion.  Good barbecue is one of them.  Additionally, said gentleman should have a barbecue sauce (like a Carolina style blueberry BBQ sauce, but I’m getting there) or two up his sleeve (as well as a good working knowledge of fire and what to do with it, speaking in culinary terms).

I was in the process of preparing some ribs for the grill, when it struck me that I wanted to make a homemade BBQ sauce.  I’m partial to Carolina style vinegar sauces, most of the time, so I knew I wanted to do something in that sort of style.

But how to make it unique?  Different?

Right at that moment, as I was thinking this, I had opened the freezer to get some ice cubes, when there they were.  Staring at me, like little blue orbs of happiness.  Frozen blueberries, purchased at the Farmer’s Market, but rescued from oblivion by the cold slumber of the freezer.

It all hit me suddenly, like a revelation.  Carolina Blueberry BBQ Sauce.  Yes.

The technique:

The basis for any good Carolina style BBQ sauce is vinegar.  I omitted the white vinegar (I didn’t have any), and just used apple cider vinegar.  I added the vinegar to a pot, then added the frozen blueberries, brown sugar, ground mustard, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, a garlic clove, onion powder, water and a small amount of nutmeg.  I brought this to a slow rolling boil to give the blueberries a chance to wake up.

adding blueberrie and brown sugar

Next I added the hot sauce (I usually use Tabasco chipotle for things like this).

Adding spices

Next, blending.  The immersion blender doesn’t really work well in a pot, so you might want to transfer to a higher glass (or just use a regular blender).

Blending

Then it was just a matter of filtering out the blueberry solids.  The aroma was amazingly sweet and tart.  It’s quite a combination.

Filtering

Then I added the liquid back to the pot to reduce for a few minutes.

Reducing Sauce

See?  Fire good (no matter what the monster from Young Frankenstein might say).

fire good

Then I parboiled some ribs.  That’s easy.  You just bring a pot of water to boil, then add the ribs and let them boil for a few minutes.  After I removed them from the water I gave them a little bath in the Carolina blueberry BBQ sauce.

After parboiling

The only thing to do after that was to grill them (you can see my Morrocan chicken grilling in the background).

Grilling Ribs

The blueberry BBQ sauce in all its glory.

Carolina Blueberry BBQ Sauce

The ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tsps cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice

I hope you like this recipe.  Be brave!  Try crazy flavor combinations sometimes.  You never know when you’re going to find a winner.  Let me know what crazy flavor combinations you’ve tried.  I want to hear them all, the successes and the failures.

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

chocolate pumpkin brownies

chocolate pumpkin brownies

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies are incredibly easy to make, and far healthier for you than you would think judging just on taste.  The high moisture content of the pumpkin ends up making this a very fudgy brownie.  If that’s your preference (and who wants a dry brownie?) then you’ll be amazed at how easy these are to make. They’re also fairly easy to make gluten free if you use gluten free oatmeal.

All you’ll need is one can of pumpkin puree (the kind you use for pumpkin pie), Ghirardelli sweet ground cocoa, additional cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate flavor, chocolate chips, a hint of cinnamon and oats.  The pumpkin puree is rich, full of fiber, and makes it so that you don’t have to use any egg or fat.

ingredients

The technique:

The technique is fairly simple.  Grind the oatmeal in a coffee grinder until it’s a fine flour.  Empty the pumpkin puree into a bowl, then add the oatmeal flour, cocoa powders, cinnamon and chocolate chips.

Mixing

Mix thoroughly.  Spray the bottom of your pan with cooking spray, then spread flour or oatmeal flour on the bottom.  This prevents the brownies from sticking to the pan.

Floured Pan

Pour the Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies dough into the pan, spreading it out to be as flat as possible.

Spreading

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately forty minutes or so.  They’ll be a little fudgy when you get them out, so let them cool down and set a little before devouring.

The ingredients:

  • one can pumpkin pie puree
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli sweet cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Hersheys cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons ground oatmeal flour

 

 

Healthy Chicken Curry

healthy chicken curry recipe

I’m something of a curry fanatic.  I love a good curry.  Any chance we have to visit an Indian buffet or a Thai restaurant I usually end up eating large quantities of curry.  It’s great fun, but sometimes curry sauces can be rich with a somewhat large amount of fat.  I wanted to come up with a recipe that would have plenty of curry flavor, but be healthier in most regards.  So I came up with my Healthy Chicken Curry recipe.

This recipe uses the remainder of the vegan raw marinara sauce from the other day.  It also uses my homemade Thai curry paste, as well as curry powder.  Curry powder is packed with turmeric, which has powerful anticancer properties. In keeping with the health theme, I opted to serve the curry over spiralized zucchini noodles instead of rice.

The technique:

Assemble your ingredients.

curry ingredients

Besides the red curry paste and the raw marinara sauce, you’ll also need vegetables to fry (keeping with the red theme, I used red pepper and cherry tomatoes), curry powder and olive oil.

frying vegetables

Fry the vegetables in a nonstick pan with a little olive oil until they begin to caramelize.

adding curry powder and curry paste

Then add the curry paste and curry powder.

spiralized zucchini

At this time you’ll want to spiralize your zucchini into noodles.

curry sauce

Add the reserved raw marinara sauce and mix well, bringing it to a boil

cooking chicken in the sauce

From here it’s as simple as adding your sliced chicken to the boiling sauce, reducing the heat and letting it simmer for about five minutes so that the chicken has time to cook through.  I wanted my healthy chicken curry a little on the creamy side, so I added two tablespoons of milk at the end and mixed well.  You could omit that step if you’re avoiding dairy, of course.  This healthy chicken curry is a little on the spicy side (you can make it spicier if you add more curry paste).

The ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • zucchini spiralized noodles

 

 

Ras el Hanout Spice Mix Recipe and Grilled Morrocan Chicken

made with ras al hanout

The flavors of North Africa are still somewhat more exotic to me than many other types of world cuisine.  One of the things that appeals to me about one of the spice blends from Morroco, is that it’s highly non-standardized.  The words ‘ras el hanout’ literally means ‘head of the shop,’ or, in other words, the best spices available to the spice shop.  My ras el hanout spice mix recipe is a little unusual compared to some other recipes, but the depth and complexity of the recipe more than justifies that, I think  I use a few ingredients that are far from authentic, but still work well.

Two of the important spices I use in my blend are grains of paradise and Ethiopian black pepper, also known as grains of selim.  Grains of paradise is a spice related to ginger, native to Western Africa.  It has a pungent peppery flavor.  Grains of Selim have an intense musky, resiny pepper flavor.  These two combined make the resulting spice mixture very intense.

exotic spices

Gather all of your spices together.  I used grains of paradise, grains of selim, cloves, cinnamon (true cinnamon, not cassia), mustard seed, allspice, coriander, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and dried juniper (juniper has a piney, resin flavor that really compliments the other spices).

Morrocan spice mix

Throw them in your spice blender.

spice grinder

Grind it well.  You might have to pick up the spice grinder and shake it up when you grind them.

spice grinding

The resulting ras el hanout spice mix recipe looks like this:

Ras el Hanout

For the grilled Morrocan chicken you want to coat four chicken breasts liberally in olive oil.

chicken and olive oil

Then generously coat the outside of the chicken with the ras el hanout.

Spice coated chicken

Grill for at least 20 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill.

Ras el Hanout spice mix recipe ingredients:

  • grains of paradise
  • Ethiopian black pepper
  • caradmom
  • ground coriander
  • mustard seed
  • half a cinnamon stick (true cinnamon, not cassia)
  • nutmeg
  • dried juniper berries
  • allspice
  • cloves

The spice mix is intensely flavorful.  Next week I’ll show you how to use some to make a wonderful Morrocan chicken tagine.

 

Vegan Raw Marinara with Zucchini Noodles

vegan marinara

I probably love noodles more than I should.  I definitely don’t buy into the whole good carb/bad carb thing completely, but I obviously think that the more green stuff you eat, the better you’ll feel.  So, sometimes I try to eat a little healthier.  It’s the effort, really, I think that’s important.  So that’s why I came up with this vegan raw marinara (obviously packed with tons of nutrients).

Eating the sauce on spiralized zucchini noodles just seemed like the obvious next step.

This dish is something like a cross between spaghetti and a salad.  And that’s not a bad thing, as far as I’m concerned.

The technique:

Obviously, assemble your ingredients.  You’ll need tomatoes.  That’s the main thing with a good marinara sauce.  Since we’re eating this raw (unlike a traditional marinara) we need tomatoes that are packing a lot of flavor.  If you have them from your garden, use those.  Those are the best.  If you can’t use garden grown tomatoes, the next best thing are the ripened on the vine tomatoes.  The thicker and juicier, the better.

You’ll also need garlic, olive oil, some diced red bell pepper, salt, pepper, and herbs (I opted for oregano and thyme, although a little fresh basil and rosemary wouldn’t be bad either).  You might also need to use a little bit of water, depending on how juicy your tomatoes are.

ingredients

Chop up your tomatoes into small pieces, and add all of your ingredients to a very tall glass.

adding tomato

Hit it with your immersion blender and blend until everything is smooth.

blending

From there it’s simply a matter of spooning your vegan raw marinara on your zucchini spiralized noodles (they’re selling those spiralizers everywhere now, it seems; I found mine at Walgreens).  The raw nutrients and fresh flavors are pretty much an explosion in your mouth.

You might have some of the raw marinara sauce left over.  It’s adaptable stuff.  I’ll show you what else you can do with it in a few days.

The ingredients:

  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove (if you like yours with a stronger garlic flavor use the whole clove)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • approximately 1/4 cup water