Up here in the Dirty Jerz, people seem to be all about the red sauce. Which I get — it’s very versatile. You can have it plain, with meatballs, with sausage, whatever you want. But growing up, we always had meat sauce, and I vastly prefer its richer flavor. Plus, it eliminates a step from things like lasagna and pizza…I don’t have to make meat for those, because it’s already in the sauce!
There are many, many variations on meat sauce. This one is mine.
This is one of those recipes that is so easy I feel like I’m cheating by posting it. But I figure if I didn’t know about this fast and easy method of making “cream sauce”, you may not, either. And believe me, if you like cream sauce, you want to know.
Tips and tricks: First, any kind of protein (or none!) would be great with this. I happened to use salmon because my dr. told me if I’m not going to take supplements (I’m not, because I feel like crap when I do), I need to eat salmon a few times a week. I think this recipe would also be really great with chicken. Also, when I made this, I made it for myself to have for lunch, and I mixed everything together (except the tomatoes) as in the recipe below. Next time, I’m going to keep the salmon separate, as by the 3rd lunch, the salmon flavor had completely overwhelmed everything else.
Holy cow, it’s already Thursday?!?! Obviously this was supposed to go up/out on Tuesday…I’m still trying to get back in the hang of blogging and sharing and stuff and time just got away from me this week. I promise this is just as tasty today as it would have been two days ago.
When I was a kid, salad bars were rife with foods I wasn’t otherwise exposed to: olives, teeny little orange slices, stinky cheeses, cucumbers, and my favorite: garbanzo beans. “Garbanzo beans” was/is fun to say, especially if you stretch it out into garbaaaaaaaanzo, and they had a texture that was different from anything else I ate. If the salad bar had them, I always loaded up on them.
I didn’t realize until I was an adult and discovered that garbanzo beans are just another name for chickpea that I could actually buy some for my very own at home. So for years now I’ve bought the odd can here and there when I’m in a salad-making mood. And I’ve tried the other famous chickpea food, hummus. Weirdly, I hate hummus. Ick.
But then I came across a recipe on Pinterest, as one does, for a salad actually made from chickpeas. Oh. Myyyyy. The original recipe was tasty, but I tweaked it quite a bit to make it exactly what I wanted (lost the garlic so I can eat it at work, added tomatoes for a little extra flavor and vitamin C). This salad both fills and refreshes, and is perfect to throw together for a quick summer lunch or dinner, especially on a super hot day (no cooking! Yay!). I typically eat this as a full meal, but it would make a great side, too.
Sidenote: I just found out that chickpeas are super high in iron! Bonus!
Also, lime juice really is the best citrus flavor for this. Orange is too sweet, and lemon and grapefruit are too sour. That said, if you don’t have lime on hand, use lemon or grapefruit and cut the amount by half(ish).