Team Red Sauce: Why the Classic Reigns Supreme at Restaurants

Team Red Sauce: Why the Classic Reigns Supreme at Restaurants


Ah, the age-old battle: red sauce vs. white sauce. While both have their place, when dining out, the crown often falls to the vibrant red. Here’s why choosing the red sauce over the white sauce at restaurants might be the tastier (and sometimes healthier) option:

Flavor Fiesta

Freshness Focus

Red sauces, typically tomato-based, often highlight seasonal ingredients. Fresh summer tomatoes burst with sweetness in a light marinara, while robust winter tomatoes lend richness to hearty ragù. White sauces, on the other hand, can sometimes feel heavy and one-dimensional.

Complexity Craving

Red sauces boast a symphony of flavors. Tomatoes offer a sweet and tangy base, while herbs like basil and oregano add a fragrant punch. Roasted garlic provides a savory depth, and a hint of chili flakes brings a welcome heat. White sauces, while creamy, often lack this depth, relying heavily on cheese and butter for richness.

Dietary Decisions

Calorie Consciousness

Red sauces tend to be lighter than their white counterparts. A simple marinara can have as little as 100 calories per serving, while a creamy alfredo sauce can pack upwards of 500. This makes red sauce a great choice for those watching their weight or seeking a lighter meal.

Nutritional Powerhouse

Red sauces are surprisingly good for you! Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins A and C, lycopene (an antioxidant linked to heart health), and essential minerals. White sauces, while offering some calcium from cheese, often lack the same nutritional punch.

Restaurant Reality

Restaurant Roulette

White sauces are notoriously tricky in restaurants. Achieving the perfect creamy texture without heaviness is difficult in large-scale preparation. Red sauces, on the other hand, are often simmered slowly, allowing flavors to develop, resulting in a more consistent and delicious dish.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Red sauces offer a wider range of options. From a simple marinara to a chunky puttanesca with olives and capers, or a spicy arrabbiata, the possibilities are endless. White sauces, while comforting, can feel repetitive, especially on extensive menus.


The Final Verdict

Choosing red sauce isn’t about vilifying white sauce. Both have their place. However, when dining out, red sauce often offers a fresher, more vibrant, and potentially healthier option. With its focus on seasonal ingredients, layered flavors, and lighter profile, red sauce allows the true talents of chefs and the quality of restaurant ingredients to shine through. So, the next time you’re faced with the red vs. white dilemma, consider giving the classic red a try. You might be surprised at the symphony of flavors that awaits!


How Canned and Frozen Foods Can Help Us Reduce Food Waste

How Canned and Frozen Foods Can Help Us Reduce Food Waste


Food waste is a global issue. Every year, tons of perfectly edible food ends up in landfills, creating environmental and economic problems. But there’s a simple solution hiding in plain sight: the canned and frozen food sections of your grocery store! These unsung heroes can be powerful allies in the fight against food waste, offering convenience, affordability, and surprising nutritional value.


The Shelf-Life Superpower


Freshness Frozen in Time

Fresh fruits and vegetables have a short window of peak freshness. They wilt, bruise, and eventually spoil, leading to wasted food and money. Frozen produce, however, is flash-frozen at its peak ripeness, locking in nutrients and flavor. It’s a convenient way to enjoy fresh-tasting fruits and vegetables year-round, minimizing waste.


Canned Champions

Canned fruits and vegetables undergo a sterilization process that extends their shelf life significantly. This means you can enjoy a variety of produce, even out of season, without worrying about spoilage. No more wilted lettuce or forgotten berries at the back of the fridge!


The Planning Powerhouse


Portion Control Perfection

Food waste often happens because we buy too much fresh produce. Canned and frozen options often come in pre-portioned sizes, perfect for single meals or smaller households. This reduces the risk of buying more than you can use before it spoils.


Meal-Planning Magic

With a well-stocked pantry and freezer, you can easily whip up healthy meals without a last-minute grocery run. Frozen vegetables can be quickly steamed and added to stir-fries or soups. Canned beans are a pantry staple, ready for dips, salads, or quick bean burgers. This helps avoid impulse buys and wasted fresh produce.


The Nutritional No-Nos (Debunked!)


Myth: Frozen and Canned Food is Less Nutritious

Modern freezing and canning techniques effectively preserve most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often picked and frozen at peak ripeness, potentially retaining more nutrients than produce that travels long distances before reaching your grocery store.

Focus on the Label

Choose canned vegetables with minimal added sodium. Opt for fruits packed in water or their own juice instead of sugary syrups. With a little planning, you can find healthy and nutritious options in the canned and frozen food aisles.


Making the Most of Your Shelf-Stable Stars


Plan Your Meals

Plan your meals around canned and frozen options. Look for recipes that utilize these ingredients to avoid impulse purchases.

Get Creative

Don’t underestimate the versatility of canned and frozen foods! Experiment with different flavors and cuisines. Leftover canned beans can be transformed into a hearty chili, while frozen berries can become a delicious smoothie.


Don’t Forget the Leftovers

Leftovers are champions against food waste! Repurpose leftover canned or frozen ingredients into new and exciting dishes.


By embracing canned and frozen options, you can become a champion against food waste. They offer convenience, affordability, and surprising nutritional value. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t overlook the power of the canned and frozen food aisles. With a little creativity and planning, you can create delicious meals, save money, and do your part to reduce food waste!

Best Ways to Use Canned Tomatoes at Home

Best Ways to Use Canned Tomatoes at Home



We all know the struggle. You reach for a fresh tomato, picturing a burst of juicy flavor, only to find a mushy mess or a rock-hard disappointment. Canned tomatoes, however, are a kitchen hero, offering consistent quality, affordability, and endless possibilities. But how do you use these pantry staples beyond a basic marinara? Let’s unlock the potential of canned tomatoes!


Flavorful Foundations


1. Sauces Supreme

Canned tomatoes are the base for countless sauces. Diced tomatoes simmered with garlic and herbs create a vibrant base for pasta dishes. Crushed tomatoes lend a smooth texture to creamy tomato bisques. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a smoky depth to salsas and dips.

2. Speedy Soups

Skip the chopping! Canned tomatoes are perfect for quick and flavorful soups. Diced tomatoes bring heartiness to minestrone, while crushed tomatoes create a velvety base for creamy tomato tortellini soup.

3. Stews with Depth

Add richness and body to stews with canned tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes simmered with vegetables and protein like chicken or chickpeas create a comforting and satisfying meal.


Beyond the Basics


1. Shakshuka Sensation

This North African dish features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Saute onions and peppers with diced tomatoes, add spices like cumin and paprika, and crack eggs into the simmering mixture for a unique and delicious breakfast.

2. One-Pan Wonders

Sheet pan meals are a weeknight lifesaver. Combine diced tomatoes with chicken breasts, vegetables like broccoli and bell peppers, and a simple seasoning. Roast everything on a single pan for a fuss-free and flavorful dinner.

3. Global Twist

Canned tomatoes are a chameleon, adapting to various cuisines. Use them to create a quick and flavorful Thai curry with coconut milk, vegetables, and your favorite curry paste.


Tips and Tricks


1. Don’t Drain Blindly

While some recipes call for drained tomatoes, the juice often packs hidden flavor. Use a hand blender to partially crush the tomatoes in the can, retaining some of the delicious liquid for your dish.

2. Spice it Up!

Canned tomatoes are a blank canvas. Add fresh or dried herbs, spices like chili flakes or smoked paprika, or a squeeze of citrus for a personalized touch.

3. Embrace Different Varieties

Explore the world of canned tomatoes! Diced offer a chunky texture, crushed provide a smoother base, while whole peeled tomatoes can be chopped for stews or used for stuffed tomatoes. Fire-roasted tomatoes add a smoky depth, perfect for bolder dishes.


So next time you’re staring at your pantry, remember the humble can of tomatoes. With a little creativity, you can whip up delicious, nutritious meals that are kind to your wallet and time. Embrace the versatility of canned tomatoes and unlock a world of culinary possibilities in your own kitchen!

4 reasons why canned tomatoes are a pantry staple

4 reasons why canned tomatoes are a pantry staple

Canned tomatoes are a versatile pantry staple that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are 4 reasons why you should always keep a can (or two) on hand. 

When it comes to budget-friendly pantry staples, canned tomatoes stand out as a versatile, nutritious, and cost-effective option. Here are four reasons why these humble canned goods should be a pantry staple in your household. 

1. Affordability

Canned tomatoes are a budget-savvy choice, often priced competitively compared to their fresh counterparts. Particularly during off-seasons or in regions where fresh tomatoes are expensive or unavailable, canned varieties provide a wallet-friendly alternative without compromising on quality or flavor. The cost-effectiveness of canned tomatoes makes them accessible to households of all income levels, contributing significantly to their popularity as a pantry essential.

2. Extended Shelf Life

One of the most compelling advantages of canned tomatoes is their extended shelf life. Unlike fresh tomatoes, which have a relatively short window of peak freshness, canned tomatoes are preserved through canning techniques, allowing them to be stored for months without spoiling. This longevity minimizes food waste and enables consumers to buy in bulk, taking advantage of discounts and promotions without concerns about rapid spoilage.

3. Versatility in the Kitchen

From soups and sauces to stews and salsas, canned tomatoes serve as a foundational ingredient in countless recipes. Their robust flavor profile and rich texture enhance dishes across various cuisines, making them indispensable in the kitchen. Whether diced, crushed, whole, or in the form of puree, canned tomatoes offer versatility and convenience, requiring minimal preparation while imparting depth and complexity to meals. Additionally, their availability year-round ensures consistent access to this essential ingredient for cooking enthusiasts and professional chefs alike.

4. Nutritional Value

Contrary to common misconceptions, canned tomatoes retain their nutritional value remarkably well during the canning process. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, canned tomatoes offer a wholesome addition to meals. Lycopene, in particular, has been associated with various health benefits, including reduced risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Incorporating canned tomatoes into your diet can thus contribute to overall health and well-being without breaking the bank.

Using Canned Tomatoes in Global Food

Using Canned Tomatoes in Global Food

From curries to pizza, here’s how you can use canned tomatoes in global food to explore different cuisines.

In the colorful mosaic of global cuisines, certain ingredients transcend borders, weaving themselves seamlessly into the fabric of culinary traditions around the world. Among these culinary ambassadors, canned tomatoes stand out as a shining example of how a humble pantry staple has become an indispensable cornerstone of diverse culinary heritages. Here’s how you can use canned tomatoes in the kitchen to explore different global cuisines. 

  • Easy Chicken Curry: Inspired by the flavors of Southeast Asia, this recipe is one your whole family will enjoy. Thanks to ingredients you probably already have on hand (such as canned tomatoes, frozen chicken, and coconut milk), you can whip up this quick and easy main dish in no time at all!
  • Riccardo’s Old World Sauce: Elevate your pasta game with Riccardo’s Old World Sauce – i.e. a delicious homemade pasta sauce. Inspired by Italian cuisine, this sauce brings a burst of homemade goodness to your plate.
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup: So much flavor in under 45 minutes! Canned tomatoes, juicy chicken, crisp corn, black beans and classic Mexican spices are all present in this warm and savory tortilla soup. 
  • Shakshuka Pita Pizzas: Combining flavors from Italy and the Middle East, this vegetarian dish is a complete meal thanks to the protein, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats—making it a well-balanced dinner that your whole family will love.
  • Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti: Tomato products provide just the right amount of pizzazz to pasta recipes, such as this hearty, plant-based Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti dish. 
  • Easy Gazpacho: This cool, classic Spanish style soup is delicious even on the hottest of days. Packed with the vibrant flavors of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs, it’s a wonderful appetizer or veggie-rich meal accompaniment. 
  • California Walnut Salsa: This nutritious California Walnut Salsa recipe is not only packed with flavor, but it can be prepared in under 10 minutes. 

Learn more about the health benefits of canned tomatoes in this article.