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Vanilla tomato sauce

May 1, 2012

After raiding the dregs of my pantry for new flavors for my paltry refrigerator stash, I decided that it was time to start using up my pure vanilla extract in dishes other than baked goods, since I hardly ever bake.

Madagascar vanilla extract is the best. I’d normally grab the bean instead of getting some extract that comes with alcohol and a bit of sugar, but since one bean typically costs $1, I figured that mass-produced vanilla extract wasn’t so bad at $5 for 30 bean equivalents. Also worth thrice the price of fake vanilla flavoring, as the value of the real thing is bajillion times that of imitation.

So with this vanilla extract I hunted for a way to make my proteins in the fridge tasty. I found a plethora of recipes that used vanilla in tomato sauce. So why not make my own sauce with real tomatoes, and add the vanilla right in?

I found that the combination works well with both poultry and fish. The colors are ultra vibrant, and all the tastes of the different components of the dish just pop. The vanilla definitely makes the dish unique, since the aroma is in every spoonful. Definitely made this more than just once with different proteins.

Nutritional information for entire dish, with white fish as protein: 780 calories, 20g fat, 34g carbs, 9g fiber, 109g protein, 87% Vitamin A, 150% Vitamin C, 15% calcium, and 25% iron.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp cooking fat (I used EVOO)
1 small onion
1 lb (3-4 count) of tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
4 sprigs of parsley
1 lb protein of choice (I use fish or chicken)
1 lime, juiced

Directions
(1) Slice onion and throw into a pan with cooking fat and fry until translucent, about 3 minutes.
(2) Meanwhile, cut tomatoes into cubes and throw in with the onions when the onions are cooked. Add the Italian seasoning, vanilla extract, and salt. Cook together for 5 minutes.
(3) Mince the parsley and cube the protein into bite-sized pieces. Add to the tomato mixture, making sure to cover the protein with the sauce. Cook until the protein is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
(4) Spoon out the protein, and allow the sauce to simmer on medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Cut the lime and juice it over the sauce. Spoon over protein before serving.

Bon appetit!

Dai Dai

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