Lazy Day Tomato Sauce


Recently I had another batch of tomatoes that needed to be processed. Too many just for eating, but not large enough for canning. Our garden this season has really suffered from the extreme heat that we had in June. Fortunately we have tomatoes, but they’ve been smaller in quantity and size. To complicate matters, I’d recently taken a nasty fall (flip flops are dangerous!) and standing for long periods of time was impossible. I needed to process but it had to be easy.

Usually at the end of the tomato season I’ve tried everything; sun-dried tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, freezing whole, salsa, even tomato jelly! Actually tomato jelly is very good. I’d never made tomato sauce. I think in the back of my mind I thought it was too hard and time-consuming.

I decided to try using the crock-pot to cook down the tomatoes. This would allow a long cooking time without worrying about watching a pot all day or stirring to prevent burning. I did some research. Did I need to blanch first and remove the skins? Some recommended that’ but these tomatoes were pretty small, so that would be time-consuming and labor intensive. Some recommended leaving the skins in for extra fiber. Some recommended picking the skins out after the tomatoes have cooked down.  Because I had to go in town for most of the day, I decided on the simplest method possible.

1. Fill the crock pot 2/3rds full with tomatoes cut in half but skins remaining.

2. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Italian seasoning is a spice mix consisting of Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory Sage, Oregano and Basil. I could have added onions and garlic, but this was quick and I needed to get going.

Italian seasoning

3. Put the crock pot on low for 6 hours. If it still looks like there is too much liquid, the lid can be removed slightly for another 30 minutes and it will cook down.
4. I tried to remove a peeling once it was done, but, once again, takes too much time and effort.  I got out my immersion blender and waala! Perfect!


5. Instead of canning the results, I froze and wrote down the quantity and dated the bag.
Not only was this easy, it tasted great. It’s always nice to know what is going into your food. You can control the salt and the contents. I ended up with 7 1/2 cups of sauce. Well worth the effort.

frozen sauce

Full Plate Living

While I was working, which meant 8 hours or more a day at a computer, I packed on some extra pounds, about 25 of them. Stress eating, no exercise and a Southern culture of fried foods contributed greatly. Oh and that sugar and chocolate addiction. I went on to lose those 25 pounds by eliminating sugar and fast foods. Recently I noticed I had got lax in my eating and my sugar addiction was in full swing. The pounds were starting to creep up again. I knew I had to do something, but it would have to be a way of eating that would be a way of life and practical. I couldn’t always eliminate fried foods, sugar or chocolate and I don’t want to!  I’m not giving up fried green tomatoes!

I’d heard about the The Blue Zones, a book about the longest living people in the world. The Seventh Day Adventists members who practice a vegetarian lifestyle in Loma Linda, California were one of the groups studied in The Blue Zones. I ordered The Seventh Day Diet by Chris Rucker and Jan Hoffman from, my favorite frugal online book store. According to the research the male Adventists have 8.9 year longer than average life expectancy and females  7.5 years longer than average life expectancy. They also enjoy the following health benefits:

  • reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • lower incidence of breast, prostate, pancreatic, bladder and ovarian cancers than the general population.
  • 50% less likely to get colon or rectal cancer.
  • Meat eating male Adventists have 56 percent of the average coronary heart disease mortality, 39 percent for those who use no meat but drink milk and eggs and 12 percent for total vegetarians.

. The Seventh Day Diet  mentioned their Lifestyle Centers in different parts of the country, which led me to one in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The Ardmore Center at one time offered an in-house crash course, costing several thousands, for people who had a lot of weight to lose. They lost weight while at the center but when the leaders were following up with their clients, they discovered that they were gaining the weight back.  The total vegetarian diet was not working for them. This failure birthed The Full Plate Diet.  The Full Plate Diet book offers  very practical steps, tips and recipes for improving your diet and living a healthier lifestyle. Full Plate Diet became a best seller, followed by training kits for small groups to have their own training sessions without leaving their town and only costing $49 for the participant and $79 for the facilitator, who does not need any special training. I am not being paid to mention these products. Being the cheap skate that I am, I ordered an excellent copy of The Full Plate Diet from

The philosophy behind the diet and backed by science is to gradually increase your daily fiber intake to 40 grams per day. This is a lot more than the average American gets due to our S.A.D. (Standard American Diet). Great tips are given  to easily power up your meals to get that extra fiber without your food tasting like card board or relying on Metamucil. Increasing your water intake to 6-8 glasses a day will help you to feel fuller and help the fiber digest.

Starving is not part of the diet, i.e. the full plate. Calorie counting is not necessary. The full plate consists of 75% foods that are naturally high in fiber such as beans, oatmeal, bananas and sweet potatoes. 25% of the plates are foods that you don’t want to give up such as bread, steak, milk and dessert.

Walking 30 minutes a day will help you lose weight faster and is a great way to relax.
I feel better already and my weight has stabilized although I’ve only been with the new lifestyle 2 weeks. I went to my granddaughter’s birthday determined I would have cake and ice cream but promptly became a good girl the next day. I did adjust my evening meal a little to make up for the extra calories. I no longer feel like I am constantly starving because I am eating  plenty of food that is nourishing me.  I can do this for the long haul.

If you have a book addiction and like to save money, please check out and   you will receive a 15% discount off their ridiculously cheap prices.