Friday, July 18, 2014

Marla's Raw Summer Tomato Sauce

So while I was in Southern California for a health training this last week, I met a woman named Marla. Let me tell you about Marla. 

Marla is a traveling Registered Nurse. Her last gig was in Hollywood, and in a few days, she's heading up north up to Seattle. She likes it up there, and hopes to maybe become a not-so-much-traveling nurse if you know what I mean. Marla has the best stories. She's an ER nurse, after all. 

When Marla was 21 years young, she decided to join the Marines. She wrote down her preference as staying on the West Coast, since it was the Coast she was most familiar with. And she got put real far West, to her surprise. As in, Hawaii. Marla has the best stories. She was a female Marine stationed in Hawaii, after all. 

About 10 years ago, Marla quit smoking. She had been addicted for years. And then, she cleaned up her diet. And now, she follows a Vegan diet. 

In my short time spent with Marla, I learned a few things. First, Marla really does have the best stories ever. Maybe it's my innate curiosity for all-things military related (I know so little about it) or maybe I'm just super nosey, but I was asking her to tell me more, all the time. Second, I've learned that Marla is all-business when it comes to her nursing career, something she takes great pride in. And by all business, I mean that as a nurse, she is constantly putting the patient's best interest first, even if it means admitting to the crying kid that the needle will hurt, but that he'll feel much better after. And finally, in talking with Marla, it reminded me that when it comes to our diets, it's important to eat what makes us feel good - physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I don't follow a Vegan diet, and that's my prerogative. Marla does, and that's hers. We have our reasons, just like you have yours, I am sure. 

But one of the things I love most about food is that it is a universal connector despite our differences. Marla and I both loved the same green coconut smoothie with berries, Medjool dates, and anything with nutritional yeast on it. 

One night, Marla volunteered to make a raw tomato sauce to complement my roasted spaghetti squash. And this sauce, well it worked. It worked really well, to the point where we made about 6 jars worth in 2 days. It has all the right Summer flavors - fresh heirloom tomatoes and fragrant basil. 

I'm so happy I met Marla. Not because of the sauce (but that's legit a reason), but because she reminded me of how much fun it is to share the kitchen with others.

Marla's Raw Tomato Sauce 
Vegan, gluten-free, raw; makes about 2 cups

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (preferably Heirloom and Cherry, but just Heirloom would work)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
About 5 or 6 sundried tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 Medjool date...or 2
Nutritional yeast, copious amounts for topping

Soak the date (s) and sundried tomatoes in a cup of water for about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. Then, put everything in a blender or food processor. If you are blending, pulse the blender. If you are food processing, use the pulse button. The sauce is best a little chunky, rather than fully blended smooth. 

Pour this sauce, in loads, over hot spaghetti squash, pasta of choice, or just eat it by the spoonful. We poured a ton over roasted spaghetti squash and then literally doused it with nutritional yeast. 

*This recipe could easily be de-veganized using cheese and/or adding animal protein. But it's so good and simple as is. So I'm going to stick to Marla's way. 
**For nutritional yeast, you can find it at a lot of health food stores such as Whole Foods. I like this kind.


  1. Yummy this looks amazing! So creative!! Love your blog by the way!

    1. Thank you! I hope you make this sauce!

  2. Thanks Laura! I have been waiting for this recipe since you mentioned in an older post :)