My Personal Journey to a Better Life

Real Health in a Real World



2 16oz cans Unsalted Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes & Salt

    -can use diced tomatoes as well

2 6oz cans Tomato Paste

5 Tbsps Cooking Fat of choice (Grassfed Butter, Coconut Oil, Bacon Fat etc...)

4-6 Tomatoes

1 large yellow onion

2 large bell peppers

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1 large jalapeno 

1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh sage
1 bunch garlic cloves

2 Tbsps Fennel Seeds

2 Tbsps Sea Salt

3 Tbsps Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Celery Salt

The beauty of a veggie loaded tomato sauce, is that you can customize it to your taste and to what seasonable vegetables are available.  You can whip up a small batch, or a large one and portion out leftovers to eat throughout the week.  If you are adverse to eating meat, they you are all set, if you like meat, you can toss some in the sauce or serve the sauce on top of diced chicken or pork.  It really is a versatile dish that once you get the hang of, will make a regular appearance in your meal planning.

Stir contents until evenly distributed, and check consistency.  It will probably be a little thin as all the water from the vegetables is getting cooked out.  Add in one can of the tomato paste, let break apart and stir thoroughly.

Add in the diced tomatoes and chopped mushrooms

Add in the canned tomato sauce, breaking apart the whole tomatoes by hand, or pouring contents of can into large food processor and quickly pulsating it for a couple seconds

Think exercise is a chore?  Don't have time?  No more feeling like a hamster in a wheel for hours on end.  Get results with functional strength training. 

WithorWithoutBacon Copyright 2015

Charlotte, NC  United States

Let simmer for 20-30 minutes and check consistency again.  If it's to your liking, move on to the next step.  If still too thin or watery for your taste, add in the second can of tomato paste and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.


Veggie Loaded Tomato Sauce

The following is one of my recipes, and can be followed directly, or used as a guide as you add or subtract items as you please.  Experiment, try out different combinations of vegetables, herbs and spices.  Most importantly have fun and enjoy the transformation of a table full of ingredients into a circus of flavor!  Happy Fooding! 

The information on this website is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only.  It is an opinion blog based on personal research and experimentation.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult with a licensed professional healthcare provider before undertaking any diet or lifestyle change.

Add in chopped peppers and onions, cook until onions translucent or as soft as you would like the veggies

Fast forward to my year as a vegan, and even if I could replicate her sauce, I wouldn't have been able to.  But I was able to apply some of things I learned from her and picked up from notes to create a wonderful, veggie loaded tomato sauce.  Early in my vegan year this was a great way to implement veggies that I normally wouldn't have eaten on their own.  I could just chop them up really small and toss them into the sauce.  Mushrooms, zucchinis, eggplants; produce that I never ate before I was at least getting into my system.  At that point I was still using noodles, but I was buying the organic brown rice or corn noodles in an attempt to try and eat healthier.  Now of course I avoid those, and have discovered the zoodle, so tomato sauces are still a big part of my diet.  

All pictures are property of withorwithoutbacon, jrsphotography, or have been used with permission, and may not be copied, printed or published without written consent. 

Stir in herbs and spices and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Taste sauce and add salt, pepper or whatever extra herbs or spices you feel it needs.  

One of my fondest memories growing up is my mother's homemade spaghetti sauce.  Her side of the family is Italian and she definitely knew her way around the kitchen.  All day long she was browning meats, cutting vegetables, and slow cooking this dark red sauce.  We even had a New Year's Day tradition of watching college football and stuffing ourselves with her spaghetti and garlic bread all day long.  Good times indeed!

Large Frying Pan - Stainless Steel

Large Pot - Stainless Steel

Measuring Cup & Spoons - 1 cup, 1/2 cup, Tbsp

Garlic Press (optional)

Food Processor (optional)

Mini Food Processor (optional)

This can be done mostly up front before you start cooking, or in stages while the sauce is cooking.  Read through the following and you can decide if you want to prep all the ingredients or do it in stages.

Sauté crushed garlic in cooking fat until lightly browned

Transfer contents of pan to pot if making large batch, bring to a slow simmer.

Foods you should definitely be eating to those you should avoid at all costs.  Get to know about Protein, good and bad Fats, and how to manage the very tricky Carbohydrate intake.

Check out my tips for making Zoodles and my homemade Meatball recipe.

Remove from heat, and serve on your favorite Grain-Free noodle or meat of choice.  Put remaining sauce in containers and refrigerate.  Will keep for about a week.

When she passed away, we scoured her cookbooks and handwritten recipes in search of her formula, but to no avail.  We found bits and pieces here and there, but no one has been able to quite replicate it.  As unfortunate as that is, maybe that's just another reason we will never forget her and always have those fond memories.

Add in finely chopped/minced jalapeno, or you can toss it in a mini-food processor and blend into an almost "paste"


A collection of recipes and guides to some of my favorite meals, sides and snacks.  Real ingredients, satisfying and healthy. 

Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency, it's time to add in the herbs and spices.  Do this as close to the end as possible to preserve as much of their flavor as possible

Let's Cook!

What You'll Need

From photography, to gardening, to martial arts, to technology and entertainment, we all need to relax and take time to enjoy things that make us happy.  Here are some of my interests.