Canned tomatoes should be a staple in every busy mom's pantry. It's actually better than fresh tomatoes because it's been picked and canned at its ripest stage, making it tastier, and arguably fresher, than any produce at the market.
A hassled mom can quickly churn out an easy meat spaghetti sauce for a rushed dinner, let chicken simmer in it until tender, or spoon it onto the base of a prepared pizza crust to create a simple yet tasty DIY movie night dinner for the entire family. Here are a few more ideas on how to transform this versatile ingredient into something delicious to eat tonight:
1. Make it a soup. Cook chopped bacon until crispy in a pot; set aside bacon. Saute chopped onions, then garlic in bacon oil until softened. Add canned tomatoes, breaking up the pieces as needed, then cubed potatoes and carrots, pouring in enough water to cover; simmer until tender. Season to taste with chopped basil, salt and ground black pepper to taste before serving, topped with crispy bacon with toasted bread slices.
2. Simmer with meatballs. Mix ground beef with chopped onions, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and ground black pepper; cook a small portion to test for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Form into meatballs. Cook meatballs in your favorite tomato pasta sauce as it simmers until cooked through. Serve while hot, topped with grated quickmelt cheese and crusty bread.
3. Create a quick salsa. Finely chop onions, garlic, and parsley, and stir into canned chopped tomatoes. Squeeze in enough lemon juice and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Serve with nachos with melted cheese and ground beef.
4. Sauce with it. Season boneless pork chops with salt and ground black pepper to taste; sear on both sides in oil in a hot pan. Remove from pan onto a plate. Melt butter in the same pan, then saute garlic, then mushrooms; pour in all-purpose cream, stirring to dissolve the browned bits from the pork into the sauce. Return pork and any juices on the plate to the pan and simmer in the sauce until heated through. Serve while hot with garlic rice.
5. Stew in it. Toss beef chunks in flour then sear in oil in a pressure cooker. Add and saute onions and celery until softened. Add potatoes, carrots, green peas, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, a beef bouillon cube, and just enough water to cover into the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and lock lid. Cook until beef is tender and sauce is thickened; season with salt and ground black pepper to taste before serving with steamed rice.