I've had THE WORST marinara cravings lately. Not pasta, just marinara. So I've been trying to come up with ways to shake it up (i.e. not eating pasta 4 times a week). I sometimes do meatballs in marinara with no pasta for lunch, but I'm trying to go meatless this week, so that's out of the question.
So what's kind of like pasta only not? Rice! I mean a tomato based rice dish is pretty standard, and it's not too hard to adjust the seasoning. It's not authentic in any way, but it's slightly healthier than spaghetti (rice is less processed) and more importantly, heats up a little better (which is super helpful for a grad student with limited time and/or needing easily transportable meals. Plus is super high in veggies!
Oil for heating
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Frozen stoplight peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup rice
1 8oz can no salt added tomato sauce
1 1/4 c water
1 can no salt added tomatoes with juice
One roasted red pepper
Fresh thyme, to taste
1 frozen basil cube (from Trader Joe's), approximately 1 tsp fresh basil
Italian seasoning, to taste
Cook pepper and onion in oil.
Cook rice with water and tomato sauce. When almost done cooking, add tomatoes, garlic, and stoplight peppers.
Puree red pepper in blender and add to rice, then add seasonings and cook until water is evaporated, then check the taste. You might want to add more water and continue cooking until flavors blend more (or until garlic cooks more) or adjust the seasonings. I added some parmesan cheese and garlic powder and cooked a little longer.
I served with mozzerella cheese. Mmm! Satisfied my craving perfectly!