Tomato Free Marinara Sauce

If you literally can’t stomach tomatoes, this tomato free marinara sauce will have you jumping for joy!

tomato free marinara sauce

I over-indulged to such an extent this summer that I set-back my digestive system to where it was before I knew how to heal myself with food. Really… it is still quite unbelievable to me that I could possibly do this to myself after so many years of feeling great.

If you don’t know my story, I’ll back up a bit and give it to you in a nutshell here. I used to have terrible digestive issues. The doctors thought I had ulcerative colitis and I was on a ton of medications. I had to know where every bathroom was at all times and I lived in pain. Fast forward and I went to cooking school and then got my Master’s degree in Oriental medicine and I learned to heal myself — and all of you — with food and herbs. And I’ve been healthy now for at least 10 years.

Can you believe I was able to screw up so badly? I still can’t! But, now that I know what I’m doing, I am able to reverse all of the damage I have done fairly quickly. It’s been about 3 weeks so far and I am already feeling pretty awesome — not perfect yet but close.

One of the foreign symptoms I started experiencing is acid reflux. This was a new one for me, so I used it as a learning experience. I can now say that if someone asks me what to do for acid reflux, I can help. A lot.

As part of my experimentation on myself, I created a bunch of digestive and acid friendly recipes. This is one of the recipes I’ve been making. I wish I could take credit for the creation of this genius Tomato Free Marinara Sauce, but all of the credit goes to Bethany at Lil Sipper. It really is the most creative and genius recipe I’ve seen. And it’s only got a few ingredients. And the blender does all of the work.

I put this sauce on chickpea pasta and I loved it. It honestly tastes like traditional marinara sauce. Then came the test. I served it to Steve and watched for a reaction. He ate the whole bowl and had no idea it wasn’t a tomato-based sauce. That’s a win!

So, what’s in this magic Tomato Free Marinara Sauce you ask? Okay, I’ll tell you: the base is made of beets and canned pumpkin and bone broth. Just scroll down for the complete recipe. By the way, bone broth is great for so many things, so I’ve been replacing my traditional stocks and broths with bone broth in every recipe I can! And then we add the seasonings (and it’s the seasonings that give it the traditional marinara taste). But that’s it. Really… I can’t get over how magical this is.

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All of my rambling aside, you really can heal your digestive system by being creative with foods. This Tomato Free Marinara Sauce is a perfect example of the phenomenal rewards you can reap when you are willing to give some out-of-the-box ideas a try. So……. are you ready to try?

tomato free marinara sauce

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this Tomato Free Marinara Sauce:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Pumpkin can help reduce pain and fever and can soothe stomach irritations. It’s a great food to treat constipation, allergies and asthma. It’s high in vitamin A and can help protect your lungs and intestines from cancer.

Bone broth heals your digestive system. It is filled with collagen and gelatin. Both of these substances, when slowly heated for an extended period of time, have been shown to actually heal your gut lining. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation throughout your body and it can also strengthen your bones. When you add bone broth to your diet, you are able to reduce inflammation in your joints, so your knees, elbows, shoulders, hips, wrists, etc. will start to feel less stiff. You will even start to reduce the pain in your joints with this addition to your lifestyle. It’s also great for your skin!

tomato free marinara sauce

Tomato Free Marinara Sauce
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, digestive health, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Lil Sipper
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
If tomatoes don't work for your digestion, this tomato free marinara sauce recipe is a must for you! It's so delicious and so simple... and it tastes like the real thing!
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 baby beets (cooked) (I used store-bought pre-cooked beets)
  • ½ cup bone broth (I used chicken but you can use any flavor you like)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • generous amount of sea salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked al dente (I usedgrain-free chickpea pasta by Banza)
  1. Put the pumpkin, beets, and bone broth into your blender.
  2. Whiz it up until it's smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in the oregano, basil, and salt.
  4. Note: add in a little salt, stir, and taste. Then keep repeating until it tastes good to you. I found it needed more salt than I usually use.
  5. Toss your pasta with as much sauce as you like.
  6. Enjoy!

tomato free marinara sauce

Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta

This Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta is the perfect weeknight dinner — it’s so easy and so delicious!

spicy ground turkey pasta

I love spice. And because of this love, if you open my refrigerator and look on the door shelves, you’ll see a ridiculous variety of  different jars and bottles of various spice blends, sauces, and pastes. When I’m ready to cook, I unload this mass of ingredients onto my counter and I begin. This makes me sometimes think twice about making my favorite spicy dishes when I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

But, now… things have gotten way easier…

I found my new spice blend obsession: Ayoba-Yo Spice Blend.  It’s a rare thing for me to be willing to give up my trusted spice jars, but this spice blend is so good that I’ve been able to streamline my cooking so much. This single jar is a blend of sea salt, coriander, worcestershire powder, and black pepper. And, it’s flavorful enough to use on it’s own without adding a ton of other ingredients.

As an aside, I should tell you that Ayoba-Yo makes amazing bags of Biltong (which is their version of jerky). It’s soft and spiced perfectly and really is the perfect on-the-go Paleo snack.

This Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta is so simple to make. I made it this past Saturday morning, stored it in the fridge, and then we ate it later for dinner. It’s so good!

I added some Asian flavors to this pasta, because that’s the mood I was in. The addition of ginger, rice vinegar, and aminos, really complements the spice blend. Yum.

It would be just as easy to customize this pasta with Mexican, Italian, or Indian flavors. So many pastas, so little time…

I used a grain-free chickpea pasta for this dish (see the recipe below for details). Sometimes when I do this, my family is not too happy (they like traditional pasta better), but because of the spice blend, nobody could tell it was chickpea pasta! This is the mark of an awesome recipe.

spicy ground turkey pasta

Serve this pasta with my favorite Caesar salad, and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!

spicy ground turkey pasta

Here are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this recipe for Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta:

Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey for the highest nutritional benefits. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.

Coriander is the main ingredient of the Ayoba-Yo spice blend, and that’s a great thing because it’s so good for digestion.

Ginger is  a Chinese herb. In it’s raw form it’s called Sheng Jiang. This herb is especially good during cold weather months and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. And, when summer is turning into fall, or fall is turning into winter,  those are great times to add ginger into your diet, to prevent those winter colds that seem to pop up often.

Ghee is a clarified butter that has had the milk solids removed and it is lactose free. And, it has the delicious taste of butter.  It has a high smoking point, and it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I recommend buying organic ghee if possible. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.

spicy ground turkey pasta

Spicy Ground Turkey Pasta
Recipe type: grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free
Cuisine: pasta, meat, simple, Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This spicy ground turkey pasta is a great quick meal with tons of flavor and tons of health benefits.
  • 8-oz pasta (I used a grain-free chickpea pasta), cooked al dente, and drained
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling at the end
  • 1 Tbs Ayoba-Yo spice blend
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp date or coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbs ghee
  • fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  1. Heat 2 Tbs oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the meat, and stir, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the meat is not pink any longer, add the Ayoba-Yo spice blend and the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the ginger, sugar, vinegar, and aminos.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer 10 mins.
  7. Remove from heat, and stir in the ghee and the cooked pasta.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and enjoy!

spicy ground turkey pasta

Paleo Beefaroni

If you liked beefaroni when you were a kid, you will love this healthy grownup Paleo Beefaroni!

paleo beefaroni

Sometimes people who don’t know me really well tell me they are intimidated to cook for me. The prevailing thought is that I only eat gourmet, chef-y kind of foods. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m going to admit something to you now: my all-time favorite go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta with ketchup. I know… gross, right? Granted, I use chickpea or almond pasta and sometimes I use homemade ketchup, but still… pasta with ketchup. I love it… don’t judge me…

When I was a kid, I ate lots of food from cans. My siblings and I loved it. Our cupboards were filled with canned raviolis, beefaroni, spaghetti-O’s, and more. I remember coming home from school, opening up a can, and eating straight from the can with a fork without even heating it up. I wouldn’t touch that food today, but I do love to take these simple comfort foods and healthy them up.

A lot of people think I’m a vegan or a vegetarian. Nope.  It’s just another common misconception. I’m not a vegan. Not even a vegetarian.  I do go through veg phases, but I feel best with a little meat in my diet. But, I feel strongly about making sure that meat is organic and grass-fed. Non-organic beef has too many hormones in it that increase estrogen in your body… and this is not good for anyone. Combining great quality beef with a paleo pasta (I used a chickpea pasta here), turns old fashioned beefaroni into a nutrient-packed healthy meal. Hmmm…. maybe next time I’ll add a little kale or spinach…

When I made this paleo beefaroni recipe, I made a huge pot of it because instinctively I knew that it would be a bit hit with everyone I came in contact with.

If you know me at all, you know that there is always a pot of something on the stove — oftentimes, something experimental. And, if you open my fridge — which I encourage all of my guests to do freely and often — you will always find a few leftovers. So, I made a huge pot of paleo beefaroni, and I put the big pot in the fridge. Over the next few days, it was gone. It’s really good and it reheats really well.

So, make a big pot of this. I mean, if you have guests or a big family, or some pasta-loving friends, make sure you at least double this recipe. You won’t be sorry.

For another great pasta fix, try my recipe for Paleo Pasta Carbonara.

paleo beefaronipaleo beefaroni

Here are some of the healing powers in this paleo beefaroni recipe:

Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular… I used a chickpea penne for this recipe and it was awesome!

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I recommend using grass-fed organic ground beef for this recipe.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections. You can add as many fresh tomatoes as you like to this recipe.

paleo beefaroni

Paleo Beefaroni
Recipe type: pasta
Cuisine: paleo, comfort food, beef, meat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This is 100% more delicious than old-fashioned canned beefaroni. This paleo version is delicious, simple, and so healthy!
  • 8 oz pasta (I used this paleo chickpea pasta), but you can use an almond pasta to keep this totally Paleo
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce (I like this one)
  • 1 lb grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese (optional) (I used a vegan Parmesan)
  1. Cook pasta al dente. Note: when cooking paleo pastas, I recommend checking them at least 2 or 3 minutes sooner than the package recommends; if you overcook it even a little, it turns into glue! When it's done, drain it.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and beef and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring, and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are softened.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the meat sauce. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Ladle into bowls.
  8. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

paleo beefaroni