A Savvy Week: Canning Week!

I’ve been all wrapped up in canning projects.  Many nights, I can’t fit more than a single pot on my stovetop, nor can I abandon the bubbling canning pot to go grill outside.  So I’ve been on a mission to find simple, quick meals that I can make in between filling jars and simmering salsa.  Here’s the plan:

CanningWeek jpg

A Savvy Week: Canning Week!

Monday: Quinoa salad with Tibetan herb dressing (from Healthy Delicious) with sausage. Side of sliced cucumber.
Tuesday: Pesto pizza quesadillas with a side salad
Wednesday: Raw pad Thai (from What’s Cooking Good Looking)
The best grilled cheese sandwich with massaged kale salad (Eating Well)

On Sunday:

Grill the sausages.  You can do this on the grill outside, while you’re having a family cookout.  Or, throw the sausages on an electric grill, such as a Foreman grill, or cook them on a grill pan.  Set the cooked sausages aside, and when they are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite-sized pieces.  Cover and refrigerate until tomorrow.

On Monday:

Make the quinoa salad.  To save on stovetop space, boil the beans first, then set them aside and use the same pot to cook the quinoa. When you toss the quinoa with the beans, tomatoes and half the dressing, add the sliced sausage as well.

While the quinoa cooks, slice 2 cucumbers. Serve the cucumbers, dressed simply with a little oil and vinegar, hummus or the quinoa salad dressing, on the side.

Total prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

On Tuesday:

Set aside a bit of the basil for tomorrow’s raw pad Thai. Use the rest to make your favorite pesto recipe (such as this one from Simply Recipes) and make the pesto pizza quesadillas. Serve with a side salad.

Total prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

On Wednesday:

Make the raw pad Thai: While salsas and sauces are simmering for canning, peel the vegetables.  This can be done in bits and pieces between steps, making this a great option for dinner on a canning-heavy day.  Save the rest of the kale for tomorrow.

Total prep and cooking time: 40 minutes

On Thursday:

If you, too, are making tomato preserves this week, there is bound to be a little extra that doesn’t fit in your jars.  Use it to make some grilled cheese!

While the sandwiches cook, make a half batch of the kale salad.

Total prep and cooking time: 20 minutes


Grocery List

1 bunch kale
1 small head Romaine lettuce
Salad greens for one night of side salads
3 cucumbers
2 zucchini
2 yellow summer squash
1 cup green beans
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch Thai basil (Italian basil would work as well)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
10 cloves garlic 
3 green onions
1 lemon 
3-4 links chicken sausage 
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 ounces feta cheese
Cheddar cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches
Sourdough bread 
6″ flour tortillas 

Groceries You Probably Already Have

Tomato, plum or cherry jam/preserves (whichever you are canning this week)
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup peanuts
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salad dressing for one night of side salads
Salt & pepper

Happy Savvy Eating!



  1. says

    Hi Julie,

    I have a question about canning tomatoes. I followed a recipe from the Ball Book for a basic tomato basil sauce. It said to core the tomatoes then strain them after you add the appropriate amount of onion and garlic. I found that when I strained the tomatoes, all the onion and garlic left leaving just unflavored tomato juice! Do you have a recipe for basic tomato sauce that you can share for canning? Do you always peel and seed your tomatoes first? Thanks!

    • Julie says

      Hmm. Is this the recipe you used: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=45

      If so, you need to puree the sauce first, before you strain it. That way, the onion and garlic will be blended in.

      If it is a different recipe, I’d need to see the exact recipe to answer your question — I’m not seeing a tomato basil sauce recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which is the only Ball book I have. You can email it to me at savvyjulie@gmail.com though if you need more help!