Recent research from the folks at the Pew Charitable Trusts suggests there may be a tie between stress and eating. (Shocking, isn’t it?) People who are frequently stressed report that they often overeat, and worst yet — they often eat junk food.

Top reasons stressed out folks give for eating too much junk food:

-Convenience (73%)

-It’s what people like to eat (44%)

-It’s because of heavy advertising (37%)

-It’s more affordable (24%)

 -It’s because people don’t know which foods are healthy (14%)

One fix for unhealthy eating is to decrease how often you eat away from home. Restaurant meals tend to be more fattening, and less nutritious, than ones you cook yourself.

OK, you might never learn to love cooking, but you can easily learn simple dishes such as this Three-Ingredient Tomato Sauce. (So simple and forgiving, this flavorful sauce is the very definition of honest home cooking.)

It’s perfect as a topping for pizza, pasta, or polenta. Spoon it over roast chicken or grilled tempeh. Pump up the volume with garlic and onions and red pepper flakes. Dilute it with tomato juice, chicken broth, or half-and-half for a delicious soup. It’s endlessly versatile.

What you’ll need:

1-½ lb tomatoes (or a 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, liquid discarded)

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces (or 1 Tablespoon olive oil)

Kosher salt, black pepper

How to make it:

Chop tomatoes into 2” chunks. (Lightly crush canned tomatoes through fingers or use kitchen shears to slice inside can – be careful of juice splashes!) Stir in butter (or olive oil) and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Bring to a simmer in a large saucepan or skillet and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. For fresh tomatoes, cook 35-40 minutes to soften, in a covered pan, stirring occasionally.)  Makes 2 cups. Refrigerate for up to three days. Or, double the recipe and freeze half for up to 3 months.

Note: Muir Glen Organic whole peeled tomatoes are a favorite of chefs and home cooks alike. An excellent pantry staple; works whether a recipe calls for diced, crushed, or pureed tomatoes.

What’s your go-to recipe for a quick deliciousness? Is it a family recipe? Please share it with us!

Jebra Turner is a health reporter and former H.R. director for an ergonomics-focused firm, where she oversaw workplace health and safety training programs for staff and clients. She lives in Portland, Oregon, but you can visit her at

Jebra Turner
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