Pantry necessities abound in this new
food-storage method. One key staple is tomato paste. A first glance at
Amore tomato paste ($2.99 for 4.5 ounces at Price Chopper) may cause
sticker shock, but the savvy shopper quickly realizes that the ease of
squeezing out the right amount and capping the rest can save you wasted
jars of paste used for recipes that only need a teaspoon or two. The
tube also has a multi-year shelf life, although once you have tomato
paste easily at hand it’s less likely to waste away in the back of your
Amore prints helpful tips and recipes
inside the box that houses the tube of paste, one of which suggests
mixing the paste with fresh herbs and sour cream for a tasty vegetable
dip or sandwich spread. It’s especially easy to throw together when you
have Gourmet Garden herb tubes on hand ($4.99 for a 4-ounce tube at
Wegmans). The herb concoctions range from traditional Italian food
staples such as garlic spice blend and parsley herb blend to the
slightly more exotic cilantro herb blend and lemon grass herb blend.
The tubes mean your summer herb garden is at your fingertips
year-round; each mix tastes nearly as vibrant and fresh, especially the
basil and parsley. The cost savings here is clear: Keeping the opened
tube in your refrigerator for several weeks, or in your freezer for up
to three months, is much cheaper than stocking up on fresh herbs,
especially in winter.
The herb tubes can replace either fresh
or dried herbs (a handy guide on the back of the tube directs you on
replacement equivalents) and just beg to be used on an almost daily
basis. Homemade spaghetti sauce is at your fingertips year-round.
Simply fry a chopped onion in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until soft. Add
2 teaspoons of Gourmet Garden garlic spice blend, 2 tablespoons of
tomato paste and 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of diced tomatoes. Simmer
together until the sauce thickens a little and spoon over your favorite
A tube of black olive paste from Vince’s
Gourmet Imports, 440 S. Main St., North Syracuse; 452-1000, is worth
every penny of the surprisingly low $2.49 sticker price (for 2.8
ounces). The sweet-sour taste of exotic olives can create a unique
salad dressing—just mix with olive oil and vinegar to taste—an exotic
appetizer when squeezed on water crackers, or a fun alternative to
olives on top of homemade pizza.
It’s clear that tubes can be helpful at
home, but they really shine on the go. Yogurt was one of the first
traditional foods converted to a squeeze-ready snack. It remains a
popular grab-and-go option, in unusual flavors like GoGurt’s Cotton
Candy and Melon Berry and also in the more traditional Strawberry
($2.79 for eight 2.25-ounce tubes at Wegmans).
Energy bar maverick Clif is sliding into
cylinders. Clif Bar’s Organic Twisted Fruit (79 cents for a .7-ounce
package at Wegmans) is a tube of chewy fruit rope that squeezes out one
serving of fruit.
Stretch your definition of a tube-based
food a bit and you can have a drink with your squeezy snacks too.
Oolong shots are 6.4 ounces of tea in an aluminum cylinder ($1.50 at
Wegmans). Calorie-free and full of antioxidants, they are a healthy
handful of tea to go.
Soy Ginger Dip
These recipes are from www.herbsinatube.com. Stock up on tubes of herbs and try out some new dips for shrimp, vegetables or chip you have on hand.
¼ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon Gourmet Garden Ginger
Combine soy and Gourmet Garden Ginger in a serving bowl and serve with your goodies.
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper
1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Lemon Grass
Place sugar and water in a small
saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer,
without stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar
and Gourmet Garden Herbs. Pour into a serving bowl and serve with
chilled shrimp or grilled chicken strips.