It is summer and the garden delights us with wonderful fruits and vegetables. But still we cannot produce the wide variety of fruits and vegetables for our menu and so we often visit the cooperative market in town. Now is the time to preserve food for the cold winter months – in jars or by drying! Of course, there is enough canned food in the stores and everyone can buy. But very often this food contains ingredients that I do not include in our healthy menu.

It is very important to me that our food is vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free, as well as healthily prepared. That’s why we still prepare canned food in jars, but my recipes are without preservatives and without added sugar and fat! We prepare small quantities so that we store them for no more than 6 to 9 months. For canning, I use fruits and vegetables that we grow in our garden without chemical fertilizers and preparations.

I use vegetables from our garden to prepare “Rustic Paprikash”. Well-ripened red tomatoes from non-hybrid local varieties with thin skin and few seeds. Green peppers from Bulgarian non-hybrid varieties “Kozi rog” and “Chorbajiski sladak”, the skin does not come off during cooking. Young white and green courgettes of the ”Izobilna” and ”Dark green” varieties. Fresh fragrant leaves of celery and parsley that we have grown for many years in our garden and are self-sowing. I use Himalayan pink salt of guaranteed origin and quality, as I only add rock salt when preparing our food! The jars must be well sterilized by boiling for 30 minutes, as they contain a minimal amount of salt and no chemical preservatives have been added.

I use the “Rustic Paprikash” jars for preparing vegetable stews with rice or potatoes, as well as for preparing hot soups. Although we prepare good quality canned food at home, I try to keep canned food to no more than 20% of our monthly menu!

Rustic Paprikash

Course: Food in jars, Recipes









Canned tomatoes with peppers and zucchini


  • 7 kg. red tomatoes

  • 10 liters of hot water

  • 1.3 kg. zucchini /courgette/

  • 1.3 kg. green peppers

  • 100 g fresh celery leaves
    can be replaced with fresh mint leaves

  • 40 g fresh parsley leaves

  • 100 g Himalayan pink salt
    can be replaced with any other salt

  • 14 pcs. glass jars with a capacity of 720 ml.

  • 14 pcs. metal caps for the jars

  • – a large pot for boiling the jars

  • – a large pot for boiling the jars


  • I wash the tomatoes well and arrange them tightly next to each other in a large pot. I pour the arranged tomatoes with the hot water, put a lid on the pot and leave it aside for 15 minutes. Then I remove the lid of the pot and wait for it to cool for 5 minutes. If the tomatoes are still hot, let them cool for another 5 minutes!
  • I wash the zucchini well and set aside. I wash the green peppers and leave them aside. I carefully wash the fresh celery and parsley leaves, leaving them aside to drain.
  • I cut the stems of the zucchini. I cut each zucchini into 4 pieces lengthwise and then cut into 0.2 cm thick pieces.
  • I cut each green pepper lengthwise into 2 parts, remove the stem with the seeds. I cut each half of the green pepper into 2 parts lengthwise and then cut into 0.5 cm thick pieces.
  • I take out a warm tomato from the pot, carefully with a sharp knife I cut the rest of the stem, remove the skin of the tomato. I cut the peeled tomato into 4 pieces lengthwise and then cut into 0.2cm thick pieces. If the tomatoes are large, I cut each one into 6 to 8 pieces lengthwise!
  • I cut the drained fresh celery and parsley leaves into small pieces.
  • In a large pan I put all the chopped vegetables, the chopped green leaves and the amount of salt. I mix well until all the vegetables are evenly mixed.
  • I arrange all the jars tightly next to each other. With a large spoon, I put an equal amount of the raw vegetable mix into each jar and then top up with the liquid from the vegetables up to the neck of the jar. I wash the metal caps and tightly close the jars with them. I carefully arrange the jars in the large pot, fill with cold water and put a lid on top – the amount of water in the pot should be about 10 cm above the jars, so that there is enough water during the 30-minute cooking! I turn on the stove at maximum heat and wait for the water in the pot to boil. I count the time the water boils and wait for it to boil for 30 minutes! I turn off the stove, carefully remove the pot from the stove and wait for the water to cool completely.
  • I take out the cooled jars, dry them and then store them in the cellar for the winter. I let the jars age for at least 1 month before consumption, so that they taste good!


  • Nutritional value per 100g. product:
  • Energy value – 15.15 kcal
  • Proteins – 1.18 g
  • Carbohydrates – 2.92 g
  • Fat – 0 g
  • Fiber – 1.15 g
  • The jars with the raw vegetable mix must be boiled for 30 minutes to sterilize!