Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

  1. eggplant parmesan

    May 28, 2016 by Angie

    My mother-in-law makes the best eggplant parmesan. The best. I tried to make eggplant parmesan a couple of times using other recipes and I didn’t like what I made. The recipes called for salting then frying the eggplant slices leading directly to disaster. Even Italian restaurants seriously mess up eggplant parmesan so making delicious eggplant parmesan has been a culinary goal of mine for years.

    Blanky's eggplant parmesan

    Blanky’s stellar eggplant parmesan

    My mother-in-law shared her recipe with me along with some tips and the brand of sauce she uses – Ragu Chunky in a giant plastic container. Can you believe that? That sauce is key!

    The recipe is this baked, not fried, version from Martha Stewart. Baking is lower fat, less messy, and a lot easier than frying. I followed the recipe pretty closely because I really wanted it to succeed this time! My small changes included the addition of a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder to the bread crumb and cheese mixture and decreasing the initial baking time as advised by my mother-in-law.

    I don’t buy eggs, but I do keep Eggology egg whites in the house. Robbie looked up the conversion for me. Two tablespoons of egg whites are equivalent to one egg without the yolk. He poured four tablespoons of Eggology into a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance oil to try to make up for the fat missing from the two egg yolks he omitted. From there he added the two tablespoons of water and whisked.

    I ran out of the bread crumbs and cheese mixture halfway through and had to make another one. I will double it from the start in the future.

    I had to bake the casserole longer than the recipe said to achieve the coveted bubbly, golden brown status. I think my oven is wonky so YMMV.

    I’m happy to report that my eggplant parmesan was amazing! It was not exactly like my mother-in-law’s but it was really, really delicious. Way better than what I’ve had at many restaurants and I’ve eaten more than my fair share of restaurant eggplant parmesan.

    eggplant parmesan

    Next time I will do everything the same except I’ll also slice the eggplant more carefully to get consistently thin slices and I’ll be prepared to bake the final casserole longer, maybe even using the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end.

    unphotogenic serving

    Lifetime culinary goal achieved!


  2. bruschetta

    May 21, 2016 by Angie

    The jar of pesto in my pantry was in danger of expiring, therefore, bruschetta. Eating bruschetta is much more enjoyable than throwing pesto away. I made a good life choice.

    pretty bruschetta

    Ingredients:

    loaf of fresh French bread
    jar of basil pesto (I would guess I used about 3 tablespoons – the jar is still quite full.)
    1 cup of cherry tomatoes
    reduced fat feta cheese (I used almost the entire container.)
    balsamic vinegar

    Preparation:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.

    2. Slice the French bread into small discs. Arrange the bread slices on the cookie sheet and spritz them with olive oil.

    3. Bake the bread slices until slightly toasty. You have to keep a close eye on them – they want to burn.

    4. Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes and feta in a bowl.

    5. Spread pesto on the toasted bread slices. Top with the tomato feta mixture. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the bruschetta, if you’re into that. Enjoy!

    plate of bruschetta


  3. stuffed zucchini

    March 6, 2016 by Angie

    I’m always looking for new sides. Somehow (maybe MyFitnessPal emails?), I came across this post for Summer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini from the Mountain Mama Cooks blog. I can rarely leave a recipe alone so I changed it up a little.

    eat zucchini filled with zucchini!

    Ingredients

    olive oil spray
    2 zucchini per serving, depending on the size of the zucchini. I used 6 small zucchini. Larger zucchini will work out better.
    1 small red bell pepper, diced
    1 bunch of green onion, diced
    tablespoon of minced garlic
    about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup breadcrumbs
    salt and pepper, to taste

    stuffed zucchini in a row

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with olive oil.

    2. Wash the zucchini and trim off the ends. Slice all the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scoop out the insides of the zucchini halves. Save the insides in a bowl.

    3. Arrange the zucchini “boats” on the prepared cookie sheet.

    4. Prepare the red bell pepper, green onion, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cut up the zucchini pulp.

    5. Spray a pan with olive oil and cook the bell pepper, white parts of the green onion, and the zucchini insides with a tablespoon of minced garlic over medium heat for about ten minutes.

    6. Add the rest of the green onion, quartered cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and everything is heated through.

    7. Pour the vegetable mixture into a bowl. Add in the shredded parmesan and breadcrumbs and stir. Start filling the zucchini “boats” with the vegetable/cheese/breadcrumbs mixture. Sprinkle more breadcrumbs and parmesan on top of each stuffed zucchini if desired.

    8. Bake the stuffed zucchini for about 25 minutes.

    stuffed zucchini with baked tofu


  4. garlicky zucchini noodles with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

    January 31, 2015 by Angie

    For dinner Friday night I tried a slightly altered version of a new-to-me recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Kalyn’s Kitchen. She calls it Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata. It was extraordinary. We enjoyed it with a California Pinot Noir. It made for a wonderful Friday night at home.

    Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Mozzarella

    Makes 2 servings.

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    5 medium zucchini
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
    1/4 tsp dried basil
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp dried thyme
    1/4 tsp dried sage
    fresh basil
    3 balls of fresh Mozzarella

    Directions

    1. Wash the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. Cut the ends off of the zucchini. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the fresh basil into ribbons.

    2. Mix the dried spices together in a bowl.

    3. Make the zucchini noodles by using a vegetable peeler to slice wide but thin slices of zucchini all around each of the zucchini. When you get to the seeds, discard the rest and move to the next one. I piled these on a plate as I worked.

    4. Spray a deep pan with olive oil and heat on medium. Add the halved tomatoes and minced garlic. After cooking for about three minutes, add the mixed spices and stir. Cook for another three minutes.

    5. Add the zucchini noodles. Stir and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is heated through and the tomatoes start to create a sauce.

    6. Add the fresh basil.

    7. Serve the zucchini and tomato mixture. Cut the fresh Mozzarella balls into eight pieces. Top each serving with half of the Mozzarella pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  5. grilled eggplant parmesan

    December 7, 2014 by Angie

    Eggplant parmesan is my best favorite food. After pizza. I haven’t had much success making the breaded version but I saw a recipe on the Food and Wine website that seemed doable and yummy so I tried it. I am happy to report that I pulled it off and it was really good! Robbie made the garlic bread – also phenomenal!

    with garlic bread

    Grilled eggplant parmesan is best with garlic bread made by Robbie – he never skimps on the garlic.

    Ingredients

    1 large eggplant
    3 tomatoes on the vine
    olive oil
    sea salt
    jar of spaghetti sauce (Gia Russa Tomato Basil is preferred in our house.)
    minced garlic
    dried basil
    dried oregano
    garlic powder
    mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin chunks
    shredded parmesan cheese

    closeup

    Right out of the oven.

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil.

    3. Wash and peel the eggplant. Slice it into 1/4″ slices.

    4. Slice the tomatoes into thin slices.

    5. Spray the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place them on the grill pan in batches, flipping after about 2 minutes. Repeat with the tomato slices.

    6. Arrange the grilled eggplant on the cookie sheet so that they are slightly overlapping. Top with the grilled tomato slices.

    7. Spoon some of the spaghetti sauce over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder to taste.

    8. Strategically place chunks of mozzarella cheese for optimal cheese coverage. Sprinkle with the shredded parmesan.

    9. Bake for about 15 minutes.

    10. Serve with garlic bread.

    on the cookie sheet

    Less work, fewer carbs, and almost as delicious as the original!


  6. stove-top tempeh chili

    December 7, 2014 by Angie

    This is the fourth chili recipe I have blogged. I didn’t realize how much I like to cook and eat chili until I saw that this is the fourth time I’ve told you guys that I like to cook and eat chili.

    Missing the chili cook off!

    This one is quick, easy, and delicious. Definitely a keeper. I based it off of this recipe from vegetarian.about.com. Recipe verdict: way good.

    Stovetop tempeh chili

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    1 package of tempeh, crumbled (I wouldn’t have been sad if I had used two.)
    soy sauce
    yellow onion, diced
    red bell pepper, chopped
    green bell pepper, chopped
    garlic, minced
    2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    8 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    3/4 – 1 cup vegetable broth
    salt and pepper to taste
    shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese to put on top, optional

    Directions

    1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble the tempeh into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add roughly 2 tsp of soy sauce, stir, and set aside.

    2. Heat a little more olive oil in a stock pot. Add the diced onion, chopped bell peppers, and minced garlic. Cook just until they start to soften.

    3. Add the rinsed kidney beans, can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juice), cooked tempeh, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir, reduce heat, and cover.

    4. I had to add vegetable broth to get the right consistency. I think I used about 3/4 of a cup. I suggest adding a little to start and adjusting based on the look and taste. Same thing for the salt and pepper.

    5. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    6. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese, if you’re into that.

    stovetop tempeh chili with shredded cheese


  7. spiced tofu

    October 31, 2014 by Angie

    This recipe for spiced tofu is from one of my first cookbooks, The Vegetarian Gourmet’s Easy International Recipes by Bobbie Hinman. I love this cookbook even though it doesn’t include a single photo. My loving it sans photos is testament to what a great cookbook it is. This recipe is a favorite that I’ve been making on and off for over a decade now so it was overdue for its own blog post. The Middle Eastern spices make this dish unique and so yummy.

    two bowls of spiced tofu

    Ingredients

    olive oil spray
    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    2 tsp minced garlic
    3/4 of a container of Pomi chopped tomatoes
    6 ounce can of tomato paste
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup chardonay
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    3/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 container of firm tofu, pressed/drained and cut into small cubes

    Directions

    1. After preparing and chopping the onion and tofu, spray a large skillet (with a lid) with olive oil and heat to medium.

    2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    3. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the tofu. Stir to mix everything together well.

    4. Gently stir in the tofu. Put the lid on the skillet and reduce the heat a little. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    5. This is great over rice. We ate it in bowls with a side of toast and didn’t miss the rice at all.

    spiced tofu


  8. Mexican-style quinoa with black beans and avocado

    May 19, 2014 by Angie

    This was my first time making quinoa and I’m pretty sure it was my first time even eating it. It’s gotten really popular in the last decade or so and I can finally find it at my normal grocery store. I wanted to make something with it to try it out and thought it would be nice in a Mexican sort of dish instead of rice. I Googled a bit and found a few Mexican-style quinoa recipes. I used a recipe on the blog Damn Delicious as a guide. The ability to cook everything in one pot together really sealed the deal for me. Robbie and I both loved this. I will definitely be making it again, possibly this weekend.

    Mexican-style quinoa with black beans and avocado

    Adapted from One Pan Mexican Quinoa from Damn Delicious

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    half of a red onion, diced
    1-2 tsp minced garlic
    1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1 cup vegetable broth
    1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained (I stand by by El Ebro as the best canned black beans on the planet.)
    1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, semi-drained, keep most of the juice (I prefer Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes.)
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    pinch of cayenne powder
    salt and pepper
    juice of half a lime
    1 avocado, diced

    Directions

    1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid) on medium heat.

    2. Add diced red onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for about three minutes stirring occasionally.

    3. Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, fire roasted tomatoes (with juice), and the spices to the skillet. Stir then put the lid on. Raise the heat to a boil then lower to simmer for 20-25 or until the quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid is gone.

    everything cooking in one pot

    This is what it looks like early on in the cooking process.

    4. Towards the end of the cooking time, wash and cut the lime and avocado in half. Dice both halves of the avocado.

    5. Stir in the juice of half a lime. Stir in the diced avocado. Serve immediately.

    Mexican-style quinoa

    I feel the photos don’t do it justice and for that I apologize. It’s extra tasty good, I promise!


  9. red bean gumbo with field roast “sausage”

    April 24, 2014 by Angie

    Last night we had a small dinner party for Wine Wednesday. We pretty much call any Wednesday “Wine Wednesday” in our house these days. I tested a new recipe on our friends and it was well-received – everyone got seconds! I made this gumbo as authentic as I possibly could with two (kinda major) exceptions: 1) I didn’t start out with a roux because I made it in the slow cooker and 2) there’s no meat! However, it is made with Zatarain’s Filé Powder and Tabasco sauce and the chef was born in New Orleans so I think it’s pretty legit. This is adapted from Robin Robertson’s red bean gumbo from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cookerwhich I understand to be an updated, totally vegan version of my favorite slow cooker cookbook that she published eight years earlier.

    red bean gumbo with field roast "sausage"

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    yellow onion, chopped
    4 celery ribs, chopped
    big spoonful of minced garlic
    1 quart vegetable broth
    2 cans of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
    1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
    3/4 cup okra, sliced
    2 bay leaves
    1 tsp dried thyme
    1 tsp file powder
    2 tsp paprika
    1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    a pinch of cayenne pepper
    5 drops of liquid smoke
    1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    vegetable oil
    2 Field Roast Italian Sausages, sliced and browned
    cooked rice for serving (I cooked up 2 cups uncooked rice and that was enough to feed 4 people and cover the leftover gumbo.)

    Tabasco sauce and File powder

    Directions

    1. Chop the onion and celery. Heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onion for a few minutes then add the celery and garlic and cook a few minutes more.

    2. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker and set it to low.

    3. Pour the vegetable broth, fire-roasted tomatoes (with the juice), and the listed seasonings from bay leaves to cayenne pepper into the slow cooker. Stir and put the lid back on.

    4. Wash and chop the bell pepper and okra. Add them to the slow cooker.

    5. Drain and rinse the two cans of beans in a colander. Add them to the slow cooker. Stir everything together and cook on low for six hours.

    6. About thirty minutes prior to serving, make the rice according to the package directions. Keep the rice separate until it’s time to serve up the gumbo.

    7. About ten minutes prior to serving, heat some vegetable oil in a pan. Cut the two Field Roast “sausages” into thin slices. Add the liquid smoke and tabasco sauce to the slow cooker and stir. Brown the sausage slices on both sides then stir them into the slow cooker.

    8. Spoon some rice into the serving bowls. Discard the bay leaves then use a ladle to spoon gumbo over the rice in each bowl. Make sure to get enough broth and delicious sausage in every serving.


  10. zucchini crust pizza

    July 19, 2013 by Angie

    I’m trying desperately to keep up with the South Beach Diet but, as you may have noticed, I really love pizza. I tried making a cauliflower crust pizza once before. I’m into the spirit of the cauliflower crust but it did not work out for me at all. It fell apart and was mushy and grainy and created a million dishes and was just sad all around. I came across this recipe for zucchini crust pizza at my favorite South Beach Diet-friendly blog, Kalyn’s Kitchen. The main ingredient is obviously zucchini. There’s some oregano, garlic powder, salt, and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses in there. The ingredients that hold everything together though were problematic for me and I feared a repeat of the cauliflower disaster. It calls for almond meal (instead of flour, sticking to the no grains rule) and a beaten egg. I’m very allergic to almond meal but I figured a nut is a nut so I made my own cashew meal by pulverizing a handful of raw cashews in my food processor. I don’t buy eggs so I improvised with a flax egg instead. And would you believe it…it worked out! It stayed together and was a real crust! And it tasted great!

    zucchini crust pizzas

     

    Right out of the oven

    I topped with garlicky tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, spinach, and artichoke hearts. I ate pizza and my diet is intact! At least until tomorrow when we go to dinner at our favorite vegan restaurant, Ethos. Oh, well.

    up close and pizza-nal (I'm sorry)

    Delicious pizza with parmesan and red pepper and extra sauce