Tag Archives: tomato

Favorite Tomato Soup

Growing up, I don’t think my mom ever made tomato soup. I don’t remember ever seeing cans of it in the house even. I was on the fence on tomatoes as a kid, so I never felt neglected. It wasn’t until college that I even tried tomato soup with a grilled cheese. A great combination that hits the spot, although it still probably isn’t my favorite soup ever. My husband on the other hand, it is one of his favorites.

This recipe is everything great soup recipe should be. One pot. Minimal effort of chopping. Doesn’t require hours of simmering. Makes a ton to freeze for later. And it’s good for you. With four new inches of snow at my house, this plus grilled cheese will hit the spot.

Enjoy!

Favorite Tomato Soup (Serves at least 12)

Favorite Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
5 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups tomato juice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ – 1 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
1 ½ cups fat free half and half

1. Heat olive oil in LARGE stockpot over medium heat (this recipe fills my 8 quart stockpot). Saute onion, celery, and carrots for 3-5 minutes, until begins to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minutes. Add in remaining ingredients. Stir.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves. Puree or blend. Over low heat, add 1 ½ cups fat free half and half. Heat on low until warmed through.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 96
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 15 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 649 mg

Recipe notes: I use an immersion blender, so my soup stays hot while I’m blending. The half and half doesn’t cool it down enough that it needs any warming time. If you are using a regular blender or food processor, you would need to let the soup cool a bit to blend it, then reheat it with the half and half. Whole milk or evaporated skim milk also work instead of half and half. You could make this recipe smaller, but I just like to use up a whole container of tomato juice.

Source: adapted from my college dietetic’s cookbook

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Black-eyed Pea Salsa

My mom’s family is from the South. According to her, you always eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s for luck in the upcoming year. More black-eyed peas meant more luck. That was the only time of year we ever ate these beans (why they are named peas, I don’t know), and I distinctly remember hating them. The only part I liked was trying to steal one or two of the okra my mom would cook in the beans.

But for some reason, it is stuck in my mind that you eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s. Last year, I found this salsa and really liked it. It’s really tasty, different enough to be interesting but not weird, and really fast to throw together. I was done within 15 minutes, including “help” from my lovely small assistants. And I think there might be something to what my mom said. I ate a lot of this salsa last New Year’s, and it was a pretty great year. Lots of things went my way. If you are looking to have a good 2016, you might want to throw some black-eyed peas in your mix!

Enjoy!

Black-eyed Pea Salsa (Serves 8)

Black-eyed Pea Salsa

1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed well and drained
5 roma tomatoes, chopped
½ jalapeno, diced small (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
⅓ medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to distribute evenly. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 45
Protein: 3 g
Fat: less than 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 135 mg

Recipe notes: You can use any tomato you like. I just like a ratio of equal parts tomato to beans, so add tomato until you get there. This is basically a recipe for pico de gallo with some black-eyed peas thrown in. You can adjust any ingredient to you preferred level. I have been a bit skimpy on the red onion, because I find them quite strong when raw. The original recipe called for a poblano pepper. It was yummy when I did that, but either pepper works well. You might want a pinch of salt. Just depends on how well you rinse the black-eyed peas, since there is a lot of salt in the can liquid.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Roasted Tomato Risotto

My family always had a garden growing up. Tomatoes were one of the few vegetables we grew well. I’ll admit, I haven’t always loved tomatoes. For the most part, raw tomatoes aren’t my thing, unless it is in something. Cooked is a different story. This risotto is a great way to use enjoy all of the awesome tomatoes in season right now.

Roasted Tomato Risotto (Serves 3-4)

Roasted Tomato Risotto

8 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
5 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

2. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes. Set aside.

3. Heat stock until boiling. Reduce heat to a low simmer.

4. Puree ½ of the roasted tomatoes in a food processor.

5. Heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, saute for 3-5 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic; saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Add rice. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add ½ cup of stock; stir to scrape up any brown bits off the pan. When stock is mostly evaporated, stir in 1 cup of stock and the pureed tomatoes. Stir frequently. When it is almost evaporated, add another ½ cup. Continue stirring and adding stock as it evaporates until stock no longer evaporates and rice is tender.

6. Stir in the parmesan, basil, and remaining roasted tomatoes.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 341
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 54 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 362 mg

Recipe Source: adapted from Drizzle and Drip

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Better Green Bean Salad

Every summer, my dad’s work would have a company picnic. For years, it was a mostly potluck affair at a big park. And my dad ALWAYS made three bean salad to take. It was the only time my family ever made that salad. And I ALWAYS refused to eat any of it. Even since then, I usually see recipes for bean salad and run away.

However, I needed a veggie salad for a cookout recently and stumbled on this recipe. If you are still on the hunt for something different to round out your Fourth of July celebration, this is it. Easy to prepare whether you are hosting or just bringing a side. Simple, delicious flavors that surprise you. Enjoy!

Better Green Bean Salad (Makes 6-8 servings)

Better Green Bean Salad

½ lb green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces
1-2 yellow crookneck squash, sliced lengthwise
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
½ tablespoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried herbs – savory blend or italian seasoning
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Place green beans on a piece of foil. Lightly coat green beans and squash with ½ tablespoon olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place foil with green beans and squash on the grill. Cook, covered, until green beans are beginning to soften and squash has lightly charred on both sides (flip the squash after about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat. Let cool. Chop squash into bite size pieces.

3. In a large bowl, mix together vinegar, remaining olive oil, honey, mustard, and dried herbs. Add green beans, squash, tomatoes, and fresh basil to the bowl. Gently toss. Can serve immediately or chilled.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 67
Protein: 2 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 8 g
Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 117 mg

Recipe Notes: I only used one squash and it was on the smaller side. It could have used more, so I’d go for 1 big squash or 2 small ones. If you aren’t already grilling, you could either sauté the green beans and squash in a skillet or blanche them until just cooked in some boiling water. The goal is tender but not mushy vegetables. I like the “grilled” taste, though. This can be made a few hours in advance. However, the tomatoes especially get mushy the longer it sits. You could mix everything together except the tomatoes and basil well ahead of time, then add in the tomatoes and basil just before serving.

Source: adapted from Cuisine at Home

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Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

One of my husband’s sisters is currently serving a mission for our church in Italy. She’s been gone for almost a year and half and comes home soon. Periodically, while she has been gone, we have tried to make at home or to eat at restaurants more authentic Italian dishes. We’ve tried some pizzas that are pretty far from anything you’ll find at Pizza Hut. We had arancini, which is basically deep fried risotto balls. And recently, we tried this dish. I only include it in the authentic category since the food blogger I adapted this from ate it originally in Rome.

I was very skeptical about this dish going into it. I wasn’t sure about the whole tomatoes. The potatoes seemed like carb overkill since we already had rice. And there just wasn’t enough sauce to seem like this would be good. But it blew my expectations out of the water. It was so incredibly delicious. And despite needing to be baked in the oven, it tasted like summer. I can only imagine how good this will be in a few weeks when tomatoes are really in season. Enjoy!

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes (Serves 4)

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

8 medium-to-large tomatoes
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
½ cup arborio rice
6 medium yukon gold potatoes
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or 2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, chopped
½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Scoop out the seeds and flesh over a non-aluminum bowl, making sure you get the juices. Do not cut through the bottom of the tomato. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt over the inside of the tomatoes. Place them upside down on a plate to drain for 15 or so minutes. Add any drained juices to rest of tomato juice/flesh.

3. Pulse scooped out tomato juice/flesh in a blender until coarsely pureed.

4. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion for 2 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking one minute more. Add rice. Cook together for 2-3 minutes, until rice begins to toast. Add tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rice should not be fully cooked. Stir in herbs.

5. Clean potatoes. Cube into small-medium pieces. Toss with remaining tablespoon of oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.

6. Spoon rice mixture into tomatoes, but don’t fill it all the way up. Place tomatoes in the baking pan. Arrange potatoes around tomatoes in pan to help keep tomatoes upright. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the tops of the tomatoes.

7. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and potates are tender.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 475
Protein: 11 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 91 g
Fiber: 12 g
Sodium: 599 mg

Recipe Notes: I would stay away from roma tomatoes. Choose more of a slicing type tomato, like beef steak or one the vine. They need to have a flat bottom so they at least kind of say up on their own. If you have a medium or short grain brown rice, that would also work here. You would just need to par-cook it first, as in this recipe. I would cut the potatoes a little smaller than shown in my picture. These took a very long time to cook.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Foil Packet Tilapia

Cooking things in foil packets makes me think of camping. In particular, I remember one camping trip where we made foil packets with chicken, potatoes, and carrots. It would have been great, if the chicken hadn’t been frozen. Those cooked FOREVER, at least in my recollections of being 14.

Cooking fish in packets is especially helpful. It can help prevent the dreaded scenario of dry fish. And dealing with foil packets on the grill is sometimes easier than flaky fish fillets. Packets are also a great way to mingle a lot of flavors. Throw your veggies in to cook as well and save yourself a pot. I put a little extra sauce on these, so they easily dumped on to some cooked pasta for a complete dinner. Enjoy!

Foil Packet Tilapia (Serves 4)

Foil Packet Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets
2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped into bite size pieces
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt

1. Spread 4 large squares of foil on a counter. Preheat grill.

2. Place 1 piece of fish on each piece of foil. Add ¼ cup beans, ¼ of the onion, ½ of a tomato, and ¼ of the garlic to each packet.

3. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour evenly over each piece of fish. Seal packets well.

4. Grill 5-10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and has a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Serve over rice or pasta.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:  279
Protein:  25 g
Fat:  16 g
Saturated Fat:  3 g
Cholesterol:  58 mg
Carbohydrates:  11 g
Fiber:  3 g
Sodium:   364 mg

Recipe Notes: You could also cook these in the oven. I’ve seen oven temps on recipes online everywhere from 350-425, with cooking times from 10-30 minutes. As a general rule, the higher the temp, the less it will need to cook. You can always mix up the veggies to your taste preference or what you have on hand.  Zucchini or summer squash would be especially good, I think.  Tomatoes are good to include if you have them, since they provide a little more liquid for the sauce.

Source: Adapted from many sources online.

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BELT Sandwich

I like Wednesdays almost as much as the camel in the Geico commercials. The feeling of the week being half over makes me feel like I just might make it. My daughter loves going to the story time at our local library, which she talks about nonstop for the rest of the week. I grocery shop, which I honestly don’t love, but I get fresh produce which always makes me feel more alive. AND… we eat breakfast for dinner. I could honestly eat breakfast food just about every meal of the day and not be sad.

I recently fell in love with these sandwiches. So in love, we ate them three weeks in a row for breakfast for dinner. I can’t think of much not to love. They were fast, required only one pan, filled me up, included vegetables (which can be a trick at breakfast), were delicious, and my daughter ate it. Granted, on that last point, hers was deconstructed and sans vegetables. But we were all happy.

Enjoy!

BELT Sandwich (Serves 1)

BELT sandwich

2 slices whole wheat bread
½ tablespoon Dijon or horseradish mustard
1 ½ slice bacon
2 eggs
2-4 tablespoons milk
black pepper, to taste
1 ounce slice of colby or cheddar cheese
1 roma tomato, sliced
1 cup mixed greens
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

1. Toast bread. Spread mustard evenly on each piece. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet or pan, cook bacon until crisp. Let drain on paper towels.

3. Wipe out most of grease from skillet. Whisk together eggs, milk, and pepper. Pour into skillet and cook, keeping the eggs formed to about the shape of your bread. When eggs are almost set, place cheese on top of eggs until it begins to melt. Remove from pan.

4. Build sandwich with bacon, tomatoes, greens and cilantro, eggs with cheese, and top slice of bread. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 532
Protein: 36 g
Fat: 28 g
Saturated Fat: 11 g
Cholesterol: 419 mg
Carbohydrates: 34 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 839 mg

Recipe Notes: You could use three egg whites or 1 whole egg and 1-2 egg whites. I prefer whole eggs, and an egg or two a couple times a week isn’t going to kill me. Add as much milk as you like to your eggs. This is like scrambled eggs, where you really wouldn’t have to add milk. I just always do. You can really use whatever cheese you have on hand, but I prefer a yellow cheese with eggs. Don’t skip on the cilantro. It is what takes this sandwich from good to great. Promise.

Source: original recipe

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