Posts Tagged ‘Tomatoes’

I took this recipe for Inside-Out Lasagna from my Eating Well magazine… it’s like a deconstructed lasagna of sorts. I added mozzarella cheese to the mix, and, well, I mixed it all up. I also used a full box of whole-wheat pasta and more mushrooms. The picture at the bottom shows the recipe version of this dish, before I added the extra cheese and mixed mine together.

The dish had a familiar taste to it, similar to lasagna… I think the ricotta cheese added the most for that effect. The diced tomatoes made it lighter than the traditional tomato sauce, and we enjoyed this as a weeknight meal. This dish had all my required elements for such weeknight meals: it is basically quick to prepare; it is healthyish and good-for-you; it provides leftovers; and it is simply quite tasty. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it lasagna-like, but I’ll definitely be adding it to my menus on a regular basis.

  • One package (13.25-oz.) Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 16-oz. Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 14-oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
  • One bag (8-oz.) Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

1.  Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook accordingly.  Drain and transfer to large bowl.

2.  As pasta cooks, heat oil in saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to soften.  Add mushrooms and salt.  Cook, while stirring, for 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

3.  Add diced tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

4.  Toss sauce with pasta and serve with 3 Tbsp. dollops of ricotta cheese on top (bottom pic).  This is where I added some shredded mozzarella and mixed everything together (top pic).  Yum!


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This is Mr. Food Groove’s chili recipe and it is very darn good! He mentioned making it for this past weekend, and I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my head until we had some cooking. After a morning trip to the grocery store yesterday, we very much enjoyed this chili last night. It’s a warm and hearty meal, particularly delicious on those cold and snowy days. We do indulge a bit with it sometimes by adding bacon. Surprisingly, to me, the bacon adds a nice smoky flavor, along with the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.

  • 1-lb Maple Bacon – Actually, for me, I’ll bet using maple bacon adds just the right amount of sweetness to an otherwise semi-heat-filled dish.
  • Medium-sized Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1-lb Ground Turkey
  • Garlic, minced – Garlic is always good
  • Small can of Diced Green Chilies
  • 2-3 Chipotle Peppers, chopped with 2-1/2 spoonfuls of Adobo Sauce – This is where the heat comes in, and as I’m not a big heat fan, this can be increased as desired.
  • Few shakes of Ground Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 cans of Bush’s Chili Beans
  • 2 cans of Diced Tomatoes
  • White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • Sour Cream
  • Brown Rice, optional

1.  Rough chop the bacon and cook through.  Set aside on paper towels.  Remove and discard most of bacon grease.  If making rice, prepare as directed while cooking chili.

2.  In bacon pan, add chopped onions and cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Add ground turkey, garlic, green chilies, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook through until turkey is browned.

3.  Pour turkey mixture into a large chili (soup) pot.  Add the bacon.  Add beans and diced tomatoes.  Warm through and let simmer for 15 minutes or more.

Serve over brown rice, if desired.  Top with shredded white cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.  A warm and hearty dish indeed!  We especially enjoy making some scrambled eggs and adding the leftover chili for another night’s dinner too…

Here’s my original chili post from a few months ago… although not a lot of postings ago. Slight variations, some rice, and still delicious.

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Mr. Food Groove made an exceptionally delicious chili last week. It was perfectly hearty and warm for the cooler weather that is now upon us. It also had a perfect amount of spice to it… I, myself, tend to be a non-spicy type of person. Oftentimes, dishes such as chili have just too much heat for my tastes, but this one had a wonderful combination of tangy heat and hearty beans. Here are the ingredients that he used… Believe it or not, and it may not be too hard to believe, but the bacon added a nice additional smoky flavor to it too.  Shredded cheese on top, of course… We also added some scrambled eggs to the leftover chili during the week… yum!

  • 1-lb. Ground Beef
  • 1-lb. Ground Turkey
  • 3/4-lb. Bacon
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
  • 3 cans Bush’s Mild Chili Beans
  • Green Chilies, diced
  • Yellow Onion, diced
  • 6-oz. Chipotle Peppers  in Adobo Sauce

Normally, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of adding chipotle peppers to anything, but in the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the smoky flavors that they can add to a dish.  Never would I have imagined…

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Pasta Fresca

This recipe comes pretty much verbatim from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. It is a seasonal favorite of mine, for when the tomatoes are abundant and fresh. The ingredients are all the ones I love… pasta, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, garlic… And that’s pretty much it!

The picture above doesn’t really do the sauce justice, since you really can’t see it. But it’s basically tomatoes and basil pureed in a blender, which turns out to be a lovely shade of pink and pretty darn yummy!

  • 4 cups Tomotoes, chopped
  • 8 large Basil leaves
  • 1 large Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Pasta  (I used Whole Wheat Rotini)
  • 1/2 lb. Fresh Mozzarelle, cubed

1.  Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil.

2.  Set aside 1 cup of chopped tomatoes and 2 of the basil leaves.  In a blender or food processor, puree the remaining tomatoes and basil with the garlic and olive oil.  (This time, I sauteed the garlic with some olive oil first, instead of adding it raw.)

3.  When the water comes to a boil, stir in the pasta and cook as directed.  As the pasta cooks, chop the remaining basil leaves.

4.  Drain pasta and toss immediately with mozzarella cubes.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Top with reserved tomatoes and basil.  Serve immediately.

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And they are particularly good for Football Sundays! Sometimes I like my nachos with a lot of “stuff” on them, but more often, I like them simple. My basic method of preparation involves chopping fresh tomatoes and green onions, sprinkling shredded cheese (usually a cheddar blend) over top, and warming them in the oven. Yes, pretty simple and pretty darn tasty. The guacamole that I made here was excellent… 2 avocados and the juice of 1 lime. It was fantastic! Just enough lime to enhance the avocados, which were perfectly ripe. And a dollop of sour cream on the side…

Of course, there are time when nachos call for something more, like chicken or beans. I think that refried black beans are my favorite, though I’ve been known to sprinkle some straight black beans on them, too. I’m not a fan of heaps of salsa, but sometimes I’ll add a little on top, or more likely I’ll serve it on the side. When it comes right down to it, my one requirement would simply be lots of cheese. 🙂

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One of my absolute favorite dishes this time of year is an Insalata Caprese style salad. I use fresh basil from my balcony garden, along with fresh tomatoes from the local farm market. Add some fresh mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of olive oil… Mmmmm! I do prefer to chop and cube my ingredients, but that’s just me.

Another variation that I adore adds grilled eggplant. In this dish, I slice the ingredients and layer them on pieces of crusty bread. It’s also good warmed a bit under the broiler… just enough the melt the mozzarella slightly. I’ll have to make it that way soon!

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I found this dish on the Simply Recipes website and was looking forward to tryinig it. I, of course, made a few adjustments, mostly in the herb department this time. We really enjoyed the sauce… it was a light tomato broth of sorts, and the feta made it just a bit creamy, but not heavy at all. I served it over whole-wheat pasta, which did soak up the sauce very nicely.

For us, the shrimp seemed to be out of place in this dish… the sauce wasn’t necessarily enhanced by the seafood. I think next time I’ll make this with some turkey meatballs, or even just add some more veggies (like eggplant!). I also went a bit light on the seasonings, since it was the first time I tried it… Next time, I’ll add more garlic and more herbs… fresh basil or fresh oregano would be a nice addition. But it’s really a nice and juicy, light sauce, as you can see in the last picture. Here’s what I did:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5-oz. cans Organic Diced Tomatoes – I used the juices from just one of the cans, and that seemed perfect to me.
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Oregano – Next time I’ll try some fresh herbs, preferably basil and/or oregano.
  • 1-lb. medium-sized raw Shrimp, thawed (if frozen), peeled and deveined
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Feta, crumbled

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook til softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

2.  Add 2 cans tomatoes, reserving the juice from one can if needed later.  Bring to a rolling simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes til thickens a bit.

3.  Remove from heat.  Stir in herbs, shrimp, feta and salt.  Pour mixture into an oven-safe baking dish.  Bake in oven for 12 minutes til shrimp are cooked through.  Serve over whole-wheat linguine pasta (or rice).

Yummy Juices:

– Adapted from Simply Recipes.

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