Roasted Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes


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I was looking for unique tomato recipes and I came across the idea of a roasted pesto-stuffed tomato.  I love pesto, but if you stuff a large tomato with just pesto, you will have an overly salty/oily/basil-y dish.  Perhaps this would work with very small tomatoes, but not with the ones I had grown.

IMG 3164 300x254   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Roasted pesto-sutffed tomatoes

Luckily I had just made a batch of almond-basil pesto from the basil I was growing, so I had that on hand to start with!

I made a simple modification– I added shredded zucchini to the pesto and a little bit of minced mixed/spicy pepper to a pan, cooked it up, added pesto and the innards of the tomatoes I hollowed out, and then stuffed the tomatoes with that.  I topped it with a little Parmesan cheese.

 

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Pesto
  • Shredded zucchini (or squash), with excess water squeezed out of it
  • Parmesan or other cheese
  • minced bell or spicy peppers (Optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the top off each of your tomatoes and hollow them out carefully.  Discard the seeds and pulp, but keep the firmer fleshy parts.

IMG 3145 300x240   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

hollowed out tomato

Grate or food process a zucchini or squash and squeeze out any excess water.  If you leave the water in it, the result will be soggy.

IMG 3133 300x225   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Shredded zucchini

IMG 31431 300x225   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Almond-basil pesto

In a bowl, combine zucchini, minced bell or spicy pepper (optional), pesto, and the diced innards of your tomatoes.

IMG 3149 300x231   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Zucchini-pesto mixture for stuffing

Stuff the tomatoes with the zucchini/pesto mixture.  Top with grated cheese.

IMG 3155 300x225   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed zucchini-pesto tomatoes

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown.  You can let these roast for as long or as little as you like.

Enjoy!  I had these with my squash-noodle pasta topped with  homemade bolognese sauce and a delicious rosemary roll from Atwaters :).

IMG 3171 300x225   Roasted Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Roasted pesto-stuffed tomatoes with squash noodles and homemade bolognese

 

 

August 14, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Healthy Seafood ‘Alfredo’ with Vegetable Noodles


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I’m not a huge fan of pasta or alfredo sauce
, but I know more than a few people who are.

To me, pasta is filler–lots of carbs with very little nutritional value. I end up uncomfortably full after most pasta dishes, and wishing there were more substance to the meal. Alfredo sauce is painfully unhealthy, with so much cheese, cream, and butter, I wonder why I’m not just eating a whole pan of brownies.

IMG 2201 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Healthy seafood alfredo with vegetable noodles

This dish suits those who love OR hate pasta and Alfredo sauce. There are multiple takes on how to make it, but the basic concept is the same. It’s delicious AND healthy, and I personally rank this seafood ‘pasta’ dinner in my top five meals

ever made.

Pasta:
The ‘pasta’ in this dish is made up of squash and zucchini.

2-4 squash or zucchini (or some of each, preferably large)
Large Carrots (optional–adds color and tastes good, but is a bit tougher than squash and zucchini)

Peel the squash/zucchini/carrots with a peeler, and if the skin is tough you can discard the outer layer, but this isn’t totally necessary. Use a peeler to create wide, long, ‘noodles’ from the vegetables. These noodles will only need to be sauteed for a couple minutes at the end of the cooking process. Set aside.

IMG 2186 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Peeling zucchini and squash to make noodles

IMG 2193 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

squash, zucchini, and carrot noodles

Sauce:

In this case, the sauce was made from cauliflower and white beans, boiled and pureed and combined with a chicken or vegetable broth, and a little almond milk (or milk of your choice).

See recipe for the healthy white sauce alternative.

IMG 2177 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

white beans for sauce

To turn this pasta and sauce recipe into a seafood/vegetable dish, here’s what I did:

IMG 2185 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Zucchini, Asparagus, Mushrooms

Other Ingredients:

Basil
Zucchini
Asparagus
Mushrooms
Garlic
Leek

Combine all the above ingredients (chopped) in a frying pan and saute until tender in a little oil or butter, with garlic, leek, basil, salt and pepper for seasoning.

IMG 2196 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Sauteed veggies: zucchini, basil, asparagus, mushrooms

Seafood:

1 tilapia filet, crumbled (did this on its own..)
Scallops
1/2 C White wine
Butter
Garlic
Leek
Basil

In a separate pan, sear scallops in butter with garlic and leek.  Add tilapia.  Add white wine, salt, pepper, and basil, and cook for another 5 or so minutes.

IMG 2200 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Scallops and tilapia in white wine, garlic, leek, and basil

Combine:

Add vegetable ‘noodles’ to the veggies (mushrooms/asparagus/whatever you made) in the fry pan and cook for 2-4 minutes to heat through.

IMG 2199 300x231   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Vegetable noodles in the pan

Serve noodles and veggies in a bowl, topped with seafood and white wine, and as much ‘alfredo’ sauce as desired.  Garnish with fresh basil.  DELICIOUS!

IMG 2203 300x225   Healthy Seafood Alfredo with Vegetable Noodles

Healthy seafood alfredo with vegetable noodles!

July 7, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Shrimp Saag Remix


When I first started cooking, I experimented with Indian dishes. I loved the Saag that I ate at a local restaurant, but I knew it was loaded with heavy cream, butter, and everything delicious for me and bad for my arteries. I tried this recipe 🙂

My Shrimp Saag Remix is served on top of a mound of Carrot Sweet Potato Mash. It’s fairly easy.

Carrot Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:

carrotsweetginger 300x255   Shrimp Saag Remix

Carrot Sweet Potato Mash

 

  • 4-5 Carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Yams or Sweet Potatoes, peeled, chopped  into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • dash Cinnamon
  • dash ground Cloves
  • 2 tbsp butter Butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk

Boil the vegetable and ginger until the potatoes are tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl and add butter and almond milk and more spices. Mash with a whisk until ingredients are blended and similar to mashed potato consistency. Use more or less liquid for creamier potatoes.

 

For the Saag, I combined the following ingredients:

  • 4-5 stalks of leafy greens, or around 8 cups of chopped greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard)
  • Trifecta of Awesomeness (garlic, leek, ginger) I don’t measure (maybe 1/2 cup of leek, 1/4 cup ginger, 4 cloves finely chopped garlic)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

I sauteed the Trifecta until the leek was clear. Then I added the spices. I hear they activate when you place then in the hot skillet, before adding bulky ingredients. Once I could smell the spices, I added my greens. I cooked them until they were soft, but not soggy.

In another skillet, I cooked my shrimp (seasoned with curry and garam masala. I may have added Old Bay. There are similar ingredients.)

The Plate

topshrimpsaag 300x263   Shrimp Saag Remix

Shrimp Saag Remix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try a garnish with fresh cilantro, thai basil, and greek yogurt 🙂

aerialshrimpsaag 300x225   Shrimp Saag Remix

I must cook with music playing 🙂

Head Over Feet (acoustic cover) – QueenEarth

 

 

 

 

 

 

This dish serves well as leftovers. I’ve eaten it with lamb, chicken, beef, and tofu. Season to your liking, but definitely, try this healthy Saag alternative.

 

June 10, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Sweet Potato-curried vegetables


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This post is more of a concept post than a recipe.
I make a lot of stir fries as I’m a big fan of one-pot meals.  I don’t necessarily mean you cook it in one pot only (though that would be ideal), but rather that everything in the meal is combined into one dish.  Not a main part with sides, etc.

The idea behind this post is that you can make a creamy curry-esque dish that is low fat, without the cream, by using something as simple as yams or sweet potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic, Ginger, Leek (the Trifecta of Awesomeness)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Optional lentils
  • Curry seasonings: Curry powder, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, garam masala etc.
  • Hot sesame oil

Directions:

Saute the garlic, and leek in a wok with some hot sesame oil if you have it.  If not, use another oil for frying (grapeseed oil for instance).

sauteed vegetables 1 Copy 300x225   Sweet Potato curried vegetables

sauteed vegetables

Add your vegetables (any vegetables will do, it’s a stir fry/curry.  I used green beans, zucchini and fennel, because that’s what I had).
Add ginger and continue to saute, adding curry seasonings of your preference, until crispy but cooked.

 

In the meantime, boil  or use a pressure cooker to cook some sweet potatoes or yams, optionally adding a sprig of fresh rosemary for flavor.  In this instance I added some red lentils to the batch, but for some reason they turned out not to be red at all after cooking.  Not sure what happened.

IMG 1315 300x225   Sweet Potato curried vegetables

Boiled sweet potatoes and lentils with rosemary

Once soft, mash the potatoes / lentils into a creamy texture.

sweet potato mash 300x225   Sweet Potato curried vegetables

sweet potato mash

Combine the mash with the sauteed vegetables and serve.

The mashed yams are sweet and creamy in texture.  It’s just a twist on an everyday stir fry or curry recipe.   Yum!

sweet potato curried vegetables 300x225   Sweet Potato curried vegetables

sweet potato-curried vegetables

May 9, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Tzatziki (Greek yogurt / cucumber dip)


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Throw away your ranch dressing! It’s awful for you.
Well, at least try this first.

This is one of the easiest, most delicious, healthy, versatile dips/sauces you can make, and I urge everyone to give it a fair chance.

Tzatziki: Tzatziki, tzadziki, or tsatsiki (Greek: τζατζίκι [dzaˈdzici] or [dʒaˈdʒici]; English pronunciation: /zæˈdziːkiː/)
You’ve probably seen tzatziki on top of your gyro, or served along side pita wedges as a part of a mezze.  Greeks do meze / mezze / mezzedes  like the Spanish do tapas:  small plates of food shared amongst diners.

IMG 1296 300x225   Tzatziki (Greek yogurt / cucumber dip)

Cucumber, lemon, fennel, yogurt

There are variations on this dip, but in general these are the ingredients:

  • Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani, which I love and is fat-free.  I also love the Total/Fage brand.  Whichever is on sale)
  • Diced cucumber, and additional sliced cucumber to dip/garnish
  • Garlic or garlic powder (if you don’t have time to let it sit overnight, use powder)
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper
  • Optional but delicious: dill or Fennel (I used fennel and loved this). I highly recommend these herb scissors I just received as a gift from my mom ( Beach Dazed) as they have 4 blades that slice your fresh herbs right into your bowl–no waste of flavor or herbs, and quite a time saver.
    IMG 12741 300x225   Tzatziki (Greek yogurt / cucumber dip)

    Fennel leaves

  • Parsley, mint, and olive oil are all optional enhancements.  Feel free to play around.

Greek yogurt, which is frequently fat-free, is high in protein (higher than other yogurts), has a thicker, creamier texture than other yogurt, and can be used as a substitute for cream and other products in baking and cooking.  For instance, replace cream, cheese, or coconut milk in a curry with Greek Yogurt.  It works, and is delicious. I’ve done it many times.
How I made this batch of tzatziki that had me “mmmmm-ing” with everything I dipped into it (zucchini fritters, dolmades / stuffed grape leaves, cucumbers, keftedes / meatballs, bread… etc.):

  1. Get a large container of greek yogurt and transfer to a larger bowl.
  2. Peel 1/2 of a cucumber, dice and add to the yogurt.
  3. Take the other 1/2 of the cucumber (skin on, if you like) and slice it thickly for dipping/garnishing
  4. Add a healthy squeeze of lemon (1/2 a lemon or less will do, to taste) to the yogurt dip
  5. Sprinkle in a little garlic powder (to taste, again, but tzatziki should be garlicky). You can add fresh minced garlic if you have time to let the dip sit overnight, to absorb the flavors.
  6. Chop 1/3 cup fresh fennel leaves into the dip, or dill if you have that.  I recommend using these herb scissors, they made my life SO much easier (above).
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
IMG 1297 300x225   Tzatziki (Greek yogurt / cucumber dip)

sliced cucumber, and tzatziki before mixing

Enjoy!! Use as a dip for raw veggies, meze foods, fritters, meatballs, pita or bread.  The prep time is only 5 minutes!

IMG 1308 300x225   Tzatziki (Greek yogurt / cucumber dip)

Tzatziki served with Dolmades (grape leaves), Keftedes (meatballs), and Zucchini Fritters

May 3, 2011
Food, Kitchen Gadgets, Recipe