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These Turkish-style meatballs are uniquely flavored with mint, cumin, and a little cinnamon, served in pitas with tomato and plain yogurt. They can be made from ground lamb, beef, or a combination.

1/2 cup prechopped white onion
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound lean ground round
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices plum tomato (about 2 tomatoes)
4 (6-inch) pitas, split
1/4 cup plain yogurt
lemon juice
Preheat broiler.

Combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until just combined. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions; shape each portion into a (2-inch) patty. Place patties on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place 1 tomato slice and 1 patty in each pita half; top each half with 1 1/2 teaspoons yogurt and lemon juice.

Original recipe


Quick sauteed Greek chicken in pitas with onion, bell pepper, and lemon yogurt sauce.

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (about 1)
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated English cucumber (optional)
1/4 cup 2% Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat soft pitas, cut in half
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (and oregano). Add chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove from pan.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken, garlic, and oregano; cook 30 seconds.

Combine cucumber and next 6 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt). Serve chicken mixture with yogurt sauce, warmed pita, and tomato slices.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture, 1/4 cup sauce, 1 pita, and about 1/4 cup tomatoes)

Nutritional Information
Calories:361
Fat:7.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.8g)

Original recipe 

This makes a quick and healthy side dish for a Mediterranean or Greek meal. Makes a lot though (6 cups!) so be prepared for leftovers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped red onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (about 1)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 1/2 cups diced peeled eggplant (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes, undrained
Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the eggplant, salt, black pepper, and tomatoes; stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Original recipe

Hearty and healthy, this meatless soup is flavored with cumin, chili powder, tumeric, and fresh cilantro.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/3 cups water
2 1/3 cups dried lentils
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
Cilantro sprig (optional)
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic); sauté for 1 minute. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.

Optional: Reserve 2 cups lentil mixture. Place half of remaining mixture in blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture. Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig, if desired.

Yield: 11 servings. (serving size: 1 cup)
Nutritional Information
Calories:186 (9% from fat)
Fat:1.9g (sat 0.3g,mono 1g,poly 0.4g)
Protein:14.1g

Original recipe

Crunchy cornbread mini-muffins topped with balsamic dressed tomatoes and creamy ricotta, these little mini tartlets make elegant appetizers for a fancy party. Don't be fooled by the long list of instructions, these actually come together very quickly.

½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose four
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups red and yellow tomatoes or cherry tomaotes, halved, seeded, 1/4-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped basil (or fresh oregano)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground pepper
¾ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
Basil thinly sliced for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Butter two 12-cup mini-muffin pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the milk with the egg and melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
After dicing the tomatoes, wrap in paper towels to absorb the moisture.
In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, Parmesan, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, season the ricotta with salt and pepper.
Using a small serrated knife, slice off the domed tops of the muffins. Slice off a small part of the rounded dome to make a stable base, if necessary
Top the cut side of the muffins with the ricotta, about a teaspoon of the tomato mixture and garnish with the thinly sliced basil.

Makes 2 Dozen Tartlets
Original recipe

chickenwithshallots_sm.jpgSlow simmered chicken in white wine and mustard sauce with tomatoes. Yellow onions can be substituted for the expensive shallots. Serve over rice.

8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total) (or 4 chicken thighs and 2 chicken breasts)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound small shallots (about 12), peeled and halved (or 2 yellow onions, cut in wedges)
5-8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped fresh rosemary and sage, ~1/2 T each
Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish (optional)
Season chicken with salt and pepper; coat with flour, shaking off excess.
In a Dutch oven or 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove; set aside.
Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard, fresh herbs, and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil.

Return chicken, bone side down, to pot. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until chicken is tender and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; loosely tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add tomatoes to pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook on high until sauce has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and return chicken to pot; cook until heated through. Serve, garnished with tarragon, if desired.
Original recipes

This is easy, delicious, and makes enough for a crowd.

1 ½ lb. lean ground beef
2 c. V8 juice
1 lb. frozen mixed vegetables
3 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 c.)
1 lg. can petite diced tomatoes
1 cube beef bullion
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbs. garlic
3 c. water
½ tsp. hot sauce
Sauté onion and garlic in large pot. Add bullion cube, water, V8, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomatoes.
Brown beef and add to pot
Microwave veggies 3-4 minutes until room temperature, drain. Add to pot
Microwave potatoes 2 minutes, add to pot.
Simmer 1 hour.

Dewberry family recipe
Surprisingly savory with the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and red wine, this stew is nice when you want something unusual.

2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat (such as as shoulder), cubed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thin
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 cup wine
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of parsley
Place the lamb in a glass bowl or baking dish and toss with cinnamon, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or cook immediately.

In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté the pieces of lamb in the oil over medium heat. You may have to work in batches. Meat should be browned on all sides. When all of the meat is browned, add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion, and cook for about five minutes, stirring, until vegetables start to soften . Add tomatoes, wine and bay leaf. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook for 2 hours, or until meat falls apart when squeezed.

Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with chopped parsley.

Original recipe
Warm beef stew spiced with paprika and bay leaves, with tomatoes and potatoes to make it a one dish meal.

½ c. flour
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper
2 lbs. well-trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1.25" chunks
¼ c. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 small onions, cut into 6 wedges
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
3 bay leaves
1 can beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 ½ c. water
1 lb. new potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
½ medium butternut squash
2 large carrots, cut into ½" slices

In large bowl, mix flour, paprika, ½ tsp. salt, ¾ tsp. pepper. Add beef and toss to coat.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides, adding additional oil as needed. Set aside remaining seasoned flour
Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour in ¼ c. beef broth and cook, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is tender, adding additional broth if the pot becomes dry. Stir in the reserved seasoned flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir until the mixture begins to boil. Add the remaining broth, water, and beef, along with any accumulated meat juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is just tender when pierced with a fork.
Add the potatoes, onion wedges, squash, and carrots and return the stew to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes longer, until the beef and vegetables are very tender.

Cummings family
Quite possibly the most complicated sandwich I've ever made, but yummy nonetheless. Be sure to use a good balsamic vinegar since the flavor is pretty strong in the dish.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread, cut in half horizontally
3 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh spinach
Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes; cook 4 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar. Sprinkle tomatoes with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Wrap handle of pan with foil; bake at 300° for 15 minutes. Keep warm.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over top half of bread loaf. Spoon tomatoes evenly over bottom half of loaf. Arrange Brie over tomatoes; top with chicken. Combine 2 teaspoons oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add spinach, tossing gently to coat. Top chicken with spinach mixture; replace top half of bread. Cut loaf into 6 pieces.

For toasted sandwiches (recommended):
Assemble without mayo spread or spinach. Toast in 400° oven. Add mayo spread and spinach, serve.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 440 (25% from fat)
Fat: 12.3g (sat 4.2g,mono 4.9g,poly 1.9g)

Original recipe

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