Archive for the ‘Tomato Recipes’ Category

Tomatoes, Mushrooms & Spinach over Pasta recipe

Saturday, April 18th, 2009


3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 large onions diced
4 garlic cloves crushed and minced (let sit for 10 minutes before cooking)
1 cup quartered mushrooms (washed and drained)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
shredded Parmesan (I prefer Romano) cheese for garnish
1 quart jar stewed tomatoes (or 2 cans or the equivalent fresh) chopped in to bite-sized pieces
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste

Heat in a large skillet the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic, saute.  When about halfway done, add the mushrooms.  Saute, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions tender.

Add the spinach and tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Warm.

Serve over your favorite pasta.  (I like this dish with Angelhair pasta.)  Garnish with cheese and serve.

Note:  If you add the tomato juices to the pan, it’ll make more of a sauce (but you’ll likely need to add some tomato paste to thicken)… otherwise it’s more of a chunky, sauceless meal.

Note 2:  Save the spinach juice!  (same for other vegetables when you steam or boil them).  My grandpa used to drink the vegetable juice and told us that’s where all the vitamins are!  Grandpa told some tall tales in his day, but this one was true!  Matter of fact, he lived to 90 years old too!

If you can’t bring yourself to drink the juices, you have some other choices:

- Mix the vegetable juice in with broth (vegetable, chicken or whatever your preference) and your favorite soup ingredients for a quick soup… you get another meal out of it that way!

- Even simpler, use the leftover vegetable juices (not tomato though) to water your houseplants.  You’ll give them a nice boost of vitamins to keep them healthy.

- Or add it do your dog’s dry dog food.  You’ll give them a boost of nutrients, and they’ll think they’re getting a tasty treat!  (make sure it’s cooled though, so you don’t burn their tongues!)

Tip for cooking with Tomatoes

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

For quite some time, I shied away from cooking bean dishes from dried beans, and was periodically puzzled when a tomato pasta dish (like baked lasagne where the noodles bake in the pan, instead of cooking them first) would turn out crunchy.

Well, it turns out that tomatoes have a property that somehow slows the cooking progress and can keep things like beans and noodles from cooking fully.

The point of the story is this:  unless you enjoy crunchy pasta or beans, save adding the tomatoes for the end of your meal preparation.  If cooking with dried/rehydrated beans, for example, wait until they’re at the desired tenderness before adding the tomatoes (or juice) to your meal.

Chili Recipe

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Thanks to Paul for sharing this recipe!


This is his favorite chili recipe…

3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb chuck roast, cut into bite sized chunks
1 & 1/2 lb pork butt roast, cut into bite sized chunks
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 cup diced onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups peeled chopped tomatoes
3 cups tomato sauce
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
15 oz can of pinto beans, drained
15 oz can of black beans, drained
15 oz can of dark kidney beans, drained

Heat oil in large skillet. Add meat and sprinkle with chilli powders. Stir and cook until meat starts to brown. Then add onions and garlic. Keep stirring while it cooks. When onions start to soften, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spices. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, simmering for a half hour, stirring periodically. Add beans and continue to simmer gently, stirring to keep from burning the bottom. Cook until chili is the desired thickness.

Note: if you like chili with a little heat: add cayenne flakes or jalepeno slices when adding the onions.

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Thanks to Carmen for sharing this recipe!


This is a good appetizer, but I like it as a fast, light summer meal too. Hope you enjoy it!

1 fresh loaf of hearty bread (like french bread or an equivalent)
4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups red tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Slice the bread loaf into pieces about 1? thick. Set the oven on broil. Spread the bread on a cookie sheet. Pop in the oven for just a short while (they will burn quickly, so keep a careful watch… you just want to toast them to a golden color). Then turn them over and toast the other side… then take them out of the oven and turn the oven off.

Combine all the other ingredients (except parmesan). Spread on top of the toasted bread slices, and then garnish with cheese. Serve right away (if you let them sit too long, they can get a little soggy from the tomatoes)

Company Chicken & Tomatoes Recipe

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

This is one of my favorites to serve dinner guests.  It’s such a gorgeous presentation, it looks like it should be on a magazine cover.

4 boneless chicken breasts, washed and patted dry
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup flour (all purpose)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup minced scallions (or shallots)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tbsp nonpareil capers, drained
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp fresh basil, finely shredded

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, adding butter and olive oil.

I like to trim any fat off the chicken breasts, but this is optional.   Spread the flour on a plate, mix in salt and pepper.   Coat both sides of the chicken breasts in flour.  Gently shake off any excess flour.  Place chicken in the skillet and saute for 4 minutes, then turn the breasts over and cook on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes (until no longer pink in the center).  Place on a platter and cover,  place in the oven to keep warm on the lowest setting your oven has.

Place the scallions in the skillet and saute until softened.  Then turn the heat up to high and add the wine.  While the wine is boiling, scrape up the bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is almost all evaporated.  Stir in tomoatoes, capers and garlic.  Cook, stirring continually, until the tomatoes create a thick (chunky) puree.  Boil the sauce until thick (stirring constantly).  Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and salt/pepper to taste.

Nest the chicken breast on top of a “nest” of angel hair pasta, then spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil.

Note:  sometimes I like to toss the angelhair pasta in a little olive oil and with a little bit of chopped parsley, for added visual effect.

I learned a long time ago, that the “presentation” of a meal is so important to a person’s perception of the meal and the meal’s success.  Even the most divine tasting dishes won’t be regarded well, if they’re not presented in an appealing way!

Red Pepper and Zucchini Lasagna recipe

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

This recipe makes a gorgeous looking and tasting main course.  Not as time-intensive on prep as it sounds.

Red Pepper Sauce:
4 large red bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cups bread crumbs
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp saffron
2/3 cup vegetable broth

To make the red pepper sauce:
Roast (or grill) the red peppers (wash, core, seed and peel the peppers).
Heat oil in large skillet.  Cook onion and garlic over medium heat until soft (not brown though), about 4 minutes.
Combine peppers, onion mixture and bread crumbs in food processor and puree until smooth.  Add the vinegar, saffron, and just enough vegetable broth to make it a thick sauce.  Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and vinegar to taste (keep in mind that you want this sauce to be highly seasoned).

Other ingredients:
6 medium zucchinis
Olive oil
9 lasagne noodles
20 fresh basil leaves

Cut the zucchinis lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices.  Brush lightly with olive oil and grill until limp (or you can saute’ them).

Cook the lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes.  Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.  Drain.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil your baking pan (approx 8×11).  Spread three lasagna noodles over the bottom.  Then arrange 1/3 of zucchini strips on top of that, then 1/3 of basil leaves, then 1/3 of pepper sauce.  Repeat the layering of ingredients 2 more times.  (You can store the lasagna at this point in the fridge for up to 24 hours… just remember to let the pan warm a bit at room temperature (if you’re using a glass or ceramic pan, before putting it in the oven your may crack your pan).

Bake at 350 for between 30 to 45 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.  Garnish (optional) each piece when serving with a fresh sprig of basil.

Italian Fennel (Grilled)

Monday, March 16th, 2009

A nice summertime char-grilled vegetable side-dish with some substance.

2 fennel bulbs, washed, trimed & cut into 1/2″ thick wedges
4 italian tomatoes, halved
olive oil
1/2 cup coarsley chopped (pitted) black olives
1/3 cup coarsley chopped fresh basil
lemon juice

Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire.

Rub fennel and tomatoes with olive oil and salt/pepper (to your taste).  Place on the grill and cook the fennel until it starts to soften a little, and the tomatoes about 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from grill and place in a large bowl.

Add to the bowl: olives, basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice and toss.

Season with salt/pepper to taste.

Greek Tortellini Salad

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Ooh, this is another of my favorites.

1 lb cooked cheese toretllini (cooked, but still firm) drained
2 ripe (Italian) tomatoes, chopped
16 oz of artichoke hearts (marinated works best), diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cucumber, diced.
1/2 cup black olives, halved

Toss with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp finely minced crushed garlic, oregano and black pepper to taste.  Lastly, mix in crumbled feta cheese to taste.  Serve over a bed of fresh greens for a picture perfect dish.

Tabbouleh Salad

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

This is a fabulous and very colorful/pretty lunch or supper dish, perfect for hot summer days.   Traditioinally, I think tabbouleh is made with couscous, but I like to make mine with Quinoa.  Use your own preference.  I also think this recipe is much more flavorful if you let it sit for a day in the fridge before serving… gives the flavors a chance to meld.  Serve it with Romaine heart leaves.  Dish it into the leaves and eat it as if it’s a taco or lettuce sandwich.

Also, change the ingredients to your mood….  For example, you might instead use feta cheese, black olives, cucumbers, peppers and onions for a greek salad mixture.  Or perhaps create a mexican combination.  Really, it’s all up to you and what you like.

Quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
4 ripe plum tomatoes (diced)
2 cups fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup fresh mint (finely chopped)
1 bunch green onions (finely chopped)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 head washed romaine lettuce, separated into leaves.  Pat dry before serving.

Cook quinoa per the package directions.  Note:  it’s best to rinse quinoa in hot water first, before cooking.  It removes any bitter flavor that may be present.  When fully cooked, chill in the fridge.

In a large bowl, combine:
tomatoes, parsley,  mint, scallions, onion

Stir in:  allspice, salt, pepper.

In separate bowl whisk together lemon juice and olive oil.  Add to the chilled quinoa and toss to coat.  Add the vegetable mixture and toss to coat.  Serve at room temperature.

Mom’s Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

This is one that I remember Mom making often on the farm!

1 lb very lean hamburger
1 envelope lipton onion soup mix
7 oz package of sea shell pasta
4 cups vegetables (corn, diced carrots, diced onions, celery, green beans, cubed potatoes, etc.)
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
dash of garlic salt
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Brown the hamburger and drain off the fat.  Add onion soup mix, and stir.  Add 6 to 8 cups of water and tomato paste and bring to a boil.  Add sea shells noodles and vegetables.  Let boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Add the rest of the seasonings and simmer for 10 minutes more.