Tag Archives: tomato

My Darling

 Bulgar Wheat Beet Salad

bulgar_wheat_beets

Welcome to my second post for #TripleSBites!  My first post can be found here and it features some spicy Brussels Sprouts

I’ve had so much fun with this challenge – trying to think up dishes that are saucy, spicy, and sexy while still staying within the normal parameters of this blog (cheap, healthy, vegetarian).  Tonight’s dish is certainly healthy, and as long as shopping in the bulk bin section of your grocery store it should be on the cheap side, while the vegetarian goes without saying- this dish can also easily go vegan by swapping the goat cheese for a soft cashew cheese or leaving it out all together.  This salad is actually one of the first dishes I wanted to do, but it has gone through a few versions.  The original concept involved endive boats with roasted beets, bulgur, and goat cheese which then evolved into cucumber boats stuffed with raw beets, bulgur, and goat cheese – both topped with a balsamic dressing.  Yet, something always seemed to be missing.  Then I received another sponsor goody, this time a bottle of Roasted Beet Vinaigrette thanks to Out of the Weeds – and finally had my missing component.

Bulgur Wheat Beet Salad

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs

1/2 vidalia onion, diced

2 cups water

1 cup bulgur wheat, pre-rinsed

1 cucumber, diced

2 roma tomates, diced

1 cup chickpeas, pre-soaked

1/2 cup goat cheese (optional), crumbled

radicchio lettuce leaves (two per serving)

1/4 cup Out of the Weeds Roasted Beet Dressing

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the herbs. Cook for an additional minute, stirring to prevent burning
  2. Add the water and bulgur wheat and bring to a quick boil before adding the chickpeas. Then cover and turn heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes.
  3. Fluff the bulgur then stir in the Roasted Beet dressing along with the cucumber and tomato.
  4. Line a bowl with two of the radicchio leaves (creating a mini bowl) and serve the bulgur salad in the middle. Top with the crumbled goat cheese (optional)
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/my-darling.html

As a bonus, the dressing turned my dish a fantastic shade of pink – which is rather perfect for the upcoming holiday!  The radicchio offered a tart contrast to the earthy beets while the cucumber provided a needed crunch.  The fact that the dressing turned everything pink (seriously, pink!!!) just added a whole new level of awesome.  Dropping the chickpeas and reducing the portion size would turn this pink treat in to a fantastic side for herb crusted tofu, fish, or chicken.

Note:  I received Out of the Weeds Roasted Beets Dressing as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which started February 2nd.  I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.  

Did I mention there are 19 (!) other awesome bloggers participating in TripleSBites?!?  Make sure to check them all out:

Having Fun

Fava Bean Soup

fava_bean_stew

I don’t willingly watch horror movies – this is a fact long established and reinforced after various events during my college years.  So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a horror movie for an inspiration, I thought about “cheating” by making some gory dessert thing and saying I was inspired by The Saw or I Know What you did Last Summer or some other horror flick thing.  Then I decided to get serious and consider the various “thriller” style movies that I do enjoy, such as Cabin in the Woods and Silence of the Lambs.  From there I was between doing a red wine dish (CitW) or something with fava beans, and in the end fava beans won out.  There is something so iconic about that moment in SotL and while liver will never appear on this blog, fava beans are certainly welcome!  I wanted to have a nod to the Chianti as well as the general feel of the movie, so I decided a chunky red tomato stew would be perfect.

Having Fun

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 Spanish onion, diced

3 cloves garlic

1 cup dry fava beans, well rinsed

3.5 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp dry red wine

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  2. Add the fava beans along with the vegetable stock, red wine, and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, and keep boiling for two minutes.
  3. Turn down to a simmer, then add the bay leaf and pepper and cover. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.
  4. Season to taste with pepper - Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/11/having-fun.html

This is one of those dishes that really benefits from being cooked for a long time, in fact it’s generally best at lunch the following day.  It can also be converted for the slow cooker, cooking on low for 8 hours before turning to high for 30 minutes.  For the ultimate results serve with some crusty bread that can help soak up all the tomato goodness

Paradigm Shift

Buddha Bowls

 buddha_bowl

Summer time and the vegetables are going crazy! Perfect time for a Clean Eating challenge thanks to /52weeksofcooking.   For the most part I try to avoid highly processed foods, including fake meats, but there is something to be said about the convenience that comes with those items.  However, this week I wanted to go all out, so I decided to all incorporate elements of raw eating in my recipe which is what lead me to making a buddha bowl.  A budha bowl is a (traditionally) vegan dish featuring raw fruits and veggies with a whole grain.  I decided to use brown rice, but quinoa and barley were also debated.

 

Buddha Bowl

Serves: Serves 2-3

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice, cooked

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 avocado, sliced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups chickpeas, presoaked

2 carrots, sliced

1 ear corn, kernels sliced off

Instructions

  1. Toss the rice with the olive oil, vinegar and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes, then toss again and add more oil if needed.
  2. Place in a bowl and layer the vegetables on top
  3. Top with cheese (optional) or nuts (optional)
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/07/paradigm-shift.html

I was lucky enough to have tomatoes from my garden, along with all the herbs, while the corn comes from the Eastern Shore.  I tried to use all local ingredients but I couldn’t pass by the avocados at the store without grabbing a few.  I could easily eat one, or more, of those each day – they are simply fantastic!  At some point I want to try the fried egg in an avocado dish but a bit terrified of having raw egg and overcooked avocado.  Anyone ever tried it before? Any tips???

In gardening news – I have no idea where I am tomato wise!  Every day I go out I grab another handful and they are amazing.  I’ve also harvested four jalapenos, with another 4 on the vine.  However no eggplants yet – three stopped growing while a few more of showing some promise.  They are a smaller variety so not expecting massive veggies but thought they would be a bit bigger than their current state.  Fingers crossed the random chilly weather last week didn’t stunt them or something.

For What

Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese

Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese

I’m thrilled that summer has finally arrived, yet sad that days are already getting shorter.  It seems like winter just ended, and yet I’m already seeing stories advertising “back to school” and “fall fashions”.  If it’s alright with them I’m going to stay in a firm state of denial until at least labor day – I need my long hot day of sun!  Today’s recipe features my favorite summer ingredient (which won’t come as a shock to anyone): tomatoes.  To say that I’m stoked about the emergence of tomatoes at the local markets doesn’t begin to cover it as few things are as awesome as a summer tomato.  Since I’ve only been able to harvest a few little cherry tomatoes so far I needed to figure out a recipe where I only needed a few in order to make a big POP.  As an added necessity I had half an avocado and a bit of fresh bread that needed to disappear before heading to visit family in NYC.  What better way than a lazy (but delicious!) grilled cheese sandwich?!?

Tomato Avocado Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

4 slices of your favorite bread

2 tbsp yogurt spread (or unsalted butter)

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

4 slices of favorite "cheese" or cheese (I used Colby)

Instructions

  1. Evenly distribute the butter on all sides of the bread.
  2. Heat a large griddle over medium heat and place two slices of bread on it, allow to cook for about 2 minutes then remove and set aside. Place the other two slices on the grilled, cook for two minutes, and then flip.
  3. Place a layer of cheese on the toasted side of the bread, then add half of the tomato and avocado slices. Place one last layer of cheese then top with the reserved pieces of bread - toasted side down.
  4. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, then gently flip, and press sandwich down for 30 seconds. Cook on the final side for 7 minutes, or until desired browning level.
  5. Remove and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/06/for-what.html

I served this up with some fresh coleslaw – the recipe for which is forthcoming – and it was the perfect summer dinner.  Heck, this would also make the perfect summer lunch, or brunch, or linner or whatever!

In gardening news the new tally is:  41 tomatoes (only 1 is close to picking), 4 jalapenos, 7(!) fairy eggplants, and the fine beginnings of a rosemary bush.  My containers might not give me the same options as my awesome box garden in VA but it’s certainly doing its best to give us in fresh veggies.

The Power

Cheesy Toast

cheesy_toast

I totally blame Becca over at Amuse Your Bouche for today’s post – when I saw her cheesy toast variation the other week I got a total craving.   I don’t remember the first time I had cheesy toast but I’m going to guess it was a case of my mom not having enough bread for grilled cheese sandwich and going with an open-faced variation.  Also should note as this point that I’m a HUGE fan of open-face sandwiches so thanks mom 🙂  This extends as far as stripping my burgers which is why I tend to load up my cheesy toast with all sorts of goodies.  I want the bread to just barely be hanging on so in part it does become a balancing act of figuring out how many toppings a piece can handle. I also used two different spreads (or smears) as I couldn’t decide which one would work best, one being vegan and one being not so vegan.  That is of course assuming that vegan bread is being used, something I can assume since I made my own peasant bread using dairy-free stick “butter”.

Cheesy Toast

Serves: Serves 4, as a side

Ingredients

1 cup kale, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp pepper

4 slices bread (assuming 1 per person)

2 tbsp tofutti cream cheese (or dairy cream cheese)

1/2 tbsp chives

2 tbsp yogurt spread

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

4 pieces Daiya slices, provolone variety (or dairy variety)

Instructions

  1. Place the kale in a small bowl and massage in the olive oil over 5 minutes, toss in the pepper and set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, blend together the cream cheese and the chives until well mixed. Set aside and allow to continue softening.
  3. Preheat oven to Broil - Low
  4. Spread the cream cheese chive mixture over half of the bread pieces and then layer on the tomatoes and the massaged kale. Top with a slice of cheese.
  5. Repeat the process with the yogurt spread on the other two pieces. Then place all the slices on a cookie sheet.
  6. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted and has started to bubble. Allow to cool on the sheet for another 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/06/the-power.html

The more I use Daiya, the more I’m starting to enjoy it in the melted form.  The texture still drives me crazy when it’s raw but that all goes away once it melts.  I’m also hoping to find some more varieties of cashew cheese as there are occasions where I can’t melt the cheese but would still like to have some, such as cold salads.  I’m also sending this open faced cheese sandwich over to 52weeksofcooking for their historic foods challenge since this Depression Era treat has become a comfort classic over the past (almost) 100 years.   Also cool to note that the original version was open-faced and it wasn’t until the 60s that the top piece was added.  Important to note that the cheese on toast is historically different than an open faced cheese sandwich, something that has been around since the 15th century – the toasting makes all the difference!

In gardening news, I have a good dozen green cherry tomatoes growing and today my first little pepper joined the party.  I’ve also got lots of purple flowers on my fairy eggplant but so far no lil eggplants, fingers crossed that will change.  I’ve never done a container garden before so I’m looking forward to seeing how it does in comparison to my awesome box garden.  I’m also hoping that the guy who bought my place appreciates the awesome box garden and is using it.