Tag Archives: tomatoes

Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew

I flew home from Chicago on Friday and turned around and left for another work trip on Sunday. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been home for one and that week was spent hardly eating, let alone cooking (thanks to some food poisoning). Even though I was only home for barely two days this weekend, I was eager to cook. But when I’m heading away again, there doesn’t seem a point to make something that will sit in the fridge and go bad before I get back home. So I decided to make this Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew so I store it in the freezer where it will be waiting for me when I get back home.

Chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and onion are mixed with broth and flavored with cumin and red pepper flake before half the mixture is blended and added back into the pot to help thicken the stew. To finish it off, chicken is simmered in the stew giving it another layer of flavor and heartiness. Cilantro and lemon zest, which are added when it’s time to serve, provide one last fresh punch to this stew. Now that the temperatures are starting to cool down a little tiny bit, I’m excited to keep my pot out and make soup, stew, and chili all fall long.

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In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

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Stir in the garlic, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, chickpeas and tomatoes.

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In a blender, puree 2 cups of the mixture. Stir the puree into the stew, season and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season. Serve with cilantro and lemon zest.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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Tamale Chicken Potpies

I’ve got more work travel coming up so I figured I better try to get a post or two in while I can. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you are traveling. Doesn’t it seem that way when you are on vacation? You want to stop time but it just goes by too fast. Next thing you know, you are back at work. Traveling for work doesn’t always seem to go by so quick but then you wake up one day and all of the sudden realize the summer is almost over. How does this happen? I haven’t had a vacation all summer and I’m dying for some time off. Until then, I’ll just keep making some comfort food like this Tamale Chicken Potpies to help soothe my soul until I can sit by a beach somewhere with a book.

Ground chicken and onion are livened up with some cumin and chile powder before being mixed with some spicy diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, and corn. The whole mixture simmers together and is spooned into ramekins (you could make this in one big dish too) where it’s topped with a creamy cornmeal mixture that’s made even better with some cheese. A short trip to the oven gets these little treats golden brown and perfectly bubbly. I love meals like this that are already portion controlled for me. The great thing about this recipe is that the chicken mixture is good enough alone. I had a little bit left over and warmed it up for a quick lunch one day. A perfect little meal. Maybe I can’t jet off to Mexico for some tamales, but I can close my eyes and pretend, right?

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Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in cumin, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute.

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Add zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 (10-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Place ramekins on a jelly-roll pan.

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Place remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cornmeal, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl, stirring to combine. Bring remaining 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 ounces cheese.

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Divide cornmeal mixture evenly among ramekins. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese.

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Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta

Roasted cherry tomatoes…kind of contradictory isn’t it? Cherry tomatoes are at their peak, perfectly sweet and juicy, in the summer but who wants to turn on their oven for roasting them when it’s 90 degrees outside? Well, I think when it comes to cherry tomatoes, it’s totally worth it. I came across a recipe for a tomato bruschetta that I was excited to make. But when I sat down and read the directions (something I should have learned to do a long time ago), I realized that the whole recipe required a grill (which I don’t have) and that my handy grill pan just wouldn’t do. But since I already had the ingredients, I was determined. So I improvised. The result is this Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta.

Sweet cherry tomatoes are roasted in an oven with nothing but a little olive oil before topping toasted baguette slices and creamy ricotta cheese. A little sprinkle of salt, pepper and basil tops this tasty appetizer which satisfies those summer taste buds. The tomatoes pop with sweetness and blend so well with the creamy ricotta. And who doesn’t like basil on top of tomatoes? On toasted bread? I can’t even.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta (makes 15 appetizers)

Adapted from Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta

  • 15 baguette slices (slice the rest and freeze for later!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a sheet pan, toss tomatoes with 1 T. olive oil until tomatoes are lightly coated. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Set aside.

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Preheat broiler. Lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush each slice with remaining 1 T. olive oil. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

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Top slice with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Spread tomatoes evenly across all slices (about 1 or 2 tomatoes on each, depending on size). Top each piece with a basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Blush Mac and Cheese with Tomatoes

Pasta? What’s pasta? I haven’t had it in so long, I think I’ve almost forgot. How crazy it is to me that I eat so little pasta these days when it was my dinner EVERYDAY when I was a vegetarian ten years ago. When people would ask what my favorite meal was? The answer was easily pasta. Now? I don’t even consider it. How did this happen? I don’t even recognize myself anymore. It’s amazing how when you are careful with what you eat, your tastes can change when you aren’t looking. I’ve dabbled in low-carb diets for years. Initially, they were impossibly hard. But now, I’ve found that I feel better and have fewer cravings so it’s easier. I still eat carbs, clearly, but now I can have pasta once in a while and truly enjoy it. This Blush Mac and Cheese with Tomatoes is a fun way to make an old classic pasta dish new again.

A creamy cheese sauce is made vibrant with additional flavors of tomato, shallot, garlic, thyme and spinach before being mixed with corkscrew pasta and topped with juicy, roasted grape tomatoes. The cheese sauce isn’t as cheesy as typical mac and cheese but the addition of the tomato paste and spinach make this feel more like a grown-up version of our childhood classic. I used quinoa pasta instead of regular pasta (but only because I couldn’t find whole-wheat) so my overall texture was a bit different than expected but still good nonetheless. The roasted grape tomatoes add a burst of sweetness and the spinach provides a nutritional boost. While I wouldn’t necessarily consider this mac and cheese, it didn’t disappoint.

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Preheat broiler to high. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. While pasta cooks, place tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Broil 8 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to blacken.

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While tomatoes cook, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add diced shallots, minced garlic, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

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Add tomato paste; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, black pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

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Add spinach, stirring constantly until spinach starts to wilt.

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Add shredded cheddar cheese, and stir until smooth.

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Stir in cooked pasta.

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Top with the roasted tomatoes.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Quinoa pasta

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sriracha BLT Avocado Salad

Well, after a few indulgent dinners last week in Atlanta and those cookies I brought you on Monday, I figured it’s time to pay the piper and eat some salad. Actually, I’ve been doing pretty good eating well and I’m enjoying it. Instead of eating a plate of cookies, I allow myself one a day. When I need another snack, I’m pretty into eating apples and pears lately. But salad? Not so much. Sure, I should probably have a salad loaded with carrots and broccoli and peppers but this Sriracha BLT Avocado Salad not only looks good but is also healthy and has tons of happy flavor.

Chopped tomatoes and avocado are mixed with crunchy bacon (I used turkey bacon) and laid over baby spinach. A spicy dressing of sriracha, a little bit of mayonnaise and lemon juice is drizzled over the top, packing a punch. The creamy coolness of the avocado pairs perfectly with the sriracha dressing, the bacon adds flavorful crunch and the spinach gives a lot more nutritional value than iceberg lettuce which is typically in BLTs. This salad may not be loaded with veggies but it’s still low-calorie while not being low in flavor. Isn’t that the point of a salad? Being healthy and flavorful? Now this is a salad I can get behind!

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Combine onion, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lemon juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Combine tomato, avocado, and bacon in a medium bowl; toss to combine.

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Divide spinach among 4 plates; top evenly with avocado mixture.

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Drizzle with Sriracha mayo; sprinkle with pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Red onion

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili

I think I’m a little bit obsessed with this chili. I’ve been eating a bowl of it every single day. And when it ran out? I made another batch. And another. All of this started because I had one lonely zucchini sitting in my produce drawer that I wanted to do something with. After taking a look around, I realized all the other vegetables I had on hand and decided right then and there to throw them all in a chili. I happened to have canned tomatoes and ground turkey on hand anyway so it was a no brainer. The result is this Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili.

Onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot are all sautéed with ground turkey until the veggies are soft and the turkey is cooked through. A few spices are added along with canned tomatoes and chipotle in adobo sauce and then the whole pot simmers until the flavors meld and the chili is hot and bubbly. I’ve made this chili with both ground turkey and ground chicken and have no preference. Want to use ground beef? Go right ahead! Chili is so easy to make and easily adaptable to accommodate picky eaters. Make it with beans, or don’t. Make it with meat, or don’t. Make it spicy, or don’t. I’ve been making a batch every single week for the last month. I portion it out immediately into containers to keep in the refrigerator so that I can grab one at lunch and heat it up quickly. What I love about chili (especially in the winter) is that it’s satisfying. I’m never let down and always feel warm and comforted when I’m done. Chili, you have my heart.

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Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili (makes 5 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium, red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (or regular chile powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

Melt coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot. Cook until vegetables soften, approximately 6 minutes.

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Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.

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Stir in chile powder and dried oregano.

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Add tomatoes and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce; stir. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, green onions or any of your favorite chili toppings.

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Pita Pizzas with Kale Pesto, Tomatoes, and Bacon

Pita pizzas…you are my savior. I’ve been trying so hard lately to track my food which means watching my calories and everything I eat. This can be tough when you have a food blog but the real key (as they always say) is portion control. I don’t know about you but it’s hard for my to control myself around pizza. There is a thin crust frozen pizza at my grocery store that I have eaten all by myself in one sitting before…more than once. Not good. My new obsession: pita pizzas. Specifically, these Pita Pizzas with Kale Pesto, Tomatoes, and Bacon.

Whole-wheat pitas are the base of these personal-sized pizzas which are topped with a bright kale and basil pesto, tomatoes, and bacon. With both Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and a light dusting of nuts, this pizza is packed with flavor and perfectly portion controlled. The pesto is the real star. Making pesto out of kale is a perfect way to get a ton of flavor into this nutrient-rich vegetable. I’ll admit, I made this pizza nearly everyday for lunch last week until I ran out of pitas. Any leftover pesto was eaten with eggs at breakfast and on top of roasted chicken at dinner. I couldn’t get enough of it. The pesto – and the pizza – is a real winner.

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Place a baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. (Keep baking sheet in oven as it preheats.) Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add kale; cook 1 minute. Drain and plunge kale into ice water. Drain; squeeze excess liquid from kale.

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Place kale, basil leaves, 2 tablespoons nuts, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor. Process until chopped. Add 1 tablespoon water, juice, and salt; pulse 5 times. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended.

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Spread about 2 tablespoons pesto over each pita. Top evenly with tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses; top evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon nuts. Remove pan from oven; place pitas on pan.

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Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Slivered almonds
  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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