Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes

Since moving to Ohio from Michigan I have been busy with many things and seriously have not really cooked for friends like I used to. Last night, I had my first official dinner with friends. Getting to know people’s food tastes can become challenging and intimating sometimes. I was lucky because vegetarian food was the perfect food choice for my newly made friend. Tomatoes are in season right now and the fresh flavors really popped in this recipe I took from the current summer Vegetarian Times Special Farmer’s Market Cookbook magazine. I wish I thought of it – absolutely brilliant. I did not change anything in the recipe it was perfect.

Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes
Created on 8/11/11

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8 large beefsteak tomatoes
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (do not adjust this the flavor was perfect)
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup fresh corn cut off the cob
1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 thin zucchini slices

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and scoop pulp out of centers so that the filling can be stuffed inside the tomato. Discard half of the tomato pulp or reserve for another use. Finely chop the balance of the tomato pulp. Whisk together eggs and ricotta in a bowl until smooth. Add onion, basil, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, garlic, corn, diced zucchini and chopped tomato pulp; stir until combined. Fill each tomato just to the top with ½ cup of ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of Parmesan cheese followed by 3 zucchini slices and cover with tomato top. Place in a baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until filling is pulled up and tops are browned. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Roasted Potato Salad

I was invited to a barbeque potluck recently and wanted to bring something that I would not have to worry about spoiling when sitting out in the warm weather for a long time. I visited the local farmer’s market in Worthington, OH and took advantage of their wonderful spring vegetable picks for my recipe. Fresh herbs, asparagus, baby red potatoes, spring green onions, and garlic were all a part of my creation for this dish. The results were amazing and there was just a little tiny serving left after the night was through. Enjoy!

Roasted Potato Salad created 06/11/11

5 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed well, cut into bite size cubes

2 bunches of spring green onions, chopped white and green parts both

1 lb of asparagus, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces

4 corn on the cobs, remove corn from cob with sharp knife

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, parsley

8 cloves of garlic peeled and minced

Olive Oil

Salt / Pepper

In a large bowl, combine green onions and potatoes with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, coat well and spread single layer on a cookie sheet or stone. Put in oven @ 425 degrees for about 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and golden color.

Put cut asparagus in a bowl and coat with approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Put asparagus single layer on a cookie sheet or stone and place in oven for about 15 min or less.

Put the cut corn in a sauté pan with about ½ tablespoon of olive oil, halved tomatoes and minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes shrivel a little. Remove from heat and put in a large serving bowl and top with fresh chopped basil and parsley.

Put roasted red potatoes and asparagus in bowl and toss well.

It is possible you may have to add another tablespoon of olive oil (optional).

Season dish with salt and pepper as needed.

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Grilled Guacamole Dip

There were avocados on sale when I went grocery shopping over the Fourth of July weekend and I thought I would try something different with the avocados. I am a huge fan of guacamole and saw something quick on the food channel about grilling avocados. I decided to experiment and try grilling all my vegetables and created this amazing dip. I am thinking that next time, I will grill a couple of Jalapeno peppers and add it to the dip to give it some pop instead of using Tabasco sauce. This recipe is so delicious!

Grilled Guacamole Dip, created 07/06/2010

(2) Roma Tomatoes, sliced thick
(3) Avocados, cut in half and pitted
(1) Lemon, sliced thick
(1) Onion, sliced thick
(2-3) Tablespoons Olive Oil (approximately)
(2) Corn on the Cob (fresh or already cooked)
Tabasco Sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Prep and Grilling the Vegetables:
Cut tomatoes, onion, and lemon into thick slices. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seed. Preheat a grill pan or if you are barbequing that day, you can barbeque these items on the grill. Brush all the vegetables lightly with olive oil except for the lemon and the hard green part of the avocado shell. Place the avocado halved side down on the grill along with the sliced onions. Lightly season the sliced onion with salt and pepper. Grill the avocado and onion until you have good grill marks – will be about 4 to 5 minutes for the avocados and maybe 6 to 7 minutes for the onion. Remove from the grill and place the sliced tomato and lemon on the grill. The tomatoes will take no more than a minute and half and the lemon slices about 3 to 4 minutes. Grill the corn on the cob until the corn is light brown all the way around the cob, brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This may take a good ten to fifteen minutes depends on your oven or grill.

To Make the Guacamole:
With a large spoon, gently run the spoon around the avocado shell and remove the inside of the avocado and put in a bowl. Chop into small pieces the grilled onion and place in the bowl. Chop up the grilled tomatoes and put aside. Run a sharp knife down each side of the cob to remove the corn.

Mash the avocados to the desired consistency you prefer and add the tomatoes and the corn. Squeeze the lemon slices to extract the juices and mix all the ingredients well. Add about 15 to 20 drops of Tabasco sauce and lightly season with salt and pepper. Mix lightly one more time and serve with vegetables, crackers, or chips. Enjoy!

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Edamame, Black Bean Corn Salad

Hello fans! It has been awhile since I have done any serious cooking. Looking back at my food diaries and notes, I think my last post was January 17th. For that I apologize and I have missed cooking, creating new recipes to add to my lifelong commitment of eating and making healthy food choices. I created this dish to eat for lunch or dinner to go with a nice green/herb salad with simple vinaigrette dressing. The flavors in this bean salad go very well together and it is a perfect dish to bring to a picnic barbeque or to simply grab a bite to eat when on the run. Enjoy!

Edamame, Black Bean, Corn Salad created 06/10/11

Edamame Black Bean Corn Salad

Click on picture to enlarge

1 can organic black beans rinsed and drained

¾ cup fresh corn cut from the cob or frozen organic corn thawed

1-1/2 to 2 cups shelled edamame thawed

½ cup red onion finely diced (optional)

1 pint or 2 cups of your favorite salsa (I used my own salsa that I canned from my garden last summer)

2 tomatoes diced, with seeds

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate for a few hours to give the flavors a chance to marry.  Eat alone or with a salad – serves 4-5 people.

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End of the Summer Tribute Salad

I had a garden this year and I was disappointed that summer was over because I knew I was not going to get all the wonderful fresh vegetables that I love. I made my “End of Summer Tribute Salad”. I made this salad for some friends that were coming over to play scrabble and it was a hit. Love this salad and I will make this often. Enjoy!

End of the Summer Tribute Salad, created on 10/21/2010

1 bunch of asparagus – washed and cut into 2 to 3” pieces
1 pint of cherry tomatoes – washed and sliced oblong way
2 corn on the cob – washed and then corn cut of the cob
1 pound of Baby Bella Mushrooms – dirt wiped off with damp towel and sliced
1 large red onion – peeled and cut into half moon shape
1 bunch of parsley – washed well and minced
3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil – 1 teaspoon each h to use for each batch of sautéing the vegetables
Salt/Pepper each layer to your taste. Remember to keep the salt content down to give it on the healthy side.
This is a very fast recipe – the cook time is no more than 5 minutes per vegetable, make sure you stir the vegetable batches often. You will cook each vegetable separate in batches. I did this way because different vegetables cook differently and I wanted to make sure that they vegetables stayed on the crunchy side except for the onions. I caramelized the onions to make them sweeter.

In a large 12” skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are brown and soft. Transfer to a decorative large serving bowl. This will go in layers.

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the hot skillet, and add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms for about 3 minutes, you will still want them to keep their shape but cooked like half way. Transfer to the serving bowl and layer on top of the onions.

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the hot skillet and add the asparagus. Sauté the asparagus until heated thoroughly about 2 – 3 minutes, I wanted to make sure the vegetables stayed crunchy but hot. Transfer to the serving bowl and layer on top of the mushrooms.

Add the corn and parsley to the hot skillet. No oil is needed. Sauté the corn and parsley for about 2 to 3 minutes until the corn is heated thoroughly. Then transfer to the serving bowl on top of the asparagus. Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the hot skillet – this is very fast, just enough time to heat the tomatoes thoroughly about a minute – stirring constantly. Transfer the tomatoes to the serving platter on top of the corn and parsley mixture.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the sautéed vegetables and toss well. Taste and season the vegetables for the last time to your taste buds. Enjoy! The vegetables can be served over cooked Quinoa or Farro. A simply healthy amazing tribute to summer!

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash

I made this recipe from a book called “The Big Book of Vegeterian” because I had bought a lot of sweet potatoes that were on sale from the market. When I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, sweet potatoes is one of the vegetables that is low on the Glycemic Index that does not make the glucose (sugar) levels spike. This recipe turned out to be one of my favorite things to make all the time. I demonstrated this in 3 of my diabetes workshops and the feedback from the people were all positive. When I have leftovers, I make breakfast wraps with multi-grain wraps, scrambled egg substitute and 1 oz of cheese. Wonderful alternative for breakfast. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash
 

Recipe created September 25, 2007

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash
1 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (it seems like a lot but the onions reduce after they have been cooked)
1 small green pepper, chopped (I omitted the green pepper)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1″ cubes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Rich Vegetable Broth, canned broth or water (I used Better than Boullion – it’s condensed just add to water – the broth is very rich)
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels (do not need to defrost)
One 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 2 teaspoons dried
Fresh ground black pepper

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, takes about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add broth and cook until almost all absorbed about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and black beans and cook, stirring until fully heated through. Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with pepper.

Taken from “The Big Book of Vegetarian”

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Lettuce Wraps

 

Lettuce Wraps
C
reated on 09/28/2007

2 ripe avocados
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
2 tbsp yellow onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced (use the Garlic Press from Pampered Chef)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 corn cob (cut kernels off) (organic)
2 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
6 – 8 large romaine lettuce leaves

In bowl, mash avocado using fork or potato masher, add remaining ingredients mix well. Spread 2 – 3 tablespoons of mixture onto lettuce leaves and wrap. Enjoy!

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