Tomatoes

Not-Greek Tomato Cucumber Quinoa Salad

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I’m not Greek. I don’t like olives. And I’ve never even seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

So- I make no claims that this is an authentic Greek salad. All I’m saying is, “It’s GOOD.” And you should make it.

Not-Greek Tomato Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
1 T red wine vinegar (balsamic or apple cider vinegar would probably work too)
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 T. minced oregano

1/2 cup quinoa (measured dry), cooked and cooled
1/2 of a cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 green onion, minced (white and green part)
1/4 cup feta cheese

In a small container, mix the dressing vigorously (I shook mine in a jar).

In a large bowl, mix the veggies, quinoa, and feta. Drizzle the dressing over top and mix evenly to coat. Serve and enjoy!

I prefered mine served at room temp rather than chilling it, but it can certainly be made ahead of time and kept in the frig.

Makes 3-4 servings.

"Tastes Like Summer" Salad

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I came up with this recipe because I wanted a salad that would showcase the best of summer flavors. 

I first taste-tested it on a group of moms and kids at one of our farm play dates.  After the salad had made its rounds and gotten thumbs-ups from the moms, a group of toddlers and preschoolers congregated around the bowl and gobbled it down!  They may have been more fascinated with the novelty of stabbing the food with toothpicks than being interested in the food itself, but regardless; they polished off the rest of the bowl!!!

The salad next made its appearance at our chiropractor's office (Inspired Chiropractic) when I handed out samples there.  One woman's eyes lit up when she tried it and she said, "Mmmm... it tastes like summer."  Thus the name of the recipe came about.

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Most recently, I passed out samples of this salad at a business meeting.  One man asked what the yellow vegetables were and when I answered "yellow tomatoes" he said, "Huh.  I don't normally like tomatoes, but I like THOSE!"

"Tastes Like Summer" Salad

Dressing:
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. raw local honey
2 roasted garlic cloves, mashed  (See how to roast garlic here.)
1/4 tsp salt

Vegetables needed:
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
Basil, minced

Cut up an adequate amount of vegetables to feed your family and drizzle with dressing right before serving.  The salad will become very juicy if allowed to sit, so only make what you will eat right away.

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Thai Chicken Pizza

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This pizza is my newest obsession.  Everyone I've made it for gave their hearty approval that this was worthy of a blog recipe.

For our pizzas, I used whole wheat tortillas for the crust, but feel free to use any crust you like.  I like how the tortillas allow the crust to take a back seat and let the other flavors and toppings take the stage.  This recipe will make enough sauce and toppings for 3 tortilla-sized pizzas.    

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

Tortilla + Thai pizza sauce + toppings

Finished!

Finished!

Begin by cooking the eggplant:

  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/4" cubes (peeled or unpeeled, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Heat oil in a large skillet and add eggplant.  Sprinkle with salt and cover with a lid.  Saute until tender, flipping occasionally to cook evenly.  When done, the eggplant should be tender all the way through and no longer spongy.  It may be dark brown on the edges, but that is just fine.

Thai Pizza Sauce

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1 T. fresh red jalapeno, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 T smooth peanut butter
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 2 T coconut aminos

Combine all the vinegar, honey, water, pepper, garlic, ginger, and salt in a small pot and simmer for about 10-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, oil, and coconut aminos.

Assemble the pizzas:

  • 3 tortillas or your favorite pizza crust
  • Thai Pizza Sauce
  • Chicken, pre-cooked and cut up into small pieces
  • Tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Roasted eggplant
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Thai basil, minced

Divide the pizza sauce between the three tortillas and spread evenly.
Top with chicken, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cheese.
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes until done to your liking.
Garnish with Thai basil before serving.
Devour!
 

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Loaded Nacho Fries

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"Loaded Nacho Fries" is probably not a recipe you were expecting to see on this blog.

My boyfriend, Joshua, and I had a discussion (argument) about whether these were REALLY "loaded nacho fries".  I call them "loaded nacho fries", but....

-The fries are oven-baked farm-fresh potatoes,

-the taco meat is grassfed ground beef with homemade taco seasoning,

- and the nacho cheese is a from-scratch cheese sauce with real cheddar.

It's all the components of loaded nacho fries....... with none of the junk stuff.

So you tell me- are these loaded nacho fries or are they BETTER?

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Are you guys OK if I don't have the exact measurement for ingredients in this recipe for fries?

I think I heard you say "yes".  Good.  This recipe is very simple and you can make as many as you need for the size of your family.

Oven-Baked Fries

Potatoes* (enough to feed your family)
Oil (about 1 T. for every couple potatoes that you use)
Salt

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut up the potatoes into 1/4" french fry shapes.
Drizzle with oil and mix to coat evenly.  Sprinkle liberally with salt.
Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes until they are tender on the inside and golden on the outside, flipping halfway through to cook evenly. 

*We tested out different varieties of potatoes in hopes of finding the best one for making fries.  What we found was that the technique made a bigger difference in the quality of the fries than did the variety of potato.  All varieties made good fries, if:
-They were evenly coated with oil.
-They each had a good sprinkling of salt.
-They were not over-baked (you want them to be tender rather than being like crispy matchsticks). 

To assemble the loaded nacho fries, you will need:
Meat seasoned with our homemade taco seasoning
Homemade nacho cheese
Fresh tomatoes or salsa
Cilantro or green onions for garnishing

Pile all that good stuff together and you have yourself some loaded nacho fries with wholesome ingredients and none of the guilt!

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One of my favorite summer recipes

Last summer I made balsamic reduction for the first time and got hooked.  I can't believe how good it makes tomatoes taste.  I had been intimidated by "balsamic reduction" because it sounds so fancy, but it only takes one ingredient and is super easy to make.  To make it, all you have to do is:

Pour about a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pan and simmer until it is reduced in volume and is a syrupy consistency.  Be careful so that it doesn't burn at the end!  It will yield about 1/4 cup.

I use this balsamic reduction on top of one of my favorite summer recipes:

Tomato Toast

Bread
Butter
Garlic powder
Cheese- your favorite kind
Tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Basil
Balsamic reduction

Butter one side of the bread and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Lay butter-side-down in a pan and toast on your stove like you would grilled cheese (only toast the bottom of the slice).  This will give a nice crunchy underside to your tomato toast.
On top of the bread, lay sliced cheese and sliced tomatoes.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Broil in the oven until cheese is bubbly (mine took 7 minutes).
After removing from the oven, garnish with basil and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.  Enjoy!

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