Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TOO MANY TOMATOES? NO WORRIES!


August has been an amazing month for harvesting tomatoes in my backyard garden. I do have trouble keeping up, but I have several ways to use and save my tomatoes for the winter ahead. My favorite use of fresh tomatoes is to make gazpacho. ( See my previous blog for my recipe) Yum!!  Fresh tomato sauce to serve over whole wheat pasta is another simple use for fresh tomatoes.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves chopped
2 pounds of tomatoes cored and chopped small
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped ( I love basil!)
Pepper and salt to taste.
-Heat oil, add garlic and sauté carefully so as not to burn garlic! (2-3 minutes)
-Stir in tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally.
-When sauce is thickened and chunky remove from heat, and add basil, pepper and salt to taste.
-This makes about 2 cups of sauce!

The easiest method to store tomatoes for future use is simply freeze them. This works best with Roma or plum tomatoes. Core and place whole in a zip lock bag! When ready for use in soups, stews or sauces simply let sit on the counter for 5 minutes and chop while still frozen.
Purée is another easy method. Boil tomatoes with a little water process in a blender or food mill and pour into a freezer zip lock bag. Label and freeze.
The last way I use to save my tomatoes is to dry them. There is nothing like dried tomatoes added to winter greens stir fries, or used on home made pizzas! I have a dehydrator and cut tomatoes into 1/3 in thick slices. They go into the dehydrator at 125 degrees for about 9 hours. After this I store in a jar in the cupboard until ready to use.
I hope this inspires you to be creative with your delicious summer tomatoes!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

TABOULI WITH A TWIST



TABOULI WITH A TWIST

In my garden right now is an abundance of, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint.
I have used these ingredients to make a tabouli.
Tabouli is one of my favorite dishes. Mostly for the parsley and mint.
Tonight I made a few changes to my usual recipe to make for a more healthful and delicious dish!

The biggest change was to use quinoa for the grain. Quinoa adds an incredible amount of protein, calcium, and minerals. This along with the cucumber which is very alkaline, has lots of minerals and fiber that ward off high blood pressure. It also is high in silica which promotes healthy bones and joints. We know that tomatoes have lots of lycopene for bone health and heart health!  My last additions are grated raw carrots and beets.
this beside adding more nutrition this makes for a rainbow, colorful, main dish when served on a bed of greens of your choice.

Recipe
1 cup of quiona cooked according to package directions.
3 tomatoes chopped
1 large cucumber chopped and seeded if needed
1/2 onion red or white finely chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley chopped
1 cup mint finely chopped.
2 cups grated carrots and beets (I use a food processor leave skins on)

Dressing
3 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste ( I do not use salt)

Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix dressing separately and pour over, mix well.
store over night to bring out the flavors.
Enjoy!

If you enjoy my posts  check out my web site for more recipies and healthful information!     www.heidicolella.com