Tag Archives: tomato

Lentil Salad

24 May

I had tried a lentil salad from a local vendor, and decided I wanted to try and make my own.  I usually use lentils in soups, so I was excited to try a salad.  Like pasta salad, Lentil Salad could be done a ton of different ways.  I’m already thinking about what combinations to try next, like maybe tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.  Plus, lentils are very good for you too.  Always great when something tastes good and is good for you!

Lentil Salad


Lentil Salad

What you need:

1 cup lentils (I used Palouse Brand Spanish Pardina Lentils)
1/2 cup seeded and chopped  mini sweet peppers or bell pepper
1/2 cup cucumber, cut in small chunks
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 bunch green onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

How to make it:

Rinse lentils and drain.  Place lentils in a medium sauce pan with 3 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Drain.  Run cold water over lentils and drain.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Place cooled lentils in a large bowl.  Add peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.   Mix together.

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, Italian blend seasoning, salt, and pepper to make the vinaigrette.

Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and vegetables.  Mix in well to fully coat.  Cover and refrigerate before serving.

Spanish Rice

5 Apr

This has been on the to-do list for WAY too long.   I used to just buy a packet, add water, cook, and be done.  But, since I have been cutting back on as packaged foods as possible, I wanted to give this a try tonight since I had all the ingredients on hand.  It actually wasn’t too bad time-wise, just a little extra prep work.  And, it turned out really good, my husband was really impressed and he’s been hard to please lately!

Spanish RiceSpanish Rice

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain rice*
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth*
1 pound tomatoes, diced in food processor
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
*Note: Check the liquid to rice ratio recommended on the package of rice you are using and adjust rice and chicken broth quantity as needed

How to make it:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Pour rice into skillet to brown.  Stir in the onion and garlic, stirring continuously, until onions become translucent.

Meanwhile, add chicken broth, tomatoes, and all seasonings  to a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.

Stir rice mixture into the liquid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.

Simmer while covered for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked.

Sausage and Chayote Stew

2 Mar

In last week’s Bountiful Baskets Mexican themed veggie pack, there was a chayote:



I had gotten these before in another Mexican themed pack a while back, but this pack only had one.  However, there was zucchini as well, and since chayote is also a member of the gourd family, they both go well in this stew.  Normally, I would put tomatoes in as well, but my husband requested no tomatoes, so I left them out.  This is also similar to the Sausage, Zucchini, and Tomatoes over Rice, but adds a few more ingredients.  I would also suggest serving this over Cilantro Lime Rice, which I didn’t get a chance to make because we had to get to a meeting this week.

Sausage & Chayote Stew



Sausage and Chayote Stew

What you need:

1 pound Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chayote squashes, seeded and chopped (I used 1 chayote and 1 zucchini)
3 green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
3-4 tomatoes, cores and seeds removed, diced (about 2 cups diced tomatoes)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Place a large pot over medium-high heat.  Remove casings from sausage, crumble, and cook in the skillet until browned.  Add the onion and garlic to the skillet.  Cook and stir until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chayote squash and green chiles.  Cook and stir until the squash begins to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, and corn.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until completely heated through, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Guacamole BLT on Sourdough

12 Nov


This is one of the best lunches I’ve had at home in a while!  I had a sourdough loaf from Bountiful Baskets in my freezer that I thawed, sliced, and toasted.  Then, I had green leaf lettuce from Sunizona Family Farms and tomatoes from Grammy’s at our Farmer’s Market.  The bacon was from my recent Zaycon Foods bacon event, yum!  The guacamole was made with $.83 avocados and $.20 limes from my Safeway just for U personalized deals (plus a little garlic salt!).  Finally, I added some swiss cheese, which was also a just for U personalized deal at Safeway, $1.68 for an 8oz package of slices.  So, not only delicious, but cheap for me to make too!

Gyros Burgers

10 Nov


I love, love, love gyros, but lamb can be rather expensive and difficult to find.  So, I usually just use ground beef instead, and it still tastes great.  I shape the meat into patties and grill them.  Since I didn’t get them as thin as I wanted, I cut the burgers in half lengthwise to be thinner in the pita and to better simulate the gyros meat at restaurants.  Now, my brother and his wife did this a little different.  Instead of making patties to grill, they put it in a loaf pan and cooked it in the oven, I think at 325 F for about an hour.  Then, the sliced the loaf thinly, again, like gyros meat is in the restaurants.  Some day, I will figure out how to make my own pita, but for now, I buy it.  I added lettuce, tomato, and red onion, and I was wishing I had made tzatziki to go with it, but I didn’t have Greek yogurt to make it.  So, we used ranch dressing instead.  This was a great dinner, and I hope that I think to make it again soon since it was a long time in between the last times I made it!


Gyros Burger
Based on recipe here

What you need:

1 pound lean ground lamb, or 1 pound lamb, or 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 onion, grated, or 2 tablespoons dried chopped onions
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 dash ground cumin

How to make it:

Preheat grill to medium-high heat, and spray the grate with non-stick spray.

In large bowl, combine ground beef/lamb, onion, and bread crumbs.  Add savory, allspice, garlic salt, pepper, and cumin. Combine well and shape into 4 very thin patties.

Cook patties for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Serve with pita bread, lettuce, red onion, tomato, and tzatziki.

Eggplant Bruschetta

14 Jul

I had a medium-sized eggplant from Bountiful Baskets and a small eggplant from my trip to Apple Annie’s yesterday, and I was searching for a way to make it.  I finally decided on a little  twist on bruschetta.  Most bruschettas that I have had, the tomato, basil, and mozzarella are cold, but I decided to make this hot and with the cheese melted.  It turned out really well!

Eggplant Bruschetta

What you need:

1 medium eggplant
Olive oil
3 tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut the tops and ends off of eggplant and slice.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and lay eggplant slices out in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Brush or spray both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt to taste.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes.  Note: You could also grill the eggplant instead of roasting in the oven.

Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, removing seeds.  Mix together in a small bowl with the basil.

Remove eggplant from oven and turn oven to broil.   On each piece, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then top each piece with some of the tomato mixture.  Finally, put mozzarella on each one.

Place eggplant on the pan 6 inches from the broiler, and heat about 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Tomato Meat Sauce

8 Mar


Some day, I will get a chance to try making my own pasta.  For now, one of our favorites is tortellini, and I normally get the Six Cheese Tortellini from Schwan’s.  I normally use a jar of tomato sauce with this, but since I had tomatoes, green peppers, and onion from Bountiful Baskets, I decided to make my own sauce.  I didn’t really do any measurements, just added in as I went.  It turned out pretty good!


Tomato Meat Sauce

What you need:

1 lb ground beef
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
6 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it:

In a large skillet, brown ground beef.  Add garlic, onion, green pepper, and parsley.  Cook until onions and peppers are soft.  Add sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Crush tomatoes as they cook.  Let simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.  Serve with your favorite pasta.

Classic Pizza Margherita with Sausage

1 Mar

Back in January, I talked about a Johnsonville Pizza Possibilities House Party I had won a while back.  This pizza recipe is another recipe from the book that came in the party box.  I used some fresh spices, red onion, and tomatoes I had gotten from Bountiful Baskets to make this.  It was very good, a lot of sausage, but I think it’s one of those recipes you can add more or less sausage to.

Classic Pizza Margherita with Sausage
Original recipe found here 

What you need:

1 package (19 oz.) Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage Links
1 package pizza dough crust mix, prepared according to package instructions for the dough
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
Sea salt and pepper
8 Roma tomatoes, sliced (divided-save 10 slices for the top)
1/2 medium red onion, minced
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded (I didn’t have these cheese, so I didn’t use it)
10 fresh basil leaves, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

How to make it:

Put oven rack on lowest shelf and preheat to 425 F.
Lightly oil a pizza pan. Roll out dough as thin as possible. Let rest 10 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and cook sausage until browned.  Always cook sausage to internal temperature of 160°F.  Remove from pan and slice.
In the same pan, cook onion and parsley to golden, then stir in garlic and oregano for a few seconds.  Add tomatoes to pan, crushing them as they are mixed (do not substitute crushed tomatoes). Boil, stirring 5 minutes or until thick.
Spread sauce over crust, sprinkle with half the basil, Mozzarella, Fontina, sausage, and the remaining slices of tomatoes. Spray with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with pepper, then with a little sea salt.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Using a spatula and an oven mitt, slip the pizza off the pan directly onto the oven rack, bake for two minutes.  Slip pizza back onto pan, remove from oven.  Or, I just baked for 12 minutes on the pan.
Sprinkle with the remaining fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, cut and serve.

Greek Salsa

16 Feb


This is a recipe I got from my Papou, and he had gotten it from a magazine, but I can’t remember which one anymore.  The recipe was actually Greek Salsa Chicken, this salsa served over lemon chicken and roasted potatoes.  Normally, I serve it with Lemon Herb Chicken and roasted potatoes that I’ve cooked separately.  But, I thought it would be the perfect addition to the Kotopoulo Lemonato we had for dinner tonight!  I was right!


Greek Salsa

What you need:

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (I diced one regular tomato tonight since that’s what I had)
1 jar (4.75 oz) pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp dried oregano)

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Tomato Sauce

9 Feb

You may remember a little while back I made Pizza Sauce.  I had tomatoes that I wasn’t sure what to do with, I decided to make Tomato Sauce again, but wanted to try to cook it instead.  It was a bit more time consuming than the other recipe I tried, but still very good.  I plan to use this for dinner later this week for Lasagna Rolls.  I still don’t have a deep red sauce like you see in jars, but it’s still very good, much better and fresher tasting than the jarred sauce.

Tomato Sauce
Makes approximately 4 cups

What you need:

4 lbs tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Any other vegetables you want to add, peppers, celery, carrots, all finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh basil

How to make it:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and place in boiling water.  Keep in water for about 30 seconds, long enough for the skin to peel of easily, but not too long so that tomatoes become mushy.  Carefully remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice cold water.  Skin should peel off easily, if not, return to boiling water a few seconds, then back in the water a few seconds.  Squeeze tomatoes over a sieve to remove excess juice and seeds.  Chop up the tomatoes.

Next, heat olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add onion, any additional veggies, and garlic.  Cook until onions and garlic are translucent, veggies are soft.  Add in chopped tomatoes  and basil, and allow to simmer over medium-low heat.  As tomatoes cook, you can mash them with a masher or use an immersion blender on low to achieve your desired consistency.  (I don’t mind mine a little chunky, so I just mashed them slightly.)  Simmer for 30-45 minutes, until you reach your desired taste.  Use immediately in a dish or store in an airtight container in the fridge for another time.

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