Showing posts with label Tomato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tomato. Show all posts

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fresh Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola Cheese


As I have mentioned in my 'Silent Sunday' post, I made this beautiful rustic Tomato Tart...normally, I would have used a milder cheese, like Goat Cheese or a mild Cheddar Cheese but I had a block of sweet Gorgonzola cheese, imported from Italy that worked wonders to balance out the flavors with just a small amount of chopped parsley
and the perfectly ripe tomato slices
I may not make cupcakes...especially with 'fancy-schmancy' frosting and decorations; although I think they are gorgeous...and that reminds me of my dear sweet friend Joanna from
Chic& Gorgeous Treats...(whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person last year, in S. Francisco) she is every bit beautiful, sweet, bubbly and friendly in person...  as she is on her blog! Check out her most amazing blog that will put a smile on your face and will want to make, or wish you would/could make some of her creative desserts, cupcakes, and mini tarts.

At least Jo's tarts and cupcakes have natural fruit and fresh cream toppings, but some bloggers make cream frosting for cupcakes which are oh, so pretty and decorative, but the first thing a child would do is to lick off the extreme sugary and brightly tinted cream!
 
Just to give you an example, last week my little grandson Luca was crying at his kindergarten class at lunchtime because every child was enjoying their cupcake topped with a fancy blue frosting, and he had to tell his teacher he's not supposed to eat the cupcake. (he previously got sick from the colored butter cream before)

My daughter had to go to school to console him because he just kept saying "I'm not supposed to eat this"...the poor child is so allergic to so many buttery and synthetic products, that he already knows at such a young age what not to indulge in...even though he would like it, but his little tummy would not tolerate it!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fresh Tomato Tart...and Silent Sunday!

My amazing Fresh Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola Cheese...recipe, to follow!



...a funny sign by an owner or tenant of my complex...which wasn't as serious as they claimed!







Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 6, 2012

Israeli Couscous, with Cannelini Beans

 When you are fortunate enough to have the basic herbs growing in your garden...as in my daughter's garden...even the basic basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and parsley, spells 'happiness'...I still have the get more parsley at the produce market, it's never enough; also my favorite, the dill, I also get a huge bunch at the market.
What is there not to love in these pearl-like perfect wheat little gems...can't ruin it when you boil it in water, as if you would cook pasta; it lets you know when its done, because it gets so puffed up, and you're ready to rinse it in cold water, and proceed with your recipe. You can serve this chilled, as a cold salad with vegetables of your choice, or you can serve it warm as a side dish, which how I made it with ingredients on hand in Lora's cupboard, and fresh plum tomatoes that I bought!
My sweet friend Jaime, @Mangiabella always raves about my Israeli couscous salad, and how she made it a few or more times for family and friends. She always mentions it to me...it's such an honor when someone makes your recipes, especially when its your own creation...and yes, both of these are my own creations. I first was introduced to Israeli couscous about 10 years ago, but only the last few years have I been making it more often. I guarantee you will love this, and so will your family.

Israeli Couscous with Cannelini Beans
created by; Elisabeth


16 ozs Israeli couscous
1- 14 1/2 cannelini beans
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 plum tomatoes diced small
fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano
and rosemary (sm. amt. chopped)
handful fresh Italian parsley chopped
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste




First, heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet, cook the onion, garlic, until soft and wilted. Add your chopped herbs and stir a few minutes longer














...then add the fresh diced tomatoes, and saute for about 10 minutes.







In the meantime...you should have your couscous already cooked in boiling water, strained, and rinsed with cold water to keep from sticking, and cooking longer.
Keep the couscous in the strainer until ready to use.







Now, you can add the couscous to the tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the fresh chopped parsley.










Last you fold in the drained and rinsed beans, carefully fold in, and incorporate, and you are ready to serve. Adjust with more seasoning if you like, and more fresh herbs, as garnish, as well!...now wasn't this easy? I promise your will love this, and will make it over and over again, and you can substitute other vegetables just the way you would like to. The main thing is, that you have the couscous cooked first, and then you can be creative the way you desire!



Israeli Couscous...a guaranteed love at 'first bite'
 for recipe, click on link for,Israeli Couscous Salad








Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegan Avocado-Tomato Toasts...for #greenslove

Not too long ago, my 5 year old grandson Luca, asked me what my favorite color is...and I answered "green." He immediately answered back, "no, you can't have that for your favorite color; that's my favorite color!"...well, I just laughed about that, which he did not think it was funny, and told him...then we must have the same "likes"...since he would translate "taste" if I would have said that, to FOOD!


"Green is the color of nature, fertility, life. Grass green is the most restful color. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is the color of balance. It also means learning, growth and harmony. Green is a safe color, if you don't know what color to use anywhere use green.

Green is favored by well balanced people. Green symbolizes the master healer and the life force. It often symbolizes money. It was believed green was healing for the eyes. Egyptians wore green eyeliner. Green eye shades are still used. You should eat raw green foods for good health. Friday is the day of green. Green jade is a sacred stone of Asia."

Oh, yes...FOOD...who would want to turn down glorious fresh, and green vegetables, especially when you have a "hum drum" just everyday kind of dish, wouldn't a nice bright green salad brighten up a dreary, or otherwise too rich of a dish, yearning for something fresh, and green? That's my kind of dish, anytime. a nice dish of fresh baby green spinach salad with red onions, sliced mushrooms and topped with a simple red wine vinaigrette...a side of fresh cucumber salad with cherry tomatoes, and a simple extra virgin olive oil, and fresh lime topping, or fresh green beans, steamed to perfection, still crunchy and to preserve the bright green color, just rinse it in cold water and throw some ice cubes on it!

The list goes on-and-on, and I'm not even mentioning the health benefits of the GREENS. We can probably all hear our mothers saying: "eat your vegetables!"...as boring as it seemed in our childhood days, we all benefited from that in our adulthood...so, may I remind you to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES?...It's so good for you...the fresher, the greener; the better!
I was so inspired by this healthy, simple, and totally delicious vegan open-face sandwich, and after a short trip to my local Whole Foods market I got some specialty items, and a few organic vegetables. I wanted to make a salad with avocado, and organic sprouts, organic tomatoes, but instead, I decided to try this sandwich from the fresh ingredients only because I bought a loaf of their amazing San Francisco Sourdough bread...get this; a whole entire beautiful round loaf of bread for only $3.99. I could not have baked a better loaf of sourdough bread myself. So here's the recipe!

Linking to: #greenslove @ cake duchess
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Corner


Vegan Avocado-Tomato Toasts
inspired, and adapted from: WholeLiving.com

4 slices Rustic bread toasted
2 avocados peeled and sliced
1 ripe tomato cut into slices
(I used 2 slices, saved the rest for salad)
a handful of organic sprouts
(I used organic clover sprouts)
1 lime cut into wedges
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle

Top toasted bread with avocado slices, some sprouts
salt and pepper and squeeze with some lime, and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on it, lightly. Top with the tomato slice and some more salt and pepper, and drizzle some additional extra virgin olive oil on it, and top it with some extra sprouts. Have some extra slices, or wedges of lime!
This is a very satisfying sandwich, high in high in calories, carbs, protein, low in cholesterol, and and you get the "good" fats; also, I did the math with my WW calculator, and it came to a high point: 12

note: not to worry for the high point of a single slice of a very healthy and delicious sandwich, it is very filling, highly satisfying, and is a well accepted Weight Watchers choice,  from my vegan choice addition!

...and now, click over to some more interesting facts, and #greenslove photos...and for the winner of the LENOX candy dish giveaway!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian-Vegan Black Bean Chili

As I mentioned to you in the near past, that we have vegetarian, and vegan meals at least 3, 4 times a week, seafood once a week, and the weekend is pretty "iffy"...never knowing what we're going to eat. That's where I get in trouble with my WW points system, even though I'm allowed extra points, every weekend I gain back at least 2 or 3 pounds; then, start again on Monday, and it takes an entire week to lose those extra pounds, and struggling to lose another pound or two. So, this is the "lifestyle". As long as I'm on track and know what's taking place, I'm more conscious of it!
This dish is the ultimate vegetarian...vegan, if you don't top the chili with the Lebni (kefir/yogurt)...but I must confess that Lebni is so creamy, tangy, thick, and the perfect topping to tame the hot and spicy flavor of this gorgeous chili topped baked sweet potato! I don't claim to be a recipe developer, or a food stylist, but then, I am a professionally trained chef, for decades now... which I never talk about, but I do mention it on the bottom of my  "about me" section. I guarantee, that you haven't seen a chili assembled like this, but there are plenty of sweet potato chili recipes out there. This way, you have the best of both...baked sweet potato, cooked black beans, and separately cooked spicy vegetables, all assembled...with LOVE!
I totally went off the original subject that I want to post about...oh yes! The Red Gold Tomato Giveaway winner!
As you can see these beautiful spicy vegetables that are still simmering, and steaming (you could actually see the steam)...they are made with the Red Gold Tomato Diced Tomato Chili Ready tomatoes.

Here's the tricky part. I did calculate the winner on my handy little Random.Org widget, and wouldn't you know who came up as #14 winner? Wendy @ The Weekend Gourmet. She specifically asked me not to include her, since she also hosted a giveaway last year, and this year, she had the opportunity to visit the Red Gold Tomato plant in person...you can read about her fabulous trip on her blog!

Next, the generator picked my Hungarian food blogger friend, Erzsi @ Troll a Konnyhamban...so sorry, but only U.S. and Canada are eligible....that was # 7...so now, I didn't want to spin the numbers again, that's how I went to the next number, which is # 8...Claudia @ What's Cookin' Italian Style!

Congratulations, Claudia...I will get in touch with you by e-mail...to get your address, so I can send it to Red Gold, and they will ship your giveaway package to you, directly!

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
                Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Corner


Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian-Vegan Black Bean Chili
my own recipe

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-14 1/2 to 16 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
(I used Red Gold diced tomatoes, Chili Ready)
1 15- to 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed, and drained
( I made a large pot of black dried beans, the day before, and used 2 cups of it, rinsed and drained)
3 small yellow crookneck squash diced 
1 Tablespoon minced seeded if you like, jalapeno chili
4 lime wedges

Plain nonfat, Lebni, our sour cream (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork, and wrap them separately in foil paper. Place sweet potatoes in baking dish and bake until tender, about 1 hr. 15 minutes.




Note: the day before, make a large batch of dried black beans, and refrigerate in large plastic container, to make at least 3 different meals out of it, or just season it to make a side dish chili, or black bean soup. This is optional, you can use a good quality canned beans for this recipe, as well!


Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add diced bell pepper and shopped onions and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir mixture 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder and ground cumin, then the diced yellow squash. tomatoes.Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of water if it's needed.
Add diced tomatoes with their juices, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes...not longer, to keep the diced pieces whole.





Heat the black beans separately in a small saucepan. You can add an extra can of beans, or the fresh cooked beans to make sure you have enough. Important: in order to spice up the beans, take a small portion from the spicy veggies, and stir them into the beans.


Arrange 1 sweet potato on each of 4 plates. Split potatoes open; mash slightly. Spoon some black beans in center of each. top with the spicy vegetables, and squeeze lime juice over.


Top with Lebni, Greek yogurt, or sour cream (optional)
 














This is an amazing healthy, colorful, and filling dish.
I figured out the WW points value, which is 7 points.
Even if you're not a vegetarian, you will love this!
Enjoy!












Pin It

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chick- Peas in Chunky Tomato Sauce...and Red Gold Giveaway

I'm truly happy to announce to you, that I have the most amazing 100 % all natural tomatoes to have had the privilege of trying, almost exactly one year ago, when I won the beautiful giveaway pack, from my friend Wendy, @ Weekend Gourmet.

I did not even know that our local Publix Supermarket in West Palm Beach carries the Red Gold tomatoes, when I suddenly discovered it, yesterday! More importantly, I got my "six pack" ...no, I don't mean a six pack "abs"...not even nearly, or my six pack of "beer"...although beer would go nice with my Chick- Peas in Chunky Tomato Sauce, made with the Red Gold Tomatoes, that I received the "six pack" of different 6 type of their wonderful tomatoes.
I must tell you, that this is a truly Vegan dish, made with dried chickpeas (garbanzo) that have been soaked, and slowly cooked till it became just the right crunchiness on the outside, and al-dente on the inside, and the tomato stew, slowly cooked with Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes, and combined with Red Gold Stewed Tomatoes, that looked and smelled absolutely fresh, ruby red, and "heavenly"! Served over Israeli Couscous, an you've got yourself a satisfying Vegan/Vegetarian dish, or a side dish with any type of meat, if you prefer it that way! The best part...I get to share these "six pack" of tomatoes with the winner of this giveaway!

 I think it's always helpful to learn about the nice people, behind their products, so I wanted to share this with you...read on!
about red gold
We are tomato people…people who grew up where tomatoes grow best - Tomato Country.
Red Gold began as a family business in 1942. Sixty-some years and three generations later, we still concentrate on growing tomatoes and using them to make over a hundred different products. Day in and day out, we pursue our mission, “To produce the freshest, best-tasting tomato products in the world.”
We harvest our well-tended fields at the moment when tomatoes are at their ripest, and carefully treat those tomatoes with the respect they deserve until they're tightly sealed and on their way to you.
You might be surprised how passionate we can be about tomatoes.
Learn more about Red Gold and our people

Now you can understand a little better...so let's get on with the recipe, and the giveaway. All you need to do is to follow my blog...if you haven't already...no facebook, foodbuzz, twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin, required to follow, since I'm the worst active blogger in all those. Can't even remember when I tweeted about something, but I will for sure tweet about RED GOLD Tomatoes!...and indeed, it's worth its weight in GOLD. Couldn't have come up with a better name for these amazing 100% natural tomatoes; and by now, all of you who know me from comments, know that I am sincere about my feeling of things, and this is one of them!
Cristy, at Red Gold contacted me by e-mail if I would like to participate in this giveaway, and you couldn't get me fast enough to say YES!

Please leave a comment, and mention what you would like to prepare with Red Gold Tomatoes...I will post all the six types that I received, and certainly there are a lot more products...this are just six, of the many!


Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes

Red Gold Diced Tomatoes Chili Ready







Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes, with Green Chilies

Red Gold Tomato Sauce









My favorites:
Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes

Red Gold Stewed Tomatoes








You've got till Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 @ 11:00PM Eastern Standard Time to enter, and I will announce the winner on Tuesday... just make sure you are following my blog...I will be sure to follow you back as well on your blog.
I will use Random generated number for the winner! Sorry, only U.S. and Canada are eligible for the giveaway!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oven Roasted Tomato Crostini...and with Rigatoni

When you have a beautiful loaf of homemade bread, and red ripe tomatoes, what could be better, than a "fresh bruschetta topped" or an Oven Roasted (fresh) Tomato Crostini? ...knowing that you have the best extra virgin olive oil, and chopped garlic, and have a batch of fresh basil, you're all set! You don't even need to waste electricity to roast them in your big oven. Your handy toaster oven will do the job for you!
This past week has not been a very successful one, as far as cooking, or baking from my Weight Watchers cookbook...simply, because of last weekend which was the NFL Super Bowl weekend! Missed my WW meeting, didn't keep track of my points, only knowing by now, how much points each item has, that I eat. For instance, one crostini with the roasted tomato topping is 5 points, which is not a lot, but having 2 of these, you're up to 10 points, granted it's very, delicious, and a satisfying snack, but I literally had this for lunch, which was OK. The worst part of the weekend, was, the Super Bowl Sunday, not because I ate too much...it's what I ate. BBQ ribs, twice baked potato, pasta with clams, and for dessert, a slice of Tiramisu! That means, the next following days, I gained back 2 lbs. so now, I'm 3 lbs away from my goal of the 10 lbs loss...sad, but true! Although I hit the gym again...just have to get back to my routine, and stay with the program.
"Kill two birds with one stone" Roasted Tomato Crostini, and Roasted Tomato Rigatoni


Oven Roasted Tomato Crostini
my own recipe

4 to 6 medium ripe tomatoes, or
6 to 8 ripe Roma tomatoes
halved, and cut into quarters
salt and pepper to taste
dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme
2 to 4Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
chopped garlic (optional)


(I didn't add the chopped garlic when roasting tomatoes, I added it to the crostini. You can add it when roasting tomatoes)





Line a small baking pan with aluminum foil, (dull side up)
Place your tomato pieces, and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and spices, and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil on them. Bake in a 375 F. degree oven, for about 45 minutes.

(I used a toaster oven, so simple, and less space used, easier clean-up, and saves electricity)


This is how they will look like after 45 minutes. Almost all of the oil soaked up, just the perfect texture, and incredible sweet flavor. Not using the garlic while you roast them gives them the true sweet flavor. Garlic tends to overpower them while roasting. Use garlic afterwards, if you like, according to taste!



All you do afterwards is, set the tomatoes in a dish with a rim, or in a small bowl, add a little more extra virgin olive oil, adjust seasoning. You can add fresh chopped herbs at this time, and a touch of balsamic vinegar if you like.











I also added some to cooked rigatoni pasta, with some of my leftover chickpeas, and shaved Parmigiana cheese!
It was the best topping for a simple, healthy and delicious pasta, I could think of at the moment:DDD
Points value for the pasta: 7 points


For the Crostini:

Chop  a few cloves of garlic, place them in a small ramekin, add about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil to it, and you have a nice garlic spread. Spread some of that lightly on a nice thin slice of crusty bread, spoon some of the roasted tomatoes on, and on a 350 F aluminum foil lined baking sheet, bake for about 10-12 minutes. Roll about 3 fresh basil leaves, and cut them into thin slices (chiffonade) ...scatter them on top, just before serving. You can also add shaved Parmigiana on the crostini, as well.
Do not add the basil when baking the crostini, or it will darken or burn!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hot-and Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Pico de Gallo...and Guest Post

Hot-and Spicy Chickpea Cakes with Pico de Gallo from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook



I am so honored to guest post for my dear friend Swathi, @Zesty South Indian Kitchen... who at this time, needs all the rest she can get. Glad to know she also has a few other blogger friends that will guest post for her, while she is recuperating. She needs a lot of "mommy and me" time at this very fragile first few months!

I am so thrilled to celebrate the birth of Swathi's little prince...Nikhil! A beautiful, and healthy baby boy! Such a perfect addition to the happy family, and a pride and joy to his big sister, Nidhi.
Swathi dear, I just want you to know, that I wish you and your precious baby all the best of health, and happiness. Congratulations to you, your hubby, and princess Nidhi!
May you, enjoy your new bundle of joy!


This dish is one of may favorite dishes to have for lunch, and for the Pico de Gallo, it's zero points so, healthy, spicy, colorful and delicious! I will be back to add more good news, but in the meantime...here's an easy way to cut the veggies perfect!

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday, @Miz Helen's Country Cottage




just click over to: Swathi's blog  to get the recipe!
 
Thank you Swathi, for giving me the opportunity to guest post for you, again!



Enhanced by Zemanta