Archived entries for tomatoes

Brinner: Eggy Eyeball.

Its time for dinner, but you want breakfast. It happens. We can take care of this problem quick and easy.

Uova Di Pomodoro (Eggs Baked in Tomatoes)
From the Silver Spoon Cookbook

  • vine ripened tomatoes
  • same number of eggs
  • 1 tsp of olive oil for each tomato
  • dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.

Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with salt and lay upside down on a paper towel to allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Put 1 tsp of olive oil in each tomato and sprinkle the insides with a pinch of oregano and pepper.

Bake tomatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add egg to the center of each tomato. The eggs will sizzle in the hot oil.

Place the tomatoes back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

I sprinkled the tops with Parmesan cheese and dried dill. Don’t they look like little eggy eyeballs? Is that unappetizing?

I sided the tomatoes with the left over potatoes and broccoli from our Easter Dinner. Boom, 30 minutes later and its brinner time.

Death Proof Chili

While meat may be a treat for some, for others its just plain icky yuk gross. When making a more traditional tomato based chili, who needs meat when you’ve got all the beans and veggies and deliciousness to fill up the bowl. So all you cows and chicken out there can breath a sigh of relief cause you’ve earned another week on the farm. Today we’re directing our butcher knives the poblano pepper way. Watch out veggies, you’re about to get cooked.

Vegetarian Chili with TVP

  • 1 c. tvp
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/4 raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 c. corn, fresh if possible, but frozen will do
  • 1-2 oz of dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredient notes: Tvp or textured vegetable protein and nutritional yeast can be bought in the bulk dried foods section at your local health food store or at Whole Paycheck ahem, I mean our evil friend, the Walmart of green living, Whole Foods. I like to use Tvp in my chili because its cheap, easy to make and adds just a bit more texture and protein (especially good for vegans). The only problem with Tvp is, it doesn’t taste like anything, so we have to spice it up.
I use nutritional yeast as well as other spices to infuse some flavor into the tvp. Nutritional yeast , a staple for any vegan pantry, comes in handy for making a lot of dishes like vegan mac and cheese. If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can use salt, but the nutritional yeast also supplies a nice nutty flavor.

Rehydrate TVP with a ratio of 1 part hot/boiling water: 1 part tvp. In a bowl, mix dried tvp with nutritional yeast, chili powder and cumin. As we said above, adding spices to the tvp helps give flavor. Boil 1 cup water on stove top or in microwave. Pour boiling water into bowl and stir into tvp. Allow to sit for 15 – 30 minutes until tvp is hydrated.

Saute tvp. Mix hydrated tvp with chopped onion and diced jalapeno. Saute in 1 Tbs of olive oil until crispy. Add lime juice and continue to cook for another minute until lime juice is basically evaporated.

Roast poblano peppers on gas stove top or under broiler until skin is charred. Peel charred skin away and roughly chop into 1/2″ squares.

Add tomatoes and cook down
. Combine tvp mixture with cans of tomato, chopped poblano peppers and raisins in a soup pot, bring to a boil and lower to simmer until tomatoes cook down about 20 minutes.

Quickly roast corn. If you are using frozen corn, char quickly under broiler while chili is cooking. Place frozen corn on a baking sheet and broil until charred and crispy about 15 minutes. You can skip this step if you want, but the corn will be mushy. Corn on the cob can be quickly roasted over gas burner.

Season chili to finish. Once tomatoes have cooked down, add corn, chocolate and remaining spices. Season to taste. I also add a bit of pomegranate syrup if I feel like the chili needs a bit more sweet.

I like to garnish with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese and serve with corn bread. Fresh Jalapeno slices and cilantro make an excellent vegan garnish.

No animals where hurt during the making of this dish, except my dog who felt emotionally abused because I wouldn’t let her chomp on the corn bread. Oh well.

Roasted Tomatoes Part Two: Chili

So we were talking about all my tomatoes I brought home from my parents house. I roasted about 15 lbs (of the 60 lbs) into a marinara the day I got home to take care of the ones which were ready to spoil. There were so many tomatoes which needed attending to, I figured, while the marinara was roasting in one pot, I should try taking all the ingredients for chili and throwing them in another pot to roast. We could eat the chili that night for dinner and I could bring the left overs to work to eat for my lunches.

The main perk for this would be, I wouldn’t have to keep an eye on the pot and stir it to keep it from burning. Cooking in the oven low for a longer period of time keeps things from burning, and it can also accentuate the flavors. While this isn’t a great method for a quick meal after work, it does well for a day you are going to be around the house and have lots of other things to do (like baths and naps) then spend time laboring over the oven.

For my Roasted Chili I used:

  • 10 lbs of tomatoes remaining crushed tomatoes
  • three large onions slices
  • four cups of sliced pablano and red peppers I picked from my parents pepper patch (say that ten times fast).
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt and chili powder each
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole pepper corns
  • I also like to add cinnamon and nutmeg to my chili so I added about a teaspoon each

I love all this estimating. I never measure anything, but I realize, people need to know proportions. I mixed this all up using my hands and into the oven at 250 degrees for about three hours.

I had never made chili this way, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. It wsa about dinner time, when I pulled it out of the oven with the marinara. I felt like my roasted chili was too watery, probably because these tomatoes were more juicy then I had anticipated. I wanted to cook it down quickly, (because Ira and I wanted to eat!) so I put it on the stove top and brought it to a roiling boil to help it reduce.

On left, chili roasting in the oven and on right, chili reducing on the burner.

At this point I added:

  • one small can of tomato paste to help the mixture thicken
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (Mexican style)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins for fun flavor.

After letting it cook for about 10 minutes or so, I was satisfied with the meal and served it up. Ira and I sat down with our friend Eric to eat my first attempt at roasted chili. I asked them both, what they thought; if they felt the flavors were more complex then just cooking over the stove top. They both answered it was good, gave a critique and then almost hesitantly, Eric added, “yeah, I like it. It’s very tomatoey. I would usually think eating chili without beans is weird but, this tastes really good.” Ugh! Shit! I forgot to put the beans in. I ran into the kitchen to find the already opened can of black beans still hanging out on the counter. After dinner, I dumped the can in, mixed it around and my next bowl was full of beans. If I would have remembered to put the beans in before I cooked it down on the stove top, the beans would also have acted as a thickener. Oh well, sometimes you can’t remember everything.

One way or the other, my roasted vegetarian chili was really good and super easy. I thought I was a genius for coming up with this. But no, as with all my great ideas, it has been done before. I am still a genius in my own mind, if only I didn’t forget the beans!

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