Meg Makes: Getting stuffed off garden's bounty
Tomatoes are quite easily my most favorite food. I prefer to eat them straight off the plant, still warm from the sun. However, my friend Erin Lippitz (who is famous for her cakes), makes a wonderful stuffed tomato that is perfect for garden season.
She said she makes this recipe and instantly thinks of summer, and has grown most of the ingredients in her garden.
It's based on a recipe from the Weight Watchers cookbook "Mix it Match it; 1000+ Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Combinations."
However, Erin uses quinoa, not couscous, because she eats gluten-free.
And rather than reserving the tops of the tomatoes and replacing them as you serve them, this version calls for mozzarella cheese to be heated under a broiler until it's bubbly.
If you prefer the original, swap the latter for feta and keep those tomato tops.
This recipe always makes more filling that she can use, Erin told me, so she eats the leftovers like a salad.
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
6 beefsteak tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 15-1/2-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cut tops off each tomato. With a spoon, carefully scoop out seeds and pulp, saving them for future use in a soup or sauce.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add zucchini, onion, bell pepper and dried basil. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about five minutes.
Add beans and tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in quinoa and salt.
Spoon about cup mixture into each tomato shell. Sprinkle tops with cheese and place under broiler for a minute or two until cheese is brown and bubbly.
Meg Dickinson is a local communications professional who spends many of her waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe for her consideration, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.