Monday, June 25, 2012

Herb Topped Stuffed Tomatoes

Summer brings lots of tomatoes from our garden, and I love this recipe for using up all the tomatoes that build up in my refrigerator!  It's a super easy, tasty side dish for grilled chicken or fish.


1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. butter, divided
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
4 large tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

1.  In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp. butter until tender.  Melt remaining butter.  In a small bowl, combine the onion mixture, bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter.  Spoon 2 tbsp. onto each tomato half.

2.  Place on baking sheet.  Broil 8 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley.  Serve immediately.

* 2 halves = 143 calories, 7 g. fat, 246 mg. sodium, 19 g. carb, 3 g. fiber, 4 g. protein.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tangy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

 I found this great recipe for homemade BBQ sauce in the Simple and Delicious magazine this month.  It did sound simple and delicious, and I decided to give it a try!  We put it on some chicken and grilled it along with some pineapple and vegetables.  It came out great, but was pretty sweet, so next time I may increase the mustard. 

1 cup ketchup (I used Muir Glen organic -- no HFCS!)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Whisk together and use as a basting sauce for grilled meat.

Store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator!  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Capellini Pomodoro

My favorite light pasta dish to order at The Olive Garden is Capellini Pomodoro.  So I decided to see if I could create my own version at home.  I found the recipe on the Olive Garden website, and I changed it slightly to fit my taste.  I served it with a green salad and Olive Garden dressing that I bought at Sam's club.  I added 2 tbsp. of vinegar when I made it, but next time I think I will start with one and add more if it needs it.  I think you'll agree that this is an easy, zesty pasta dish!  Enjoy!


14 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
8 medium roma tomatoes, diced very small
11 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Black pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Meanwhile, saute diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, vinegar and pepper in a large skillet on low heat.  Drain pasta and toss in pan with tomato mixture.  Heat through and serve immediately.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Italian Sausage Bean Soup

This soup has become a favorite in our household because of it's mixture of flavors and comforting warmth.  It's pretty simple to make and is great the next day as leftovers.  The barley will continue to expand, so you may need to add more chicken broth when you reheat it.  I got this recipe from the Taste of Home website, and I modified it just a little.  I try to use organic and low sodium ingredients whenever possible.  

Italian Sausage Bean Soup

1 lb. Italian  pork sausage 
(or you can use regular sausage and add Italian seasoning)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 32 oz. boxes chicken broth
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. rosemary
4 cups chopped fresh kale

1.  In a large pot, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  
2.  Stir in broth, barley, tomatoes, barley, carrot, sage and rosemary.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
3.  Stir in beans and kale.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and kale is wilted.

1 1/2 cups = 339 calories, 9 g. fat, 23 mg. cholesterol,
 1100 mg. sodium, (less if you used low sodium broth) 48 g. carbohydrate, 11 g. fiber, 19 g. protein.