Friday, April 16, 2010

Tomatoes, rediscovered

I love it when I find a new way to prepare a food that I already love. Pretty recently I did that with tomatoes. I love tomatoes and we almost always have them in the house. I like to buy them at Costco, that way I always have a lot and they don't get all mushy/moldy like the ones I buy at the grocery store, oh and they are usually a great price. Well, not too far back I picked up a cookbook at Hastings, in their bargain priced books area, a Healthy Heart cookbook put out by the American Medical Association. I liked that it had all the nutritional information and most of the recipes seemed to be easy and looked tasty. I've been trying to expand my collection of recipes that actually has calorie count/nutritional info in them for the sake of my attempt to be healthy.

Okay, so I paged through the book, dog-eared a few corners of recipes I wanted to try and have been incorporating them a few at a time in my weekly menu plans. One night I had the main dish cooking and wanted a fresh way to prepare some veggies, so I quick looked at the vegtable/side portion of the book. We usually eat salad around here, (again, romaine lettuce by the armful thanks to Costco) and my kids (and hubby) get tired of it, and this was one of those nights when I knew they needed something different. So, I found this recipe, had all the ingredients, so I threw it together and was amazed by how wonderful they tasted! It is my new favorite tomato recipe, hands down.

Parmesan Tomatoes

Serves 4

Olive Oil cooking spray
8 firm but ripe plum/roma tomatoes or beefsteak (about 1 1/2 lbs total weight)
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 large clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teastpoon chopped fresh basil, thyme or oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425. Ligthly coat a 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Remove a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato so it will stand upright. Slice the tops from the tomatoes and discard. Spoon out about 1 teaspoon of pulp from each tomato and place pulp in a bowl. Arrange the tomatoes upright in the prepared baking dish.
3. Add bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic (pressed), parsley, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper to pulp. Stir to combine. The mixture shoudl look like wet sand. If it is too wet, add a few more bread crumbs. If it is too dry, add a few drops of water.
4. Gently mound a heaping teaspoon of the topping into the cavity of each tomato.
5. Bake until the tomatoes are tender and the topping is lightly godlen, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Calories: (per serving) 59, Protein 3 g, Carb. 8 g (fiber 2g, sugars 4g) Total Fat 2 g

They work pretty well as leftovers, too, just store upright in the frig and then zap in the microwave for a minute and they are still yummy!

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