7 Ways to Enjoy Fresh Summer Tomatoes (#3 May Surprise You!)

heirloom tomatoes
iStock/tvirbickis

Is there anything more deliciously evocative of summer than the rich flavor of heirloom tomatoes? When those first summer tomatoes come into the farmer’s market (or, if you’re lucky, right off the garden vine), it can be tough to think of any way you’d enjoy them more than sliced with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

But as summer marches on, it’s fun to get a bit more creative with your summer tomatoes. Here are seven of our favorite recipes to inspire you!

Gazpacho recipe
iStock/OksanaKiian

1. Simple Summer Gazpacho

This cold Spanish soup is a great way to feature summer staples: not just summer tomatoes but cucumber and red bell pepper. The chilled soup is thickened, not with bread, as in traditional recipes, but rather with hemp seeds, lending texture and depth of flavor but keeping this gazpacho gluten-free.

Heirloom Tomato o Toast
Image: Karissa Bowers

2. Heirloom Tomato Toast

Put avocado toast on hold for the summer, and pave the way for fresh heirloom tomatoes instead. This tomato toast is even simpler than bruschetta, featuring just summer tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.

iStock/barol16

3. Tomato and Strawberry Salad

This salad pairs two summer ingredients you don’t see together all too often, but while strawberries and tomatoes may be rare bedfellows, both pair wonderfully with basil – and, as you’ll see, with one another.

Balsamic vinegar and a touch of baby arugula really send this salad over the top. Pick multicolored tomatoes and a mix of red and yellow strawberries for the most striking salad.

cherry tomato pizza
iStock/LauriPatterson

4. Grilled Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

No need to heat up the house for this pizza; just fire up the grill and soon you’ll be ready to devour this delicious combo of charred dough, cheese, and fresh tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe
Photo by Oliver Parini, reprinted with permission from “The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook”, The Countryman Press 2015

5. Heirloom Tomato Pie

This savory pie features a super simple combination of fresh tomatoes, fontina, mayonnaise, and basil. It’s the perfect way to use up extra tomatoes from your garden in a delicious vegetarian main.

Baked Eggs in Tomatoes
Image: Baked Tomatoes via Shutterstock

6. Baked Eggs in Tomatoes with Pesto

Picture this: a rich, summery tomato filled with an oozy, perfectly cooked egg. Add some homemade arugula pesto, and you’re ready to enjoy this dairy-free dish. Consider serving these tomatoes alongside grilled steak or vegetables, or simply on their own with lots of bread for mopping up all of the delicious juices.

corn salad
Image: Kate Gavlick

7. Baked Wild Salmon with a Zesty Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad

Tomato plays a supporting role in this recipe, alongside avocado, corn, and baked wild salmon. This dish is hearty and impressive enough for your next dinner party, but it’s super easy to prepare – especially when you have delicious seasonal ingredients to work with.

Related on Organic Authority
How It’s Made: MightyVine is Bringing Fresh, Local Tomatoes to Chicago 365 Days a Year
Scientists are Making Heirloom Tomatoes Taste Like Real Tomatoes Again
New Digital Series Explores Farm-to-Table Love (and Tomatoes)

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.



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How to Make (Vegan) Mexican Rice Better Than Your Favorite Restaurant

 

How To Make Mexican Rice

Learning how to make Mexican rice will benefit countless dinners to come. This vegan and gluten-free recipe uses wholesome ingredients to make this classic dish guilt-free.

Rice recipes can be tricky for a couple of reasons. The first and most challenging problem most home chefs run into is the liquid ratio. Too much liquid and you will end up with soggy rice. Too little liquid and your rice will be dry and burnt.

The second tricky part of making homemade rice is perfecting the texture. You can ensure perfectly fork tender and fluffy rice though by keeping an eye on it while it cooks. There have been many times where I walked away, assuming the rice would be fine but came back to find it burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Check your rice about five minutes before it’s supposed to be done. Use a fork to see if a grain of rice can be broken in half when pressing it against the side of the pot. If not, then keep cooking until the timer goes off.

While this Mexican rice recipe is more wholesome than the traditional variety, it’s just as delicious and tastes like it’s straight from your favorite restaurant. Add in frozen peas and carrots if you prefer your rice with a boost of veggies.

Don’t forget to serve this Mexican rice alongside homemade refried beans to complete your meal!

How To Make Mexican Rice

Vegan Mexican Rice Recipe

Vegan Mexican Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 28 ounces jarred whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white long grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add onion and sauté for about four to five minutes, until softened and translucent. Add tomatoes and sauté for three minutes.
  2. Scoop out the whole tomatoes and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth with a bit of texture remaining. Add puréed tomatoes back into the pot.
  3. Add rice, vegetable broth, and sea salt to the pot. Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove lid and turn off heat.
  4. Let rice sit for about five minutes. Fluff with a fork and then serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Related on Organic Authority
Vegan Enchiladas: So Good You’ll Come Back For Seconds (and Thirds)!
4 Vegetarian Mexican Recipes to Make Meatless Monday a Fiesta!
17 Rice Cooker Recipes (That Don’t Include Rice!)

Images via Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.



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Vegan Low Country Grits

Low Country Grits

 

Sidney Bensimon
Makes 4 Servings
For the vegetable-sausage mixture:
  • 1tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 to 8 scallions (white and light green parts), chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes or 2 large hothouse tomatoes, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 jar (8-ounce) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2cup thawed frozen corn
  • 1 large vegan sausage*, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1teaspoon ume plum vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the grits:
  • 4cups plain unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1cup old-fashioned grits
  • 2tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
For the vegetable-sausage mixture:
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, scallion whites, and jalapeño, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, artichoke hearts, corn, sausage, and 1 cup water and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and tamari. On low heat simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and parsley. There should be ample broth. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting to keep them warm.
For the grits:
  1. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the soy milk to a low boil. Add the butter, salt, and pepper, then stir in the grits.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir for 20 to 30 minutes, until creamy. If the grits look dry, stir in water—2 tablespoons at a time. Once creamy, stir in the nutritional yeast.
  3. Spoon the grits and vegetable sauté into bowls. Garnish with nutritional yeast and scallion greens.

Nutrition Per Serving

463 calories
14 g fat (2 g saturated)
64 g carbs
12 g sugar
9 g fiber
24 g protein

From Sweet Potato Soul by Jenné Claiborne. Copyright © 2018 by Jenné Claiborne. Reprinted by permission of Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.

*For Jenné’s vegan sausage recipe, click here or check out the creole sausage recipe in her book. If you’d rather buy the vegan sausage, we recommend Field Roast.

Keywords

eggplant, artichokes, jalapenos, zucchini, corn, old bay, creole, tamari, soy sauce, ume plum vinegar, soy milk, parsley, nutritional yeast, scallions, tomatoes, vegan sausage, grits, lunch, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free

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Braised Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers!

Is it ok to eat legumes and nightshades when you have a thyroid disease? I get this question often and have found there is a lot of confusion around the topic.

With our clients at Biodynamic Wellness, we’ve found that properly prepared legumes are a healthy addition to a thyroid-healing diet for most people.

Carbohydrates are important for the health of the adrenals and also for the liver in converting the thyroid hormone T4 to the active form T3. Of course, you don’t want to eat a super high carb diet, because that can have negative effects on the body, but around 100g of carbs spread throughout the day is a good amount for most people.

An ultra low-carb diet may be trendy right now, but if you have thyroid disease, this isn’t the best idea. Too few carbs can backfire and leave the adrenals fatigued or cause low thyroid conversion in the liver. This is why I’ve always used legumes in my recipes here on the blog and in my cookbook.

If you’ve been on a strict low-carb diet and aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, then I recommend talking to your practitioner about adding some properly prepared legumes, lentils, and possibly gluten-free grains back into your diet and see if that changes your symptoms.

What about nightshades?

If you struggle with arthritis or pain in the joints, then it’s best to avoid nightshades. Some common nightshades are eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. But, in our practice, we’ve found that if you don’t have these symptoms, then nightshades can be a healthy addition to a thyroid-healing diet.

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers!

Braised beans are an ultimate comfort food in the wintertime and I love that they make for great leftovers! I cook them on the stove, but I bet this recipe would also work well in the slow cooker.

Braised Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight* (you could also use white navy beans)
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas , soaked overnight*
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 24 ounce jar crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 head Lacinato kale, chopped (you could use chard if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. *Place the cannellini beans and chickpeas in a large bowl. Cover with water and add 2 pinches of baking soda. Let soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, drained and rinsed beans, rosemary and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before serving, bring a pot of water to boil and add the kale to the boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes and then drain. (This step removes the goitrogens which can inhibit the uptake of iodine in the thyroid. For a video explaining the benefits of this, check out my Instagram feed page and see my IG story titled “kale”)
  4. When the beans are tender, stir in the cooked kale, sea salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano and serve.

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