Tag Archives: tomatoes

Daily Dose of Lycopene.

Hey everyone…sorry I haven’t been updating lately. I do have some really great recipes to share. Today i’ll share with you a simple and delicious recipe that you will make over and over again. It is perfect for this time of the year as it features tomatoes! I have to thank Todd’s Dad for sharing this recipe with me. Todd’s Dad calls this a pasta salad…however it is not your typical pasta salad…it is better! You can enjoy this pasta dish at room temperature or warm…I prefer it at room temperature.

Bow-tie Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ounces bow-tie pasta
  • 1 package (4 ounces) goat cheese crumbles
  • Garnish: basil sprigs

Directions

-Combine the first 7 ingredients.  Cover; let stand 1 hour at room temperature.

-Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve tomato mixture over pasta; sprinkle with goat cheese. Garnish, if desired.

Click Here to read more about the health benefits of Tomatoes!

Tomatoes are perfect this time of the year.  I used to hate tomatoes when I was younger…thankfully I have grown to love them!

Do you like tomatoes?  What is your favorite tomato recipe?

Stay tuned, later this week I have a recipe to share with you that involves crab meat and avocado…which happens to be a perfect combination.

Another year older.

Today is my 23rd Birthday!  Nothing really special going on today…but tonight I am going out to dinner in Philadelphia with my family & Todd…which I am very excited for.

As I sat down to write this post I checked back on my old blog to see what I was doing this same day last year.  It’s kind of funny because I am doing the same types of things I did last year…such as running, making a green monster, making a type of avocado salad, fruit picking…the only difference is now I am not preparing to go to Europe!  Guess I haven’t really changed much over the year. haha.

Today I went Cherry Picking.  It was really hot and I had to keep moving this 8 foot ladder around to different trees so I could reach the cherries…it was quite tough but I got some cherries…

They’re actually really, really good too…nice and sweet!

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but last weekend I bought something really cool for myself.  I’m not usually one to buy a lot of things for myself, especially something this expensive.  Todd actually helped me out though as part of my birthday present.  I’ll save what I bought for another post!  Now on to some good eats…

Yesterday I made this delicious Avocado Salad…I’ve actually made it a few times this spring but I finally remembered to take a picture so I could share the recipe.  The recipe is actually Ina Garten’s (the Food Network: Barefoot Contessa)…she calls it a Guacamole Salad…but I prefer to call it an Avocado Salad.  Either way it’s really, really delicious, so try it out! I ❤ Avocados.

Serves 6 appetizer portions or 3-4 Entree Portions

Avocado Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced

Directions

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

**Note: I added a handful of chopped cilantro.  I also probably did not use quite as much Olive Oil as she suggests…I did not measure, I just estimated.  I have also made this recipe using grape tomatoes and other times using fresh jersey tomatoes…I think this salad comes out much better using the local tomatoes…so if you have a farmers market with fresh tomatoes…use them!

Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese.

Well, I certainly haven’t updated in a while!  Sorry about that.  This past Monday I finished my first year of graduate school so I was really busy writing papers and all of that.  It feels great to be finished and now I only have one more semester left.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it before on my blog, but I am a huge Philadelphia Flyers fan…have been for years.  I’m not sure if any of you have been following along with the NHL playoffs, but the flyers were I think the 5th team ever to force a game 7 after trailing in the series 3-0.  My sister and I decided to buy tickets for the game Wednesday night when the Flyers tied the series at 3.

We had a great time and I am so happy that we decided to go.  All of the fans were going crazy and my throat was killing by the end of the night.

Other than that, I went strawberry picking…probably my favorite thing to do this time of the year.  haha.  Fresh Jersey Strawberries don’t even compare to the strawberries you find at the food store.  They are so much juicier and sweeter.  I went with my sister and between the both of us we picked 20 pounds of strawberries!!!

Me with my case of strawberries

Christina with her case!

Yum.  We will definitely be eating every single one of them as well.  I bet they will be gone by the end of the weekend!

How could I forget??  My cousin Michael and his wife Kim had their first baby on Wednesday as well!!!  They had a little girl, Elizabeth Catherine Chait.  She is 7.5 lbs. and 20 3/4 inches.  She is a lucky little girl…Mike and Kim will make amazing parents!!! 🙂  My sister and I went to go visit them this week and I held her!  haha I was so scared since she is so tiny and delicate.

Mommy & Baby

The baby came a little earlier than they had anticipated…just by about a week.  Everything worked out great and both Kim and baby Elizabeth are very healthy!!! 🙂

I’ve been making some really great food lately too.  I will share a couple of recipes with you over the next few days.  Today I will share with you a recipe I actually got from my boyfriend’s brother.  He made this for us a couple of weeks ago and I loved it, so I decided to give it a shot myself.  He based his off of a recipe he found on Smitten Kitchen.

Fusilli with Baked Tomato Sauce with Spinach & Goat Cheese

This recipe is SO simple and delicious.  It is really quick and easy to make.  You will love it.  It has quickly become a favorite of mine.  Thanks for introducing this recipe to me Evan!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried fusilli (corkscrew) or farfalline (butterfly) pasta
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish/baking sheet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish/baking sheet.  Gather all of the tomatoes in the center so they are all touching.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a pan, sauté garlic and olive oil.  Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.
  • Combine the pasta, tomato mixture, and spinach.  Garnish with basil and sprinkle with Goat Cheese.

You really must try this recipe.  I love how something so simple can taste SO GOOD!  I am really disappointed that I do not have the pictures to share with you!!

Tomatoes coming out of the oven.

Tonight my family and some friends are coming over and my sister and I are making homemade pizza, salad, and strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.  We already made the sauce and the dough.  Everything looks delicious!  We are going to be watching Game 7 of the Flyers vs. Bruins.  It all comes down to this one game.  Who will move on to the next round of the playoffs and who will be hitting the golf course?  I have a lot of faith in the flyers…I really think they can win tonight.  Let’s Pray.

I love fish.

Tonight for dinner I decided to keep things nice and simple.  I pan-seared a fresh piece of Wild Caught Yellow Fin Tuna.   I served the tuna alongside spinach & grape tomatoes sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and white wine.

This was such a simple, healthy, and quick meal to make.  I absolutely love dinners like this. 

For the Tuna…

Preheat pan with olive oil  over medium-hight heat.  Lightly oil one side of Tuna with olive oil and season with you preferred seasoning.  I happen to LOVE the combination of pepper with tuna (even though I’m not a huge pepper fan).  I use Wegman’s Cracked Pepper blend which also has garlic, salt and maybe some other spices in it.  Place season-side down into preheated pan.  I then chose to cover my pan.  Season side of tuna that is now face up.  After a few minutes, flip tuna.  Continue to cook until your desired liking.  I usually like to cook my tuna almost all of the way through.   However, tuna dries out very quickly so you have to be careful!  In restaurants it is almost always served rather rare–which is why I don’t prefer to order tuna when I go out!

For the Spinach & Tomatoes…

In a pan, saute olive oil and garlic.  Add halved grape tomatoes to the pan along with a splash of white wine.  Season with salt and pepper.   Cook over medium-high heat to cook the alcohol out of the wine.  Add lots of spinach and allow to cook down.

And there you have it…an awesome meal in a flash!  I love fish so much…I really did miss it over my 30-day Challenge!  Now I just need some crab meat and I’ll be a happy camper. 

What is your favorite kind of fish?

I actually used to HATE fish.  Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that.  I don’t think I can pick a favorite…I think I might love all.