Posts Tagged 'tomato'

Tomato Vegetable Soup with Wheat Berries

Sunday was pretty much the best non-racing race day ever.  There was a practice race on the Dipsea trail up in Marin county, and Mike talked my dad into running it with him.  The trail is only 6.8 miles long, but it climbs over 1600 feet total, and involves a whole bunch of stairs.


After they took off I spent about 20 minutes exclaiming to my mom about how beautiful Mill Valley is, and that if I win the lottery the very first thing I’m doing is buying a house there.

Then we went and found a snack.


This was at Mill Valley Beerworks, and I plan on going back as soon as possible for dinner and beer.  After a scone and tea, we drove over to Stinson Beach to wait for the finish.   It was completely gorgeous, and reminded me it’s been way too long since we spent time at the beach.


It’s topped 90 degrees the last few days, but I couldn’t not share this soup we had for dinner on Friday.  It was one of those typical “I have no idea what to make for dinner but it’s already 3 so I better figure something out NOW” afternoons when I came across this post, and it was just as good as I was anticipating.


I used wheat berries instead of barley, because I some already cooked and sitting in the fridge, and I gave the bowl a generous sprinkling of fresh basil.  I don’t care how hot it is, I’ll be making this soup again soon!


(adapted from In Praise of Leftovers)


Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Salad

I think this will be my go-to potluck dish for every one that I’m ever invited to for the rest of my life. Here’s why:
1. You only need need 5 things to make it (beans, a lemon, tomatoes, almonds, and feta)
2. It can sit out for awhile and the flavor only improves
3. It’s unique – so much more interesting than potato salad (and healthier too)

I was initially doubtful when I looked at the recipe because I’m completely lame when it comes to combining new flavors. Since I’d never seen this combination before, I just didn’t know what to think. I’m so glad I tried it though. It was amazing on its own last night for dinner, and just as good today for lunch, tossed with fresh spinach.

The best thing about this salad is the roasted tomatoes. I love that it’s tomato season and I wish it could last forever. As tempting as they are plain…

tossing them with oil, a little sugar, and a pinch of salt and baking them for about 40 minutes elevates them to a whole new level of buttery sweetness.

I am slowly starting to love having time to do domestic things like roast tomatoes in the middle of the afternoon and make breakfast for Mike in the morning.

Fried eggs + avocado + hot sauce on toasted wheat bread.

I even packed his lunch.

We were joking last night about how I’m turning into a housewife. I don’t think I could ever actually be a full-time housewife but it’s kind of fun for right now. I’m hoping that the online course I’m taking for professional development helps prevent my brain from atrophying.

(adapted from Super Natural Every Day)

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2-4 tbsp olive oil (eyeball it – a good drizzle is fine!)
pinch salt
2 tsp sugar
3-4 cups black beans (2 cans, rinsed and drained)
crumbled feta (about a handful)
toasted sliced almonds (about a handful)
juice and zest of one lemon
fresh spinach (optional)

First roast the tomatoes: Toss the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and oil together and bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 F for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a medium bowl, toss beans, feta, toasted almonds, lemon juice and zest, and cooled tomatoes together and adjust ingredients to taste. Toss with spinach if desired.

Curried Omelet with Garlic Chives and Tomato

Omelets are not just for breakfast. Really. I mean, neither are pancakes (which I will happily consume at any hour of any day) or cereal, but this omelet in particular just screams DINNER.

I’ve been busy in the kitchen lately, but the blog has been a little neglected. Oops. It’s not that I haven’t been making good stuff, I just feel like my 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep are non-negotiable, and when the alarm goes off at 5 AM every morning I MUST go to the gym, so if 9 PM rolls around and blogging isn’t done, well too bad. It’s great to be back to teaching after a 2 week break but it’s KIND of draining after basically lounging on the couch for days on end.

I made a VERY important find this weekend. Although I gave up meat on November 1, 2009, I never really called myself a true vegetarian, because I still ate fish sauce (I’m addicted to Thai food and I just couldn’t, or I guess I should say wouldn’t give it up). BUT, thanks to a random Asian grocery store in San Francisco, I am now a REAL vegetarian because I got my hands on a bottle of vegetarian fish sauce!

Here’s one of my lame excuses for not blogging much this week: Baby shower cupcakes for a co-worker took up my whole evening

And I’ve been making an entire separate lunch instead of just taking left overs, because apparently Mike and I are eating far more than ever before and we never have anything left after dinner. I don’t really know what’s going on there, but I DO know this bent-box type concoction was awesome.

Brown rice, steamed broccoli, nori, liquid aminos, sesame seeds, pan-fried tempeh, and avocado. This will be a staple for sure.

So with random stuff going on, the best thing about this meal is that it’s pretty quick. You want to get everything prepared before you start cooking because it moves so fast, but that’s not hard, it just takes some chopping.

Whisk together eggs, curry powder, and coconut milk.

Cook the filling.

And make an omelet. I think this is only the third omelet I’ve ever made in my life, but it’s amazing how easy it is if the pan is hot and has plenty of oil in it!

Note: Garlic chives are MUCH bigger than regular chives and are flat, kind of like giant blades of grass. They can be found at Asian grocery stores, and regular chives are NOT a substitute. Seek them out, it’s worth it! They’re also great in stir fry.

(adapted from Asian Vegetables by Sara Deseran)

makes 2 omelets

4 eggs
2 tbsp coconut milk (light is fine)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch tsp salt

1 tbsp canola oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped garlic chives
1-2 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce
1/4 tsp sugar

Whisk the eggs, coconut milk, curry powder, and salt together in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a wide skillet and and add the garlic and shallot. Saute for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato, chives, fish sauce, and sugar. Cook for about a minute more, then taste and add more sugar or fish sauce if needed. Remove from heat and wipe out the pan.

Return the pan to the heat and add about 1 tsp of oil. Swirl the pan so the oil coats the bottom. When it’s hot, add half the egg mixture but don’t stir! Let it sit until the edges are cooked and the center is just a tiny bit runny. Add half the chive mixture to one half of the omelet, then fold the other half over. Cook for about 2 minutes then transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining egg and filling.

My Favorite (spicy) Chopped Salad

This is one of those “throw whatever’s left in the fridge together and hope it’s edible” meals that I’ve been making pretty much weekly for at least a year. It never seemed like enough of a recipe to put on the blog, but since it’s reasonably healthy and is one of my favorite things, I guess now is a decent time to share it. And also I’m still not to the point where I’m okay with just blatantly talking about my life… I feel like I need to give you a recipe even though what I really want to tell you about is running 25 miles on the Leif Erickson trail.

At a little over 11 miles long, I had to do some sections of the trail a couple times to total 25 miles. Mike and I started out with my dad, who ran the first 6 with us then turned back and came to meet us later.

The weather was cold and cloudy but it never rained on us and we actually got to see the sun a couple times!

I LOVE this trail. And I’m feeling a lot more confident about my 50K (in 3 weeks. Dear lord.) now that I’ve done a 25 mile training run. I know the terrain will be a whole lot harder, but this was definitely a mental boost.

Sunday morning, sadly, we were back on the road to California. The drive was pretty uneventful…just endless cold pizza and energy drinks, and a really pretty stop at a Scenic View Point. I never stop at those, but the valley was just so pretty I had to.

And that is the last snow I hope to see for a really long time.

After the drive all I wanted was vegetables and lots of them. So I chopped up pretty much everything that was in the fridge, made my favorite simple dressing, and devoured it before collapsing into bed (WHY is driving so tiring?!)

This dressing is pretty spicy, but you can scale down the chili garlic sauce. You can also use just about any vegetable you want, but I’m listing my most frequently used mix.


4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (look near sambal oelek and sriracha in the Asian section)
2 tbsp warm water

1 heart of romaine, thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 small carrots, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 tbsp chopped green onion
3 Persian cucumbers (or 1/2 an English cucumber), seeded and diced

Whisk the dressing ingredients until smooth.
Toss with the vegetables.


Sometimes I find it kind of shocking how clueless I was when I started this blog back in the summer of 2008. I put up crappy pictures (and sometimes no pictures at all) with maybe a sentence (or two if I was feeling particularly inspired) along the lines of “I really enjoyed this because of the succulent roasted beets and I’m sure you will too!”

No wonder I didn’t have many readers.

Well buried in the not-so-pretty archives of this very blog are some pretty good recipes that deserve more attention and a better post than they initially had, so I’m planning on periodically revisiting the best of them, and sprucing them up a little bit.

I knew my fattoush could use a little work, so I looked at a few rcipes for inspiration, played around with how I used to make it, and came up with this. Sumac has become such a favorite spice in our house that we have a quart-sized jar full of it, and our friends introduced us to the BEST pita ever (Mediterranean brand Plain Brick Oven Pita Bread…definitely worth searching for), so I’m ready to make this salad any time I feel like it, which is becoming pretty often.


1 large pita, cut into 1.5″ squares
1 head romaine
2-3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), diced
3 tbsp sliced green onions
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sumac

Preheat the oven to 425 and arrange the pita squares on a baking sheet. Toast for 5-10 minutes, or until golden.

Slice the romaine crosswise and wash with a salad spinner. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, and mint. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac. Pour the desired amount over the vegetables (you may not need all of it) and toss well. Top with the pita pieces just before serving.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

After baking 50 cupcakes for a summer school event, then following that up with cake, frosting, and fondant this weekend, I was ready for a good, healthy meal.

My favorite weeknight dinners are always the ones that just require a single bowl and fork or spoon. This one is awesome because it’s full of protein, and it gets a nice kick from the salsa verde. I don’t know why I don’t keep tomatillos around the house more often because they make the BEST salsa!


4 medium tomatillos, papery husks removed, halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
2 chopped serrano chiles (or less if you’re not into spicy food)
1/4 cup water

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
juice of one lime
2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
1 avocado, diced
chopped cilantro, for garnish

First, make the salsa. Put the garlic and tomatillos under the broiler until softened slightly and browned in places. Transfer to a blender and add the cilantro, salt, chiles, and water. Blend until nearly smooth. Set aside.

Bring the water to a boil in a covered pan. Add the quinoa, stir, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes, then add the lime juice and fluff with a fork. Let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled quinoa with the black beans, tomato, and avocado. Stir in about half the salsa, taste, and add more if desired. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro, and pass the remaining salsa on the side.

Perfect Summer Pizza

I think I was in about 4th grade when a new gourmet pizza place opened in our neighborhood. I was kind of shocked when our family looked over the menu. Potatoes on pizza? Pizza with olive oil and garlic instead of red sauce? What were they thinking?

Fortunately my taste in pizza has changed a lot since I was ten. This is a ridiculously simple, red sauce-free pizza that makes the most of summer’s perfect tomatoes and basil. Now that we have a basil plant thriving on our porch and beautiful heirloom tomatoes are cheap and plentiful at the farmers market, we’ve been eating this pizza at least once a week for the past month.

The crust comes from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and I’m not sure that I’ll ever make a different one. You need to plan at least a day in advance, as it’s best when it’s had at least 24 hours in the fridge (but I’ve also let it rest for as few as eight hours and it’s still pretty good). If you’ve got a stand mixer, it comes together in less than 10 minutes!

(adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook)

3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 freshly picked heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
8-10 thin slices mozzarella
3 tbsp fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

Dissolve the yeast in water and let stand 5 minutes. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the flour and salt. With the dough hook, mix on low for 2 minutes, medium for 2 minutes, then high for 2 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour. Divide into two equal balls and place on a plate, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ten hours. Remove from the fridge about 45 minutes before you plan to bake pizza.

Preheat a the oven (with a pizza stone if you have one) to 475 F. Sprinkle a cookie sheet or pizza peel generously with cornmeal. Carefully stretch the dough into a circle and place on the peel. Brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and sprinkle with half the garlic. Layer slices of tomato and mozzarella over that.

Slide the pizza carefully onto the pizza stone.Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with half the fresh basil. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings. Let pizza stand for about 5 minutes before cutting into slices


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