Recipe: A Little Less Guilt Tomato Pie – have a slice of heaven!

Tomato Pie

A friend passed me this recipe (thank you Shirley!) and it is OUTSTANDING! Substitutions were made it and it was a hit! Instead of using the full 3/4 cup of mayo, she made it with 1/2 plain yogurt and 1/2 mayo. I didn’t have any plain yogurt so I used about 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (non fat) and 1/4 cup Canola Oil Mayo. It still worked perfectly. For the cheese I used a little less than 1 cup of fresh mozzarella and the same amount of extra sharp cheddar. But you could mix any combination you like. Shirley used less cheese and it was unbelievably good!

I think it’s pretty important to squeeze the tomatoes out and pat dry with many, many paper towels. The only thing I didn’t use is Hot Sauce, and it’s only because I didn’t have any, I don’t think it needs it, but you be the judge!

The biggest thing is to use fresh tasty tomatoes, they make all the difference in the world! This is a beautiful dinner. Not light and healthy like you can eat every night, but great to have on occasion!

Notes: I used Pillsbury pie crust in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, that one never lets me down… I used 4 tomatoes (I originally had 4 cups chopped, it cooks down, so it was fine, but I have a deep dish pie plate, so that may be why?). For the mayo, you can substitute half Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt), experiment and try a little more each time. Next time I will use less cheese, don’t get me wrong, it was awesome like this, but…

RECIPE IS BELOW, but here is a recap:

Tomato Pie

First bake the pie crust. I poked it with a fork a few times to prevent it from bubbling up, some people put beans or other pie weights to hold it down… Once it’s out of the oven, sprinkle the chopped onion in the bottom.

Tomato Pie

Then add the chopped, squeezed, drained tomatoes, top with chopped basil, salt and pepper…

Tomato Pie

After you mix up the Mayo (or mayo/Greek yogurt) and cheese(s) together drop on top of the tomatoes…

Put it in the oven and wait (this is the hardest part of the entire recipe!)… ooooh, you won’t believe your tastebuds!

This recipe is from SimplyRecipes.com, you can click the link to go straight to their site to see the recipe, or scroll to bottom and click PRINT to print the recipe only.

Tomato Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes  /  Cook time: 55 minutes  /  Yield: Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 9-inch pie shell (see pie crust recipe for homemade version)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank’s Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the “cigar” crosswise in thin slices.

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden. If you are starting with a frozen crust, you’ll need to cook it a little longer. If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then line the crust with aluminum foil and pre-bake it for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

2 Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.

3 Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with chopped onion. Spread the chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.

4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Recipe: Summer Med Pasta Salad with Arugula!

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This, my friends, is an amazing summer cold salad, that can be a meal! It makes a perfect lunch or light dinner. It’s ready quick, and the only thing you turn the stove on for is to cook the pasta!

Ingredients

The ingredients… baby arugula to put on top (I try to put the same amount of arugula as I do pasta salad on my plate)… I used white wheat pasta, you can use any you like… Olive oil, Feta, and Dill are the stars of this show!

Olive Oil, Pepper & Dill

This isn’t really a salad where things can be measured, add lots of what you like, less of what you don’t, add anything you wish! I do maybe five times around the bowl with olive oil. It seems like a lot but you’re coating the pasta, and anything you add to it… it also becomes the “dressing” on your arugula… I would estimate between 1/4 – 1/3 cup? I sprinkle a good amount of dried dill (because I like it and it really makes this salad taste “fresh” not “dilly”!

Add tomatoes and banana pepper

Wash and dry a container of grape tomatoes, I lucked out, these were local, woohoo! Use the HOT TIP FOR CUTTING GRAPE TOMATOES QUICKLY! I also chopped up some banana pepper, it tastes super fresh in this salad… Let the tomatoes and peppers soak up the olive oil… it’s like spa day for them!

Cover cool tomatoes with hot pasta

Pick whatever pasta you like, cook it according to package directions and drain. Once drained put in bowl on top of tomatoes! Let them sit there a few minutes and soften the tomatoes!

Add feta

Then stir the pasta around and get it coated in that nice dilly oil… add 6oz. of Feta… YUM!

Stir to mix... Add OLIVES! I forgot!


Stir it around good!Dish up!

Not sure why I used this as a serving dish for myself, ha ha… I guess so I could show the ratio of pasta to arugula… but this is me, you eat it however you like! I put a few spoonfuls of pasta…

Top with Arugula - I use a lot!

Then top with at least as much arugula… baby arugula… ohhhh it’s so good!

Top with Arugula, I use a lot!

As you eat it, stir it around and the leaves will get coated in a little olive oil from the pasta. Oh boy, this sounds good… think I’m going to have to make it again!

ALSO!! ADD OLIVES! I forgot this time! I usually put olives and maybe a few tablespoons of olive juice!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Hot tip: Easiest Way to Cut Grape Tomatoes Quickly!

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I saw a video on this… and had long since forgotten about it. The other day I was making a fabulous cold med pasta salad, and the pasta was almost done, I had 3 minutes to wash and cut a package of grape tomatoes in half. Then I remembered “the trick”, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I thought I would give it a whirl, because in this recipe the hot pasta sits on top of the cool tomatoes which softens them a bit and makes them really nice. I made it with time to spare!

The trick… A SERRATED KNIFE and two lids to plastic containers. I wouldn’t even attempt this with a regular knife, none of mine would be even close to being sharp enough!

Step one:

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I could have done it even quicker if I would have used a larger lid, but in my haste, I found two this size, so it worked great!

Set the lid down on the counter, RIM SIDE UP. Fit as many tomatoes as possible, all in one layer.

Step Two:

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Now put the other lid on top of the tomatoes, RIM SIDE DOWN so it holds them all in nice and cozy…

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Now use your serrated knife, and while holding your hand flat and lightly pressing down on the tomatoes slice back and forth until the knife gets through all the tomatoes, this step takes no time at all! Good grief, who’s meaty hand is that??? Eeek.

 

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Tada! Repeat as many times as you need to! Woohoo! I remembered this FINALLY, and I certainly won’t forget it!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Farmer’s Market reminder!

 

A good idea for Meatless Monday!

A good idea for Meatless Monday!

Yum… Farmer’s Market Reminder today!! A lot of towns have a local farmer’s market one day during the week, this is your reminder not to forget about it! It’s your best source for the tastiest fruits and veggies! The Farmer’s Market in Charleston, SC is TODAY… so don’t forget!

There is nothing like fresh veggies that are local and are their peak of freshness! This was a fabulous dinner, peas (not sure which type these were), brown rice, sliced tomato, fresh radishes and corn on the cob. Ahhh, life is good! I used to cook the peas with a slice of bacon… now since it gets so much negative press, I just sauté onion in olive oil add the peas, add water, S&P and let them cook… I can’t even tell there is no bacon!

Enjoy your weekend – Catch you back here tomorrow!

The smell of Oak… Steakhouse that is!

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O A K   S T E A K   H O U S E
C H A R L E S T O N , S C

Have you been to Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC? I have not, but I can smell the wonderful aromas billowing out of the building. It makes me hungry! Ha ha… It’s definitely on our ever growing list of restaurants in Charleston to try! Have you been?

Oak Steakhouse is located on Broad Street. There are many wonderful galleries to check out on your way to dinner! Be sure to check them out!

Here’s a link to Oak’s menu… everything sounds fabulous!!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           Artist: Bruce Gomez!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:        Artist: Kevin Beers!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:    Alaska’s Coast in a kayak?

Omelet with feta, arugula and tomatoes!

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Owieee, I’m hooked on arugula right now. Ever since I heard on the Dr. Oz show how healthy arugula is for you, I tried it… I put it on sandwiches, on top of pasta, in omelets… baby arugula is the best (I buy Earthbound Farms brand). This omelet (or scrambled eggs if that’s easier) is quick and easy:

Omelet with Feta, Arugula and Tomatoes

2 eggs beaten

Baby Arugula

Tomato, chopped

Feta, crumbled

Can add anything your heart desires, onion, leftover chicken Italian sausage, more veggies…

Heat a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan (or more if using a regular pan). Add the eggs, then add the toppings, pepper… (feta has enough sodium, don’t need salt)

Can either make an omelet with it or scrambled eggs.

Oooooh, and this will keep you going for a while! You might want to have 1/2 banana for dessert… read on…

From the Dr. Oz website:

Everyone knows that leafy greens are good for you. And arugula is one of the better choices for health. It contains two cancer fighters called kaempferol and quercetin. Researchers have shown that diets containing arugula can reduce the risk of lung cancer. Arugula is great to use in a salad, or even mixed into hot pasta coming off the boil. You can also arrange it as a bed of tasty greens on which to put other cooked or raw foods. t’s beautiful and healthy.

Tip: Look for baby arugula.  The young leaves are sweet and nutty tasting. When the plant gets bigger, the leaves can have a slightly bitter taste.

Fresh fruits are an obvious healthy choice, but did you know that bananas contain cancer fighters? They are called catechins and delphinidin, and studies have shown diets rich in bananas and other fruits can reduce the risk of breast cancer. 

Tip:  Have half a banana a day with breakfast. It’s an easy way to sneak a cancer fighter into your diet, right at the start of each day.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:            Artist: Sam Robinson!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:        Charleston, SC Photo – A unique perspective…

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:    Artist: Julia Nichols!

My new sandwich “recipe”!

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I’ve come up with a few new sandwich ideas that are over the top good… I needed something different. Something healthy, but super duper tasty… My new thing here… BROCCOLI SPROUTS, I heard on Doctor Oz how they’re so good for you, throw them on all your sandwiches (well, PB&J? I think not) they’re scrumptious little buggers… Above… I have an open face sandwich.

1 slice 7 sprouted grains bread (freezer section) – toasted

Veggie Cream Cheese (Philadelphia Brand) – spread on the toast… YUM!

Hefty dose of broccoli sprouts on top of cream cheese

Cucumbers, thinly sliced on top… we LOVED this! Also tried it with 1/2 slice of Havarti cheese… GET OUTTA HERE!

This will become the new love of your life!

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When you feel an open faced sandwich just won’t cut it, here’s another version… sprouted 7 grain bread, veggie cream cheese, 4 thin slices of cucumber, slice of Havarti cheese, 4 more thin slices of cucumber, and a big handful of that oh so healthy arugula (or broccoli sprouts!), top with another slice of sprouted 7 grain bread toasted. Yipeeee!

DE-LISH!! Catch you back here tomorrow!

F L A S H B A C K !

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:           Artist: Jason Sacran!

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:        Happy thoughts to all!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:   Artist: Alexsander Titovits!