Tomato Grower’s “Green Thumb” Produces YUM!


Any good mom (and, boy, I had one) will tell you that without tomatoes, her menu simply wouldn’t work. Now, we all know about those sauces: the rich smells, the amazing tastes, etc. But what about the millions of other fantastic meals that you could be missing if you keep the tomato pigeon-holed in the “sauce” category? Yes, we all know about the endless salads, so sticking to those recipes would also be cheating.

Today, we discuss those moms who understood the concept that there’s nothing on earth like the sweet, homegrown tomatoes that they tend to in their very own gardens. Not only did they create a list of breakfast and lunch items, but their recipe boxes include dinner ideas, appetizers, and so much more than star the unforgettable tomato.

Tomato Grower’s “Green Thumb” Produces YUM!  Today, we discuss those moms who understood the concept that there’s nothing on earth like the sweet, homegrown tomatoes

What’s a great one to make for breakfast, brunch, or lunch? The Italian Garden Frittata, that’s what. First, gather these ingredients: 4 large eggs; 6 large egg whites; ½ cup grated Romano cheese; 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage; ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; 1 teaspoon olive oil; 1 small zucchini; 2 chopped green onions; and, yes, those amazing plum tomatoes, thinly sliced.

Easy to make, preheat the broiler, and in a bowl whisk the eggs, egg whites, ¼ cup of the cheese, the sage, salt, and pepper until well-blended. In a 10-inch skillet coated with cooking spray, heat the oil over medium/high heat and add in the zucchini and green onions; cook and stir this delicious concoction for 2 minutes. Before pouring in that hearty egg mixture, reduce your heat to medium/low. Add everything together in your skillet, cover, and cook 4 to 7 minutes. Uncover the dish and top with those luscious tomatoes and the rest of the cheese. Broil 3-4 in. From heat for 2-3 minutes (or until eggs are completely set). Cut into wedges, call everyone to the table, and enjoy this genuinely perfect meal!

Ring the dinner bell! Okay, we all love that comfort food of spaghetti and meatballs, but what about taking that one giant leap forward and making a Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole? You not only get a new taste, but it is incredibly healthy.

Gather together 1 medium spaghetti squash; ½ teaspoon salt, divided; ½ teaspoon fennel seed;

¼ teaspoon ground coriander; ¼ teaspoon dried basil; ¼ teaspoon dried oregano; 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean); 2 teaspoons olive oil; 1 medium onion, chopped; 1 garlic clove, minced; 2 cups chopped collard greens; 1 cup chopped fresh spinach; 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese; 2 plum tomatoes, chopped; 1 cup pasta sauce and 1 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese.

Simply cut the squash lengthwise in half and place them on a microwave-safe plate, cut side down with seeds removed, and microwave, uncovered, on high until tender, then let them cool slightly—Preheat oven to 350°. Mix ¼ teaspoon salt with remaining seasonings and add to beef, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1½ in. Balls. In a large skillet, brown those meatballs over medium heat and then remove from pan. In that same pan, heat oil over medium heat; sauté the onion until tender and add the garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in collard greens, spinach, ricotta cheese, and the remaining salt, and then remove from heat. Using a fork, separate strands of spaghetti squash and stir into greens mixture. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. Baking dish. Top with tomatoes, meatballs, sauce, and cheese. Bake, uncovered until meatballs are cooked through (30-35 minutes).

What’s the most difficult part of these tomato dishes? Waiting to grab that fork and enjoy the amazing amount of YUM that comes from Mom’s green thumb!

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