Tag Archives: tomatoes

Taco Salad

4 Dec
Taco salad.

Taco salad.

  • 6 to 8 crispy taco chips
  • 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 5 to 7 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small english cucumber, cubed
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • water

1. Heat a pot on high. Once hot, add in 1 tbsp of oil and onions. Cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

2. Add in garlic, beef and 1 to 2 tbsps of water. The water will help the beef to separate. Stir often.

3. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Just before the beef is finished cooking, add in half the lime juice.

5. Let the beef cool for a few minutes before adding to the top of the salad. If the beef is too hot, the salad vegetables may wilt and the cheese may melt.  TIP: Cook the beef in advance up to the day before. When ready to use, gently warm.

6. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. Season with a light sprinkle of sea salt.

7. To make the dressing, combine the dijon, the remaining lime juice and 2 to 3 tbsps of olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper.

8. Add the dressing to the vegetables. Toss well.

9. Top dressed salad with beef, then cheddar cheese.

10. Place the shells along the perimeter of the salad.

11. Finished.

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Homemade Pizza

27 Nov

Homemade pizza. Toppings are bacon, cremini mushrooms and kumato tomatoes.

The following makes two thin crust pizzas. The original recipe can be found in the book “Cooking: A Commonsense Guide”.

Dough

  • 1 sachet dry yeast (about 8 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water

Two pizza doughs. Roughly shaped into a rectangle.

1. In a small bowl add the yeast, sugar and salt to the warm water. Cover. Leave for ten minutes or until foamy.

2. In a large bowl, add flour and make a well.  Add the yeast mixture to the hole and gradually add flour to yeast mixture to form dough.

3. Place dough on a clean floured surface. Knead the dough for several minutes.

4. Split the dough into two halves. Roll each dough ball into approximately 1/4 inch thickness. (Flour your rolling device, be it a rolling pin, jar, glass tumbler, etc.)

5. On a lined baking sheet, brush 1 tbsp of oil to prevent dough from sticking and to help form a golden crust. Place pizza dough on tray and tuck in edges to form a crust. Repeat for other pizza dough.

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz crushed tomatos
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar

Pizza sauce.

1. In a pot, add onions and oil. Cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

2. Add in remaining ingredients. Simmer on low to medium heat until sauce thickens to a consistency similar to pizza sauce (about 15 to 20 minutes).

3. Spread half of the sauce onto each pizza dough.

Pizza dough with sauce.

Assembly:

1. Add a layer of cheese to the pizza and sauce. (I used a mixture of grated cheddar and mozzarella.)

2. Add the toppings of your choice (e.g. pepperoni, pineapple, feta cheese, olives, shrimp, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, ground beef, etc.). TIP: Do not overload pizza with toppings to allow for more even baking in the oven.

3. Top with a light layer of more cheese.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 415º oven or until cheese is melted, bubbling and golden brown.

5. Let cool at least 5 minutes before eating.

Pizza imediately before baking.

Pizza immediately after baking.

The second pizza, which has bacon, green peppers, onions and tomatoes as its toppings.

A special thank you to Andrew who made much of the pizzas.

Vegetable Soup

2 Oct

Vegetable soup.

Serves 4 to 6.

  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • water
  • a handful of noodles* (optional)

(Feel free to add other types of vegetables such as celery, flat leaf parsley, corn, potatoes*, etc. Vegetable soup is a good way of clearing the fridge of old or extra vegetables.)

1. Heat a large deep pot on high.

2. Add in oil and onions. When the onions are soft, add in the tomatoes.

3. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and begins to release its juices.

4. Add in the carrots, green peppers, garlic and seasoning (paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper). Mix well.

5. Add enough broth to cover all the vegetables, then add in an equal amount of water as broth.

6. Once the liquids come to a boil, turn down heat to a gentle simmer.

7. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

8. Then add in the noodles and cook until noodles are soft. The soup is now ready to be served.

*Since noodles and potatoes are starchy, by adding them to the soup, it will thicken the soup and you may wish to add a little more broth or water.

Prosciutto and Guacamole Sandwich

12 Jun

Two slices of sourdough bread with prosciutto and guacamole in between.

The following recipes makes four sandwiches.
  • 8 slices of bread, toasted (I used sourdough)
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into rough cubes
  • 1 medium tomato, roughly cut
  • juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

The ingredients in the guacamole are avocados, tomatoes and lime juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Add to a bowl the avocados and lime juice. Mash the avocados. Add in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. This is the guacamole that will go into the sandwich.

Slices of sourdough bread topped with prosciutto and avocados mixed with lime juice and tomatoes.

To assemble the sandwich, place two slices of prosciutto onto one slice of bread. Add a generous scope of the guacamole on top of the prosciutto and spread it around. Top with another slice of bread. Cut the sandwich in half and now you have made the first sandwich. Repeat three more times.

Greek Salad (Olives Optional)

5 Jun

Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions with a balsamic dressing topped with feta.

  • 4 to 6 tomatoes depending on the size, cut into bite-size pieces
  • one bell pepper, sliced
  • half an onion, thinly sliced
  • one english cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup of feta, roughly crumbled
  • balsamic vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • dried oregano
  • olives (optional)

In a large salad bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, onions and bell peppers.  Splash a generous amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle a light layer of salt and oregano over the vegetables. Mix well. Top with feta. Feel free to include olives. I just don’t like olives but wish I did! The salad is now finished.

Diced Tomato Cucumber Salad

30 Nov

A refreshing diced tomato cucumber salad.

  • 6 small delicious tomatoes, finely diced (use good quality, fresh, vibrant tomatoes since they are one of the main ingredients of the salad; the tomatoes pictured above are kumato (brown) tomatoes from Canada).
  • 1 english cucumber,  diced into a similar size as the tomato
  • juice of one lime, roll the lime before cutting in order to release more of lime’s juice
  • a generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Kumato variety tomatoes, english cucumber, lime and olive oil.

Combine together all the above ingredients and serve immediately. I like to use this salad more as a topping rather than a side to a main course.  For example, as a cool, refreshing veggie garnish on tacos or on top of some warm fluffy plain brown rice.  This is also an ideal salad to serve during the holidays because of the red and green colour combination.

Crunchy beef tacos garnished with a plain yogurt and a homemade diced tomato english salad.