Creamy quinoa risotto stuffed baked tomatoes make a perfect vegetarian main course! This filling dish is sure to warm any heart.
- 1 small acorn squash seeds removed
- for the quinoa risotto:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups tap water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- for the baked tomatoes:
- 4-6 large tomatoes
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- olive oil to taste
Heat the oven to 450* and slice the acorn squash down the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then place the squash on a baking sheet or wrap in aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can be easily pricked with the tip of a knife or a fork. Set aside and let cool slightly. When the squash is cool enough to handle, mash the squash and reserve one cup. Any squash left over will freeze beautifully. (The squash can be roasted and mashed ahead of time)
for the quinoa risotto:
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and quinoa and stir until the garlic is very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cup of mashed squash, vegetable stock, heavy cream, and tap water and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, and cook, uncovered and stirring often, for at least 1 hour to 2 hours. The risotto is ready when most of the liquid cooks away and the grains are soft all the way through.
for the baked tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Cut a hole in the top of each tomato and, using a paring knife or a serrated spoon, dig a hole into the tomato, taking care not to pierce the bottom. Fill this cavity with the finished risotto, and top with a layer of panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the skin on the sides of the tomato has just started to split and the flesh is hot. If the breadcrumbs are not crispy enough, broil the tomatoes for a minute or two until the breadcrumbs have browned.
I love this simple grilled salad of peaches, tomato, and mozzarella as a side for barbecues- or when you just want to take advantage of perfect summer produce!
Grilling brings out an inherent sweetness in tomatoes, and it highlights the sugars in peaches. Rounding out the entire dish is creamy, milky mozzarella, drizzled with a zing of balsamic vinegar and garnished with chopped fresh herbs.
Here’s how good this grilled salad of peach, tomato, and mozzarella is:
I ate it standing at the counter in my kitchen, using only my fingers. It’s one of those, “Ok, one more bite – and then I’ll stop” kind of salads. But… I didn’t stop.
The combo practically sings together at the end of a fork; a grilled salad of caramelized tomato, sweet, perfumey peach, topped off with milky mozz and a splash of vinegar and I swear, it’s like your taste buds threw a party. A party with a smoky bbq, a radio of summer tunes playing in the corner, and friends standing around gripping sweaty glasses of cold drinks while the sun beats down.
In other words, summer.
Perfect, delicious summer. It’s the start of August and that makes me feel panicked that I only have one month-ish left of summer to enjoy!
So with that in mind, head to the farmer’s market for sun-ripened produce, fire up the bbq, and make this grilled salad. Your taste bud party will thank you.
Grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches and tomatoes, and the milky creaminess of mozzarella with a zing of balsamic vinegar brings it all together. Great salad for summer evenings on the grill!
- olive oil for brushing
- 1-2 ripe peaches pitted and sliced into rounds
- 1-2 heirloom tomatoes stem removed and sliced into rounds
- to taste large grain sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 oz fresh mozzarella torn or sliced into rounds
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or basil leaves torn
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Line a grill with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking oil.
Brush each slice of peach and tomato with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the slices on the aluminum foil, leaving a little space between each slice.
Grill for about one minute each side, until grill marks appear and the fruit has softened slightly.
Place the grilled slices on a plate and scatter with fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle with the oregano or basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.
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Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate in comfort food, and this recipe does not disappoint!
Creamy, cheesy, delectable- this is not diet food, make no mistake. I sincerely hope you’re not making this super creamy homemade macaroni and cheese if you’re planning on having a bikini ready body soon!
But we can all afford a little indulgence here and there, right? Bonus, this is a perfect quick weeknight dish to make, and easy enough to throw together when you’ve got hungry little people clinging to your legs and whining for graham crackers.
I know this, because that is my life most nights at about 6pm, and this homemade mac and cheese rivals anything out of a blue box. It’s also a great way to use up some leftover cheese, if you have any laying around!
If you make a point to start boiling the noodles and then starting the sauce, there’s a good chance you’ll have everything ready at the same time. And since the sauce clocks in at just under 15 minutes, that means there’s only a quarter of an hour standing between you and the creamiest, dreamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese ever.
Want to sneak some healthy stuff in there? I’ll often toss my super creamy homemade macaroni and cheese with wilted spinach, or peas, or chopped asparagus. My picky toddler painstakingly removes every single shred of “green”, but at least I know I’ve done what I can to pretend she’ll willingly eat vegetables.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 2 cups whole or 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
- 8 ounces American cheese
- 4 cups cooked macaroni pasta (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked)
In a large bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour has turned a light brown, the color of milky coffee (about 3-5 minutes)
Slowly whisk in the milk, taking care to whisk clear any lumps that might appear. Add the salt and stir to combine.
Add the cheese in 2 to 3 batches, stirring well between each addition. The sauce is ready when all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, with no lumps.
Toss the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni pasta until coated. Serve warm.
This macaroni and cheese will keep stored in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to one week.
If you use 2% milk here, make sure you use American cheese or another cheese with a high milky fat content; you need that extra fat in there or the sauce will break.
**Please note that 4 cups of cooked macaroni and cheese is equal to about 2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta. To save time, I start boiling the pasta and then make the sauce; that way they will both finish around the same time. Make sure the pasta is well drained before stirring it into the sauce.
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