Tag Archives: Italian Seasoning

Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

 

When in need of an extra vegetable that can sub as a main meal for the vegetarian coming to your party, reference back to this recipe.  I made these for Christmas and was in no way missing out during dinner.

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 8-10 medium tomatoes
  • 1 box couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 cup 2 different kinds of mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 package mozzarella cheese

 

Wash the tomatoes then start by cutting the tomatoes in half and spooning the center out into a bowl.  I used a melon baller, which worked perfectly for this task. Set aside for later.

 

Next, fry the onions, mushrooms and garlic together with a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan.  Cook until the mushroom turn dark brown in color and the onions become translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Everything should smell of garlic.

Toss in your greens and spices (spinach, basil, pepper, cayenne, Italian seasoning) next then cook until the basil shrinks, about 2-4 minutes.

 

While your vegetables are cooking you can start the couscous. Cook according to the directions replacing the water with vegetable broth.  When the couscous is almost complete, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes until thoroughly heated (I used canned sun-dried tomatoes that were already softened).  When I made this I used two boxes of couscous because I doubled up on the amount of tomatoes, but this is not necessary.  One box was plenty and the condensed vegetable medley would have provided more flavors.

 

Next mix together your vegetables, couscous and tomato pulp in a mixing bowl.

 

Stuff the couscous blend into the tomato halves and place on a roasting pan.

 

Top each tomato shell with a healthy amount of cheese. Here you can experiment using parmesan, mozzarella, white cheddar or even fresh mozzarella slices. Another tasty option would be to mix parmesan inside the couscous mix and top with mozzarella.

 

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

 

To brown the top, broil for 3-5 minutes.

 

This was an excellent main course for Christmas for the vegetarian in our small group (me).  My uncle stated that when he spooned in a piece of basil with his grains it made a huge difference in adding much-needed flavor to the boring couscous.  The tomatoes mush, somewhat, when cooked allowing your fork to slice right through scooping up bits of grains, cheese, vegetables and tomato. 

 

I took both the left over couscous medley, tasty just on its own, and whole tomatoes to lunch for the next week. Two was more than enough to keep me going until dinner. The couscous, similar to when you cook it, puffs up in your stomach keeping you full for quite a while with a healthy carbohydrate. To make this gluten-free simply substitute in quinoa for the couscous.

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BCT & Onion Balsamic Pasta Salad

The combination of black beans, corn and tomatoes is one of my all time favorites.  What better way to make the combination filling than creating a cold pasta salad?  So, I attempted just that, and, man, was it delicious. From now on I will call this combo BCT.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked Farfale pasta
  • 1 can Southwestern black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Balsamic, for dressing
  • Olive Oil, for dressing
  • Parmesan, for garnish

 Start by cooking your pasta al dente.  While this is cooking, rinse off and drain the beans, corn and tomatoes. I usually start with the beans (which sit in a thick, repulsive liquid) and once these are rinsed thoroughly in the strainer, I top them off with the corn and tomatoes for a second quick rinse.

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Combine the pasta, BCT and onions in a bowl, tossing until each ingredient  is evenly distributed.  Sprinkle in the spices: allspice, black pepper, Italian seasoning, curry, chili, red pepper flakes. 

When you’re ready to serve the dish, toss each bowl with a tsp. of olive oil and a Tbsp. of balsamic vinaigrette. I’d wait to put these dressing fixings in until you are ready to eat as the pasta will dye brown. Top with a scattering of parmesan cheese and enjoy. Best served cold.

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The filling nature of the pasta, corn and black beans will have your stomach full and happy for hours.  The balsamic, curry and allspice give the salad a sweet tang to pair with the tomatoes acidic nature and tart flavor.  The beans balance this out and onions.  The pepper and red pepper flakes bring in a hint of spice which I found really brought the meal to a completion. It turned into a sweet spice, like apple cider or, as Rosette suggested, orange chicken.  The parmesan cheese helped to absorb the olive oil and balsamic and added a different texture opposing the slimy feel of the noodles, tomatoes and beans.

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Roasted Tomato and Onion Potatoes

Our first night in Phoenix, we decided that, despite not having their fire pit and built-in grill complete yet, we would cook burgers and roast vegetables (mostly for my sake) in the oven and on the stove.

Buy:

1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 onion
Several garlic cloves
3 red potatoes
1 jalapeno
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil

This recipe is quite simple and the roasting vegetables topped in Italian seasoning will have your house smelling like a gourmet restaurant.

Start by cutting up your potatoes in bite sized pieces after washing them.
I chose to cook these first, as they take a little bit longer than the rest of the vegetables.  You can throw in the sliced onions now, or with the tomatoes depending on the texture you prefer.image  In a roasting pan, place your chopped potatoes (and onions if you are using them now) drizzle on a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning, a garlic clove or two, half a tablespoon of chili powder and place the pats of butter sparingly on top of everything.
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Heat in the broiler for 15 minutes (longer or shorter depending on the size of your potato pieces).  When the potatoes are almost completely cooked through, add the whole tomatoes, onions (if you hadn’t used them already), coined jalapenos (I placed these off to the side since not everyone at the dinner table enjoyed the spice of a jalapeno and served them separate), drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil, half a tablespoon of chili powder, a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and a garlic clove or two and place back into the broiler.

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When the tomato skin starts splitting, the vegetables are done.
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Toss together in a bowl with salt and pepper.

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The roasted vegetables were a great addition to the burgers and corn my aunt made for dinner.

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They have a distinct taste from the Italian Seasoning, and the best part is it is all in one, so you aren’t buying 6 different spices you’ll only use once and spending a fortune.  A little salt takes the boring olive oil taste to a new level of satisfaction.  It was perfect for a side to the cookout-but-in menu and great as a whole vegetarian meal.  The kids were a little scared of the Italian Seasoning, but my uncle thought they were so good he finished off the remaining batch.

 

 

 

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