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Tomatoes from the garden or market are sweet, juicy, energetic red deliciousness this time of year.  My grandma Shirley recently received two large boxes, from her neighbor, with varieties of cherry, regular and heirloom.  I took on the challenge of incorporating as many as I could in last night’s dinner.  One dish will also include a zucchini I picked from our new neighborhood garden (yes, it was a thrilling moment for me pulling that green summer squash off the vine, until I was rudely awakened to the fact zucchini bushes have prickly thornlike things).

In the gardening industry tomatoes are considered a fruit, but in the culinary world (and declared by the Supreme Court I found out…. interesting) referred to as a vegetable.  Rich in flavor, lycopene and antioxidants this fresh fruit/vegetable is a winner for summer breakfast, lunch or dinner.

If your kitchen counter, fridge or garden are full of zucchini, tomatoes and corn, today’s recipes will help use your produce in new, healthy and extremely tasty ways!

5 FUN WAYS TO USE FRESH TOMATOES:

1)      Crustless Roasted Vegetable Quiche

2)      Tomato Basil Bruschetta

3)      Tomato, Zucchini & Chicken Flatbread

4)      Black Bean Mango Salsa

5)      Italian Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

Last night I made the flatbread and bruschetta (both have similar ingredients) and then brought back some oldies, but goodies from previous posts.  Have fun cooking up this season’s finest ingredients!

First up……

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

makes 16 pieces

  • 16 oz WHOLE WHEAT BAGUETTE or FRENCH BREAD
  • 4 cups RIPE CHERRY, REGULAR or HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, halved or chopped
  • 3 cloves GARLIC, peeled
  • 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 1 tbsp BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 2 tbsp BASIL, FRESH, chiffonade (sliced) or chopped

1. In a small skillet heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic (each chopped into 3 larger pieces) and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until garlic starts to brown and infuses the olive oil. Remove from heat.

2. While garlic oil cooks, place bread on a cooking sprayed rimmed baking sheet, spray tops of bread as well. Bake or broil in a 400 degree oven (flipping half way through) for about 5-6 minutes depending on method, just looking for golden brown, toasty bread.

3. Take garlic out of oil and discard. Toss tomatoes (I used a mixture of cherry and regular tomatoes) in warm oil and place in a large mixing bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and 2-3 Tbsp of fresh basil. Gently mix, and serve warm or cold even amounts (about ¼ cup) of tomato mixture on toasted breads (use a slotted spoon to top). Garnish with extra basil or fresh shredded parmesan cheese. Makes 16 brushetta. Serving size: one bruschetta, as an appetizer or snack.  Serve 2 or 3 per person as a side dish.

*Bruschetta topping is gluten and dairy free.  Top on toasted allergen free bread, corn tortilla chips or a salad with grilled chicken.

 so fresh!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (1 BRUSCHETTA): 90 calories, 2.5g fat, 16g carb, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 3g protein

Number two….

TOMATO, ZUCCHINI & CHICKEN FLATBREAD

serves 8 (makes 16 squares)

  • 4 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, (divided)
  • 1 lb WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH (store-bought or homemade*)
  • 8 oz CHICKEN BREAST, BONELESS, SKINLESS
  • 1 tsp GARLIC POWDER
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 2 slices YELLOW ONION, 1/8” thick, cut into quarters
  • 1 small ZUCCHINI W/SKIN, halved and sliced thin vertically
  • 1 large TOMATO, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup SWEET GOLDEN CORN, fresh or frozen (cooked)
  • 8 oz FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE, sliced
  • 1/3 tbsp PARMESAN CHEESE, FRESH SHREDDED
  • 1-2 tbsp BASIL, FRESH, chiffonade or chopped (optional)

*If wanting to make homemade dough, try my Wheat Thin Crust Pizza Dough

1. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast with 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper; cook in skillet for 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and crust forms on outside. Slice into pieces (this step may be done in advance or use leftover chicken.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13″ rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll pizza dough and press to fit pan (doesn’t have to be exact). Drizzle or brush dough with 2 tsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.  Then prick with a fork a few times to prevent bubbling. Bake at 425 degrees for 3-4 minutes to crisp slightly. Remove from oven.

3. Then layer onion slices,

thinly sliced zucchini,

corn,

and thinly sliced tomatoes (make sure to squeeze first, or cut out as much of the inside seeds and juice as possible – tomatoes will release to much juice and make dough soggy). Mine tomatoes were cut a little too thick in some spots.

Salt and pepper vegetables, then top with chicken slices.

Layer mozzarella slices and parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust starts to brown and cheese is melted. Broil a few minutes for a golden brown cheese.

4. Cut into 16 squares and sprinkle with fresh basil and black pepper, if desired. Serving size: 2 pieces.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (2 PIECES): 290 calories, 9g fat, 3g sat fat, 30mg cholesterol, 22g carb, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, 18g protein

And the final three……. (you can tell these pictures were when I first started bloggin – don’t worry the recipes are still great, and just as tasty).

3) CRUSTLESS ROASTED VEGETABLE QUICHE

4) BLACK BEAN & MANGO SALSA

5) ITALIAN TURKEY MEATLOAF with ROASTED-BASIL TOMATOES

Worked on my kitchen this weekend and today, can’t wait to show you all my fresh new set up! (Still a work in progress, but almost there.)

And since yesterday was National Ice Cream Day, I served up some half the fat Dreyer’s S’mores Ice Cream for dessert ~ only 130 calories per serving! I added a little drizzle of chocolate and peanuts, it was of course a “holiday”.

tomato images above sourced from: http://www.marcgunther.com/2011/07/20/rotten-tomatoes/ & http://www.zimdelight.com/page4.htm

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