Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is easy to put together.  It’s a great addition to so many meals.  We add Pico (for short) to fajitas, tacos, omelets, and sometimes just love it by itself with chips.  The freshness of the flavors add something to each entree.  This is my simple recipe you can add to or take away.  I make it early in the day to let flavors sit for a little while.  This recipes make a lot so feel free to divide ingredients if you want a smaller batch.

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3 white or red onions

12 Roma tomatoes

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves

2 to 3 jalapeños (soak in ice water before using)

1 lime

Salt

Chop up onions and tomatoes. I like to make sure the tomato and onion ratio is about the same.  Chop the cilantro.

Slice 1 or 2 jalapeños in half.  I always wear gloves when chopping jalapeños.  With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membranes. (If you want it spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Finely chop the jalapeños.

Combine onions, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeños in one bowl.

Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined.   Do a taste test.  You can make adjustments to your  pico de gallo by adding more jalapeños, salt, or lime.

Sunday Caprese Salad

Oh Fresh Tomatoes!  The smell.  The taste.  A sweet friend gave me some of the best tomatoes right out of her garden.  With a few extra ingredients, I whipped up this yummy salad for dinner.  Will loves the drenched mozzarella!  Enjoy the smell and taste of the last few days of summer.

Caprese Salad

Sunday Caprese Salad

8 oz mozzarella

two large tomatoes

a handful of basil- cut in small strips

salt and pepper

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Slice the tomato. Slice mozzarella.  Arrange on platter alternating the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Top with basil.  Add fresh pepper and sea salt.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.  There is no messing up this salad.  Chill until ready to serve.

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

We all want a quick weeknight meal.  A meal that does not need a lot of brainwork and is delicious.  This meal has all our favorites: pasta, tomatoes, and chicken.  Serve it with a salad and garlic bread.  Here’s to keeping it easy on a weeknight!- Amanda

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes 

2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes

cooking spray

1/2 t dried basil

kosher salt and fresh pepper

8 oz angel hair pasta

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

6 cloves garlic, minced

4 T extra virgin olive oil

3 T chopped fresh basil

Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, coat with cooking spray and add chicken. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, and basil. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.  While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. Add drained pasta to garlic and tomato mixture and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water.  Then add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated cheese.

Our First Meatless Monday: Tomato Pie

Yesterday was Earth Day.  William and I read an article about Meatless Monday.  The article was very convincing and my six-year-old declared our family needed to take the challenge.  So, here it is Monday evening and I’m proud to say that we met the challenge.  I know you may have a few questions.  There is a ton of great information you can find about Meatless Monday but I answered the top two questions:
Why Meatless?: Going meatless once a week can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
Why Monday?: For most Americans the week begins on Monday. On Monday we move from the freedom of the weekend back to the structure of work or school. We set our intentions for the next six days. We plan ahead and evaluate progress. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health.  Monday is the call to action built in to every calendar each week. And if this Monday passes you by, next week is another chance to go meatless!
Our first Meatless Monday dinner was fun.  I whipped up Tomato Pie, sautéed asparagus, and a fresh mixed green salad.  I’m thinking going meatless once a week is an easy challenge. Will you give Meatless Monday a try?–Amanda

Tomato Pie

3 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 (9-inch) unbaked refrigerated piecrust

salt

pepper

Italian seasoning

dried basil

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 C mayo (I used light Hellmann’s)

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and turn down to 325 for baking.  Drain sliced tomatoes on paper towels for 15 minutes.  Roll piecrust out on baking pie plate.  Pinch crust to sides and work out all air bubbles.  Poke a few small holes into crust and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust and let cool.

Cover bottom of pie crust with the tomato slices.  Cover tomatoes with chopped green onions.  Sprinkle liberally with seasonings, salt, and pepper.  In a small container, stir mayo and cheese.  Spread mixture over layers.  Use Roma tomatoes as top layer, slightly overlap tomatoes to create complete layer.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil.

If you want meat, this meal can accompany any chicken or beef dish.  Another idea, add 6 strips of cook, crumbled bacon.

You can always add different types of cheeses or different types of veggies.  If you decided to use red onions or bell peppers, sauté them first.