23 October 2013

Dishes with Dee: Italian Stuffed Tomatoes

So, y'all follow me on instagram right?!

Well I have a secret to tell you
#tableforone is a lie about 50% of the time.
That's the benefit of being my friend- you get delicious meals made for you.
Often in the comfort of your own home.
With wine.
And my dazzling personality
Who could ask for more?!

So in keeping up the effort to eat healthy and not go down a road too boring, I'm working on getting creative while only using a few ingredients.
Being healthy takes up enough time- you don't want to be in the kitchen for three hours on a weeknight.
No matter what you say.
If I don't, you don't.
Unless you do, in which case, it might be time to reevaluate things a bit.

You've been seeing a lot of 'grams involving quinoa from me lately, which can start to feel a little boring.
But all that protein?  I'm not going to sub it out for something less nutritional.
Ya dig?

So the other night, I made dinner for my friend Megan, who is also working towards livin' a little healthier.
We had Italian Stuffed Tomatoes with an Arugula Salad

These are a little fancy without being a ton of work, and super healthy.

So here's what ya need:
4 c. cooked quinoa
2 large chicken breasts cooked.- I boiled mine just like in the Mexican Quinoa Salad posted here.
4 large beefsteak tomatoes
1 zucchini- chopped
2 roasted red peppers- drained, patted dry, and chopped
1/2 a shallot- minced
2 garlic cloves- minced
A handful of basil leaves coarsely chopped.
Dried oregano, parsley, and crushed red pepper.
Salt and pepper.
Some kind of Italian cheese blend- I used a 3 cheese blend of parmesan, asiago, and romano from Fresh Market- You'll need about 1/2 a c. plus some for topping.

And here's what ya do:

You'll need to clean and hollow out your tomatoes.
This is the worst part of this meal by far.
Cut the tops off and using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and flesh of the tomato.

Be patient and gentle.
Tomatoes are fragile and you need them in one piece.
I found it was easiest to remove the flesh by scraping down the sides in sections.

Once you have cleaned and gutted the tomatoes, pat the insides dry with a paper towel and transfer upside-down to a cooling rack to dry.

Go ahead and preheat the oven to 350.

Then, dice your chicken and season with salt, pepper, and your dried spices.

While the tomatoes dry, add a drizzle of oil to a pan and cook your veggies.
Over medium heat add the garlic and shallots.
Stir and cook about 1-2 minutes.
Just until you smell the garlic, babe.
Add zucchini and saute about 4 minutes.
Add peppers and go another minute or two.
Just until the zucchini is still a little hard.  You're going to bake it, so it doesn't need to be completely cooked.

Then, throw it all in a bowl!

Veggie mixture, quinoa, chicken, cheese and basil.
By now your tomatoes should be dry.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the tomatoes and place in a lightly greased baking dish.

Top with cheese and bake for ten minutes.

While that bakes, make your arugula salad.

Here's what ya need:
4 c. arugula
About 1/2 c baby bellas- sliced
The remaining half of your shallot- thinly sliced
1/4 c paremsan
2 tbsp roasted garlic olive oil
1 1/2- 2 tsp champagne vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper.

And here's what ya do:
Combine the last 4 ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.
Add arugula- you know the drill, hand-toss it babe.
Add mushrooms, shallots, and cheese.
Viola- Salad.

Remove tomatoes, and let stand about 3 minutes.
Plate everything.

Enjoy.  Definitely better for you than that Hamburger Helper you had planned for tonight.

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