Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

















I didn’t know, when I started this experiment, that  I would be making highly-addictive tomato candy. My beloved had to gently suggest I stop my maniacal late night nibbling. I may sneak back out to the kitchen when he’s asleep.

Oven-roasted cherry and Roma tomatoes are delicious, luscious, and candy-like at 200 degrees for six hours + one hour at 300 degrees (total hours = 7). Add a lttle more time if your tomatoes are bigger.

I tried 250 degrees on convection for three hours, which yielded the same look, but the flavor was only “really nice reduced tomato flavor”. Not bad at all; very tasty, in fact. But if one compares the two? Long, low, heat wins the day.


Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Cut small tomatoes in half, set cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with garlic-infused olive oil (6 minced cloves per 1/2 cup oil), sprinkle exceedingly lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Roast at 200 degrees for six hours + one hour at 300 degrees (total hours = 7). If your tomatoes are a little larger, keep roasting until they look like the photo, above 🙂

Do try to resist gobbling.

Great on pizzas, tossed with pasta, on crackers, as sandwich ingredients, etc., etc., etc…

Mango Salsa


Search the internet and you’ll find pages of recipes for different kinds of mango salsa. Your choice depends on how you’ll be using the salsa and your personal taste. The core ingredients are mango, some sort of onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Other veggies or fruits can be added. Heat, in the form of cayenne or jalapeño peppers, can be added. Salt can be added…it’s all up to you, and they’ll all taste terrific. Here’s my version—

Mango Salsa
Makes about 2-3/4 cups

2 cups chopped pitted peeled mango (I also use tiny thawed cubes of frozen mango)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2/3 cup chopped green onions (or red onions, if you’d like more punch)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or finely-minced jalapeño pepper
Other possible additions:
—1/2 cup tiny cubes of peeled cucumber
—1/2 cup tiny cubes of firm avocado
—1/2 cup tiny cubes of firm tomato
—1/2 cup tiny cubes of pineapple

Toss ingredients together. Serve with unsalted corn chips, or over grilled tofu, fish, chicken, or pork.

Remember: you can add or delete any of these ingredients to create a salsa that suits your personal taste, but I’d suggest keeping the core mango-onion-cilantro-lime juice combination as the base.

Turkey and Beans Chili

turkey chili















This chili features complex flavors that are smokey, spicy, savory, and rich, and offers the perfect comfort food for cool weather. It’s also low sodium and low fat. If fat is no issue for you, I’d suggest sautéing the turkey in about a tablespoon of olive oil until browned, and also sautéing  the vegetables—in a separate pan—in another tablespoon of olive oil until translucent, then mixing the two together and following the rest of the recipe as written.

Turkey and Beans Chili
6-8 servings

1 pound ground turkey (make this meatless by using your favorite meat substitute or adding more beans)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
3 cups frozen corn kernels
2 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes, drained
1  8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15.5-ounce can sodium-free red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 5.5-ounce can sodium-free black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 small can chopped green chilies
10-18 drops stevia (to taste)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso (or coffee) powder
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 T. pesto)
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Garnish: Low fat sour cream, chopped cilantro

Heat turkey in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Break up the turkey and cook until it is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

Add the onion, pepper, and frozen corn, and cook about 4 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 30-60 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Garnish with low-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Green Gazpacho

This recipe is a “what was in the refrigerator” version of a recipe by the inspired Yotam Ottolenghi. It is perfect for hot weather! I made it with fewer fats and sodium. Extra/different ingredients/quantities from Ottolengi’s original recipe are in parenthesis.

green gazpacho










Green Gazpacho
Serves 4-6

2 celery sticks (including leaves)
2 small green peppers
1 pound cucumbers, peeled
3 slices stale whole wheat bread, torn up (white bread)
1/4 cup canned chopped green chiles (1 fresh green chile)
3-4 garlic cloves
2-3 drops stevia (1 tsp. sugar)
1/2 cup walnuts (1.5 C. walnuts)
2 cups spinach (6 C. spinach)
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley (2 T. parsley)
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar (4 T. sherry vinegar)
3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil (1 C. olive oil)
1 cup nonfat organic yogurt…or plain coconut vegan yogurt (3 T. Greek yogurt)
2 cups water
9 ounces ice cubes
(2 tsp. salt)
Cayenne pepper (white pepper)

Using a blender, add roughly chopped veggies and a bit of water to within 2-3″ off top of blender. Puree. Pour into large soup tureen. Keep doing this—adding ingredients to the blender, filling until 2-3″ from the top—until all ingredients have been pureed and added to the soup tureen. Mix thoroughly. Add more water, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Taste. Adjust seasonings.

Add ice to blender, pulse once or twice to crush, and add to soup. Serve with croutons, if using.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Middle Eastern Cookbooks

I’ll admit it: I’m a total fangirl of Yotam Ottolengi’s recipes. Here are some reviews.

















From Booklist
*Starred Review* The true definition of a melting pot, it seems, can be found through foods, or so Ottolenghi and Tamimi contend. As former residents of Jerusalem and now well-acclaimed London restaurateurs, they have compiled a luscious, photographic collection of 120 recipes with origins encompassing various religions, countries, and, occasionally, continents. The history of the city and of foods found there are sprinkled throughout the text, as are visuals not only of recipes but also of the people who inhabit Jerusalem and beyond. Expect discourses on the humble aubergine (eggplant); za’atar, a native herb; hummus wars; and even Georgian cuisine. The book’s leisurely pace picks up with the introduction of dishes, some familiar but many not, that include fattoush, latkes, mejadra, clear chicken soup with knaidlach, pan-fried mackerel with golden beetroot and orange salsa, and helbeh (fenugreek cake). Measurements are computed in grams, and, unfortunately, the more exotic ingredients, such as arak and zhoug, might prove elusive to all but the most avid chefs. Yet the passion and skill evident in this collection of Mediterranean cuisine are contagious. –Barbara Jacobs

From Amazon.com
“Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the most exciting new talents in the cooking world, with four fabulous, eponymous London restaurants and a weekly newspaper column that’s read by foodies all over the world. Plenty is a must-have collection of 120 vegetarian recipes featuring exciting flavors and fresh combinations that will delight readers and eaters looking for a sparkling new take on vegetables.

“Yotam’s food inspiration comes from his Mediterranean background and his unapologetic love of ingredients. Not a vegetarian himself, his approach to vegetable dishes is wholly original and innovative, based on freshness and seasonality, and drawn from the diverse food cultures represented in London.

“In Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore  the vibrant cuisine of their home city—with its diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities. Both men were born in Jerusalem in the same year—Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This stunning cookbook offers 120 recipes from their unique cross-cultural perspective, from inventive vegetable dishes to sweet, rich desserts.”

Kicked Up Turkey Burgers

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not keen on the flavor of ground turkey, but I like its lean, heart-healthy protein. So this is what I do to kick things up, flavor-wise.

turkey burgers










Turkey Burgers
6 small burgers

1/2—3/4 pound lean organic ground turkey
4 cloves of garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons powdered garlic)
1/2″ fresh ginger root, minced (or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)
1 small can (4.5 ounces) minced green chile peppers
1 tablespoon powdered onion
1 tablespoon coriander
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon low sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup leftover cooked grains (oats, brown rice, etc.)
6 small organic whole wheat buns

Mix everything together thoroughly. Form into small patties, approximately 1/3-1/2 cup’s worth each. Drop into a hot, non-stick pan that’s been oiled with cooking spray. Cook until lightly brown, turning once. Serve with your favorite condiments on whole wheat buns.