Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? The world may never know*, but we sure know that they taste delicious. Tomatoes are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, calcium, and potassium. There are over 7,500 varieties and they come in colors from all across the rainbow. Tomatoes are seen in many different cuisines from all around the world, especially in Italian food like sauces for pasta and pizza. There are so many ways to eat them, but have you ever thought of making stuffed tomatoes?
Stuffed tomatoes are a unique way to use tomatoes, and can be combined with other ingredients to create rich flavors. For this recipe, we decided to take a Mediterranean route by using feta cheese, basil, and olive oil. We also added a little protein punch, by throwing in some quinoa. It balances perfectly between taste and nutrition. They can be served as a side dish or appetizer, and would be snatched up quick at any party.
*Okay according to scientists they're fruits, but it's so hard to wrap my brain around!
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
Inspired by Food Network
4 beefsteak tomatoes
1 package of frozen steam-able quinoa
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup of basil
1/2 cup of feta cheese
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt & pepper
Kid chef knife (or a butter knife)
Large mixing spoon
Large mixing bowl
Garlic crusher (or grown-up chef knife to mince garlic)
Liquid measuring cup
1/2 cup measuring cup
Cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil
1. Wash hands
2. Wash 4 beefsteak tomatoes. Slice the top off of the tomatoes.
3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from each tomato
4. Salt the insides of the tomatoes
5. Place tomatoes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to extract juices from inside.
6. Let rest for 15 minutes.
7. **Grown-up** Preheat oven to 400°F.
8. Take package of steam-able quinoa and massage the package to loosen the grains.
9. Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute.
10. **Grown-up** Carefully remove quinoa package from microwave
11. Next, wash and measure out 1/2 cup of basil. Then tear leaves into small pieces.
11. Add cooked quinoa and basil into large mixing bowl.
12. Measure out 1/2 cup of feta cheese. Crumble with fingers if necessary. Add to bowl.
13. Use a garlic crusher to add two cloves of minced garlic to bowl. (Or, **Grown-up**: mince 2 cloves garlic with grown-up chef knife)
14. Add a couple dashes of salt and pepper.
15. Measure out 1/4 cup of olive oil. Drizzle in olive oil to coat the mixture.
11. Mix ingredients together.
12. Once the timer goes off, scoop the mixture into the insides of the tomatoes.
13. Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
14. **Grown-up** Place tray into the oven. Kid: Set timer for 15 minutes.
15. **Grown up** Take out tray and let cool.
Grown-up Pro Tips:
1. This recipe can be modified in so many ways with different ingredients. Can't find beefsteak tomatoes? Heirloom works! Don't like feta cheese? Use your favorite type. There are so many different flavor combinations to use for this recipe.
2. Make sure to watch the tomatoes while they are in the oven so they don't lose their structure. It should take about 15 minutes to cook, but times may vary depending on your oven.
3. Want to make your own quinoa from scratch? Use 1/3 cup of dry quinoa and 1 cup of water and cook to package instructions. This should yield 1 cup cooked quinoa.
4. For more cheesy melted goodness, sprinkle some extra feta on top after the tomatoes come out of the oven. Then place them back in the oven on broil for 2-4 minutes and then serve. More cheese, more fun!
5. This dish is best served warm. If bringing to a party, try to not cook in the oven until right before serving for best results.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER
Katie Holzman is a Social Media Marketing Intern for Nomster Chef. She is currently a junior at Ithaca College studying television-radio and marketing. She loves creating food media almost as much as she loves eating, and you can check out more of her work at her blog or @katies_plate on Instagram!
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