Fresh, sweet and sour tastes for dinner and dessert

If you have a garden with tomatoes, this is the time of year that you know how fast they come and it is hard to keep up with eating them. You can give them away like we do and you could also use them in many different ways. Here is a recipe for tomatoes that I think you will like. Lets face it, you can’t beat a recipe with fresh tomatoes.

Tomato Pie

1 store bought or homemade pie crust, cooked for 5 minutes at 350

5 tomatoes, sliced and layered between paper towels all day to absorb the moisture

1 onion, diced and microwaved for 4 minutes

Fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 to 3 cups of shredded cheese, you can use any cheese you have in your refrigerator

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

On top of your slightly baked pie shell, put in one layer of tomatoes, salt and pepper your tomatoes, sprinkle some onions on top, then some basil and repeat two more times.

Mix together the mayonnaise and cheeses and spread on top.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At around 30 minutes, check to see if any juices need to be drained. When done, remove from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes and cut.

Hint: This can be a gluten free recipe just use a gluten free pie crust. I also sprinkled some garlic powder and dried basil instead of the fresh and oregano on each layer of the tomatoes. My cheeses of choice were cheddar, pepper jack and a little mozzarella. When this is baking it smells like pizza.

This next recipe is a dessert. They really taste fresh with the orange zest and fresh orange juice flavor.

Orange Blueberry Muffin Tops

1 1/2 sticks or 12 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 1 orange plus 2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat well. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the flour for the blueberries then add the remaining flour to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk. Add the buttermilk mixture to the batter along with the orange zest and mix well.

Toss the reserved 1 tablespoon flour with the blueberries in a bowl.

Using a spatula, fold the blueberry mixture into the batter until combined.

Use a standard ice cream scoop (1/4 cup) to scoop out the dough onto the lined baking sheets, spacing the scoops 2 to 3 inches apart.

Bake until lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer the muffin tops to a rack set over a baking sheet to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar and orange juice and mix well. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffin tops and let set before serving.

Hint: These can be gluten free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for gluten free flour. Also, when combining the baking soda and buttermilk, you might want to put your measuring cup in a bowl. A little science note, they react and the mixture bubbles up over the measuring cup. Just trying to avoid any extra mess in your kitchen.

-Pamela Rolley

Fresh herbs and olive oil flavor this easy and healthier potato salad without the mayonnaise. This fresh herb potato salad is perfect for a crowd at barbecues and is vegan and egg free.

Fresh Herb Potato Salad

Yields 8 servings

3 pounds red potatoes

5 tablespoons white wine vinegar , divided

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 small red onion , sliced (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

2 tablespoons minced Italian flat leaf parsley

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

While the potatoes are still hot, sprinkle them with 3 tablespoons of the vinegar and let cool to absorb the vinegar. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and place them in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the potato mixture and gently toss. Add the sliced onion and minced herbs and toss again. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Notes: This potato salad can be made the day prior to serving.

Sweet and sour chickpeas is a nutritious and easy recipe to prepare.

Sweet and Sour Chickpeas

1/2 cup orange juice

3-4 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Sriracha

15 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

In a medium bowl combine orange juice, tomato paste, corn starch, water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and sriracha. Whisk well and set aside.

Add sauce to a medium pan or skillet and set to medium heat. Allow sauce to cook for 10 minutes, stirring often to evenly distribute heat and thicken. Add the drained chickpeas to sauce and reduce heat to low. Cover and allow to cook an additional 10 minutes until the sauce is nice and thick and the chickpeas are warmed through.

Top with sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds and serve with your choice of veggies and grains.

You can serve the cooked chickpeas over white rice or quinoa, with other steamed vegetables of your choice. This recipe would go well with broccoli, asparagus or snow peas. You can also choose to garnish your dish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

-Karen Sick

The Recipe Gals, Pam Rolley and Karen Sick, together have more than 60 years’ experience as nutritionists in the public school and university settings. You’ll find their delicious offerings every other week in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette’s section, The Taste.


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