This is a wonderful vegan lunch, accompanied by a baked potato and a green salad.
However, for “carnivorous” hangouts, one of these stuffed tomatoes is also an excellent side to a roast chicken.
I no longer remember how I got to know Deliciously Ella’s blog but the truth is that it has quickly become one of my favorites in the world of healthy cooking. Maybe because she’s so young, cheerful and positive. It’s usually a breath of fresh air in my mornings.
I have two books by Ella and I cook from them often. They are available in Portuguese, take a look if you haven’t yet. Edit: now I have three of them 🙂
I notice, however, that the flavors are often too strong, especially for my daughter, who likes softer flavors and doesn’t stand any spice in her food. Chilli flakes, one of Ella’s favorite things, are a no go here at home.
So, I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own adaptations to get flavors that, although varied, are closer to what we’re used to here, by the sea …
These stuffed tomatoes are the result of one of these exercises and started from a recipe for stuffed mushrooms, from Ella’s first book: “Deliciously Ella”.
Vegan Lunch Recipe: Tomatoes Stuffed With Quinoa, Sundried Tomatoes And Pine Nuts
For two people
- Four medium size tomatoes, preferably very ripe.
- 12 sundried tomatoes, preserved in olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (plain)
- Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
- Black pepper
- Two tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Start by preheating the oven to 180º.
Wash the tomatoes well and wipe them with a clean towel.
Cut the top of the tomatoes horizontally about 1/4 of the height and keep the four tomatoes “lids”.
With a teaspoon, empty the inside of the tomatoes into a dish or a bowl. Separate the center of the tomato from the seeds.
Leave the four tomatoes “bowls” to rest on kitchen paper, upside down.
Cut the sundried tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.
Place in a food processor with the parsley, the inside of the fresh tomatoes (no seeds) and the juice of half a lemon. Mix everything until it forms a thick blend.
Pour this mixture into a cup, add the cooked quinoa and the tahini. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Taste to see if you need the rest of the lemon juice. If you feel it does, add the remaining juice.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a frying pan, no added grease. Keep them moving to prevent burning.
Fill the empty tomatoes with this preparation. Garnish with the pine nuts and the “lids” that you first cut.
Place them on a baking tray. If you like, line the tray with aluminum foil, it makes it much easier to clean later … If necessary, adjust the foil around the tomatoes so they stand upright.
Bake for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are translucent but still standing.
If you like, you can season with a good extra virgin olive oil before serving (one teaspoon per tomato). I don’t usually do it, I prefer to season the salad on the side.
Pine nuts fit this dish wonderfully, but they are expensive. I’m not always willing to splurge and I imagine the same thing can happen to you. So, two equally good substitution suggestions would be flaked almonds or pumpkin seeds.
Energy Saving Tips:
I have a big oven and so I always use it to bake more than one thing at a time.
In the 20 minutes this recipe requires the oven, you can also bake:
- Veggie: soft vegetables like mushrooms, thinly sliced courgettes, broccoli and cauliflower in small florets; a sweet potato (per person) that goes into the oven half an hour before, as it needs 60 minutes to get perfectly baked.
- Meat: chicken breasts flattened out just like Jamie Oliver does (he actually uses his fist) on a lined metal tray – metal speeds up the cooking process.
- Fish: simple white fish fillets, seasoned with lemon juice, salt and a lightly flavored olive oil, or even salmon. Check out my recipes for tasty salmon dinners HERE.
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