Mediterranean Salad with Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta

Mediterranean Salad with Greens, Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta - Copy

 I served this beauty the other day when we had the neighbors over. It disappeared. I love the color combination. Know that I drizzled a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction over the top before I served it.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Mediterranean Salad with Greens, Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta - Copy

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Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan

Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (7)

Bob loves fried green tomatoes. Unfortunately, I never remember to make them until one of our tomatoes falls off the vine before it ripens. Then, just like that – I have a revelation! Fried Green Tomatoes for Bob!

     Between the garden (which is about 1 step from the back door) and the house, I changed my mind. I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan would taste like?”

      In the few seconds it took to wash the tomato and move to the counter, I saw a Zucchini just lying there with no recipe in mind. I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what Fried Zucchini Parmesan would taste like?” And I was off!
     This is how my mind works sometimes when I’m in the kitchen. Things just pop in there. I have no clue if Fried Green Tomato Parmesan – OR – Fried Zucchini Parmesan are real dishes or not. I’ve never heard of them. See the Mimi below? That’s me, and that’s how my mind works. I don’t have ADD, or at least I don’t think I do, but when the creative juices are working, this Mimi describes me perfectly.
     The Vegetables were knock your socks off delicious. I think even fussy little kids would like them because they are lightly crispy on the outside, have the sauce and cheese on top. They’ll think they’re having mini pizza.
INGREDIENTS:
2 Medium Green Tomatoes, washed and sliced ½“thick
1 Small Zucchini, washed and sliced ¾” thick
1 cup AP flour
½ cup yellow corn meal
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP milk
PREPARATION:
In small bowl, beat egg and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place flour and corn meal in a second bowl, add parsley, garlic powder, onion powder. Stir.
Dip sliced tomatoes first in flour, then in egg, then in flour again. Coat both sides. Repeat with the Zucchini.
I cooked everything in the air fryer on one tray (See pics). I used aluminum foil which I lightly sprayed with cooking spray. After breading, I drizzled with Olive Oil and cooked them 10 min in air fryer until they were golden brown. Then I flipped them over, drizzled more olive oil and cooked for 6 -7 minutes or until they were golden brown.
NOTE: These could easily be pan fried, cooked in a convection oven, or a standard oven.
Dab a little Spaghetti Sauce or Marinara on top of each one. Sprinkle Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella Cheese on top. Return to air fryer for 2 minutes or until Cheeses are bubbly and golden.
By Tika 8/07/18
By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (2)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (3)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (4)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (5)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (6)
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan
Fried Green Tomatoes Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Parmesan (7)

Greek-Style Watermelon Salad (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

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   I saw this recipe in the NY Times. It’s featured in Watermelon All Day Long. The beautiful colors caught my eye, but after reading the ingredients I decided it was weird. I looked again because it was rated quite high by those who made it. I decided to give it a try since I had everything to make it on hand. What a surprise! I served it to four people and everyone loved it! I did NOT add the mint. I used just a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Very low in calories and so flavorful. Try it!

The Times says: “It’s not an immediately obvious combination – watermelon, cucumber, olives and feta – but one bite will leave you convinced that this savory-sweet summer salad is something truly special. The astringent punch of the olives and feta provides a sophisticated counterpoint to the watery mellowness of the melon and cucumber. With a hunk of bread, it’s a lovely light lunch; with practically any grilled meat or fish, it’s an ideal summer supper.”

INGREDIENTS
• 3 cups cubed watermelon
• 2 large ripe tomatoes
• 1 medium cucumber
• 1 small red onion
• ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
• ⅓ cup crumbled feta
• Some chopped parsley and mint (I omitted the mint)
• Olive oil and red-wine vinegar (or Balsamic vinegar)
• Salt and pepper

PREPARATION
I let the cubed watermelon and tomatoes sit in a strainer for about 10 minutes while I was doing the other prep to let some water drain.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups cubed watermelon; 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped; 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped; 1 small red onion, sliced; 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives; 1/3 cup crumbled feta; and some chopped parsley and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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ITALIAN-STYLE BAKED TOMATOES

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

     Bob loves tomatoes.  He’ll pick one and eat it out of the garden, he likes them on everything cooked, and of course in spaghetti, salsa, and on pizza.  Since we had so many ready from the garden at one time I wanted to try something different.  It was a huge success.  Here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

2 tomatoes

2 TBSP bread crumbs

A drizzle of olive oil

Seasonings:  Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Parsley

A sprinkling each of Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella

 

PREPARATION:

Wash tomatoes, remove stem, and cut in half.  Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle seasonings on top.  Bake for about 18 minutes at 350° F.  Place grated cheeses on top and add a sprinkling of Parsley.  Broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

How simple was that?

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (2)

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes

Italian-Style Baked Tomatoes (3)

CAPRESE PASTA SALAD

Caprese Pasta Salad (4)

     Caprese pasta salad is all the rage right now.  It combines the colors and flavors of old Italy and the taste can’t be beat.  Bob loves me even more on the day that I make Caprese Salad.  Soon I will make it again and add cooked shrimp or chicken.  Here’s how I make mine:

 INGREDIENTS

10-12 ounces Fusili (Tri-color pasta)

2 extra large garden-fresh tomatoes

1 cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup honey

¼ cup olive oil

4 TBSP fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

3 TBSP red onion, or shallot (chopped)

1 TBSP dried basil or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tsp sugar

1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese

OPTIONAL: 3 whole cloves roasted garlic and 3 slices of cucumber for garnish

 

PREPARATION

Cook whatever kind of pasta you want.  Drain and set aside.  Penne, Fusilli, Campanelle or Farfalle are all perfect.

In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar and honey to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 12 minutes or until reduced by about half.  Set aside to cool.

Slice 3 large slices of tomato and set aside for garnish.  The rest should be chopped into bite-sized pieces.  I also garnished with 3 cucumber slices and 3 whole cloves of roasted garlic.

In a small bowl, mix chopped tomato with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, 1 tsp sugar, salt, pepper, basil.  Set aside.

Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl.  Add grated cheese and tomato mixture, stirring well.

Garnish with 3 slices of tomato.  I placed a slice of cucumber on top of each, and topped the cucumber with 1 whole clove of roasted garlic.  Pour vinegar/honey mixture on top.  Sprinkle with a bit of parsley.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad (2)

Caprese PASTA Salad (3)

Caprese Pasta Salad (4)

 

ZESTY FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

Zesty Fried Green Tomatoes (4)

Bob loves fried green tomatoes.  He said my new version was the best ever.  He loved the chipotle powder.  You can eliminate it, of course, but we like the heat.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large green tomatoes, washed and sliced ½“ thick

2 cups AP flour

½ cup yellow corn meal

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp parsley

Salt and pepper

¾ tsp chipotle chili powder

3 eggs, beaten

3 TBSP milk

 

PREPARATION:

In small bowl, beat egg and milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place flour and corn meal in a second bowl, add parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and chipotle chili powder. Stir.

Dip sliced tomatoes first in flour, then in egg, then in flour again.

Heat a large frying pan and cover bottom with olive oil.  Cook until tomatoes are soft and desired color is reached.  Approximately 5 minutes per side.  Drain on paper toweling.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

Zesty Fried Green Tomatoes (2)

Zesty Fried Green Tomatoes

Zesty Fried Green Tomatoes (3)

Zesty Fried Green Tomatoes (4)

 

BABY CLAMS, BACON, TOMATOES & MUSHROOMS OVER PASTA

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Twenty minutes from pantry to table? What could be easier!  Baby clams, bacon, mushrooms, and tomatoes over your choice of pasta.  Something incredibly quick to make that is surprisingly delicious.

INGREDIENTS:   YIELDS 3 – 4 SERVINGS

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

¾ cup sliced mushrooms

2 TBSP olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

One 16 oz can Diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion

1/3 cup Chardonnay

½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Pepper to taste

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBSP Parsley

One 10 oz can Baby clams

 

PREPARATION:

In a 3 qt saucepan, brown mushrooms and garlic over low heat with olive oil.  Add tomatoes with juice, Chardonnay and ¼ tsp pepper.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Add Parsley and stir.  Add clams with juice and bacon, just heating through.

Serve over linguine or your favorite pasta with extra grated cheese.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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SALSA, GARDEN FRESH

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Salsa is great, but when you make it from your own garden produce, it’s that much better!

INGREDIENTS:

5 or 6 fresh large tomatoes, diced
2 medium bell peppers, 1 red and 1 orange
1 medium green bell pepper
2 TBSP minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
Juice of 1 fresh lime (lemon works if you don’t have lime)
3 TBSP vinegar
Jalapenos, chopped (to taste)
Seasonings to taste: Cumin, Cilantro, Chipotle Chili Powder, Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

The tomatoes do not need to be peeled or seeded, but feel free to do so if you’d like. Dice them and place into a large bowl. Seed and dice as much bell pepper as you want, and add that to tomatoes. Add garlic and diced tomato, lime juice, vinegar, chopped Jalapenos and begin adding the seasonings. Start with ½ tsp of each and then begin tasting. Remember that it will grow hotter as it sits, so don’t overdo on the Chipotle Chili Powder or Jalapenos.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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PASTA FAGIOLI, by Tika

PASTA FAGIOLI, by Tika
PASTA FAGIOLI, by Tika

Pasta Fagioli (pronounced pasta fazool) is a traditional Italian dish that began as a peasant dish. In fact, the name means pasta and beans. Today there are many variations, many of which include meat. Consistencies in restaurants will vary, but my recipe is thick and hearty. I’ve been making it for Bob for years. He says it’s the best he’s ever had, bar none.

     Serve it with Italian bread, bruschetta, bread sticks or even corn bread. It was one of my secret recipes heading for my cookbook, but I’m sharing it with you all.

INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP olive oil

1 lb Italian sausage, or Chorizo or Andouille

1 large onion, chopped

1 large stalk celery, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups beef broth

16 oz spaghetti sauce

1 small can stewed tomatoes

½ tsp rosemary

Dash Italian seasoning

Dash Crushed Red Pepper

3 cans Great Northern beans (or Cannellini)

1 cup Ditalini pasta or elbow

½ – ¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION:

Drain and rinse beans; set aside

Heat oil and brown sausage, chopping as it cooks.  Drain grease. Add onion and celery, sautéing until tender.  Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.

Add beef broth, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and let simmer 20 minutes.

Add rosemary, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and pasta.  Let simmer until pasta is cooked.  If you wish, sprinkle with extra cheese once you ladle it into bowls.

Serve with homemade Italian bread, Bruschetta, breadsticks, or even corn bread.

PASTA FAGIOLI, by Tika
PASTA FAGIOLI, by Tika

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? 2015

TUNA STUFFED TOMATOES

TUNA STUFFED TOMATOES
TUNA STUFFED TOMATOES

Wonderful, fresh vegetarian and low cal lunch.  I picked the tomatoes and lettuce from our own garden just before I made this.  Cool, eh?

To create this, use your own favorite version of tuna salad.  Core the tomatoes and stuff them with the tuna.  I garnished with a sliced green olive and red pepper strips.

By Tika 2015 For Chew Wanna Eat?

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