Easy Marinated Tomatoes

Summer is a time of fresh vegetables whether you grow them yourself in the garden or buy them at the farmer’s market. One of my favorite veggies is tomatoes. I buy grape or cherry tomatoes all year long. In the summer I sometimes find heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Today’s simple recipe is a tomato marinade. Fresh tomatoes with olive oil, fresh herbs, pepper, a tablespoon of honey, and vinegar. I suggest red wine or balsamic vinegar but if you love apple cider vinegar like me, it’s good too. You can make it with 5 large tomatoes or 35 oz. in cherry tomatoes. I like using multicolored tomatoes too as it looks so appealing. For vegan-friendly, drop the honey and use maple syrup, agave, or brown sugar.

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Hummus Vegetable Pizza

This is a unique take on the classic pizza without a red sauce. Today I’m suggesting you make a homemade pizza with a hummus as base. You can use any flavor hummus you like from black bean hummus to spicy hummus like roasted red pepper hummus. I like to use the refrigerated pizza dough from the supermarket. You could also make your own pizza dough or use pita or naan bread. You can adapt this simple recipe to meet your needs so easily. Use the vegetables you already have or replace broccoli with your family’s favorite. It’s great with mushrooms, baby spinach, zucchini, or yellow squash. Alternate with what’s in season. This is a fun meatless meal. For vegans, replace cheese with plant based cheese alternative.

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Spinach Mushroom Quiche For A Meatless Meal

Lent will be observed from February 22 to April 8 this year. It is a period of religious observance in many Christian churches marking the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert, enduring temptation by Satan. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later with the celebration of Easter. Fasting before Easter can be traced back as far as the 2nd century.

Whether you are trying to eat less meat for your health or you are looking for meatless meals for Lent, a vegetable quiche is a great meal to add to the menu. Quiches may be served hot, warm or cold. I shared an asparagus & tomato quiche several years ago with fresh spring asparagus. Then that summer I offered summer squash quiche. Today I’m sharing spinach quiche which can be made year round with frozen spinach. If using fresh baby spinach, sauté it with the onion and garlic. Frozen spinach works well. Defrost it, and then squeeze all the water out with your hands. Then press it between paper towels. If you leave any water in the spinach, your quiche can be soggy. You can also add and delete ingredients in the filling to meet your family’s needs or what’s in the pantry. I am using feta cheese and cheddar. This quiche is easy to make and is perfect for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

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Crock Pot Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew

I love lentils: They’re packed with protein, very filling and a good source of iron. Woodsy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are natural partners to the lentil’s earthy flavor, so any of them (or any combination of them) can go into the crock pot for Mushroom Lentil Barley Stew. Adding mushrooms adds more earthy flavors and in conjunction with barley makes a satisfying comfort food. You can serve with garlic bread alone or over mash potatoes. There is an optional garnish of fresh parsley or vegan grated cheese.

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This is a wonderful Southwestern style salad that is quick and easy to make. It makes a healthy side with quinoa, black beans, corn, peppers, red onion, and cilantro. It also is a great lunch. Best of all, it’s tasty. You can adjust ingredients and spices for your family. The recipe is vegetarian but can be modified to meet vegan needs as noted in the recipe.

Don’t like cilantro? Add Romaine lettuce instead. You can make this salad with white or red quinoa. All quinoa has a nutty, earthy flavor. This flavor is stronger in red quinoa and milder in white quinoa. Red quinoa also has a chewier, almost crunchy texture. Quinoa is a great base for salads because it’s nutritious, and it soaks up the flavors of the dressing and seasonings. Quinoa is gluten-free, rich in fiber and a great source of protein. The longer the salad chills in the fridge, the more flavor it will have. The dressing soaks into the quinoa and makes it super flavorful and delicious. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours for optimal flavor. Try making a bowl on Sunday, and package lunches for several days.

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Savory Zucchini Muffins

Several years ago I shared a traditional sweet zucchini bread. As much as I like that, sometimes I want something different. Today’s recipe is a moist, savory muffin that’s perfect at breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. The muffins are filled with zucchini, onion, garlic, roasted red pepper, ground Parmesan. and sun-dried tomatoes. They’re vegetarian.

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