Roasting Plum Tomatoes

Roasting Plum Tomatoes Plant-Based

Just call me a tomato snob! I really miss our home-grown heritage tomatoes during the colder months in Pennsylvania. Usually after October any store-bought slicer-type tomatoes are just so dull and not even worth purchasing. Of course you may choose to can tomatoes to savor their fresh taste. But I’ll talking about using tomatoes in sammys and on  salads. 

So here are two tips around this flavor challenge. If you have more tips, we’d love to hear from you!

(1) We have found that store-bought cherry tomatoes are still rather tasty during this season. We use in salads and in some soups.

Cherry Tomatoes at the Market
Cherry Tomatoes at the Market

(2) We have found roasting store-bought Italian Plum Tomatoes will get us through the winter. They are inexpensive and accessible but still rather flat tasting during the winter, that is, until roasted. After roasting they are taste busting gems! I roast plum tomatoes in my toaster oven about once a week; wrap left overs in the parchment paper which they were roasted on and store in the refrigerator so they are handy to grab.

Plum tomatoes
Plum tomatoes

HOW TO ROAST TOMATOES
TOMATOES (PLUM) – ROASTED:  Juicy caramelized tomatoes – use to enhance sauces, in salads, on sandwiches or just pop into your mouth for a tasty nutritious treat. It’s easy to make small batches in a toaster oven. They are particularly yummy in the colder months when store bought tomatoes are so tasteless.

Serves: 8 tomatoes || Prep Time: 10 minutes || Cook Time: 30 minutes
8 fresh Italian Plum Tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

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Preheat toaster oven 400°F. Cut fresh tomatoes in half lengthwise, cut out stem. Place halves in a medium sized bowl, pour tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. Stir until all surfaces are coated. Sprinkle with dried basil, salt substitute and garlic powder; gently toss. Place halved tomatoes, cut side up, on parchment paper; roast for about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 26  Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 9mg, Total Carbohydrate 6g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 1g, Protein 1g

CoachBJ Roasting Plum Tomatoes
CoachBJ Roasting Plum Tomatoes

Delicata Squash – I’m in Heaven!

Delicata Squash

Fresh Winter squash are showing their faces at farmer’s markets, vegetable stands and grocery stores in the area. It’s that time of year. I’m in heaven – Delicata Squash!  Just to hold them in the palm of my hand is exciting, just my size. This gem  is characterized by a cream colored delicate rind with green stripes.

There are so many  varieties of winter squash to pick from, but, so far, Delicata has become my overall favorite!  Why, you ask? Well let’s see:  Foremost, they are so easy to prepare, my favorite method is roasting; you can eat the “delicate” skin, no peeling, yipee; when roasting they become caramelized, so creamy and naturally sweet but not too sweet; they have a somewhat nutty flavor too; perfect size for a single serving (about 6-7 inches long) and they fit perfectly into my energy-efficient toaster oven; the green striped skin is just beautiful, with golden-orange colored flesh; this delicate squash could easily be eaten as a dessert, it’s that tasty…need I say more. 

Various Winter Squash at the Market
Various Winter Squash at the Market- DELICATA on the far left.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love many types of winter squash, they each have their own attributes and purposes. But today it’s time to roast a Delicata. Perhaps another day I’ll cover other preparation methods. 

I’m going to use it as a single serving for my lunch. So here’s the simple roasting process for a Delicata Squash:

  1. Preheat toaster oven for 5 minutes 395 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Scrub squash
  3. Place parchment paper on the oven tray
  4. Place Delicata squash on the parchment paper
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes or to your liking, turn mid-way. (I love to eat the brown crusty portion of the roasted skin.)
  6. Cool, cut in half, scoop out seeds and stringy flesh (seeds can be roasted too but that’s another post)
  7. That’s it, eat flesh and skin – DELICIOUS

 

Roasted Delicata
Roasted Delicata
Delicata Squash - cut in half after roasting
Delicata Squash – cut in half after roasting
Scoop out seeds
Scoop out seeds
Eat flesh and skin of the Delicata Squash
Eat flesh and skin of the Delicata Squash

Roasting Chick Peas

Roasting Chick Peas

We LOVE to snack on roasted low sodium CHICK PEAS (garbanzo beans)! Nice and crunchy like nuts without all the calories. Our toaster oven makes roasting so easy, quick and energy efficient too.

[A spin off is that we always have aqua faba (brine from chick peas) on hand to use as a leavening agent in baked goods…it keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week or freeze extra.] 

Roasted Chick Peas
Roasted Chick Peas

The process for roasting Chick Peas is simple:

  • Just pre-heat your toaster oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes or roast in your regular oven.
  • Take a can of low sodium chick peas and save off the aqua faba (brine) to use as an ingredient in baked goods.
  • Do not rinse the chick peas, place them in a single layer on the roasting tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning, we like garlic and cayenne pepper.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning mid-way. That’s it!

Tom and Zipper had fun making this video…Zipper was hungry.

A downside is that they are so good that we gobble up the roasted Chick Peas in a hurry and have to made more! ENJOY!!

Roasting Carrots in My Toaster Oven

Carrots at Market

Roasting CARROTS from the farmer’s market or fresh from your garden makes a nutrient filled tasty dish. On the other hand, organic carrots from the grocery store are wonderfully tasting too and available year round. It is so quick and easy to roast small quantities of vegetables in my small toaster oven. It is such an energy saver especially during hot weather when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by using your regular oven. Use your own favorite spices. Boy do they taste terrific, it’s hard to save them as a side dish for a meal, I just want to eat them straight from the oven! 

Roasted Carrots
Roasted Carrots

Serves: 3 || Prep Time: 15 minutes || Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 6 – 8 medium carrots
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat your toaster oven 400°F for 5 minutes (can be roasted in regular oven too). Cut carrots lengthwise, then cut in half again or to make thickness of pieces similar. Place cut carrots in a medium sized bowl; add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or enough to coat; stir until all carrots are coated. Line the baking pan in the toaster with parchment paper; place carrots on the paper. Mix spices together then sprinkle half the spice mixture on the carrots. Place in the preheated toaster oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn carrots over then sprinkle with remaining spice mix. Roast for another 10 minutes. It’s that easy!

Roasting Carrots
Roasting Carrots

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 124  Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 96mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Fiber 8g, Sugars 1g, Protein 3g


We love roasted carrots…well any veggie roasted! So give it a try – let me hear how it worked for you!

 

Beets and Greens – nothing “beets” the flavor

Red Roasted Beets

Roasting market fresh beets is so satisfying! You get a TWO for ONE…the beautiful beets and the beautiful greens! I roast beets about once a week – we cut up the beets for our daily salads and eat the leafy greens with a little peanut sauce…so scrumptious. We love organically locally grown beets for freshness and color variety, then during the off season we purchase red organic at the supermarket. Do we love beets or what! Usually we roast in our small toaster oven – saving energy is always good for the environment, as is, eating whole foods, plant-based.

Farm Market Beets
Farm Market Beets

Serves: 4 || Prep Time: 10 minutes || Cook Time: 30 – 50 minutes

4 large or 6 medium beets, fresh
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

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Preheat 400°F. Scrub beets, cut off greens to use later in salads or to sauté. Do not peel or cut off root end. Place in a bowl and coat with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Roast in regular oven or toaster oven on parchment paper. Depending on size, roast for approximately 30 -50 minutes, turn midway through. After roasting the peels will come off easily.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 43  Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 64mg, Total Carbohydrate 9g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 7g, Protein 1g


NOW FOR THE BEET GREENS WITH PEANUT SAUCE:  Beautiful green leaves steam and pieces of red stems sautéed in peanut sauce.

Serves: 2 || Prep Time: 10 minutes || Cook Time: 6 minutes

Steam Beet Greens
Steam Beet Greens
4 cups fresh beet greens, stems and leaves
1/2 cup water or more as needed
2 tablespoons fresh peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Wash the leaves thoroughly. You can use both the tender stems and the leaves from fresh beet greens. Ribbon cut the green leaves, save the red stems and cut into pieces a few inches long. Stir the peanut butter into 1/2 cup of water, add garlic powder. In a skillet heat the peanut sauce, add red stems first, sauté/ steam for about 3 minutes before adding green leaves. Sauté for another 3 minutes, not too long as you want to retain the beautiful bright green color. Enjoy alone as a side or add to various other dishes.

Nutrition FactsCalories 27  Calories from Fat 3, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 196mg, Total Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 0g, Protein 3

Beet Greens in Peanut Sauce
Beet Greens in Peanut Sauce