Cherry Tomato Sauce 2

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By the time I got to my stash of ripened cherry tomatoes, some of them had gone south. I was left with about a plateful of useable tomatoes, so I just did a quick modification of my first attempt at making a sauce.

This was more paste than sauce. I liked it that way, so I left it. I decided to use this on sandwiches instead of pasta, where its thickness was an asset.

Key:

  1. Raw tomatoes on plate
  2. Tomatoes with garlic-infused olive oil, garlic powder, basil, oregano, a dash of black pepper
  3. After broiling them on HIGH/electric. I started with them on the middle rack for about 5 minutes, constantly checking them, and then topped them off for about a minute or two on the top rack- also constantly checking them.
  4. After pureeing in the mini-chopper
  5. Adding pureed tomatoes and residual tomato oil to a can of tomato paste
  6. After stirring
  7. After adding in a glug of olive oil and about 1/4 cup of water

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ground “Meat” Burrito & Sloppy Joe Shortcut

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This is the companion to the faux chicken burrito– a “ground beef” burrito. I used another Quorn product for this one-ย  mostly because I was trying to clean out the freezer, but also because I do genuinely like it & find it useful. I also had leftovers from the last batch of burritos. It kept things fresh enough, so I didn’t feel like I was being too repetitive. It’s also worth mentioning that this is not a sponsored post, even though there are a lot of links. I don’t get anything one way or another if you happen to try the things I had around my kitchen.

Like the chik’n recipe, this can be reverse-modified for omnivores pretty easily, though Quorn is one of those foods that seems to be popular with omnis and veggies alike. I also don’t like things very spicy, so I’d definitely recommend tasting it as you season. You can always add, but it’s much harder to take away.

The method is pretty similar. The only real difference is that I tried using water, as McCormick suggests (to adhere the seasoning). That wasn’t super-effective for me. Even though I’ve been trying to cut back on my use of oil, I preferred the oil.

 

So basically, I…

Got out a large stainless steel fry pan & coated with grapeseed oil. Turned the burner up to HIGH just to heat the oil, then back to medium, while I put the crumbles in the pan & stirred.

Sprinkled 1/3ish of the seasoning on the crumbles, added a little olive oil, and stirred.

Added in some cherry tomatoes from the garden, stirred, then turned the burner to MEDIUM/HI and stirred continuously until brown.

…and then the filling was done.

 

You don’t need a lot of filling to make these burritos, so I had plenty of leftovers. What you see above is one of several variations I made using the leftovers. For this variation, I put about 1/4 a cup of filling in a microwave-safe bowl, sliced a stick of marbled string cheese, covered everything with cling-wrap, and microwaved it for about a minute. (This will vary widely according to your specific microwave. If I was making this in an unknown oven, I’d check after 30 seconds & then decide if it needed more time or not.) This was enough for two burritos.

The lettuce is nothing exciting- just some iceberg that I happened to have left over. I sliced it with a sharp knife on a cutting board, which made it easy to deal with.

The wraps are another of my favorites, but they DID NOT stand up well to heat AT ALL. Every time I made this, the filling fell through. So, there’s that, but I do like the taste and the shape, for what it’s worth.

 

Sloppy Joe Shortcut:

This is actually a variation of the way I used to make Sloppy Joes years ago, but could never quite replicate. This way works, and can be reproduced, so here you go…

I took the leftover filling, heated it up, then stirred in some BBQ sauce.

Then, I put the mixture on some bread. Instant Sloppy Joe!

 

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Quick Garden Update

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Just a quick picture today: this is what it looks like when I let the tomatoes ripen on the vine.

I was able to keep about 2/3 of the second harvest- which was fine by me, considering I wasn’t even sure there would be a second harvest at all. 2 or 3 split, the others had black spots… not bad for a beginner. The plants may not look pageant-worthy, but I’m just happy that they’re still hanging in there.

I might be able to make a second batch of tomato sauce yet!

 

Chik’n Burrito

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These wraps/burritos were ridiculously easy to make, plus the mixture yielded plenty of delicious leftovers. What’s not to like there? I was trying to use up a few things- tomatoes from the garden, a frying pepper, part of an onion, nonfat Greek yogurt, Quorn, and a bag of “taco seasoning”.

Of course, typically, most cooks would work the spices themselves, but the seasoning packet was another gift intended to make my life easier, and it did.

My use of Greek nonfat yogurt mostly has to do with the fact that I had it, I like it, and it was already open. I opt for nonfat because of my zany stomach issues. I usually have yogurt around because it’s so versatile; rather than sour cream, which gets limited use.

I don’t fry as much as I used to since I purchased the indoor grill. When I do fry, I often use grape seed oil because it stands up to high heat well. I now mostly add olive oil for taste.

 

Chik’n Burrito:

First, I fried the chopped white onion and the green frying pepper in grapseed: HI at first, then MEDIUM.

Then, I added the Quorn. (I know it sounds like I’ve been promoting them lately. I’m really just trying to use up what’s around.)

Then, I sprinkled in 1/3 of the packet ofย  “taco seasoning“. (Not a sponsor. I also don’t typically use packets because it feels like cheating, but I liked this one, for what it’s worth.)

Then, I added some extra virgin olive oil & stirred. Meanwhile, the heat was still on medium.

Towards the end, I added in cherry tomatoes & mixed well.

I served them on these wraps. (Not a sponsor, but I wouldn’t complain if they sent me some wraps because these are one of my favorites).

 

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Garden Update

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Tomatoes:

Here you can see some of the new growth on the cherry tomatoes. These pictures were taken after the plants had been fed. Production is still slower than before, but there are plenty of flowers and tomatoes coming in. The blight is still a problem- they pretty much need daily treatments to look like this. I skipped maybe two days after this was taken, and a few of the leaves are yellowing again. I’m not sure I want to trim the plants further, because it takes a while for them to get back up to speed. These are indeterminate plants, so I do have a little more leeway. This is one of those things where I have to look at them again and then decide.

 

Marigolds:

The marigolds are doing just fine, I’m happy to report- big, beautiful puffs of flowers! I have been dead-heading them, as advised, which really seems to have made a difference. I do feed them now and then as well. This year, I’m letting them grow as they please, so pardon the floral acrobatics.

I had rigged a drainage system underneath the soil in the flower boxes, which is why the marigolds haven’t grown sideways. It is basically a variation of what I did with the tomatoes, (which have colanders in the buckets). To make it, I cut a spring water bottle vertically, then poked holes in each half, then set them horizontally into the planters, with the narrow sides facing outward.

In retrospect, I’m not sure going to that much trouble was necessary, but it was in response to the condition I’d found the planters in. I had excavated and bleached them prior to re-use- they had gotten very moist and it was disgusting. They were originally lined in plastic, which is great if you want to grow beetles, incidentally. The flowers seem perfectly happy with unlined containers, though. Next year, I will probably skip the drainage system altogether, since these homemade planters are (obviously) not water-tight.