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Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

Maria Steinhauer

colon health recipe

I know several people who stay away from raw tomatoes, mainly because of the slimy, seedy texture inside. When I say “people,” I’m referring to my husband and several others on his side of the family. They basically hate tomatoes, unless it’s in a pasta sauce or salsa. I don’t understand it-- my family grew tomatoes every year in our backyard and looked forward to BLT sandwiches each summer. Nothing beats a sweet, bright red tomato picked right from your garden!

Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is one way to get the daily fiber you need so that your bowels run smoothly. Tomatoes have two kinds of fiber that are important. Most of it is insoluble fiber, which comes from the outer skin and the seeds inside. This fiber helps push out waste and eases constipation. It also helps you feel full. Soluble fiber from the pulp of the tomato combines with water to slow digestion & allow nutrients to absorb through the intestines. Besides tomatoes, onions contain fiber, too. They also have vitamins and minerals, including selenium and magnesium, which can help reduce your risk of colon cancer.

Quinoa is a “superfood” with antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa also has 5 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.

This quinoa-stuffed tomato is definitely a dish to try if you don’t like the slimy insides of a tomato (don’t worry, it’s scooped out to make room for quinoa!). It’s also great if you are looking for another way to eat tomatoes, besides slicing it for a BLT sandwich! You can turn this into a “bread-less BLT” by mixing in chopped/cooked turkey bacon with the quinoa, before spooning that quinoa mix into the tomato shell. Then once it’s done baking, you can serve each stuffed tomato over a bed of lettuce!

 

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cored/pulp removed
  • ½ cup dry quinoa 
  • 4 tbsp white onions, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 6 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup turkey bacon, chopped/cooked (optional)
  • 4 handfuls of lettuce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom of a square glass baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Prepare the quinoa: Place 1 cup of water and ½ cup of dry quinoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is simmering, go ahead and slice off the top ends of the tomatoes. Then carefully spoon out the pulp of each tomato using a spoon-- leaving about a ½ inch wall. Dice up some of the pulp (without the juice) and place ¼ cup of it into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. When quinoa is done (all the water has been soaked up), place the quinoa into the mixing bowl, and mix together with the diced onion, minced garlic, italian seasoning, sea salt, pepper and 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese. (optional- mix in your turkey bacon)
  5. Spoon quinoa mixture into each hollowed out tomato. (about ¼ cup to fill. You may have extra quinoa leftover, which can be used to top off your tomatoes if need be) Sprinkle 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese over each, as well as some extra Italian seasoning.
  6. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until the walls of the tomato are soft. Serve warm. (optional- serve each tomato over a handful of lettuce)



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