Tag Archives: tomato

How to make lunch without even trying

Dear reader,

Be thankful I deleted the first version of this post. It was long, rambling and bogged down with more with tangents then a trig exam. Even I was bored. In hindsight, it was indicative of how my brain’s been working lately but before I get on a tangent in my anti-tangent prequel here are the cliff notes to my original post. Which I did as a math equation because now all I can think about are tangents.


(Completely preoccupied with 5 year plan * 2 weeks)/eating to sustain energy levels = (Fridge full of uneaten produce – bananas – almonds)^recently drained Starbucks card = lethargic Kristy

Mentally focused Kristy = sleep + x

Solve for x

X = eat actual food =

I like Applegate products because they make convenience foods (like the Italian chicken sausage above or deli meat) that still resembles food. They typically have about 5 ingredients or less – all of which I can pronounce – and come from animals that were raised healthfully (which I could explain what I mean by that but I won’t for brevity). Combo this with a tomato basil salad I put together while waiting* for the sausage to cook and the end result is that I finally had a decent meal and it came together in under 10 minutes.

* I use the term waiting loosely here. Technically it should have taken the whole 10 minutes to cook the sausage in the skillet, but I was too inpatient so I sliced it in order to get it to cook faster. I bet you thought I did that to make it look pretty? Nope. I’m just really flippin’ inpatient.

My next goal is to not eat a banana with almond butter for dinner…again.


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Filed under Crazy Quick, Lunch/Dinner

Tomato Salad

This past spring I finally had the opportunity to join a CSA. For those of you not in the know yet, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It basically means at the beginning of the year (typically around March) you buy a share of a local farm and then each week you get to pick up your freshly grown produce. To be honest, the only downside I’ve found with being part of a CSA is that I don’t have a reason to visit the farmer’s market as often. I LOVE the farmer’s market. I actually remember the first time I visited the Saturday market here in CoMo. I was on the phone with my mom at the time and as I drove up and saw the market in all its glory I gave my mom the “I’ll call you back!” and hung up on her. I was that excited. Luckily, she doesn’t appear to have held it against me over the years.

Anyway, I have to plug the Root Cellar here. They were the only reason I was able to do it. I’ve wanted to join a CSA since about 2006 but could never fork up $400-$500 all at once to pay for a year’s worth of produce. Lucky for me, since the Root Cellar is a local grocer the put together their own CSAs from several local farms and are able to sell them on a weekly basis. This means that for $20 a week I get a TON of produce – all of which is local and most of which is organic. For example, this past week I got the largest eggplant I’ve ever seen, peaches, basil, greens, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, summer squash and onions. Which leads me to the recipe…

…in a second. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of tomatoes and basil. Tomatoes are one of my favorite, favorite, favorite parts of summer. It’s like summer doesn’t really happen for me until I cut into the first truly red tomato of the year. I’ve been known to eat a pint of cherry tomatoes for lunch. Mmmmm. I digress. But even with that the tomatoes can pile up on me if I don’t eat them consistently. To help with that I’ve been making tomato salad as a way to use both them and the basil up. It’s super easy and I can use up leftovers in a lot of different ways. I’ll eat this on top of a bunch of greens as a salad, put it on top of a piece of fish or eggs, add in shrimp to make a quick lunch or mix in some pine nuts for a snack (what I was doing in the picture below). Here’s my recipe – though if you know me you know I don’t actually measure anything, which is why I don’t include any here. Sorry. You’ll live. And it will probably still taste good.


1-2 medium tomatoes, diced – I try to remove most of the seeds as well

1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced – or more considering your social situation

1-2 glugs olive oil – if you keep good olive oil in the house, now would be the time to use it

3-4 dashes (maybe 1 Tbsp) balsamic vinegar – fun fact:  it’s taken me at least 3 years to learn how to spell balsamic correctly

1-2 cloves garlic – or more considering your social situation

basil, chiffonade – lots! that stuff is GOOD!

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I don’t have anything to write here, I just wanted to be consistent


Put in bowl. Stir. Taste. Adjust. Eat. Repeat.

Other options:

  • jalapeño and cilantro instead of basil
  • add in mango
  • add in pine nuts
  • lime and avocado instead of balsamic and basil


Filed under Appetizers, Crazy Quick, Lunch/Dinner, Salads

Hearty Tomato Soup with Sourdough Croutons

Would it be cliche to start out the first post in almost two weeks with:  “Work has been NUTS!”? Probably, but it’s true. I do love my job, but sometimes I envy those who get to cook and shoot pictures all day. The people that do this kind of stuff professionally. Sadly, I only moonlight as a domestic. And back in the 9-5 life January is the busiest month of the year. However, the recent snow storm that blew through the mid west has brought all that to a screeching halt. The city has, for all intensive purposes, shut down. I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me not to come in to work today…or tomorrow for that matter. Just stay home.

No problemo. Where’s my apron?

Not to say that I’ve been too busy to eat these last two weeks. I finally got the chance to try kale chips for the first time and can add to the consensus that they’re as good as everyone has hyped them to be. I made whole wheat baguettes – my first journey into yeast breads. And revisited a tried and true red lentil soup from Heidi Swanson’s site.

There were also a lot of granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches.

So if you’re stuck inside, reveling in your kitchen this week, like I am, you might have a hearty bowl of soup on your mind, like I did. If so, I offer up this tomato soup for your consideration. In the world of tomato soup there are silky, cream-laden varieties and then there’s this. Bowls where you can still see the flecks of carrots and onions. Other pluses of this recipe:  I learned this version back in college when I was teaching 3rd graders how to cook, meaning even if you’re inept in the kitchen you can pull this off, on a weeknight, with your hair on fire. It’s also what I consider a pantry-staples soup. Most folks have the ingredients for this in the fridge/pantry, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to be making any special grocery store trips to pull this together.

Oh, and if you have one, this recipe calls for an immersion blender. You don’t actually need one to make the soup, but if you have an immersion blender you probably have a need to use it. You know, like Tom Cruise has a need for speed…

I must go now. My presence is being requested in the cookie baking department.

Hearty Tomato Soup


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small day-old loaf sourdough bread cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large vidalia onion (or other variety) diced
  • 2 large carrots coarsely diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romano/Gruyere/Mozzarella cheese for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In large bowl toss bread and olive oil together with your hands. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and let bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown on all sides. They may need a toss half way through if you don’t have a convection oven or if they’re baking unevenly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat and add in the carrot and onion. Let cook until the onion starts to become translucent, adding in the extra Tbsp of olive oil if necessary.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium and add in your garlic and let cook for about a minute before adding in the tomatoes, juice and all. Turn your heat back up to medium high and bring mixture up to a gentle boil. Add in your thyme and salt and pepper to taste. (Carefully, it’s hot!)
  4. Using an immersion blender (or by working in batches in a food processor or blender) puree the soup until the texture evens out. You still want to keep some of the texture, but this will keep the soup from being carrots and onion in a tomato broth.
  5. Slowly add in broth, blending as necessary, until the soup is at your desired consistency. You may not want to add any, you may add the whole quart.
  6. Dish into bowls and top with cheese and croutons.


Filed under Lunch/Dinner, Main Dish