Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pickled Green Tomatoes

I love our garden this year.  I started all of our tomato plans (17 of them!) by seed back in February.  They are all non GMO and only being sprayed/fertilized organically.  Unfortunately, my large bonnie best tomatoes got a fungus this year that was making the tomatoes become damaged on the vine when they turned red.  I've been treating them and hoping that I can kill the fungus so the rest of our growing season will be okay.  Jury is still out on that!

I was not about to throw in the towel and lose all the tomatoes from 4 plants.  I saw on Facebook how someone made picked green tomatoes.  Genius!  When these tomatoes are green they are still healthy!  I cut off all the large green ones and decided to do some canning!

The recipe I followed came from Homesick Texan.  I pretty much followed his recipe exactly.

2 pounds green tomatoes (about 4 or 5 depending on size), thinly sliced
1 jalapeƱo chile, stems removed, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dill seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoons sea salt

Special equipment
2 wide-mouth pint jars or 1 wide-mouth quart jar, sterilized (boil jars & lids for 10 minutes)

Evenly distribute the sliced green tomatoes, sliced jalapeƱos, cumin seeds, peppercorns, celery seed, dill seed and garlic into the jars. In a saucepan, bring to a boil 1 cup of water, the vinegar, and sea salt. Pour the boiling vinegar mixture into the jars leaving a bit of head space. Cover with lid and fasten with rings. Allow to cool and then refrigerate. They will be ready after 4 hours and will last for 1 month in the refrigerator.

This is my first batch.  I didn't pack the tomatoes in tight enough.  This was 2 very large green tomatoes.

My second batch turned out much better.  This was probably 2 large tomatoes and two smaller ones.  I really filled the jar up as much as a I could.

These are so delicious.  They are good on their own, just out of the jar.  For lunch the other day I put it on a turkey sandwich.  Yum!  These would be awesome on a burger.  Or laid out on a plate as an appetizer for a party.  I am sure using green cherry tomatoes would be great as well.  The vinegar taste is a little strong (which I like) but if you don't, just reduce the amount of vinegar a bit.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

This. Was. So. Good.


Really, this salad was good warm and great the next day cold out of the refrigerator.  My oldest daughter liked it, minus the spicy factor.

I found this recipe on PreventionRD's website.  Great meal for lunch, dinner or to bring as a salad to a party.  Will definitely be making this again and again.

1 cup quinoa
2 skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 crumbled blue cheese
4 green onions chopped

1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

In a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water for 1-2 minutes.  In a medium pot over medium high heat, combine quinoa and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat to low.  Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, hot sauce and seasoned salt in a small bowl.  Whisk and set a side.

Heat the pot used to cook the quinoa over medium heat, adding a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the chicken and cook 3-4 minutes or until nearly cooked through.  Add the broccoli and saute for about 2-3 minutes or until bright green and slightly tender.  Remove from heat and stir in carrots and cabbage.  Add about 1/2 of the buffalo sauce and stir.

Transfer the chicken and the veggies to the bowl with the quinoa and toss with remaining dressing.  Add the blue cheese and half of the green onions.  Toss again and serve warm or chilled.