Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stuffed Tomatoes, Broccoli, Beets, and Tilapia

Well I may have missed the rain yesterday, but I certainly didn't today. It poured all day long, and by the end of my 5 mile run, I was sufficiently soaked through:

The run itself was great, it was the long car ride home in wet clothes and wet shoes that wasn't so much fun. When I got home I immediately jumped in a hot shower to warm myself up.

Well, not quite immediately. I was starving, so I wanted to get dinner started. For anyone else who makes this recipe, I'd recommend cooking the orzo before or after a shower, not during. I came back to the kitchen to find my pot of orzo boiling over:

And once strained, the pot was a sticky mess. This won't be fun to clean - luckily dishes aren't one of my chores ;)!

Tomorrow night we're sleeping at my mom's house because we're flying out of Logan Airport very early on Thursday morning for San Fransisco. I wanted to use up all of the fresh food before it went bad.

To make the Stuffed Tomatoes:


  • 1 cup cooked orzo, cooled (after cooking, pour into a strainer and run cold water over the orzo for a couple minutes until cool)

  • 2/3 cup finely chopped bell peppers (multi-color will look best - I chose green and yellow)

  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles

  • Grated lemon rind from 1/2 a lemon

  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tomatoes

  • Salt and pepper to taste
Two nice big tomatoes that came from one of Patrick's client's gardens:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl except for tomatoes.

Core the tomatoes and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and inner membranes.

Stuff the tomatoes with the orzo mixture.

Meanwhile, Patrick had the exciting job of peeling the beets and putting them on to boil. I love beets, but I don't love peeling them. Its a pain to peel each small beet, and everything you touch turns purple in the process. If you're willing to sacrifice your hands for this task, fresh beets are delicious.

Thanks Pat!!

Once peeled, slice any larger beets in half, so all are about the same size (so they have the same cooking time). Put them in a pot of boiling water, and cook on medium for about a half hour, until a fork can easily be inserted. Fresh beets are great served hot with some salt and pepper.

We also steamed some broccoli, and sauteed tilapia filets (previously frozen) in the juice from 1 1/2 lemons, fresh ground pepper and chopped tomatoes. Frozen tilapia is inexpensive, thaws quickly (place wrapped frozen filets in a bowl of cold water for 5ish minutes) and has about 100 calories, no fat, and 21 grams of protein!

The finished meal:

Despite starting off with messy orzo, everything came out great! We used up all of the fresh veggies from the farmer's market and had a well balanced meal.

I'd definitely make the stuffed tomatoes again. Pat was surprised by them and loved the taste, he said that the hint of lemon was great without overpowering the other flavors. Next time I might even try making hot stuffed tomatoes - I'll saute peppers and onions, mix with hot orzo, and add feta (maybe even some mozzerella) and lemon - stuff the tomatoes, wrap in toil foil and bake.

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