Healthy Fried Green Tomatoes

Remember the other night when I really wanted to share with you the post about our dinner? Thanks for holding out on me, because I think you will find it worth it. I present…

Healthy Fried Green Tomatoes

These were a hit in my family, and hopefully you’ll take a half an hour out of your summer and give them a try, too. For the record, I stress again that they were a hit because Greg did not like tomatoes at all when I met him. So much so, I couldn’t hold them down when I was pregnant with Evan. And I love tomatoes, y’all. (Have you met my other kid who plants cherry tomatoes just so she can eat them all summer long?) So trust me on the tomatoes. Here’s what I need you to do.

1. Take the family shopping. Truth be told, I much prefer the selection at our local Farmer’s Market to anything I’ve seen when it comes to green tomatoes. The harder, the better. Kudos to you if you are a gardener and have some handy. This mama just doesn’t have time for that! 

2. Slice the tomatoes sort of thick – about 3/8″ thick. We sliced up 2 to make plenty for our family of four.

3. Dip the slices in egg whites.

4. Dip the slices in a mixture of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, onion seasoning, and garlic seasoning with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.

5. Place the slices on a cookie sheet that you’ve sprayed with EVOO spray.

6. Pop them in a 425 degree oven for about 16 minutes, flipping them over at the half way point.

While you are waiting, you might as well prep some bacon and turn them into BLT’s. They are just fine to eat by themselves or with a little bit of tomato sauce on top, but there’s something magical about adding them to bacon, lettuce, and some cheese (bonus points if you can find “Thunderjack” at your local grocery store). Put them on wheat bread, and enjoy as we did.

You’re welcome.

And yes, Greg and I head upstairs to watch Fried Green Tomatoes when we were done. After he shared this photo to Facebook, of course. 🙂

Fried_Green_Tomatoes

The Evil Hornworm

For a good 12 minutes, Greg and I stared at the green caterpillar with a slight J to his end. Not really knowing my bugs, I totally trusted Greg that it was a monarch butterfly in the making there on our cherry tomato plant. So much so that I trekked multiple times to get photos of it with my phone before Greg grabbed the big kid camera.

I posted this photo on Instagram, calling him a friend. We headed to the pool for an hour and dint think about him much longer.

Hornworm on Tomato

As I dried off, I happened to check Facebook and saw my Mother-In-Law had some good advice:

hornwormadvice

Oh shoot. I yelled out to Greg who of course had to come inside and research it himself before he killed the thing. Nope, he wasted a few precious moment in our tomatoes’ existence. That bugger was a Tomato Hornworm. No friend to our tomatoes or peppers. The ‘lil brat had to die a hard death in soapy water, just like we kill the StinkBugs.

Lesson learned, if you see this guy, kill him dead.

Tomato and Sausage Pasta

Today’s post comes from Emily of fooding with Emily, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Red Pen Mama, where I talk about motivation.

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I have quite the hate-hate relationships with diets.  I hate going on them.  I hate fat-free, ill tasting dishes.  I love to exercise (OK, I hate getting up, making myself go to the gym, I’m OK when I get there, I hate sweating, I hate feeling exhausted, but when I’m all done I LOVE IT – so I only ‘love’ exercising when I’m done). Trying to be healthy means exercising and eating healthy(er). I’ve had my fair share of yo-yo diets and none of them sticking.  But the one thing that has stuck is eating well and just move.  Indulge from time to time.  I will eat my cake! Just not every day.  I will have chocolate! Just not every day.  I will eat my brussel sprouts! I actually really like brussel sprouts.  Like a lot. Probably more than one should.  If I had to pick between chocolate and the sprouts, I’d pick sprouts hand down.  I know, I’m weird.  I would trade you my chocolate cake for your brussel sprouts and feel like I was the winner of that trade.

I’ve found this one recipe that is not only on the healthier side, but it’s QUICK. I love cooking, but sometimes when I am just tired on a Tuesday night, I’d rather pick up the phone and order a pizza. This recipe is my new saving grace.  It’s nothing terribly fancy so it will please most picky eaters.  It’s also tasty.  I can’t get enough of it.  I found it on Cooking Light and was blown away.  That magazine has had it’s fair share of ‘meh’ in my experience.  But since I have subscribed last year, I’ve been SOLD. And I’m sold again with this dish.

My only substitution was instead of using fresh tomatoes, i used canned diced tomatoes with some oregano and basil seasoning.  I cut corners where I see fit.  I hate chopping tomatoes.

You’ll need:

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

My only problem with this recipe is that I want to eat and eat and eat until it’s all gone.  Stupid diets!