Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

I’ve had this fascination lately with eating “Brupper.” (That’s “breakfast-for-supper” for the uninformed.) It’s partly due to my love of all things breakfast food and partly due to my laziness. By the time I get home from my internship (and an hour stuck in traffic) all I’m thinking is “FOOD! GET ME FOOD NOW!!!”

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

So, eggs and toast have been a staple the past week. I find some veggies to throw in the eggs or on the side and – boom – complete meal.

Not wanting to eat scrambled or fried eggs for the umpteenth night in a row, I decided to get a little creative and put the eggs and toast inside the vegetables.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

With a little ingenuity and a quick round in the oven (my minuscule amount of patience is even thinner by night’s end), these Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes were ready in no time. They’re a healthier take on classic stuffed tomatoes, using egg whites in place of oil and a a full-flavored cheese used sparingly in place of a less flavorful, but more caloric one.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

Breadcrumb Stuffed Baked Tomatoes (makes approx. 6 small or 4 large tomatoes)

6 small tomatoes (about 2 inches around), I used chocolate tomatoes, but regular vine-ripened will work too

3 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted and cooled

2 egg whites

1 tsp. salt

1 TBSP crushed basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Using a paring knife, cut into the tops of the tomatoes at a 45 degree angle and cut a circle around the top. Remove the top and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh and seeds of the tomato, being careful not to pierce through the skin.

Arrange the hollowed out tomatoes on the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Roughly rip the toast into the bowl of a food processor and process until they form coarse bread crumbs. Add the egg whites, salt, basil, and cheese and blend until fully incorporated.

Fill the tomatoes with an equal amount of the breadcrumb mixture, pressing filling in firmly. Drizzle stuffed tomatoes with olive oil and bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until flesh is tender.

Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Breadcrumb Stuffed Tomatoes

Brupper of champions.

Cranberry & Gorgonzola Crostini with Balsamic Drizzle

I knew it would happen eventually. The day was going to come when I ran out of Christmas cookies. Sadly, that day came all too soon this year (or, last year, I guess…since it was 2012. Woa).
I was still on winter break when the last bits of frosting and broken crumbs disappeared. The well had dried up. I was out of cookies. Meaning I was out of breakfast. I needed a new sugar fix, and I needed it fast. I couldn’t just stop consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar first thing in the morning. I’m not a barbarian.
So, I started making cinnamon sugar toast. In massive quantities. Every day. I really and truly was going through bread at an alarming rate.  But somehow, on the day I came back to school, there was still half a loaf of whole wheat French bread sitting on the counter (because the whole wheat goodness totally makes cinnamon sugar toast a health food, it’s science). My dad wasn’t going to eat it, so I brought it back to school.
But now, in my apartment, with no cinnamon sugar shaker premixed or softened butter in a dish next to the toaster, I can’t really justify making cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast every day of the week. So I had to find something else to do with the bread. Something as equally simple and quick as cinnamon sugar toast, but a tad healthier.

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Caramelized Red Onions, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Walnuts

There are a few questions I don’t like being asked. “What size jeans are you?” “Did you want that with whipped cream?” “Can you give me the answer to this math problem?” Those are merely a sampling. They make me feel uncomfortable and unnecessarily stressed. I’ve carefully honed my behavior to avoid these kinds of questions (meaning I wear sweats, order Americanos, and refuse to take a math class until it is absolutely needed).
But lately, a question I can’t seem to escape is whether or not I am a vegetarian.
Growing up in Wisconsin, I didn’t encounter a whole lot of herbivores (I actually only knew one vegetarian before coming to college). Many times our family meals consisted of meat, potatoes, and more meat. Maybe some tasty biscuits from a can if we were feeling fancy.
Despite this meal plan, I managed to cultivate a strong taste for vegetables, particularly since coming to college. Raw, steamed, roasted, any way I can have them I will happily fill my plate. I include them in nearly every meal and feel very thrown off my axis if I don’t have any vegetables at all in a day. All very strange, I know.
Not all of my friends here share my outlook on, or love for, vegetables. I’ll talk about a dinner I made or order a meatless entree at a restaurant and be bombarded with a chorus of “Are you a vegetarian?”

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Blueberry Kiwi Salsa

I’ve got nothing for this salsa. It’s hot, I’ve been working like crazy, and am beyond sleep deprived. And really need to paint my nails so we’re keeping this short and sweet. And eating some Blueberry Kiwi Salsa.
I made it months ago right in the midst of a heat wave and a baking lapse. I put it on everything. Salads. Salmon. Spoons. It was phenomenal. I’m always looking for new salad toppings and love putting fruit in my salads so this salsa was the best of both worlds.
Any fruit and be thrown together with some jalapeno and red onion and become a quick and easy salsa, I’ve done cherry and strawberry variations of this with huge success. Have fun with it!

Blueberry Kiwi Salsa(make approx. 2 cups, inspired by How Sweet Eats)
1 vine ripe tomato, seed and chopped
½ medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 whole kiwi, peel and chopped
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt, to taste
Combine ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, ingredients can be chopped uniformly and simply mixed together.
Salsa can be stored in fridge for up to one week.
I lied, I’ve got chips for this salsa.

Mini Turkey Pitas with Avocado and Red Onion

I’m so sick of ham. Sick and tired of ham. Ham sandwiches. Hot ham and cheese. Dirty crockpot water ham. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The ham that is at every seemingly respectable church, community, or family event in the Midwest. It just sits in dirty water for 6 hours as people grab stale buns and make sandwiches with it for.the.entire.party. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
I, on the other hand, have a much more refined palate and choose to snarf down taco dip and lemon squares and bbq baked chips like my life depends on it. But that's neither here nor there…
But, not every day holds such an occasion as the annual church picnic or a second cousins graduation party. On those days there is no dirty crockpot water ham (thank goodness). There’s just lunch.

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