Food Waste: cherry tomatoes + 2 recipes

Another school snack saved from the dumpster.

This picture is my idealistic view on how tomatoes should come. Freshly washed, ready for eating, sweet from the sun that turned them their true colors. Unfortunately, the next picture shows the true view on how they came to my classroom: plastic shells. Fortunately, the plastic is #2 which can be recycled here.

I dig fresh heirloom tomatoes raw, but these were…not tasty. They tasted like something was forced in the process of getting them to the market. My students ate more than I expected them to, but they were so pretty, I knew I couldn’t just sacrifice these to the compost goddesses. These would need special treatment by way of oils, spices, salt, and plenty of heat.

The first thing I did with a couple pints was oven roast them.

I cut the tomatoes in half, then added some sugar, a bit of salt, and a couple Tablespoons of olive oil.

They laid out face-up on the baking sheet, and they roasted for nearly an hour at 350F.

They melted and poured their juices out and became way more flavorful in the process.

Be sure to scrape any of the tastiness from the baking sheet to store with the tomatoes in a glass jar. I’ll store these in the fridge to add to dishes throughout the week.

In the above picture, you can see I still had plenty of tomatoes to work with.

Next up was tomato sauce to go with the spaghetti I had bought in my own bag at WinCo!

It all started with a bunch of nice cloves of garlic. Mince them!

Prepare tomatoes by cutting them in half. This will make quick work of the tomato sauce.

Heat up some olive oil, then add in all the delicious minced garlic and let it permeate throughout the house. Mmm!

Add in the halved tomatoes and turn the heat up to get it all started.

Turn the heat to medium, and when the tomatoes have let out some of their juices, add in herb(s) of choice. Obviously basil is a good choice, but so is oregano, or what I’m using which is marjoram because I have a giant bush of marjoram out front that is always begging me to use in every Italian dish.

Sprinkle in some sea salt while this simmers away.

It starts to break down and get thicker. This is after about 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes, but it doesn’t need close watching.

Here it is after 30 minutes, and I could have stopped it here and had a wonderful tomato sauce, but I let it go even further because I felt like the tomatoes needed extra caramelizing since they were mostly flavorless to begin with.

And it’s done now! It’s thick, and smells amazing. I didn’t bother with blending it at all, but did pick out the little sticks of marjoram that were left.

Cook up something delicious for a base! Of course, I cooked spaghetti, added in some white beans, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, and more salt. Out of this world good, and truly not too long of a dinner especially considering it is fresh tomato sauce!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Massaman Curry

This was my lunch at work recently: massaman curry with rice plus bakery sourdough bread and a black bean brownie. Every lunch should have dessert, right?

Massaman curry is my favorite thing to order at Thai restaurants because I love potatoes and peanuts!

It’s healthier and still convenient to make it at home. This is the first meal I made using the latest curry paste in my refrigerator.

If you want to make this you’ll want to have:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 3 – 5 potatoes, cubed or chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 3 Tablespoons peanuts
  • Bouillon, to taste
  • Curry paste, to taste (start with 3 Tablespoons if using homemade)

To cook:

  • Heat oil in large pot or pan
  • Add onion and cook until translucent
  • Add garlic and cook only until fragrant
  • Add potatoes and carrots, stir
  • Immediately add curry paste and coat everything in pan
  • Toss in chickpeas
  • Add water to meet the top of the contents of pan, not too much
  • Add bouillon
  • Simmer until potatoes are tender
  • Add in peanuts

Enjoy with rice if you prefer!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Roasted Veggies Chickpeas + Kale

Some call this type of dish a Buddha bowl, which sounds exciting. I didn’t intentionally make this with that end idea. I was ill all week and had no energy to make it to a store. I had a jar of frozen chickpeas and some root vegetables on hand and that was basically the extent of the fresh food I had.

Whenever I have root vegetables, my top choice is to roast them.

Paired with homemade ginger beer, this meal was hearty, and felt like just the thing to knock out an illness.

Wash and dice a butternut squash and your choice of potatoes into similar sizes. I used 2 purple sweet potatoes.

Drizzle with oil, then roast at 450F until fork tender.

Meanwhile pat dry 1-2 cups of chickpeas, and toss them with oil and any spices you’d like such as cumin, harissa, paprika, or ras el hanout.

Roast chickpeas, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy.

While everything roasts, make a sauce with tahini, liquid aminos, a touch of maple syrup, and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Once chickpeas and vegetables are roasted, add to a bowl, then add a few torn kale leaves without ribs, and drizzle with the sauce.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan