This week, my boyfriend and I are eating vegan, because that is what we do when the rest of the world is trying to drink cayenne lemon juice for seven days.
The word “vegan” used to conjure up nightmares of flat flavors and impossible ingredients. But gone are the days of bland recipes full of weird substitutions and no substance. Now eating vegan gives you an opportunity to make creatively savory dishes, and these stuffed heirloom tomatoes are no exception. Mouthwatering and filling, this recipe is perfect for the impending fall nights. They give you that comfort food feeling without that comfort food “OMG I impregnated myself with mashed potatoes” guilt.
For those of us who aren’t culinarily inclined, heirloom vegetables are vegetables grown in open pollination without crossbreeding. They’re considered to be “old fashioned” but I consider them to be “delicious”. Not only are they more flavorful than the high-yielding hybrids found at the grocery store, but heirloom vegetables in general have been proven to be more nutritious (check out this article from Time about it).
If you’re wondering how a lowly writer-actor in Los Angeles affords to eat all organic vegetables, let me take this time to plug Community Supported Agriculture again. Check it out and see if it is available in your area. For $25 a week you get an amazing amount of local, organic vegetables. It is fantastically cheaper than buying organic at your local grocery store plus you’re helping your community.
Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Red Quinoa and Basil
• ½ cup Red Quinoa
• 4 sprigs of basil (chopped)
• 1 – 2 Shallots (diced)
• 1/4 pack of Soft Tofu (diced)
• Cayenne Pepper
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon Olive oil
• 4 heirloom tomatoes
1. Prepare red quinoa according to package instructions. When finished, add to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add basil, shallot, soy sauce, olive oil and tofu to mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
3. Using a serrated knife cut the top of the tomatoes as you would a pumpkin for Halloween. Cut in a circle around the stem so you can adequately ‘stuff’ the tomatoes. Scoop out the inside (leaving plenty of flesh in the hollow tomato for support) and place in mixing bowl.
4. Add ‘hollowed’ tomato to greased oven pan and stuff with mixture.
5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. After that, increase heat to 425 for 10 minutes. (If you would like the tomato to ‘brown’ a little more – just place in the broiler until desired).
6. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.
And last but not least, chow down!
Plan on whipping these up? Let us know how it goes in the comments!
Big thanks to my amazing boyfriend & the best cook I know, Ben. ♥