Tag Archives: Tomato


Texas Caviar


The Super Bowl is just about here and if you’re planning on watching the game, you’re probably deciding on what kind of snacks you want to make. If you’re still looking for ideas, this Texas Caviar is a great recipe to try! Some people also call this Cowboy Caviar. I’ve seen lots of variations on this dip and decided to come up with my own version. Most recipes you’ll see have black beans, black-eyed peas or pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion. I like adding chopped green chiles and avocado to mine. And olives–don’t forget the olives! It’s actually quite a healthy mix of veggies and beans. I used canned diced tomatoes, but you can dice up some fresh ones, and you can use fresh or frozen corn instead of canned. And it tastes great! Serve it with those scoop-style chips and enjoy every bite!


Makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 small red onion (or 1/2 large), finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (or use an equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or use a 10-ounce bag of frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (I used sliced Kalamata olives)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (or use fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 2/3 cup Italian salad dressing (regular or light)
  • 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients, except for the Italian salad dressing, cilantro, and avocado in a large bowl, blending so all ingredients are distributed evenly.

Add the Italian dressing; toss well so all ingredients are coated with dressing.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Then toss with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado.

Put mixture into a large serving bowl or several smaller bowls and serve with tortilla chips.

When it comes to watching the Super Bowl, I have to admit I actually enjoy the commercials the most! I like going to sports games, but watching them on TV just doesn’t hold my interest. What do you like best–the game or the commercials?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.


Cheeseburger Taco


We all know tacos are made with ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, and maybe some sour cream on top, right? Well, apparently there is a taco revolution going on, and the traditional taco has been DownloadedFilereinvented for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I found all this out when I got a review copy of  The Taco Revolution by Brandon Schulz. Now you can make Mac and Cheese Tacos, Reuben Tacos, Greek Tacos, Roasted Vegetable Tacos, Southwestern Omelet Tacos, Pepperoni Pizza Tacos…just about any kind of taco you can think of! The many colorful recipe photos in the book will make you crave tacos in the worst way! The recipes are simple and easy to put together, and you’ll find lots of great ideas for summertime meals.

I thought I’d try the Cheeseburger Taco–it’s been awhile since I’ve had a cheeseburger. But I used those veggie crumbles in place of ground beef, so for those of you on vegetarian diets, this tastes great with a meatless substitute. This taco also has cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and relish for a great cheeseburger taste!

CHEESEBURGER TACO from The Taco Revolution

Makes 6 tacos

  • 1 pound ground beef (or substitute veggie crumbles for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I used a Fiesta/Mexican blend of shredded cheese)
  • 1 1/2 cups torn lettuce (large pieces)
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup relish
  • Additional shredded cheese, for topping
  • Tortillas (I used 6″ multigrain tortillas)

Brown ground beef in a large pan over medium-high heat, about 8-10 minutes. Add cheese and cook 1 more minute, mixing constantly, until fully melted.

Top a tortilla with lettuce, tomato, and red onion, Add cheesy ground beef mixture and top with relish and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.

These tacos were a lot easier to eat and less messy than I thought they would be–after you put all the ingredients on your tortillas, you just fold them over and eat! I really liked this taco–I thought it tasted great and it was super easy to make! Do you make tacos often? Have you tried making any unique taco recipes?

Linked to Wow Us Wednesday, Thursday Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Inspire Me Monday.


Tennessee Cornbread Salad


This Tennessee Cornbread Salad is a new favorite recipe of mine! I had heard of cornbread salad before, but never really thought about making it–after all, cornbread in a salad? I wasn’t sure what to think about that! Then Krusteaz sent me some of their mixes to try, one of which was Southern Cornbread. And they had a recipe on their site called Tennessee Cornbread Salad. It looked pretty good, so I decided to try it out. You don’t have to use a cornbread mix in this recipe–you can use your favorite homemade cornbread, too! I made a few changes to the recipe, using a little more crumbled cornbread, adding 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and substituting turkey bacon for regular bacon. I thought this salad was so good! It really surpassed my expectations.

I was a little skeptical about the dressing–a mix of mayonnaise and sweet pickle juice–but it actually tastes great! I did make a little change to the dressing, substituting a small amount of plain Greek yogurt for the mayo. I also thought corn would be great in this, but didn’t have any to use at the time I was making the salad, so I listed it as an optional ingredient. ncTnCrnbrdSal1nm

I usually make cornbread from scratch, but a mix is convenient–especially when you’re making a recipe like this where you need to make the cornbread to use as an ingredient! It saves a little time, and this Krusteaz Southern Cornbread mix bakes up really nice and tastes like homemade. If you’re on the fence about making cornbread salad, I recommend trying this recipe out! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


Makes 12 servings Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I used 3/4 cup light mayonnaise and 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice


  • 4 cups crumbled, baked cornbread (I used Krusteaz Natural Southern Cornbread & Muffin Mix, 11.5 oz.)
  • 12 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pickles
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional: 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • Optional: some finely chopped celery and crumbled cornbread for garnish

For Dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, and pickle juice; set aside. For Salad: In large clear bowl, place half of the crumbled cornbread (2 cups). In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and spoon half of the mixture over the cornbread. Spread half of the dressing over the vegetables. Repeat layers. Instead of spreading the top layer of dressing over all the veggies, I heaped it in the center, as you can see in the photo. Then I added a little finely chopped celery and crumbled cornbread for a garnish. Chill 2-3 hours before serving. ncTnCnbrd3nm

I’m not sure why this is called TENNESSEE Cornbread Salad other than that it must be a popular way to make it in Tennessee. Are any of you from Tennessee and have you made cornbread salad this way before?

Some other recipes you can make with Krusteaz mixes include Easter Egg Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Raspberry Tart, and Cinnamon Rolls–great treats for Easter weekend!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, Favorite Things Thursday.
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


Mango-Jalapeno Salsa from The Daniel Plan Cookbook


Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been eating more fruit–there’s something about the warmer weather that makes me crave it more! I love all kinds of fruit and that’s what I like about this Mango-Jalapeno Salsa–there’s a nice variety of fruit–mango, pineapple, and apple–mixed in with some diced tomato and red bell pepper. It’s a little on the spicy side, so use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger if you want a milder salsa. Overall, I think this is a great, healthy mix of naturally sweet and savory flavors!

517gSVWkM3L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Speaking of healthy, this recipe is from a new cookbook out last month, The Daniel Plan Cookbook, by Pastor Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s a companion book to the New York Times Bestseller, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life and has 100 easy recipes (with full-color photos) to help you eat healthy for life. “Food truly is medicine,” says one of the authors, Dr. Hyman. Eating real, whole foods can help reverse chronic disease, aid in weight loss, and even optimize brain health. In developing the book, the authors thought about what most people like to eat, then created healthy versions of popular dishes to show that healthy eating is possible in the “real world.” So there are recipes for Blueberry French Toast, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Classic Meatloaf, and Chocolate Coconut pudding, to name a few…that just goes to show you don’t need to feel deprived when you’re eating healthy!

I received a sampler of recipes from the book and decided to try the Mango-Jalapeno Salsa. This tropical-style salsa goes well with Mexican recipes using fish or chicken, like the Grilled Spicy Fish Tacos, another delicious-sounding recipe in the book. I really like it with those blue corn tortilla chips, too.

MANGO-JALAPENO SALSA from The Daniel Plan Cookbook

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno (use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger for a milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place salsa ingredients in a bowl. Mix together well. Chill in refrigerator. (Keeps up to 1 week refrigerated).


This makes about 3 1/2 cups of salsa. It’s really easy to make and so good! Have you tried making a fruity salsa before?

Heirloom Tomato Soup


I like eating soup in the cooler weather–it’s great having a hot bowl of soup on a cold rainy or snowy day, isn’t it? I have several new soup recipes friends have given me that I’ll be trying out. Julie, who is a wonderful cook and baker, shared this tomato soup recipe with me from the August/September 2012 Issue of Healthy Cooking. It’s also posted at Taste of Home.

This is a wonderfully thick, creamy soup–and the great thing is, it doesn’t have any cream in it, unless you choose to drizzle it with some cream before serving. It’s the veggies and seasonings that make it thick and creamy, because you blend or process the soup before serving. In addition to tomatoes, this soup also has onion, olive oil, garlic, carrot, corn, sea salt, and basil in it, so it’s very healthy! It also has chicken stock, but you could use vegetable stock if you want to make this vegetarian.

The original recipe makes 20 servings, so I halved the recipe, since I didn’t need to make that much soup! Julie uses less onion when she makes this, so if you’re not crazy about onion, you can do that too. I actually used a little more onion and basil in my version. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Julie!🙂

HEIRLOOM TOMATO SOUP slightly adapted from Healthy Cooking

Makes 10 servings (about 2 1/2 quarts)

  • 1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 medium heirloom tomatoes, quartered (about 4 lbs.)
  • 1 medium size carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn (or use frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth (regular or reduced-sodium–or substitute vegetable broth)
  • optional: 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to drizzle for garnish

In a large stockpot, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, carrot, corn, basil, and salt. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

In a food processor or blender, process soup in batches (to be safe, just fill your blender or processor about half full–if you overfill, the hot soup could overflow and possibly burn you). As you are processing the soup, you’ll need another bowl or container to put the processed soup in. When finished processing, return all the processed soup to your pot and heat through.

To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle each serving with about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon heavy whipping cream if desired. Each serving is approximately 75 calories.


Serving your soup in a teacup is a fun idea–especially if you love vintage teacups like I do!

I also love all kinds of soups, but tomato is one of my favorites! What’s yours?

Watermelon-Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Feta


Throughout the summer, I love eating slices of juicy watermelon, but I thought I’d try something different with it for a change. I found a Watermelon-Cucumber Salad with Feta recipe at Food.com, and it sounded like the perfect thing to try! I omitted some ingredients and added some others, and I really like the slightly sweet and savory combination of tastes this salad has! It’s a great way to use your garden veggies if you’re growing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, too!

WATERMELON-CUCUMBER -TOMATO SALAD WITH FETA by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled or unpeeled and thinly sliced or cut into chunks
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced or chopped (chop the green stems and the white part of the onions)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • I/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or you can use a whole 4-ounce container if you want to have extra cheese in your salad)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)

Combine watermelon, English cucumber, green onions, olives, and cherry tomatoes in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, and olive oil.

Add lime juice mixture to watermelon and other ingredients in large bowl; toss gently to coat.

Sprinkle with feta and chopped fresh mint, if using; toss gently again and serve.

Have you made any unique watermelon recipes this summer?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad


If you have a vegetable garden, you may may have planted some cucumbers and tomatoes. And throughout the summer, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with quite a bit of these because they seem to grow so well in gardens! Here’s a recipe you can use your cukes and tomatoes in…it’s a quick and easy salad with a lightly tangy apple cider vinegar/olive oil dressing. I like this salad because the taste of the dressing is very light and complements the natural flavor of the cucumbers and tomatoes. I found it at Foodnetwork.com–I used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes and added a little extra sliced onion. I also added a bit more apple cider vinegar for just a slightly tangier taste. If you have large tomatoes, you can cut them into chunks about the size of a cherry tomato.

CUCUMBER, TOMATO, AND ONION SALAD by NancyC, adapted from Foodnetwork.com

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound cucumbers (about 2 medium), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (1 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (or cut larger tomatoes into cherry tomato-size chunks)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 of a medium size sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together the cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced onion, and parsley. Drizzle vinegar and olive oil over these ingredients, then add a few dashes of salt and pepper, and toss all ingredients again, coating everything well. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Let salad stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Do you have a summer vegetable garden? What kinds of veggies do you like to grow?

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers and Tomato-Feta Salad with Olives


Not long ago, I made a seasoned turkey burger for the first time, and I really liked it! A little later, I came across several different Greek-style turkey burger recipes. Since I love most Greek food, I definitely wanted to try this idea out! I created my own recipe, inspired by the other recipes I had found. These turkey burgers are yummy and healthy. Chopped black olives, feta cheese, and some herbs and spices are mixed in with the ground turkey, adding to the juiciness and savory flavor of these burgers. They taste great topped with Tzatziki (which I made about a week ago as a veggie dip), red onion slices, and tomato slices. You can also top the burger with mayo instead of Tzatziki.

They’re easy to make, and you can make the Tzatziki ahead of time, even the day before, to save time. I also served the burgers with a simple Tomato-Feta Salad, and that recipe is included below.


Makes 4-6 burgers

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of black pepper
  • Tzatziki (or mayo), tomato slices, red onion slices, and lettuce, if desired, for toppings

If you want to top the burgers with Tzatziki, make it before preparing the burgers so the flavors in the Tzatziki can blend together…get the recipe here. Or use mayonnaise as a topping instead of Tzatziki.

Combine all ingredients above in a large bowl. Blend them together well (using your hands is easiest) and form into four patties, a little more than 1 inch thick. These make four big patties, so if you want smaller ones, divide the mixture into 5 or 6 patties.

Grill burgers in a non-stick or oiled pan or rack (the cheese will make the burgers stick to your cooking surface, so be sure to oil your surface). Grill until burgers are desired doneness–depending on the size of your burgers, grilling time will be about 8-12 minutes.

Serve on whole wheat rolls or buns and top with Tzatziki (or mayo), tomato slices, and red onion slices. Add some lettuce too, if you want. Or serve the burgers in a pita pocket with Tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. One recipe suggested using Tahini instead of Tzatziki, and I think that would be a good topping on these burgers, too.


TOMATO-FETA SALAD WITH OLIVES by NancyCreative (pictured in large photo at the beginning of this post)

Makes 1 serving; multiply recipe by number of servings needed

  • 1 medium to large-sized tomato, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped black olives
  • 1-2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • dash of Balsamic vinegar

Arrange tomato slices on plate and sprinkle with olives and crumbled feta cheese. Add a dash or two of Balsamic vinegar. That’s it! It’s a super-easy, delicious tomato salad! If you don’t like Balsamic vinegar, you can drizzle some lemon juice or olive oil (or both) over the tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.

Enjoy these turkey burgers! Do you like Greek food, too? What’s your favorite Greek dish?

Three-Bean Veggie Chili


A friend of mine told me she made veggie chili by just substituting three cans of different kinds of beans for the meat in a regular chili recipe. That sounded pretty good to me, so I looked up a variety of chili recipes and created a veggie chili recipe of my own! I think it’s the best-tasting veggie chili I have ever made and it’s very easy. If you like meat in your chili you can add a pound of ground beef if you like, but it really tastes great without any meat. It’s a good, thick chili…great-tasting and very healthy, with black beans, red beans and pinto beans. It’s great for lunch or a simple, healthy dinner, and it makes 4-6 good-sized servings.


  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
  • 2 medium size yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, not drained (I used Italian-style diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15/5 ounce can red beans
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans

Heat oil in a large saucepan over  medium heat. Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are tender and translucent.

Mix in the two cans of diced tomatoes, undrained, and the tomato sauce. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander; blend ingredients together. Stir in the three cans of beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes to an hour…then it’s ready to serve!