September 24, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.

Not your ordinary BLTs

Not your ordinary BLTs
Not your ordinary BLTs

It's about tomatoes today. No matter where you get them, from your garden, the farmer's market, the grocery store or from a neighbor or friend, a tomato is a tomato, in some shape or variety. Many recipes say in the ingredients, "one pound of tomatoes." Well, I have some equivalent for you. 1 lb. = 4 medium round tomatoes, 8 small plum or 25-30 cherry tomatoes. One cup canned tomatoes = 1-1/2 c. fresh, peeled, chopped, cooked tomatoes, 1 lb. fresh = 1-1/2 c. chopped tomatoes, 1-15 oz. can = 2 c. If you are a gardener, as I am, and have "gardener's hands" stained from whatever kind of veggie, follow this formula... add a tsp. of sugar to about 1 c. of soapy water and the stains will wash off.

Let's do tomato recipes.

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BOW TIE CHICKEN SUPPER

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 T. olive or canola oil

1 small sweet red pepper, julienned strips (about 1/2 c.)

1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 - inch slices

1 small onion, diced (about 1/3 c.)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed

1 t. Italian seasoning

1/4 t. salt-free seasoning (or seasoned salt)

1 c. bow tie pasta, cooked according to pkg. directions and drained.

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese.

In a large skillet, saute chicken in oil for 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove and keep warm. In same skillet, stir-fry red pepper, zucs, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes or till veggies are crisp-tender. Add peas and seasonings; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add pasta and tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; gently stir in chicken. Heat until just hot, a minute or so. Turn out onto serving platter; sprinkle with Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.

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This is a good side dish to serve with any meal.

TOMATO CABBAGE

STIR-FRY

4 c. shredded cabbage

2 c. diced fresh tomatoes

2 celery ribs, sliced about 1/4 - inch thick

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green peer, diced

2 T. stick margarine

1/4 t. salt

Scant 1/2 t. fresh dill weed (not seed) or 1/8 t. dry dill weed - fresh is better

In a non-stick skillet, saute first 5 ingredients in margarine until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and dill weed.

Makes 6 servings.

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This salad is so good you'll want to make it again. It's like a BLT without the bread.

BLT PASTA SALAD

1/2 of a 1 lb. package of bow tie pasta (farfalle), cooked according to package directions until just tender.

2 T. olive oil

1/2 lb. sliced bacon cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 c. regular or reduced fat (not no fat) mayonnaise

1 T. white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 c. grated Parmesan, divided

3/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper

4 c. grape or cherry tomatoes cut lengthwise (I used a regular tomato, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes)

1 diced red onion

1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped Romaine lettuce

Drain cooked pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss pasta with olive oil and set aside to cool completely. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, half the cheese and pepper. Add to bowl with pasta and toss to coat well. Just before serving, add bacon, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Fold together gently. Sprinkle a bit more Parmesan over top if you wish.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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It's again time to have something sweet. This recipe has just a trace of saturated fat, and just 1 mg cholesterol.

LOW-FAT BROWNIES

1/2 c. egg substitute or 3 egg whites

1-14 oz. can fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 t. vanilla

1-1//3 c. flour

1-1/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. baking cocoa

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

In mixing bowl, beat egg substitute for 1 minute or until frothy and slightly thickened. Stir in milk and vanilla. In an other bowl, combine next 5 ingredients, add to egg mixture and mix well.

Pour into a 9x13-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen.

TFD: To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.

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