Kale & Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes are a delicious way to use up some tomatoes. It’s that time of year when the garden is bursting with them. To me, there are few things better than a perfect, vine ripened tomato picked and eaten while still warm from the sun. I bring the salt shaker out to the garden with me. But there are too many to use them up that way. They all seem to ripen at once. Fortunately, dreaming up ways to use them isn’t hard. and whatever is left at the end of the season can be canned, frozen or made into sauces for the winter.
Stuffed Tomatoes are an Easy and Versatile Recipe
If you don’t have a garden, it won’t be hard to find ripe local tomatoes. And you can buy hothouse tomatoes year round, so any time of year is a good time to make these stuffed tomatoes. It’s worthwhile making these because they’re a hearty and delicious meal on their own, or as a side dish. I love stuffing veggies, whether its tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, mushrooms, or whatever. There’s just something fun about eating a meal in an edible bowl.
I also have a bumper crop of kale, and a whole lot of fresh basil out there too, so these tomatoes are stuffed with a quinoa, basil, garlic and kale mixture, then topped with Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. I added a bit of chopped cayenne chili pepper (also from the garden) for a little bit of heat, but that is up to you. This simple combo is a deliciously fresh and flavourful meal. It’s also very healthy and easy to make.
Quinoa, That Super Grain
Quinoa is a healthy, versatile superfood. It’s quick & easy to cook, and perfect as a substitute for rice in stuffing veggies. It’s a super versatile seed that you can get really creative with. Try Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes, or this Sweet Potato Quinoa Chick Pea Salad. And if you need more reasons to eat some quinoa, check out Seven Reasons Quinoa is the New Health Food Superstar at Huffpost.
These are equally good hot or cold, but you can make them ahead and reheat. Stuffed tomatoes are a delicious accompaniment for grilled chicken, fish or steak; or a complete vegetarian meal along with a salad. And if you want to stuff more veggies, try Spanish Stuffed Peppers, or Moroccan Style Ground Chicken Stuffed Peppers
How to Make Kale & Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions (usually 15 minutes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 4 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms chopped
- 1 cayenne chile pepper minced (optional)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Lightly oil a baking dish with olive oil.
- Slice off a little of the stem ends on each tomato and hollow out the pulp with a spoon. Reserve pulp.
- Sprinkle salt inside each tomato and stand the tomatoes hollow side up in the baking dish. If your dish is the right size, the tomatoes should be crowded enough to stand up. If not, you can cut a very thin slice from the bottom of each one to make them flat enough to stand.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high and add chopped kale, mushrooms, chili pepper, if using, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until kale is just starting to wilt, about 5 minutes
- Remove from heat, and add cooked quinoa, reserved tomato pulp and basil to kale mixture, mixing well.
- Evenly divide the filling among the tomatoes.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake for 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted.
You can omit the cheese topping for a vegan option.
This recipe can be made with 8 smaller tomatoes.
Any grain such as rice, barley, farrow, or buckwheat can be substituted for quinoa in this recipe.
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