Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meatless Sunday: Tomato Tart

A big part of the life change my husband and I made when we altered our approach to eating was to reduce our overall consumption of meat. Eating meatless just once per week can reduce your environmental impact and improve your health. And, let’s be honest, humanely raised, organic meats can be exponentially more expensive than those purchased at the grocery store, so reducing meat consumption can also help reduce your grocery bill.

When I announced to my husband several years back that we were committing to at least one meatless meal per week, I was met with a less-than-enthusiastic response. He assumed meatless meant a flavorless plate of vegetables that he would be forced to choke down each week, only to be hungry five minutes later. And while my small appetite and love of veggies would be completely satisfied with this approach, it forced me to find creative ways to satisfy the voracious appetite of my meat-eating husband.

After lots of experimenting, I’ve finally compiled a substantial list of meatless meals that work for our family and give us enough variety to eat meatless 2 to 4 times per week. Some weeks it’s as simple as whole wheat grilled cheese sandwiches with organic tomato soup or pancakes, eggs and potatoes. Other weeks it’s flavorful veggie pastas, meatless chilis or protein-rich salads.

Tonight I fixed one of my personal favorites: Tomato Tart. I first happened upon this recipe following one of my favorite local foodie blogs Eat. Drink. Smile. The recipe was adapted from Cooking Light and I’ve adapted it a bit further to meet our specific focus of eating whole. In addition, I’ve included a few recommendations for ways to take it even a step further if your focus it to eat as naturally as possible. Whether served for brunch or a light dinner, it’s a delish meatless option. Enjoy!

Tomato Tart
Serves 4-6. Adapted from Eat. Drink. Smile. and Cooking Light

Ingredients:

Crust:
10 oz. cooked brown rice
*2 tbsp. pesto
1 tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
Cooking spray

Filling:
½ cup skim milk
3 eggs
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
*1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 small plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare crust, cook the brown rice according to package directions. Combine cooked rice, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg; firmly press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. To prepare filling, combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir with a whisk.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella into the bottom of the prepared crust. Top with half of tomato slices. Repeat procedure with remaining mozzarella and tomatoes. Pour milk mixture over tomatoes. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (do not remove tart from oven); bake an additional 35 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with basil. Cut into wedges.

*Recommendations:

For pesto, Trader Joes makes a fairly quality bottled version. For an all-natural approach, combine fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper in a food processor to make your own.

For mozzarella, use a ball or block of mozzarella and shred yourself instead of using the pre-shredded varieties. Look for varieties with 4 ingredients or fewer. 
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2 comments:

  1. Love your blog. You should add a twitter app to your blog it will automatically post a tweet when you add a new recipe etc ....

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  2. Thanks for reading Reverend Viking, and for the tip on the Twitter app. I'll be sure to do that.

    ReplyDelete