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Continued: Recipe: Bell Pepper and Tomato Bisque

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  • Last update: August 8, 2012 - 3:15 PM

BELL PEPPER AND TOMATO BISQUE

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: If you cut the tomatoes in half and let them dissolve into the onions, it's easy to fish out the tomato peels, which will float to the top after the broth is added. Adapted from "Organic Marin: Recipes From Land to Table," by Tim Porter and Farina Wong Kingsley.

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 large bell peppers

• 1 large onion

• 3 garlic cloves

• 1 tsp. sweet paprika

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 2 c. carrots or potatoes, diced

• 11/2 lb. tomatoes, including romas, halved

• 4 c. stock

• 2 tbsp. fresh basil

• 1 tbsp. dried parsley

• Cracked black pepper to taste

• 1/4 c. half-and-half

Directions:

Heat a large stockpot over high heat. Add the oil and saut the bell peppers and onions for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, paprika, salt and carrots and saut for 15 minutes or until the carrots become tender. If mixture sticks, add in a tomato half.

Decrease the heat to medium, stir in the tomatoes and cook until they dissolve. Stir in the stock, basil and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pure the soup in a blender. Return the soup to a clean pot and reheat. Adjust seasoning with cracked pepper. To serve, spoon the soup into a bowl and garnish with a bit of half-and-half.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 160 Fat 9 g Sodium 326 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 61 mg

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 4 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat.

 

TOMATO PUREE

Makes 12 cups.

Note: From "The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook," by Brian Yarvin.

• 2 c. water

• 10 lb. very ripe plum tomatoes, cut in quarters

• 1 tsp. salt

Directions:

In a large pot, heat the water over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

Mix in the tomatoes, and cook for about 15 minutes or until they start to soften and break down. Reduce heat to low, add salt and keep cooking for about 2 hours or until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third.

Remove from heat and cool. Pass the mixture through a food mill to remove the solids. Place the pure in 1-cup amounts in freezer bags, press out the air and zip shut. Label and freeze. They'll keep for at least three months.

Nutrition information per cup:

Calories 14 Fat 0 g Sodium 54 mg

Carbohydrates 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 9 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: free food.

 

MEATBALL CURRY

Serves 6.

Note: Don't let the lengthy ingredients list keep you from preparing this dish. Make the meatballs one day and assemble the dish the next day. Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices, available at kitchen specialty stores and some supermarkets. From "Easy Indian Cooking," by Suneeta Vaswani.

Meatballs:

• 2 lb. ground beef

• 1/4 c. chopped onion

• 3 tbsp. cilantro

• 2 tsp. green chiles

• 1 tsp. minced ginger root

• 1 tsp. garlic

• 11/4 tsp. coriander

• 1 tsp. garam masala (see Note)

• 3/4 tsp. cumin powder

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 1 tsp. salt

Sauce:

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 11/2 c. chopped onions

• 1 tbsp. peeled ginger root

• 1 tbsp. minced garlic

• 1 tbsp. minced green chiles

• 2 tsp. coriander

• 1 tsp. cumin powder

• 1/2 tsp. turmeric

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne

• 1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes, with juice (or 31/2 c. fresh chopped tomatoes; romas work best)

• 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

• 11/2 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. garam masala

Directions:

To make the meatballs: In a bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Mix by hand. Lightly roll into walnut-sized balls. Do not compact. Set aside on baking tray. (This step can be done the night before.)

To make the sauce: In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saut onions until beginning to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and saut until browned, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Pour in 1 cup water.

Place the baking sheet with meatballs on top of the saucepan, making sure the pan is completely covered. Reduce heat to low and simmer until onions are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, or until water evaporates. The heat from the pan will "set" the meatballs.

When there is no more liquid in pan, carefully lift meatballs from the baking sheet and arrange on top of onions.

Cover pan and cook meatballs 1 to 2 minutes. Uncover pan, increase heat to medium-low and cook until meatballs are firm enough to turn gently with a spoon and the meat juices have been absorbed, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir meatballs to brown.

Scatter the sauce ingredients -- ginger, garlic, chilies, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper -- on top. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until meatballs are browned.

If meatballs stick, stir in a few of the tomatoes to deglaze the pan. Add all the tomatoes, cilantro and salt. Increase heat to medium. Cover and return to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thick, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle garam masala over top. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir before serving; garnish with additional cilantro.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 352 Fat 20 g Sodium 1,245 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 96 mg

Protein 29 g Cholesterol 95 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 fat.

 

GREEK STUFFED TOMATOES

Serves 4.

Note: From "The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook," by Brian Yarvin.

• 4 large ripe tomatoes

• 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus oil for baking dish

• 1 c. chopped onion

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

• 1/2 lb. ground lamb, beef or pork

• 1/2 c. uncooked white rice

• 2 tbsp. pine nuts

• 1/4 c. raisins

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 c. chicken broth

Directions:

Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Use a serrated grapefruit spoon to hollow out the bodies. Reserve bodies, tops and pulp.

Heat the oil, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until the onion begins to turn golden on the edges.

Add the lamb and 1 cup of the reserved tomato pulp and continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until meat is completely browned. Mix in rice, pine nuts, raisins, salt and broth.

Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a baking dish. Fill the hollow tomatoes with the meat mixture and stand them on end in the baking dish. Place the reserved tops on the tomatoes. Brush tomatoes with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes or until completely cooked. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 334 Fat 15 g Sodium 550 mg

Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 54 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 36 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 fruit, 2 bread/starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 2 fat.

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