Tomato Head’s Tuna Salad

Our menu experienced some changes last fall. The tuna salad is no longer available but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy this classic lunchtime sandwich. A few of our customers have since asked for the tuna salad recipe and today’s the day we share it with everyone. In Mahasti’s simple to follow recipe, she’s substituted sour cream for mayonnaise, thus lowering the calorie count. The addition of Sriracha lends some tanginess, while chipotle sauce adds a smoky profile. The bells peppers, relish and onion add a nice crunch.


1 – 12 oz Can Tuna in water

2 Tbl Onion, chopped

¼ cup Red Bell Pepper, diced

2 Tbl Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

2  heaping Tbl sweet pickle relish

2 heaping Tbl Dill Pickle, chopped

Scant ¼ cup sour cream

1/8 tsp Sriracha Sauce

1 tsp chipotle sauce (from a can of chipotle en adobo)

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp plus a pinch salt

Drain Tuna and squeeze out all of the water.  Transfer Tuna to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss well with a spoon till everything is well distributed.

Serve on Flour Head Bakery Every Day White sliced sandwich bread.

Tomato Head’s UFOs made with Flour Head Bakery pita

What do you get when you cross French toast, a waffle and a pancake? We’re calling it a UFO. Once the pita hits the hot griddle, they’ll expand and your breakfast will appear to be from out of this world (and taste like it too).

Mahasti’s recipe calls for a garnish of bananas. You can tell from our photo that we thought the sweetness of fresh strawberries would add another dimension to the plate. With blueberry season just around the corner, you’ve got another great berry available for brunch. Share your success with us on Facebook or Twitter. Bon appetit!

For the Waffle Batter:

½ plus 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 stick butter, melted

In a small bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In another small bowl, mix together milk, eggs and vanilla. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the melted butter and mix until all the melted butter is incorporated.

To Make the UfO’s

Waffle batter

4 pita rounds

4 bananas

Maple syrup

Butter for the pan

Heat a skillet over medium heat, place a little bit of butter in the skillet. Spread the melted butter around with a paper towel or pastry brush. When the skillet is hot, dip one pita in the waffle batter, flipping the pita once to coat both sides. Pick the pita bread up out of the batter and allow some of the batter to drip off. Place the pita on the hot griddle, when the excess batter starts to bubble and dry out (like a pancake) flip the pita over and cook other side. Flip the pita over once or twice until you are certain that the waffle batter has cooked all the way, about 3-4 minutes.

Top cooked pita with a whole banana sliced and maple syrup.

Serves 4-8 – depending on the size of your pitas you can share one between two people.

waffles, pancakes, French toast

Tennessee Shines Radio Show

As one of the proud sponsors of the Tennessee Shines Radio Show, we’re thrilled to be a part of the great WDVX tradition of bringing some of the country’s most gifted musicians and storytellers to downtown Knoxville. Previous Tennessee Shines performers have included local favorites like the Tim Lee 3, Lil iFFy, Brent Thompson, and The Lonetones, as well as nationally-renowned and well-traveled acts such as Chuck Prophet, Casey Driessen, Shannon Whitworth, and Malcolm Holcombe.

Our fans on Twitter (@thetomatohead) will want to pay attention every Thursday and Friday at noon when we play some music trivia. The first person each day to answer correctly receives a pair of tickets to the live radio show. One very special winner each week will also receive a $50 Tomato Head gift card, dinner for two at the restaurant prior to the show, freshly baked bread from our new sprout, Flour Head Bakery, plus some cool Tomato Head swag.

You can catch Tennessee Shines every Monday night at 7pm at the Knoxville Visitor Center, located at the corner of Gay Street and Summit Hill Drive.

Tomato Head’s Roasted Apple and White Chocolate Bread Pudding

With temperatures in teens, you’re going to need something warm in that tummy of yours. We’re thinking some white chocolate and roasted apples would hit the spot.

Mahasti’s roasted apple and white chocolate bread pudding is rich without being overwhelming. White chocolate chips, brown sugar and cinnamon add a layer of sweetness, which is balanced by the tartness of the Granny Smith apples. Of course, we suggest using day old Flour Head Bakery bread for this recipe. Yum Yum Yum!

For the Roasted Apples:

4 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced

4 Tbl unsalted Butter, melted

2 Tbl Granulated Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

Place apples, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl, and toss to coat.  Pour apples onto a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until semi soft.

For the Bread Pudding:

10 cups bread, crust removed and cubed

6 Eggs

1 cup Heavy Cream

¾ tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Light Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

½ cup white chocolate chips

All the roasted Apples

Remove the crust from the bread and cube – (any bread will work as long as it is not savory bread)

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the heavy cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Beat well.  Add the Bread, chocolate chips and roasted apples.  Toss all the ingredients to mix well and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes, until all most of the liquid is absorbed into the bread.  Place the bread pudding in a 10×7 baking dish and cover with foil.  Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven – fill the cookie sheet  ½ full with water.  Bake the bread pudding for 50 – 60, until the center is hot.  Remove the bread pudding from the oven, being careful not to spill the hot water on yourself.  Allow pudding to cool slightly or to room temperature and serve with vanilla icing.

Serves   8 – 10 people.

Flour Head Bakery’s Pecan Pie

Flour Head Bakery’s take on this Southern treat retains the rich and gooey texture without the heaviness of the traditional holiday dessert.

1 – 9 inch, deep dish prepared pie crust

2 cups pecan pieces

1 Tbl all-purpose flour

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

¾ cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

½ cup light corn syrup

2 Tbl dark molasses

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust with the tines of a fork and place a coffee filter or parchment paper in the frozen pie crust.  Fill the crust with dried beans or rice.  Bake the crust for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow the crust to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

For the Filling:

Meanwhile – in a small bowl, toss the pecan pieces with the flour and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.  Gradually add the molasses, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Beat well.  Pour the pecans into the egg mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell.  Bake the pie for 1 hour or until the pie looks set, and does not jiggle when tapped.  Allow the pie to cool at least 4 hours before serving.

Serve at room temperature – with whipped cream if desired.

Flour Head Bakery’s Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Flour Head Bakery’s pumpkin cranberry muffin is sure to add a little warmth to our lives on these gray, gloomy and wet winter afternoons. The sweetness of the cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses is balanced by the tartness of the dried cranberries. Try out this recipe the next time your home made brunch needs a little treat at the end. Yum Yum Yum!

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

½ cup packed light brown sugar

3 Tbl vegetable oil

1 Tbl molasses

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup milk

1 cup dried cranberries

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup white wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, molasses, salt, spices, and milk.    In another bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and baking soda.  Stir in the dried cranberries.  Add all at once the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until all the ingredients are well combined. (do not over mix)  Let the batter sit, covered at room temperature for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Scoop the batter into greased or paper lined muffin cups.  Bake the muffins for 20 – 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the tin and allow them to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes about 12 muffins.

Flour Head Bakery & Webb School of Knoxville fight childhood obesity

Since the beginning of the 2012 school year, Flour Head Bakery has been supplying Webb School of Knoxville with an assortment of freshly baked bread and bagels for school lunches.

Sodexo, a provider of programs for school lunches, including the school lunch program at Webb, has long been a supporter of local purchasing as well as healthy dining standards. This new school year, Sodexo has partnered with Flour Head Bakery to offer new and exciting items to the Webb School campus. “Healthy eating, exercise, and knowing what we eat each day will help us all stay healthy a lot longer,” said Brian Newell, Sodexo’s General Manager.

Webb and Sodexo have embraced the national trend of purchasing local goods and produce to meet the needs of their customers. Additionally, in keeping with new federal nutrition standards required in public schools, Sodexo and Webb want to ensure that Webb’s campus population also eats healthier and consumes less trans fats, sodium and calories in their school meals while encouraging them to add more whole grains to their diets.

“With childhood obesity on the rise, and parents’ busy lives, it is really important that the meal children receive at school be as healthy as possible,” said Mahasti Vafaie, owner of Flour Head Bakery and The Tomato Head. “By providing freshly baked Flour Head bread to Webb, we were able to reduce the amount of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils that children are consuming.”

Flour Head Bakery delivers daily an assortment of fresh wheat and white sandwich bread, wheat hamburger and hot dog buns, as well as plain, cinnamon raisin and blueberry bagels at Webb. Vafaie adds, “We use unbleached and unbromated flour milled in North Carolina. So we are eliminating a suspected carcinogen while reducing our carbon footprint.”

Tomato Head’s Pambazos

This recipe for Pambazos makes me long for the days of Mahasti and Scott’s restaurant Lula. Years ahead of its time, their take on contemporary Mexican and southwestern cuisine was always fresh and interesting. This recipe would have definitely found a place on Lula’s menu. So the next time you’re thinking Mexican for supper, consider this instead of the ol’ El Paso.

To assemble the pambazos:

Rolls (Your favorite from Flour Head Bakery)

1 jar enchilada sauce, of your choice

Some cooked chicken breast, or tofu

Monterey jack cheese slices


Salsa, of your choice

Sliced onion


Banana peppers or Jalapeno peppers


Cut rolls in half, and with a small spoon scoop out the insides of the rolls, leaving a ½ inch thick shell.

Pour the enchilada sauce onto a plate and place the rolls, one at a time in the sauce, cut side down, making sure the entire surface of the rolls are covered with sauce.

Fill the bottom of the roll with chicken, top with avocado slices and cheese.   Repeat with remaining rolls.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat.  Place as many sandwiches as will fit, without crowding, in the skillet, and cook pressing on the sandwiches constantly, flipping , until browned on both sides.  Transfer sandwiches to a cutting board, open sandwiches and top with banana peppers, salsa, sliced onion, and crema.  Repeat until all the sandwiches are cooked and assembled.

Serve warm.

Lula interior

Flour Head Bakery’s Nectarine Italian Cheesecake

Nectarines are a great source of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and potassium, which makes up for me eating this Italian Cheesecake for my shift meal last weekend. Try Mahasti’s recipe with your favorite jam and share your pics with us. For more Flour Head Bakery recipes and wonderful dinner possibilities, keep an eye on our blog for updates and more!

2 3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese

3 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

One 9” prepared graham cracker crust

Nectarine jam or jam of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until foamy.  With the mixer running, gradually stream in the sugar.  Continue beating the egg whites until they are light and fluffy and hold a stiff peak.

In a medium bowl, with a fork, fluff the ricotta cheese.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  When the egg whites are fully incorporated into the cheese, pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until cheesecake is set (when you tap the pan, it moves as a whole and does not jiggle in the middle).  Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.  Top with Nectarine jam, or your jam of choice.  Serve at room temperature or, chill 6 hours or overnight, and serve cold.

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design