Tomato Head’s Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt and Sriracha

I was so excited when I read Mahasti’s recipe, I let out an audible “yasss” complete with the hand-motion you are probably imagining. Quinoa was the reason behind this. Quinoa is a good source of protein, as well as vitamins B, B6, and E, amino acids, potassium, and a healthy list of other minerals. It is a pseudo-cereal that is vegan-friendly and can be consumed in low quantities by those with celiac disease. The inside of the seeds also happen to taste great when cooked, otherwise it is an unpalatable, bitter seed. To get to the tasty part of quinoa, it needs to be cooked. Luckily, that’s easy to do.

To start, you’ll need:

½ cup Quinoa

1⅛ cup water

Place the quinoa and water into a small saucepan over high heat. Boil until almost all of the water has been absorbed. Then turn the heat down to low, and place a lid on the saucepan. Steam the quinoa until the seeds are soft and splitting open. Remove the quinoa from the stove, and pour the cooked seeds into a large mixing bowl.

In order to turn the seeds into Tomato Head’s quinoa cakes, you’ll need a few more ingredients:

⅛ cup oil

⅔ cup onion, diced

½ cup walnuts, chopped

¼ cup almonds, chopped

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbl Dijon mustard

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup breadcrumbs

In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add sautéed onions and all of the remaining ingredients to the quinoa bowl and mix well with gloved hands. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes. Next, scoop the mixture into balls, then flatten the balls into disks.

Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the quinoa cakes in the oil until the bottoms are golden, then flip and fry the other side until it is golden as well.

Top them with plain yogurt and sriracha, if you so choose. They could also be served on top of your favorite salad or mixed greens. They can be served hot or cold.

The raw quinoa cakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and fried when needed.

This would be a fantastic dish to keep on hand for a quick lunch, or serve well for an easy dinner. As far as pairings go, this dish would pair well with a Beaujolais wine, low in tannin, fresh and nutty. If you’re adding the cakes to something with a tomato-base or similar flavors, try a Chianti or Barbera.  If you don’t drink red, try a Sauvignon Blanc, especially from New Zealand. As far as beers are concerned, try a nutty porter or nutty brown ale rich with roasted malts.

Certainly be sure to give this recipe a try, especially if you’ve never tried quinoa. It is both healthy and delicious. I hope you enjoy it!

Click the photo below to watch Mahasti’s recent WBIR cooking segment.

Quinoa Cakes

Tomato Head’s Marinated Zucchini and Mint Pasta

The redeeming grace of summers in the South boils into just a few fine points that prove enough to justify intensely hot summer days. For me, these points can be counted on one hand. Largely, this period of late spring summer multiplies our vegetation options, meaning we have so many delicious options to choose from!

Via the farmer’s market or your own garden, fresh vegetables and herbs are easily available. Fresh ingredients change a dish entirely for the better. Take Saturday’s recipe for Tomato Head’s pasta with marinated zucchini and mint for example; almost all of these ingredients can be found fresh at the farmer’s market.

The ingredients for this recipe include:

2 Large Zucchini, washed and diced to fill 8 cups

⅓ cup Oil

1 tsp Salt

½ tsp Black Pepper

¼ cup Olive Oil

⅛ cup Cider Vinegar

½ tsp Salt

¼ – ⅓ cup Fresh Mint, chopped

½ cup Spinach, chopped

Toss the zucchini with oil, salt, and pepper, then place on a large cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400⁰. Remove the tray and allow the zucchini to cool.

Toss cooled zucchini with olive oil, cider vinegar, salt, and mint. Allow the mixture to marinate for 2-4 hours.

Cook a ½ lb of your favorite shape of pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and toss with 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach and marinated zucchini. Top with parmesan cheese, and this dish is ready to serve.

This recipe for Tomato Head’s marinated zucchini and mint pasta will serve 4-6 people of your choosing, and will pair well with a Bordeaux or a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. For beer lovers, the pasta will pair nicely with a Belgian-style Saison. Come see us when you visit the farmer’s market.

Click on the photo below to watch Mahasti’s recent cooking segment WBIR Channel 10.

Tomato Head's Summer Vegetable Pasta

Tomato Head’s Spinach Salad with Fennel, Candied Walnuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

For Candied Walnuts:

1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

¼ cup water

2 Tbl butter

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

1 ½ cups Walnuts

Place brown sugar, water, butter, salt and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to boil and boil for 1 minute. Add walnuts, and reduce heat to medium. Cook the walnuts in the syrup, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the walnuts are heavily coated. Pour the walnut mixture onto a greased paper lined cookie sheet. Divide the walnuts up with a fork and allow to cool.

For the Dressing:

2 cups Pomegranate Juice

1 cup Cranberry Juice – preferably Knudsen Just Cranberry

1/3 cup Sugar

1 cup Balsamic Vinegar

2 Cups Oil

1 Tbl Dijon Mustard

1 tsp salt

Place the Pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a stainless saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil and boil until the liquid has reduced by ½ . Remove from heat, pour juice mixture into a small bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Dressing can be kept refrigerated for 7  – 10 days.

For Salad:

fresh spinach

fennel bulb, thinly sliced

granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

candied walnuts

onion, thinly sliced

dried cranberry

blue cheese crumbles

Place the spinach, fennel, apples, and onion in a large bowl. Pour dressing, according to your taste, over the spinach and toss well. Divide the salad up between bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with blue cheese crumbles and dried cranberries.

If you missed Mahasti’s cooking segment, click the photo below to watch her appearance on WBIR.

WBIR Fennel Recipe

 

Tomato Head’s Pozole Verde

Mahasti’s variation on pozole verde is a great excuse to visit some of Knoxville’s Mexican and Latin American markets for the tomatillos and poblano peppers called for in this recipe. Share your version with us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Ingredients

9 cups Water

3 Chicken Breast, bone in with skin

2 Bay Leaves

2 Poblano Peppers

1.5 lb Tomatillo

1 cup Cilantro, leaves and stems

1 cup Onion

3 lg cloves Garlic

¼ cup Oregano

3 – 15.5 oz cans Bush’s Golden Hominy, drained and rinsed

1 Tbl plus 2 tsp Salt

For Serving:

Shredded lettuce

Sliced Radishes

Diced Onion

Cilantro leaves

Thinly Sliced Jalapeno

Sour Cream

Tortilla chips

Rinse chicken breast in cold, clean running water. Place chicken and bay leaves in large pot covered with 9 cups water. In a large pot, bring water to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook chicken for 25 minutes. Remove chicken from pot. Discard bay leaves. When chicken is cool enough to handle discard skin and shred chicken. Reduce heat to low.

While chicken is cooking, rinse, de-stem, and de-seed poblano peppers, set aside. Rinse and de-husk tomatillos, set aside. Wash cilantro, leaving stems attached. Peel and cut onion into medium size pieces. Peel garlic. Pick ¼ cup of oregano leaves. Drain and rinse hominy.

Place poblano peppers, and cilantro in the jar of your blender. Remove 1 cup of cooking liquid from the pot of chicken and add to the blender. Blend the peppers until smooth. Pour most of the blended pepper mixture into a large bowl, leaving about 1 cups worth behind in blender.  Add tomatillos, onions, garlic and oregano to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour tomatillo mixture into poblano mixture.

When Chicken has been removed from pot – add tomatillo-pepper mixture to pot. Add shredded chicken, hominy and salt. Increase heat to medium, stirring occasionally bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer soup for 15 – 20 minutes.

Serve hot with Sides of shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, diced onion, cilantro leaves, jalapeno, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Serves 10 – 12

¡Esperamos que lo disfruten!

Pozole Verde

Tomato Head’s Rye Berry and Winter Greens Salad

December is a wonderful month for using those late-season greens from your CSA, like Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula and kale. Inspired by our first craft beer dinner, Mahasti visited one of our favorite local farms, Hines Valley Farm, to see what seasonal greens were available and what would pair best with a selection of beers from Oskar Blues Brewery.

The fine folks at Hines Valley had a great selection of tasty kale and collard greens. Both greens partner well with the tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness of the reduced balsamic vinegar. Rye berries offer health benefits such as being low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They also serve as a source of fiber and Vitamin B6. Although we served this salad as a side to English-style bangers, it could work very well as an entree on its own.

1.5 cups Rye berries

3 cups Water

3 cups Kale

3 cups Collards

½ cup Onion

2 Tbl Vegetable Oil

½ cup + 1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbl Olive Oil

1.5 tsp Salt

1 ½ cup Dried Cranberries

Soak rye in 3 cups of water overnight. Bring 2 cups of water to boil, drain the rye berries and add to boiling water. Boil berries for 5 minutes, drain , run under cold water and set aside in a large bowl.

Meanwhile dice onions. Cut greens in half lengthwise then into thin strips.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, bring to boil, and boil for 2 – 3 minutes until reduced by ½ . Add greens and lightly sauté. Add  sautéed greens to bowl with rye berries. Add remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 1.5 tsp salt and dried cranberries. Toss until all ingredients are mixed together well.

Serve at room temperature – or refrigerate and serve cold.

Mahasti Vafaie, owner of The Tomato Head and Flour Head Bakery, shows us how to make a healthy lunch option: Rye Berry and Winter Greens Salad.

Tomato Head Rye Berry and Winter Greens Salad

Tomato Head’s Honey Glazed Turnips and Greens

Mahasti’s most recent appearance on WBIR had her using a seasonal vegetable widely available at most Knoxville area farmers’ markets – turnips. For this recipe, Mahasti bought her turnips from Mountain Meadows Farm in Norris, TN. (Be sure to stop by their booth at the Market Square Farmers’ Market before it closes for the season on November 23.)

The popular root vegetable is a good source of calcium, vitamin C and potassium while being very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. By keeping the greens, you’ll retain the nutrition found in them such as vitamin A, vitamin K and beta carotene.

While popular in many fall soups and crock pots, Mahasti decided to create an enjoyable side dish that might accompany a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of soup on a cold day. The next time your family needs an excellent side dish, think TURNIPS!

4 cups turnip root, diced

4-6 cups turnip greens and stems, cut into ½ inch strips

¾ cup onion, diced

¼ cup oil

¼ cup honey

4 Tbl cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Turnips usually come in a bunch of 3 or 4 turnips with greens attached – one bunch should yield the above measurements.

Cut turnip greens from bulbs, keeping the stems. Cut the greens from the stems. Wash the stems, and roots under running cold water. Wash the greens by submerging them in a large bowl of water, removing to a colander and repeating as necessary until no sand or dirt remains in your bowl after lifting the greens out.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add diced turnip root and stems. Stir the vegetables, then pat them into a single layer and cover the skillet with a large lid. Turn the heat down to medium low and leave the turnips undisturbed and covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and repeat the process above leaving the turnips covered for another 5 minutes.

Remove lid, add honey, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Increase heat to high – stirring only once or twice. Cook turnips for another 5 minutes. Add the greens, stirring to wilt the greens then leave turnips undisturbed until all of the moisture has evaporated and been absorbed into the vegetables.

Serve hot or at room temperature as a side dish.

Mahasti's Fall Turnip Recipe

Turnips found at the Market Square Farmers’ Market from Mountain Meadows Farm and Colvin Family Farm.

Tomato Head’s Collard Greens with Spiced Bosc Pears.

Good afternoon! Mahasti would like us to share the recipe from the most recent appearance on her twice monthly cooking segment, hosted by WBIR every first and third Saturday of each month. We think this is the perfect recipe for the beginning of fall.

The onions and pears in this dish lend a sweetness to your plate that balances the savoriness of the collard greens. You’ll also notice the arrival of those popular fall spices – cinnamon, clove and allspice. Besides being delicious, those three spices offer a few health benefits as well. Cinnamon helps prevent inflammation and regulates blood sugar; Cloves contain antioxidants; and allspice has anti-inflammatory properties.

Try this recipe at home and share your successes with us on Instagram. Use the hashtag #tomatohead so we can find you.

3 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

¼ tsp black pepper

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground clove

¼ tsp ground allspice

1 tsp sugar

¼ cup onion, diced

¼ cup oil

8 cups packed, Collard Greens

½ tsp salt

1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar

In a medium bowl toss pears with black pepper, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and sugar. Heat oil a large

skillet over high heat. When oil is shimmering add onions and pears and sauté for 3-4 minutes until

pears are soft. Add Collards and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the greens begin to soften. Add salt and

balsamic vinegar. Continue to sauté until collards are soft – approximately another 3 minutes.

Serve immediately as a side with Chicken or steak.

Tomato Head’s Okra Fritters

Good morning! We’re sharing the recipe for the okra fritter brunch special we had over the weekend. It’s a delicious idea for any okra you might have from this year’s CSA. Be sure to catch Mahasti every first and third Saturday morning on WBIR for more great recipes using seasonal ingredients.

Here’s the link to last weekend’s segment.

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

1 cup fresh okra, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 large egg

1.5 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup flour

1 tespoon sugar

1/2 tespoon cayenne

1 tsp salt

About 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Whisk egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, cornmeal, sugar, cayenne, and salt until smooth. Stir in okra and onion mix until everything is well incorporated.

Add enough oil to skillet to measure 1/4 inch and heat over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook rounded tablespoons of batter (6 to 7 fritters per batch), turning once, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Serve with a side of ranch dressing.

 

Hot or Not Dogs with spicy mayo, Asian slaw and fried egg on a Flour Head Bakery hot dog bun

Mahasti’s Hot or Not Dog recipe adds a sweet and tasty crunch that you typically don’t find with a grilled frankfurter. Plus, any reason to find another use for Sriracha is alright in our book. Flour Head Bakery’s hot dog buns will be for sale on Wednesday (and only Wednesday) at four Kroger locations (Farragut, Cedar Bluff, Bearden and Northshore), Three Rivers Market in Happy Holler and Butler & Bailey Market in Rocky Hill. Go get you some.

Be safe and enjoy our National Independence Day.

For the Slaw:

1 cup shredded Carrots

1 cup Daikon Radish

½ cup sliced Onion

1 Tbl Rice Vinegar

2 tsp Sesame Oil

¼ tsp Salt

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, until well combined.

For the Spicy Mayo :

½ cup Mayo or Veganaise

1 Tbl Sriracha Sauce

1 Tbl Soy Sauce

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, until well combined.

To assemble:

Spread spicy mayo on bun. Top with dog of choice, followed by slaw and an over easy egg (optional).

Hot Dog Buns

 

 

© 2016 The Tomato Head Site by: Robin Easter Design