Money Matters: Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles

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I survived the final trek from Chicago to central Ohio…but just barely. I dare say there’s not a more boring drive than across northern Indiana. The only blessing is that Fort Wayne has a speed limit of 70 mph and I’ve never seen a cop in the vicinity. On the plus side, I did get THREE HOUR of grading completed. Thanks for taking the wheel, hubs.

Lunch was veggie straws and peanut butter-stuffed pretzels. I also stole a bite of Mr. Prevention’s very, very disappointing peanut butter gas station cookie. Needless to say, I am ready to return to “normal”. Veggies, who?

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I ate well in Chicago. Too well. My mom is a great cook and Chicago is packed with some of the best restaurants around.

Other than those white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes I talked about, there was cajun mac’n cheese, calamari, scallops, ribeye, deviled eggs, antipasto, breakfast casserole, raspberries, the best margaritas ever a la Mama Prevention, and a selection of Sam Adams. Not all in one meal, but the weekend was…delicious.

Despite my injury, I managed an 18 mile bike on Saturday, a 3 mile walk on Sunday, and yesterday Lily got 2 walks. During walk #2 back in Ohio, I thought it might be time to give my ankle and running a trial run. No pun intended.

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At 9pm last night, it was STILL so muggy and hot that it felt like 90 degrees. In May. Oy.

I set out with my tunes and had a great 2 mile run. It was sweaty and I felt like a gazelle! I didn’t move like a gazelle at my 10:20 min/mile pace, but it felt great and I would say my ankle is 90% improved. I think I will alternate with the elliptical, biking, and running for another week just to be safe, but that run was a great kick off for the week ahead. I have lots of great meals planned that are healthy and light, just like this one.

I have a new found appreciation and LOVE for quinoa. My first few experiences with quinoa were very…underwhelming. Since that time, I’ve landed upon numerous recipes that I simply adore…this being one of them. These were so flavorful and even Mr. Prevention-approved!

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Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles slightly adapted from Cooking Light

2 poblano chiles
2 cups fresh (~4 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1 cup (about 1/2) onion, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1/2 lime, juiced)
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup water
1.5 oz (1/3 cup) part-skim colby-Jack cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat broiler to high (500 F).

Cut the chiles in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place chile halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel chiles. Coarsely chop chiles; place in a bowl. Add corn and onion to pan; broil 10 minutes, stirring twice. Add corn mixture to chopped chiles; stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and black pepper.

Cut tops off tomatoes. Carefully scoop out tomato pulp, leaving shells intact. Drain pulp through a sieve over a bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract liquid. Reserve 1 1/4 cups liquid (if you don’t extract 1 1/4 cups, sub in water for the remaining liquid), and discard membranes and seeds. Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Invert tomatoes on a wire rack while preparing the filling.

Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well; drain. Combine reserved tomato liquid, quinoa, 1/4 cup water, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add quinoa mixture to corn mixture; toss well.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spoon about 3/4 to 1 cup corn mixture into each tomato (use your hand to cup the tops and mound the stuffing in the tomatoes). Divide cheese evenly among tomatoes. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Broil the tomatoes 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yield: 5 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 296 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 416 mg. sodium; 49 g. carbohydrate; 6.2 g. fiber; 10.8 g. protein

Result: What a treat! These are a bit labor intensive, so if you’re short on time, save this meal for a weekend. That said, I made these ahead of time and just baked them when I got home that night. Making these over the weekend and heating them on a weekday make them a very quick meal. Surprisingly, these reheated pretty well, too…in the microwave and the oven. Mr. Prevention was very apprehensive about these, but he loved them. These pack some heat with the poblanos (I think my peppers were spicy for poblanos) and that combined with the cumin and corn…mmmm! So good! Enjoy!

Money Matters: Quinoa costs ~$2/cup and the tomatoes were on sale for $0.99/lb (about $3 total). This time of year, take advantage of the tomato prices! Poblanos run $1.99/lb and there are about 5/lb ($0.80). I used frozen corn at $1/12 ounce bag, but the corn was on sale this week for $0.15/ear ($0.60). I will estimate at $1 for this recipe, however. Half an onion comes to $0.30 and the remaining ingredients about $1.10. The total cost of the recipe comes to $8.20 or $1.64 per serving.

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 Here’s to a healthy (short!) week ahead!

Be well,

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11 Comments

  1. May 29, 2012 / 6:24 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’ve had some quinoa around the house but haven’t decided on what to do with it until now 🙂

  2. May 29, 2012 / 7:56 am

    These look fabulous!! I had this recipe flagged in CL, so I’m happy to hear that it was delicious. Good to know they can be made ahead and reheat well….definitely going on the menu soon!

  3. May 29, 2012 / 12:11 pm

    These tomatoes look awesome! Love quinoa as a stuffing, yum!

  4. May 29, 2012 / 3:06 pm

    Wow, you even got Mr. P. to approve of the quinoa? I once tried to make red quinoa meatballs but the hubs, thinking he wouldn’t notice the quinoa among the meat – I found out at that meal that my Italian husband isn’t really a fan of meatballs, and did not appreciate the healthy grain added to the mix!

    Glad you made it home – it’s going to be a crazy six weeks for you with all your changes! Hang in there. 😀

  5. May 29, 2012 / 6:08 pm

    Any time I try to make quinoa, I get weird looks. And then my family asks why I’m making Ken Oh A. Not Keen-wah. it drives me nuts, since dishes like this would obviously be so fabulous! I can’t wait to try it for myself. They can find something else to eat that day. 🙂

  6. May 29, 2012 / 7:28 pm

    These look great! I’ve never really been a fan of stuffed tomatoes but the filling in these looks really good. Maybe I just haven’t found the right filling yet. I just planted all my tomato plants outside last night(finally!) so I’m going to have lots of tomatoes to experiment with soon 😀
    I’m glad your ankle is feeling mostly better!

  7. Karen
    May 30, 2012 / 4:02 pm

    This looks like a great way to use quinoa. I wish you could send some of your heat this way, up to Alberta where we haven’t had a great Spring.

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