Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a grain native to South America. This is a delicious recipe that children will have fun eating out of an edible tomato "bowl." Ingredients:
4 medium (2½ inches) tomatoes, rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red onions, peeled and chopped
1 C cooked mixed vegetables—such as peppers, corn, carrots, or peas (leftover friendly)
1 C quinoa, rinsed*
1 C low-sodium chicken broth
½ ripe avocado, peeled and diced (see tip)
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried) Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
2. Cut off the tops of the tomatoes and hollow out the insides. (The pulp can be saved for use in tomato soup or sauce, or salsa.) Set tomatoes aside.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook until they begin to soften, about 1–2 minutes.
4. Add cooked vegetables, and heat through, about another 1–2 minutes.
5. Add quinoa, and cook gently until it smells good, about 2 minutes.
6. Add chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pan. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid and is fully cooked, about 7–10 minutes.
7. When the quinoa is cooked, remove the lid and gently fluff quinoa with a fork. Gently mix in the avocado, pepper, and parsley.
8. Carefully stuff about ¾ cup of quinoa into each tomato.
9. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15–20 minutes, or until tomatoes are hot throughout (tomatoes may be stuffed in advance and baked later).
10. Serve immediately.
* Unprocessed quinoa must be washed thoroughly before it is used to remove a powdery coating called saponin, which has an unpleasant and bitter taste. Check your package for rinsing instructions. Prep Time:
10 minutes Cook Time:
35–40 minutes Yield:
4 servings Serving Size:
1 tomato, ¾ C stuffing
How do I choose and slice an avocado?
Here are tips on choosing, ripening, and slicing an avocado.
Choosing an avocado
The best way to tell whether an avocado is ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe, ready-to-eat avocados will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure.
Ripening an avocado
To ripen an avocado, place the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature (65–75 °F) until ready to eat (usually 2–5 days). Adding an apple or banana in the bag speeds up the process, because these fruits give off a gas that helps ripen other fruit.
Peeling and slicing an avocado
1. Start with a ripe avocado that is rinsed and dried.
2. Cut it in half lengthwise around the pit. Twist the halves to separate.
3. Tap pit gently with a knife. Remove the pit by sliding the tip of a spoon gently underneath and lifting it out.
4. Peel the avocado by placing the cut side down and carefully removing the skin with a knife or your fingers, starting at the small end. Or simply scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon.
Each Serving Provides:
total fat 10 g
saturated fat 1 g
cholesterol 0 mg
sodium 64 mg
total fiber 8 g
protein 10 g
carbohydrates 46 g
potassium 906 mg
vitamin A 110%
vitamin C 40%
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Source:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute