Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

Confession time. I sometimes listen to audio books to break up my stoplight-riddled commute to and from work. “What is there to confess about that,” you ask?  Nothing, it’s just that the most recent book I listened to was The Secret. And when I first heard about “The Secret”, I rolled my eyes.

For those who are blissfully unaware, “The Secret” is both a movie and a book about the Law of Attraction. Through the Law of Attraction, author Rhonda Byrne tells us we have the power to make all of our heart’s desires come true. Yeah…right. [Insert aforementioned eye roll here.]

I suspect it was more a lack of selection than the Law of Attraction that made my hand pluck the audio version of “The Secret” from the library’s shelves a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, Rhonda Byrne’s Australian-accented English both entertained and enlightened me over the next few weeks.

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

The entertainment came in thanks to her accent. I never quite figured it out, but it was almost like the word “law” was a rock and her mouth was a rock tumbler that whirled it all around before it hit my ears. I found it fantastic!

The enlightenment I can’t quite pinpoint either, or at least pinpoint in a blog post that will ultimately end in tomatoes. So I’ll start with a question. Do I believe in the law of attraction? I don’t know yet.  But I can say with certainty that I believe positive thoughts breed positive energy.

I have gone through phases where I could best be described as a habitual complainer. Instead of rainbows and puppy dogs, it was work sucks, love stinks, cash flow is non-existent, can’t catch a break, blah, blah, blah. Life was rotten tomatoes.

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

When I finally stopped with all the negativity, I realized it was really no harder to think positive than it was to think negative. The energy, whether it negative or positive, kept humming right along. Is my life all peaches and cream now? No, but positive thoughts buoy me along the current, whereas negative thoughts kept me fighting upstream against it.

The Saturday after I finished listening to “The Secret”, I went to a garage sale where I found the print version for sale. I gave the seller fifty cents and brought it home. But not before I went to another sale and bought the trifle dish I wanted so desperately after seeing an Instagram of the trifle my cousin Ashlee rocked. Then I told the universe I would really like to find a sand dollar, and I found a sand dollar.

Coincidence, or did I will these things into being? I don’t really care how it worked, I’m just glad I ended up with a trifle dish and a sand dollar.

Since I got what I wanted (expected?) in those cases, I recently started thinking about gold coins for us all. Then I remembered the universe wants to give us whatever we want, so I ditched the gold coins and started thinking about gold bars. Since I’m still waiting on those to show up, I have only a summer treasure to share.

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

I wanted to stuff a tomato since I wrote a series of stuffed food posts (pepperspasta shellssavory cupcakes and sweet cupcakes) last November. After seeing a quinoa stuffed tomato recipe last week, I finally got around to it.

The original recipe did not make use of the flesh hollowed out of the tomatoes, but I was not about to leave the best part of the tomato to waste. I simply diced it up and added it to the quiona filling mixture. The recipe also called for six plum tomatoes, but I had enough filling for two and a half softball-sized tomatoes.

I enjoyed these stuffed tomatoes so much I forgot I was eating quinoa until mid-way through my first tomato. The bread crumbs absorbed much of the soft-crunch texture I experience and do not care for when eating quinoa. The tomato shell was so tender it melted under the pressure of  my fork, melding perfectly into the quinoa stuffing. The thyme lent a flavor I enjoyed much more than I expected, although if  you do not enjoy thyme, I think basil or parsley would be perfectly acceptable substitutions. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes
  • 2-3 medium to large tomatoes or 6 plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ - ¾ cup mozzarella
  1. Core and halve the tomatoes, then use a spoon to gently scoop out the fleshy insides.
  2. Place the tomatoes cut side down to drain while you prepare the stuffing.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Dice the reserved tomato flesh and add this to the bowl as well.
  4. Stir well to combine and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stuff the mixture into the tomato halves.
  6. Place the tomatoes, stuffing side up, in a lightly greased baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the tops with mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes holding the stuffing are soft.
The original recipe called for whole wheat bread crumbs but I used panko.

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