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 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 the “r” sound her accent placed in the middle of or at the end of the word “law.” I never quite figured it out, but it was almost like the word was a rock and her mouth was a rock tumbler that whirled it all around before it hit my ears. I found it both hilarious and 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, I believe positive thoughts breed positive energy.

I have gone through phases where I could be best 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

Then for whatever reason, I gradually stopped with the negatives. And 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. And when I told the universe I would really like to find a sand dollar, I found a sand dollar. Coincidence? Or did I will it 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 the Stuffed series last November (click for peppersshellssavory cupcakes,  and sweet cupcakes) .  After seeing a Quinoa Stuffed Tomato recipe in The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi 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, and the tomato shell was so tender it melted under the pressure of  my fork, melding perfectly into the quinoa stuffing. The thyme lent a savory note I enjoyed much more than I expected, though if  you do not enjoy thyme, I think basil or parsley would be perfectly acceptable substitutions.

Quiona-stuffed tomatoes beat out spicy tomato jam as my favorite tomato recipe to date. And as an added bonus, I haven’t enjoyed quinoa so much since chocolate cake. Enjoy!

Update: After this post went live, I was made aware of a Food Bloggers For Slave Free Tomatoes movement today. Please visit the post at Life With The Lushers to learn more. If you would like to express your support of the movement, please fill out the note here. Thank you!

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes
  • 2-3 medium to large tomatoes or 6 plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup whole wheat or panko 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 quinoa mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stuff the quinoa 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.

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