Tag Archives: tomatoes

Food Matters Project #44: Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

I’m so happy to be the host of this week’s Food Matters Project.  It’s a perfect recipe for our household these days.  Between a new schedule and a new job, our lives have been a bit busy.  Easy, make-ahead and delicious recipes are perfect for us.

A while back I chose Mark Bittman’s Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers.  It’s a great recipe that can be changed to what you have in your fridge.  It’s fantastic prepared the night before, and wonderful for lunch the next day!  Check out what other FMP participants did with their recipes here.

I love tuna salad, but I really hate to order it in deli shops or restaurants.  There is always so much mayo in there, it doesn’t have the tuna flavor.  And it’s heavy, loaded with calories.  I loved this pasta salad- served cold, it was perfect for a hot summer day, and it’s still light enough that it doesn’t make you too sleepy after you eat it for lunch!

Food Matters Project: Tuna SaladPasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 232)

1 lb pasta (type: your choice)
4-5 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 cans 5 oz can of tuna in water, drained
1 small onion, chopped
3 tbsp capers
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.

In a large bowl mix together the following ingredients: cooked pasta, tomatoes, tuna, onion, capers, parsley, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Stir well and serve.

Food Matters Project #43: Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella

I apologize for the silence on the blog, don’t worry we didn’t leave you!  Truthfully, there have been some small changes to our schedule due to a new job, and therefore small adjustments.  But we have been cooking- so don’t worry, there recipes will be coming!

Today is another great Monday for the Food Matters Project.  Our host today is Laura, of Chef Laura at Home.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Tomato Carpaccio with Mozzarella.  Check out the original recipe in The Food Matters Cookbook, or look what other FMP participants did here.

My version is not very similar to the original recipe.  Today was my first day at a new job, with different hours than I’m used to.  In addition, we’ll be out of town this weekend- so we’re trying to use up everything that’s hiding in the fridge and freezer.  Tonight’s meal was very simple, back to the basics.  There are always days where we come home from work, and don’t want to cook or prepare anything.  I resist the urge to dial the local Chinese takeout to order our dinner.

Instead, I make a plan for something healthier for us:

1) In our freezer we had 2 Polish sausages (from the Amish Market)- I defrosted them this morning.
2) We had a lot of lettuce and tomatoes left over- it was easy to chop those up and throw them together.
3) Sam stopped at the store to pick up a ball of cheese, and chose one of his favorites: Smoked Mozzarella.

This was one of those Monday meals: fast, light and filling!  And it did make a little more room in the fridge.

Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked MozzarellaTomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe does not have ingredient amounts, it’s meant to be a “clean out your fridge”.  Feel free to swap out lettuce varieties (spinach, arugula), vegetables (cucumbers, zucchini, corn), herbs (cilantro, parsley), or cheeses (cheddar, blue)

greens, chopped
tomatoes, sliced
smoked mozzarella cheese, chopped
basil, finely chopped
olive oil

Add all of the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a large bowl, then toss all of them together.  Divide the salad between plates, and lightly drizzle olive oil over the salad.

Enjoy this salad as a side with grilled meat or vegetables; or make it larger as a meal.

August Review

How time flies when you’re having fun!  I’m really enjoying doing these monthly reviews, it’s a fun way to look back on what we did throughout the month!  Check out the last 3 months: May, June, and July!

Sam and I completed our Open Water Scuba Diving Certificates in Virginia Beach!  Our first dive was at the Chesapeake Light Tower (locally known as The Tower), about 13 miles east of the Rundee Inlet.  We took our trip with the Lynnhaven Dive Center- what a great adventure!

Our family had a beach house rented for the week, so we did have some time to relax at the beach!  We got a tan, read some books, and even saw this cute little sand crab.  Having lived in Virginia Beach before, I feel like Sandbridge is one of the best beaches in the area!

As always, we did visit the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  This particular week we got: milk, cherry tomatoes, eggs, habañeros, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, and green beans.  What can you make with these ingredients?  Check out these recipes: Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Greek Panzanella, and Asian Veggie Rolls.

One night we made this delicious pizza!  Loved the fried egg on top- so yummy!  Try some of our pizzas: Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza or the Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza!

My friend Beth and I went to visit our friend Becky in Boston!  Sam and I visited Boston in April and loved the city and the Sam Adams Brewery!  This time it was a girls weekend- we ate cannoli’s at Mike’s Pastry, brunch at The Flour Bakery, some running, and enjoying Harvard Square.  Check out my post on The Flour Bakery!

Another stop at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!  This weeks goodies were: corn, peppers, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, peaches, zucchini and summer squash.  Check out this month’s recipes, such as: Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, or the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.

With a new blogger friend, Sylvie from Thrifty DC Cook, I volunteered at one of the homeless shelters in DC.  We had a fun time cooking of a delicious lunch- and I made some cookies for dessert!

I went to a book reading at Politics and Prose, a local DC bookstore.  Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses, and Rebecca Harrington, author of Penelope, read a section of each of their books, talked about the process of writing, and how they got new ideas.  This was the first time I went into P&P, but can’t wait to check out some more events they have to offer!

After the third visit of the month to the Penn Quarter Farmers Market we got a chance to try some eggs, crab dip, summer squash, tomatoes, peaches, cherry tomatoes, green beans and peppers!  Check out the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa recipe to make with those cherry tomatoes!

A bachelorette weekend in St. Michael’s, MD included some fun shopping.  In one of the stores we found these great napkins.  Thank you to: Jess, Steph, Carolyn, Cassie, Katie, Josie and Krista for a wonderful weekend!!!


In the last week of August at the Penn Quarters Market we got: bacon, brat patty meat, cucumbers, summer squash, apples, cider, tomatoes, eggs, various peppers, cherry tomatoes and arugula.  Try making Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Greek Panzanella, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Asian Veggie Rolls or the Brazilian Fish and Shrimp Stew.

Food Matters Project #25: Greek Panzanella

I was a little excited about this weeks Food Matters Project.  The chosen recipe was great to put my own spin on it, and a way to enjoy fresh vegetables from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!

This weeks host is Megan, from Art by Megan.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she chose Greek Nacho’s with Feta Drizzle.  Check out her post, or other participants interpretations.  Find the original recipe on page 75 in the Food Matters Cookbook.

I’ve been craving a panzanella salad, which tends to be a summer salad that incorporates bread and tomatoes.  So why not make a greek version of a panzanella?  Last year I had saved a recipe (more of a guide) on how to put one together from Aggie’s Kitchen and have been wanting to make it since.  This was a fairly large salad (bigger dinner and leftovers), so I hope you all have large serving bowls!

Greek Panzanella
Adapted from: Aggie’s Kitchen

3 pitas, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 bell pepper (we had green), chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, halved
6 oz feta, crumbled or cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the pita bread cubes, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and sesame seeds.  Add this mixture to a hot non-stick skillet and toast for about 10 minutes.  The bread should be lightly brown, but not burnt.

Once the bread pieces are cooked, add them to a large salad bowl.  Then, add in tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, kalamata olives, feta, salt, pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Gently toss all of the ingredients to combine.

July Review

How time flies!  I can’t believe it’s August already!  If you’d like to catch up on monthly reviews, check out May and June!  So what photos did I capture on my iPhone this month?


We buy some fruits and veggies from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market every week.  This week we purchased: blueberry yogurt, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, milk and eggs!  Check out the tomato tart and Lebanese salad with pita chips.

New this year is Gordy’s, they make small-batch artisanal pickles!

A fellow DC blogger, Thrifty DC Cook, introduced me to Saigon Cafe in Falls Church.  This was our 2nd visit in a month- the pho was that good!  So if any of my DC friends have a car, and have a craving for pho, I’ll be glad to introduce you to this new find!

Sam and I are always on the lookout for some great new beer.  I found this one at Cowgirl CreameryBaba black lager is from Uinta Brewery in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Love the cute label!

Another week of great finds at the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  This weeks deliciousness was: eggs, green beans, corn, tomatoes and sweet melon.  Check out the tomato tart and fresh corn salsa we made this month!

A friend, and fellow DC blogger, Emily of Em-i-lis held a canning workshop at the Bethesda Strosniders Hardware Store.  If you’d like to learn more about canning she’s teaching another class on August 25th at the Silver Spring location (it’s free, just sign up!).

Sam and I tried out a new pizza place in Columbia Heights- Red Rocks!  The pizza above is the Funghi (fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes), the other we tried was the Boar Sausage (smoked mozzarella, wild boar, scallions, grana, parsley).  Both delicious, we’ll definitely be back!

Our friends Brittany and Ben will be having a baby any day now, we’re all so excited!  To celebrate, Stephanie threw a wonderful baby shower!  These were on all of the tables, with some delicious popcorn in them!  How cute is that?!?

I visited my parents for a week in Chicago- great view of a wonderful city!

While I was in Chicago, Sam went to the Penn Quarter Farmers Market.  What did he buy? Eggs, tomatoes, bacon, butter, blackberries, okra, peaches and peppers.  Check out the tomato tart!

While visiting my parents, my Mom showed me how to improve on my pierogi-making techniques!  We made blueberry pierogi’s- and they were delicious!

I attended a workshop at the Common City Good Farm on composting.  I’ve been wanting to learn more about it, and how to start.  Once everything is in place, I hope to do a couple of blog posts about the process.

We spent a couple of hours at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and it had a great view from one of the terraces.  Definitely a museum all of you should check out while in DC!

More delicious food from the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  This week we got: eggs, plums, peppers, tomatoes, cheese curds, peaches and peppers.  Check out the tomato tart!

Lastly, Sam and I began our scuba diving certification!  We got some log books to note all of our dives!  Cannot wait for Thailand to explore the underwater!