Tag Archives: grape tomatoes

Lomi Tomato

9 May

Lomi Tomato is the vegetarian version of Lomi Salmon, without the salmon.  This reminded me so much of when I used to order in Chinese restaurants Chicken with Cashew Nuts, without the Chicken.  Somehow people would understand it better when explained like that.

This was the salad portion of our Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival at the Devanand Yoga Center a few weeks ago.  To me it’s really important to include in a menu a salad, but I couldn’t find a typical salad in all the searches I did on Hawaiian cuisine.  So I adapted a version of this very popular dish and made it vegetarian.

I have never tasted the original… to me it sounded very similar to a tartar or a ceviche, both of which I’ve had.  But I thought that by adding macadamia nuts it could be made very interesting.  The audience agreed…  and you??


Hawaiian Tomato Salad


4 cups grape tomatoes, halved

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

½ cup fresh Italian leaf parsley, chopped finely

½ cup olive oil

1 tbs toasted sesame oil

The juice of 2 limes

Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

 A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Just place tomatoes, scallions, macadamias and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. In a measuring cup combine the ingredients for the dressing – olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Whisk well to combine.  Add over the tomato salad and toss to combine.
  3. Allow flavors to marinate tomatoes for about 30 minutes before serving.


We served it over a bad of mixed greens…  somehow, a salad is more of an salad when lettuces and something leafy is involved, no?

Pasta with Marinated Tomato Arugula Salad

15 Sep

This is my attempt to update one of my classic go-to recipes, Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes.

Lately I’ve been splurging on all the different varieties of tomatoes available in the market so I mix the best, most colorful tomatoes I can find and marinate them with arugula and even sometimes baby fresh spinach to make for a great un cooked, wilted salad pasta that’s a whole meal in one bowl.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do…

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2-3 cups of tomatoes – cherry, grape, zebra, any kind of tomato you prefer…
3 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
6-8 fresh basil leaves or 1 tbs freeze-fried basil leaves
3-4 handfuls of baby arugula or baby spinach – or a combination of the two – somewhat chopped
2 ounces of goat cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
3 cups of dried pasta – I use quinoa penne pasta, and the amount should be enough for 4 people


  1. In a large bowl, add the tomatoes either halved or quartered, depending on their original size.  I halve the small ones and quarter the larger ones.  Add the smashed garlic cloves, drizzle olive oil and season with salt, pepper and basil leaves.  Mix well to combine.  Add the arugula leaves and toss again.  The olive oil and juices of tomatoes will wilt the arugula a bit… that’s our goal.


2.  While the tomatoes and arugula marinate and wilt, cook the pasta according to the packages direction.  Remember to salt the water well before adding the pasta to the water.

3.  Toss the tomatoes and arugula once in while the pasta cooks… it should take about 10-12 minutes.  I usually turn the stove off after 12 minutes, cover the pot and leave it covered for about 5 minutes more.  The pasta will turn out perfect every time and you save 5 minutes of electricity each time you make pasta…

4.  When pasta is done to your liking, drain the water saving a bit of pasta water.  I usually just don’t drain it completely… and leave some water in the bottom of the pot.  Return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in.

5.  Remove the garlic cloves from the marinated tomatoes/arugula mixture and add it to the pasta.  Toss well to combine.  Add the goat cheese in small pieces to help it melt with the heat of the pasta and pot.  Season with grated parmesan cheese and a small drizzle of olive oil, if you prefer…


To me this is one of the most satisfying lunches… and it’s great to eat on the days when I train.  It has complex carbs and delicious veggies with some protein from the quinoa pasta and cheeses.  Mmmmmmm…  I might make myself this today again.

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake

11 Nov

I will be honest… I learned this recipe from somewhere on the Internet. The thing is… I can’t remember where or who to give the credit to.

I made this recipe for the first time about 3 years ago when I was staying with my sister for the birth of my nephew, who turned 3 recently. I was craving eggplant… and I wanted an easy way to make it without frying it, which you all know is my favorite eggplant preparation. I did it at home in Puerto Rico and also at my sister’s after scoring a huge bag of eggplants at The Boys Farmer’s Market.

I vaguely remembered what I did the initial time I made it. So who knows, maybe I did came up with THIS version after all.


Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake

1 medium eggplant, find one as light as possible, peeled and diced
1 pint of grape tomatoes, divided, all cut in half
1 tbs of dried basil, I use freeze dried
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces of goat cheese
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, optional
Brown Rice Fettuccini, I use Tinkyada brand
  1. In an oven-proof dish place all the diced eggplant pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss all to combine well.
  2. Add over the eggplant half of the grape tomatoes that you’ve cut in half already. Leave aside the rest of the tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle the dried basil over the tomatoes. Add the goat cheese inc crumbles over the tomatoes. Drizzle a final stream of olive oil over everything and a last sprinkle of salt and pepper to make sure everything is well seasoned.


4.  Place in a 375F oven for about 40 minutes. Turn off the oven.

5.  Boil water to make the pasta according to the package directions. I use Brown Rice pasta, but you can use your favorite brand/kind

6.  Drain the pasta, return to the pot and add the eggplant bake. Mix well to combine. Add Parmesan cheese, if using. Add the fresh tomatoes you set aside earlier. This adds an element of freshness that contrasts really nice with the creaminess of the baked eggplant.


Serve with your favorite salad and baked plantains on the side…  This is so easy to make ahead and just re-heat when you’re boiling the pasta.  Easy dinner without a lot of tending to it.

Tomato Salad

17 Jun

This is sooooooo simple, that I don’t really know it if warrants a post of its own…

This is one of my go-to “salads” of all time.  When I was growing up, to slice a few tomatoes and serve it on the side was a perfectly good “salad” in my mom’s opinion.  Quick, simple and no need to dirty a salad plate for it…

Nowadays, I embellish it a bit with the drizzle of olive oil and the addition of salt to season.  And because there’s hardly any ingredients in this, the quality of the tomatoes will dictate how good this salad will turn out.  I prefer using sweet beautiful grape tomatoes.  But lately, my aunt is bringing us organic heirloom tomatoes her neighbor is growing and they’re absolutely fabulous.  Please use organic tomatoes if you can find them near you…

I have this Tomato Salad all the time to accompany pasta, rice and particularly loved it as a garnish for the Florentine Mac & Cheese, but it was more than just a garnish, it was the perfect flavor complement….



10-12 grape tomatoes, washed well with a veggie rinse and sliced in half
About 1 tbs of olive oil
3 dashes of kosher salt


  1. Mix together well to combine.  Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.


Can this be any simpler???

Serve as a side dish or on top of your favorite pasta or rice dish.  Here it is as a side dish for our Blue Cheese Polenta and Roasted Mushrooms.


Top Chef Pasta – Bucatini with Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

13 Mar

I love Top Chef…  I have been a fan since its 1st season. 

But being a fan of the TV show, I don’t understand why is it that I have never bought an issue of Food & Wine magazine, one of the show premier sponsors. Not even to read the feature article on the winners, which is part of the main prize package.  So last month I bought my first and only Food & Wine magazine to see what is it all about.  The main thing that attracted me to it was it had a feature on fast, hearty pastas… my weakness.

So in honor of Top Chef Chicago’s premier last night… I decided to try out my first Food & Wine recipe – Bucatini with Spinach, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese.  The original recipe called for spaghetti, but, as you will see, it works with any noodle in my opinion.  I was hungry and had all the ingredients in my fridge, so “manos a la obra”…



Adapted from the Food & Wine Magazine February 2008 issue

1/4 lbs bucatini or whole-wheat spaghetti   
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced thinly
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved (about 6-7 grape tomatoes)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese
2 ounces of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Pinch of crushed red pepper -optional
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it is al dente.  Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and  crushed red pepper, if using.  Cook over moderate heat until the garlic is tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until wilted about 2 minutes.
  5. To the skillet with the tomatoes and spinach, add the pasta, the reserved pasta water and the grated pecorino cheese.  Toss over low heat until the pasta is coated with the sauce.  Season again with salt and pepper. 
  6. Add the goat cheese and toss gently.
  7. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls and serve adding extra grated cheese if desired.

This was an awesome pasta dish.  Worthy of serving when company comes around, but easy enough to do any week-night.

Top Chef Chicago was super cool last night.  I still have not formed an opinion on who’s my favorite.  I guess Sam Talbot from Season 2 will always be My personal favorite.   In the meantime, I will continue trying Food & Wine’s awesome pasta selections… one down, 3-4 more to go. Mmmmm!!

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