Saturday, July 11, 2015


Italy seems like such a great place to visit. Among the reasons are: the architecture, the food, the wine, the people, and the history.  It is definitely somewhere I am planning on going in the next few years.

Italian food has always hit the spot.  It's both so satisfying and flavorful. The Italian's have a reputation for being a passionate bunch, and you can taste their passion through their food!
Just talk to someone from Italy for a few minutes and you will be taken to a world of vivacious stories, love for life, and an animated conversation about just about everything that they believe in.  

As much as I love Italian food, a lot of it is on the heavy side, high in carbs, or smothered in rich sauces.  It is certainly not the healthiest of cuisines. Here I decided to make a lighter, and healthier version of a popular dish; Pasta Alla Puttanesca.  Let me introduce you to Quinoa Alla Puttanesca instead... voila!  We are now having a quality dish, both high in complex carbs, and protein. Yum :)
Stuffing them in tomatoes makes them very pretty to serve, but that step can be avoided if you are pressed for time and just want a quick meal.



  • 8 tomatoes
  • 1 cup of dried quinoa, rinsed

For the puttanesca sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of white beans cooked (about 1/3 cup dried, click how to cook beans to learn how to cook them)
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Bragg liquid amino
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of dried basil
  • 1/4 cup of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red peppers (optional, spicy)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


For the quinoa:

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, put the lid on, and let it stand for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork before using

For the tomatoes:

  1. Remove the top, and hollow out the inside of the tomatoes. Reserve

For the sauce:

  1. In a large pan, heat up the olive oil under medium-high heat and add the onions.  Cook 3-4 minutes until they are translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic, cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, cook another 10 minutes.

To assemble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Add the cooked quinoa to the sauce, mix well.
  3. Evenly divide inside the hollowed tomatoes to stuff them.,
  4. Place the stuffed tomatoes on a baking sheet, covered with foil or parchment paper, and bake 15 minutes.
  5. Serve warm


This will make 4 servings (8 stuffed tomatoes)

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