PESTO SPINACH QUINOA STUFFED TOMATOES

Roasted stuffed tomatoes that are filled to the brim with a flavorful mixture of pesto quinoa and fresh spinach. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. 

Tomatoes are another one of my favorite summer produce picks. I swear they taste sweeter and juicier during the warmer summer months! My dad eats them like apples. I haven’t tried that yet but I do try to work them into many of our meals.

When I was at Sam’s Club last week shopping with my mom, I saw the most beautiful fresh tomatoes and just had to stock up– big time.

They were so ripe, juicy, and the perfect shape for making stuffed tomatoes!

Stuffed tomatoes are very similar to stuffed peppers (which we love), except I think stuffed tomatoes have a sweeter flavor and a more delicate consistency that we really enjoy.

PESTO SPINACH QUINOA STUFFED TOMATOES
PESTO SPINACH QUINOA STUFFED TOMATOES

HOW TO FREEZE TOMATOES

Step 1 – Use a paring knife to score an X on the bottom of each tomato.

Step 2  – Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, just until the edges where you made the X start to peel up.

Step 3 – Immediately put the hot tomatoes into an ice bath. It will stop them from cooking and cool them down quickly so you can handle them.

Step 4 – Peel the skins off and remove the stem with a knife or strawberry huller.

Step 5 – Use a vacuum sealer to freeze the tomatoes in a flat, single layer. Don’t forget to label the bag and mark the date!

PESTO SPINACH QUINOA STUFFED TOMATOES

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 medium tomatoes, seeds and cores removed
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained
  • 6 Tbsp pesto (If you don’t wan’t to make your own, this one is vegan)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Pesto-

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (or pine nuts)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (Optional – this is a substitute I use for parmesan cheese)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add all of the pesto ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cut off the top of the tomatoes. Use a spoon with a serrated edge to slip in and scoop out all the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
  4. Drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish and spread it around. Place tomatoes in the baking dish. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over the top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle salt & pepper on each tomato.
  5. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
  6. In a large saute pan, cook the diced onion in 2 Tbsp olive oil, for 5-8 minutes or until translucent. Add the cooked quinoa, spinach, pesto, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix together, let cook just until spinach has wilted and everything is combined.
  7. Spoon filling into tomatoes and put the top back on.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to blister.

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