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How to Make Gluten-Free Quinoa-Stuffed Tomatoes

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten-free grain jam-packed with nutrients. The odd-sounding grain is an excellent substitute for couscous and for use in tabbouleh (a Middle Eastern salad). For this recipe, use the small, beaded form of quinoa.

Select large, ripe (but not too soft) tomatoes. Once baked, they need to be firm enough to hold their shape, yet soft enough to cut easily with a fork.

You don’t use the tomato pulp in this recipe, so place the pulp in a self-seal bag to use in a stew or pasta sauce another day.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

4 large tomatoes

1 cup water

2 teaspoons butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 green onions, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried mint

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

14-ounce can chicken broth

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cut 1/2 inch off the stem side of each tomato and discard the lid. Hollow out the insides.

  3. Place the tomato shells in a 9-x-9-inch baking dish, cut side down.

  4. Pour the water around the tomatoes, cover the dish with foil, and bake the tomatoes at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until the skins are slightly softened but firm enough to hold their shape. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and drain off the hot water. Place them back in the dish, cut side up.

  5. In a large nonstick saucepan, sauté the garlic and onions in the butter and oil over medium-high heat until the onion is tender, stirring frequently.

  6. Stir in the salt, pepper, dill, thyme, mint, and parsley.

  7. Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.

  8. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the quinoa, cover the pan, and simmer the broth slowly for 20 minutes, or until the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

  9. With a fork, stir in the lemon juice and spinach until everything is well combined. Stir in the feta cheese.

  10. Stuff the tomatoes with the quinoa mixture. Cover the pan with foil.

  11. Bake the stuffed tomatoes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Per serving: Calories: 222; Total fat: 10g; Saturated fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Sodium: 815mg; Carbohydrates: 28g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 11g.

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