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Stuffed Tomatoes

On my quest for healthier and meat free dinners I came across this side dish. I made it a main dish by making 2 tomatoes for each of us.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Cornbread stuffing mix – one package
  • 6 large tomatoes about 8 ounces each
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese about 1 1/2 ounces, grated
  • 2 tablespoons green onion – finely chopped
  • /3 cup Fresh basil leaves shredded
  • 1/4 cup parsley – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice about 1/8 inch off the stem end of each tomato. Carefully dig out the core and seeds leaving the flesh and skin. I found a grapefruit knife and tablespoon work best for this task. Sprinkle inside of each tomato with salt and place upside down on several layers of paper toweling; let stand to remove excess moisture, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toss stuffing mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, margarine, Parmesan, herbs, salt and pepper to taste in small bowl; set aside. Adjust moisture with vegetable broth until crumbs are slightly wet (not soupy). Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees, line bottom of 9 by 13-inch baking dish with foil.
  3. Roll up several sheets of paper towels and pat inside of each tomato dry. Arrange tomatoes in single layer in baking dish. Brush top cut edges of tomatoes with 1 teaspoon oil. Mound stuffing into tomatoes (about 1/4 cup per tomato); drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

I used StoveTop Cornbread Stuffing, it comes 6 oz to a box and I used ever last bit for 4 tomatoes. If doing 8 tomatoes I would recommend getting 2 boxes or a larger box of a different brand. If you have extra you can always put in a small casserole and bake next to the tomatoes.

I also didn’t use fresh herbs. Instead, I used about 1/2 tbls of each the parsley and basil. StoveTop is already seasoned stuffing so being particular on the herbs didn’t bother me that much.

If your looking for something a bit quicker you don’t have to add the extra ingredients to the stuffing and can use it straight from the box. I felt that it was very little extra work and really added a ton of great flavor.

Chicken stock is a staple in our kitchen so that is what I used in place of vegetable stock, I don’t think it made a difference. When adding the stock put a little bit in, stir and let it sit for a moment or two to absorb the liquid. If you don’t let the bread crumbs absorb you going to end up with way too much liquid and soggy stuffing.

The salting of the tomatoes prior to stuffing really draws out a good amount of liquid and the stuffing didn’t get mushy.

I also used 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter instead of margarine.

I’m all about not buying extra ingredients and the subsitutions make no difference.

Each (one stuffed tomato) serving contains an estimated:
Cals: 336, FatCals: 150, TotFat: 17g
SatFat: 5g, PolyFat: 2g, MonoFat: 10g
Chol: 11mg, Na, 1000mg, K: 427mg
TotCarbs: 37g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 0g
NetCarbs: 30g, Protein: 10g

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