Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jordan's Cheesy Tomato Spinach Bites



If I know her well, Jordan would protest vehemently at the tittle of this post. She would point it out that this is NOT her recipe but she received this one from a family member via an email. 

This is how much she respects other's work, protecting and promoting all at the same time. But whenever I make these cuties, the lovely Jordan is always on my mind. For me, these would forever be Jordan's Cheesy Tomato Spinach Bites.



Jordan Mikena is another gift that life has given me, thanks to blogging. We connect because she is everything, that I am not. But she is everything I inspire to be. Her space, A Shared Meal, is a group on Facebook I am extremely proud to be a part of. Its a melting pot, where we not only share our meals, but our homes, cultures, traditions and practices too. Jordan and A Shared Meal has also been a eye opener to issues that I not even thought existed. She made me more socially and globally conscious by attacking and discussing issues, that I never though were relevant. In the bigger picture her work might look tiny, but its a start. And if we have more people doing their bit, the world would definitely a better place. 


Back to this amazing recipe, I have used the hunky beef steak tomatoes, because it would give me more surface area. But a firm Roma Tomatoes would be just fine too. Rather it would be more flavorful. The original recipe calls for marinating the tomato slices in Balsamic vinegar for 4-6 hours. But it felt to be long wait and I was in a hurry. Typical me!



So I just brushed the tomato slices with balsamic vinegar and topped it with garlic sauteed spinach and cheese and within minutes had the most incredible guilt-free Cheesy bite possible. 




Luckily for me, both Sid and Sam are not tomato fans, unless you are talking about tomato soup. Which means I had the whole platter to myself. The more, the merrier. They are delicious warm and also at room temperature. They reheat very well in the microwave and makes your house smell delicious too. A certain good looking FedEx delivery guy can vouch for it too!!!





The day I made it, I had it with baked chicken and the leftovers with rice the next day. It was soooo good both the days. Since no other member in my family with eat this, now I simply slice one tomato (4-5 slices) and spray it with balsamic vinegar, top it up with a handful of garlic sauteed salad greens and a teaspoon of cheese. Broil it for a couple of minutes and I have a delicious low-carb, low-calorie lunch in no time. 

And before I finish this post I just had to say this: 

Jordan: You are such an inspiration. I love you and love the work that you do. And I am so glad and so honored that you are my friend. And a huge tank you for such an incredible recipe!



Recipe Snapshot: Jordan's Cheesy Tomato Spinach Bites

Serves: 2-3 serving

What I used:
Tomatoes (Very Firm)- 2 big ones or 3 medium sized one

Spinach (Frozen) - 1 (10 oz) bag, thawed and drained of any moisture
OR
Fresh Spinach - 1 lb, cleaned, washed and chopped

Garlic - 2 cloves, finely minced or grated

Olive Oil - 2 tsp

Balsamic vinegar - 2 tbsp

Cheese blend - 1/4 cup (Italian Blend preferred, but I used a Mexican Blend, because that is what I had in hand)

Salt
Pepper

What I did:
1. Preheat the oven at 350F.

2. Slice the tomatoes a little thick for stability. Spread it on a foil lined and greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle or brush over Balsamic Vinegar evenly on the tomatoes.

3. Bake them in an 350F oven for 5-6 minutes or on till soft but not falling apart..

4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of oil in an big pan and add the minced/grated garlic. Once it turns aromatic and slightly golden, add the thawed and drained spinach (or the chopped fresh ones). Saute for a couple of minutes with salt and pepper till the spinach is thoroughly cooked through. 

5. Once the tomatoes are baked, top it with a tablespoon of spinach mix and a teaspoon of cheese.

6. Now put the oven on broil mode and broil till the cheese is golden and bubbling. About 1.5 to 2 minutes. 

7. Let it rest for a five minutes before handling it. Its absolutely fragile when hot. 

8. Tastes best slightly warm or at room temperature.


Notes/Tip: Make a big batch  and refrigerate the leftovers. Makes excellent lunch when served with rice.


Diabetic Platter:
Spinach is a delicious bundle of nutrients and has numerous health benefits. Flavonoids are organic compounds found in high quantities in spinach, which have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Spinach helps in lowering blood pressure due to the presence of magnesium. Vitamin K, which is important for maintaining bone health, is also available in spinach. Moreover, spinach protects against heart disease. Vitamin C in spinach also provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Spinach can increase cognitive strength and better eyesight due to its rich levels of various vitamins.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is known for its antioxidant properties. It also has cancer-preventing properties and helps in the prevention of heart diseases. Tomatoes are a good source of fiber, which reduces high cholesterol levels and is good for maintaining proper blood sugar levels, as well as increasing digestive and gastrointestinal health.

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