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Roasted Tomato-Fennel Pasta with Pine Nuts and Capers (modified from Dreena Burton)

1 teaspoon avocado oil

4 cups fresh Roma tomatoes (about 1.5 lbs/680 gm)

1 large fennel bulb

4 large cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 teas sea salt

fresh ground pepper

1 teas dried oregano

3/4 lb/340 g dried whole grain pasta

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

2 tsp capers

1/2 cup fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet toss together oil, tomatoes, fennel, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.  Roast for 40-45 minutes, tossing once or twice, until tomatoes are soft and fennel is golden in spots. During the last 10-15 minutes of roasting, cook pasta according to the package directions.  When pasta is almost done, remove 1/2 cup of pasta water and reserve.  Remove veggies from oven.  Drain pasta and toss in roasted veggies.  If pasta seems dry, add some reserved pasta water, 1 tbsp at a time.  Just before serving, toss in pine nuts, capers and fresh basil.

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Fire-Roasted Salsa (Thug Kitchen)

1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

3 serrano peppers, chopped (seeds removed)

8 cloves roasted garlic*

1/4 teas ground cumin

juice of 1/2 lime

salt to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until you reach desired consistency.

*to roast garlic, cut top layer off of bulb and wrap in tin foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

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Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze:

When we were in Key West we discovered an amazing and delicious idea….bruschetta with balsamic glaze.  I begged and pleaded for the recipe, brought it home and tried it out without adding oil. Guess what?  It’s delicious.

5 Roma or plum tomatoes diced (I use roma, they are fleshier)

1.5 tbsp balsamic glaze

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste.

Combine ingredients and serve with a whole grain baguette or whole grain crisps of choice.

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Grill-Roasted Tomato Soup

2 lbs plum tomatoes, firm but ripe

1 red onion, quartered and peeled

10 medium garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 tablespoon avocado oil (optional, but omit for heart disease patients)

4 cups low-sodium veggie broth

1 teas sea salt

1/2 teas freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil

Prepare bar-b-que grill for direct cooking over low heat, or preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, thyme, and avocado oil and toss to coat. Arrange vegetable on grill pan, in grill basket, or on baking sheet, and cook until tomato skins wrinkle and start to brown, 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally.

Transfer vegetables to a large saucepan, and continue to cook until they are charred on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Add vegetable broth to saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until tomatoes collapse completely, about 8 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a blender and purée until very smooth. Pour soup through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. Season with salt, pepper and basil just before serving.

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