New Year, New Me Healthy Recipe w/Classico Tomatoes #CookClassico

New Year, New He/Me/Us Plan

HIMself and I have declared 2013 as a year to become more able-bodied, active, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, full of life, hale, hardy, healthful, physically fit, restored, rosy-cheeked, safe and sound, trim…bottom line: in fine fettle, in good shape, fit, healthy and whole. We are committed to doing all things that favorably affect or promote a healthful physical state. That includes reducing stress and clutter, more exercise, yoga, meditation and eating less red meat and more fruit and veggies. We even bought new shoes for fitness walking!!!

shoes ready-to-fitness-walk #CookClassico

My Main Ingredient is Always Freshness

Classico Healthy Lunch #CookClassico

When I cook, I always look for fresh ingredients. I have some new toys with which to accomplish the healthy eating part of our plan. A VitaMix and a Ninja Cooking System are shining brightly on the kitchen counter. I will put the VitaMix to good use today for our fresh and healthy main dish using two new favorites – Classico Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes with Fresh Basil and Classico Heavy Tomato Puree. Heinz Classico canned tomatoes ( #CookClassico ) are 100% all-natural and always packed fresh with no preservatives. That is impressive! Just look at the open cans below to understand why you want to cook with them….

classico-tomatoes-in-cans #CookClassicoI cook with canned tomatoes quite often. We stopped by Walmart and found Classico canned tomatoes in four varieties.

  • Classico Heavy Tomato Puree
  • Classico Crushed Tomatoes
  • Classico Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes with Fresh Basil
  • Classico Tomato Sauce

Classico Healthy Lunch ingredients #CookClassico

I picked up my canned tomatoes, panko, cornmeal, couscous, fresh veggies, basil and a loaf of French bread for our healthy main dish recipes – Classico Unfried Ungreen Tomatoes with Classico Homemade Ketchup, Classico Crab Stew Over CousCous and Crusty French Bread. Here are my original, lightened-up, nutritious recipes…enjoy.

Classico Unfried Ungreen Tomatoes with Classico Ketchup

Classico Unfried Ungreen Tomatoes #CookClassico

Fried Green Tomatoes are a main dish in the South. Trust me!! We love them. But I wanted to create a version that was more healthy and not so greasy. So I substitute egg whites for whole eggs, panko crumbs for flour to lighten the coating and olive oil for shortening. I bake instead of fry…thus I remove several calories. I so wanted green tomatoes for this project, but alas…no green tomatoes were available. So I had to substitute red tomatoes…but they were yummy regardless.

2 Green (red) Tomatoes, Sliced
1/2 C Panko Crumbs
1/4 C Cornmeal
2 Egg Whites
2 T Water
2 T Olive Oil

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place olive oil in iron skillet and heat on medium-high while coating tomatoes. Whisk egg whites and water until blended. On a plate combine panko and cornmeal. (You can add salt and pepper to this mixture, if desired.)

mixed panko crumbs and cornmeal #CookClassico coated tomatoes in skillet #CookClassico

Dip sliced tomatoes into the egg white mixture, coating both sides and then into the panko mixture. Place in pre-heated skillet and then place in oven. Bake and heat through about 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with Quick Homemade Ketchup below.

skillet in oven #CookClassico

Classico {Homemade} Ketchup

Classico ketchup #CookClassico

My grandmother-in-law used to make the best tasting ketchup every fall. She would slave, and I do mean slave, over a food mill and hot stove all day. By the time the tomatoes cooked, they had reduced in size considerably. It was awesome and everyone was given their own tiny jar to enjoy. We took bets on who could make it last the longest…I tried to do that, but never won because I so loved it.

When I first opened Classico Heavy Tomato Puree, I thought of MaMaw’s ketchup. I was thrilled by the thick consistency and the taste. Here is a mock version that satisfies my taste buds and does not take hours to make. I think MaMaw would be proud of my creativity.

Classico ketchup ingredients #CookClassico

1 Can Classico Heavy Tomato Puree
5 T ground cloves (you can use more or less to taste)
1/2 C Turbinado Raw Sugar

Stir all ingredients until well blended. Cook over low heat for 2 hours until deep reddish brown. The longer you simmer, the thicker it becomes. Add a dallop on top of tomatoes or provide a small dish for dippers. Place remainder in jars for other meals. It gets better with age.

Classico Crab Stew Over CousCous

I didn’t have to spend hours blanching and peeling tomatoes to make my favorite soups and stews when I discovered the Classico Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes with Fresh Basil. The taste is amazing and the basil really shines through. I knew immediately that it would be an exceptional way to christen my new VitaMix. The results were better that I could imagine. So easy, so fun, so light and so tasty. I will serve it cold during the summer months. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite white wine.

Vitamix #CookClassico

1 Can Classico Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes with Fresh Basil
Fresh Basil to taste
1/2 tsp. Raw Sugar
Chopped Squash (whatever variety you have on hand)
Green Onions (any veggies you have on hand)
Olive Oil to sweat onions
Lump Crabmeat (I used a can)
Pearl CousCous

Cook the Chopped onions in a little olive oil until transparent. Add canned tomatoes, sugar and cooked onions to Vitamix. Blend as directed for soups, about 5 minutes and 45 seconds. The soup will be hot!!! YEAH!!! You can eat it right now as a thick, hearty soup…but I want to add veggies and make a stew. While the Vitamix works its magic, blanch the veggies in a little water in the same pan you cooked onions. When the Vitamix is done, add the veggies and crab meat.

Chopped Ingredients #CookClassico veggies-and-crab-in-vitamix #CookClassico

Blend all ingredients for 5-15 seconds in VitaMix. I like mine with some texture, so I don’t blend until smooth. If using a blender, blend until the desired consistency and then heat on stove top for 20 minutes.

Crusty French Bread

Cut bread #CookClassico

Sliced French Bread
2 T Olive Oil

Slice the French Bread on the bias. Spread both sides with  olive oil. Place in panini grill or George Foreman for 2 minutes until toasted. Serve immediately.

Classico Healthy Lunch #CookClassico

I am sure I will be using  Heinz Classico canned tomatoes often in our new healthy lifestyle eating plan. Especially since my schedule did not allow me to can tomatoes this year. ;{ I hope you will try these special Classico canned tomatoes as they are as close to home canned as a store bought version can be. And that’s a good thing!!!

Check out the Classico Canned Tomatoes Website for more ideas and recipes.

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and Classico #cbias #SocialFabric #CookClassico  All ideas, opinions, recipes and photos are 100% my own.

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  1. Rebecca E. Parsons says

    They are amazing…I loved creating them and eating them!!! Those Classico tomatoes are delicio!!


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