6 Green Tomato Recipes You’ll Love

Green tomato

I’m overwhelmed with tomatoes. I have so many of them that I have even stopped telling the snails to leave them alone. The only problem: they are all still unripe. I have masses of green tomatoes that will not have time to ripen before the frost. My wild garden was a bit late going in—that’s how things sometimes go with a wild garden—so here I am with a bountiful harvest of green.

To take full advantage of these beautiful green tomatoes, I have lined up six new recipes to try.

Fried Green Tomatoes

A southern classic. I have never tried it, but I have some flavorful, roasted corn meal that is calling out for a special recipe. Southern Living magazine links to this classic fried green tomato recipe at MyRecipes.com, so this is going to be the lunch side for my kids tomorrow. I see a bottle of Crystal cayenne sauce in the photo, and that’s how I’m going to serve this. Warning: this takes a lot of oil. This is a one-time deal for us.

Green Tomato Salsa Verde

Rather than blending a traditional tomatillo-based green salsa, this recipe goes all-out green tomato. I need to use all of the tomatoes I have, and we eat a lot of salsa, so this salsa recipe from the New York Times is the winner. Very simple salsa recipe using charred tomatoes as the base.

Green Tomato Relish

I don’t love sweet sauces, so I’m intrigued that Farmgirl Susan’s No-sugar Green Tomato Relish uses tart cooking apples for all of the needed sweetness. That’s my kind of sweetness (without the sweet peppers). Boil, thicken, and buzz in the KitchenAid.

Green Tomato Pickle

We love Indian food, and all kinds of pickle are staples of the current British diet, so this I Indian-flavour pickle recipe from NPR ought to fit right in with my family. It lasts several weeks, but we will likely freeze this so we can continue to have it through the winter.

Italian Farmhouse Green Tomato Pickle

I love the Splendid Table, so I was glad to see that they had a suggestion for me of a long-lasting, vinegary pickle. These last up to six months in the refrigerator if they are completely covered with vinegar (white wine vinegar) each time you take a few tablespoons to add to saute or to spread on a sandwich.

Grilled Green Tomatoes with Creamy Basil Sauce

I do love sauce, salsa, relish, and pickle, but I wanted to find more recipes that leave the tomatoes closer to whole. Martha Stewart came through with grilled tomatoes. They have a simple garlic, lemon, mayo sauce. This sounds like a perfect first dish to let my family know that this is green tomato season.

Pinning Your Way to More Creative Food

Rainbow Fruit Skeweres

Over the past month or so, I’ve become the cooking star of my family. My husband is usually the cook, but I tell him, “Oh, I’d be happy to help,” then I whip out some idea that I found on Pinterest and everyone is so happy to see exciting, new foods that we haven’t tried before.

The most popular pins on Pinterest are Food & Drink. This doesn’t surprise me. My friends, family members, professional colleagues, and even nonprofits I follow all seem to pin food. The appeal of food is very visual, and clear photographs make it easy to create cooking tutorials without too many words. Food is a winner on Pinterest, and I think my family have actually benefitted from my newfound interest in pinned food.

I’ve made great improvements in lunches for my children. Since they are homeschooled, we face the need for a decent lunch together every day. I try to keep them from eating a giant pile of one thing (the way they eat when they cook for themselves) by introducing very small portions of several things on their plate. Pinterest has helped me make a few minor changes that keep them interested in lunch.

We have already tried Zucchini Tots. These are a great, quick alternative to frozen shredded potato snacks. Add shredded zucchini, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, and egg then pour into a mini muffin tin. I give each person several tots for lunch then freeze the rest. When they want a snack, they have a homemade snack ready to heat up.

I met Hasselback potatoes for the first time on Pinterest. By slicing a potato every 1/16-18″ across, without slicing all of the way through the potato, then drizzling with a bit of oil, the potato opens up and crisps up as it bakes in the oven. My family has had potatoes this way several times since my discovery.

My husband just walked in with wonton wrappers, so tomorrow we are going to try mini wonton tacos. Press one wanton wrapper into a muffin tin, add whatever taco ingredients (or, really, anything else) you like, and you end up with a finger food that has crunch and flavor.

Over the weekend, I made the rainbow fruit skewers above for a family reunion—a nice counter to all of the sugary foods. This is a great example of an image that makes sense in a flash. It doesn’t take a recipe or a lot of concentration to realize that I organize fruit by color to attract potential eaters.

Still on my list for this week are bell pepper egg flowers. My kids love sunny-side-up egges. I am going to use 1/4″ slices across several colors of sweet peppers as molds for eggs. The shape is so beautiful, and the yolk becomes the center of the flower.

Those were just a few of the foods that caught my eye. I keep one Pinterest board for items that I plan to make. Once I make each food, I comment on the pins to let my followers know how I liked the recipe.

Set up a board for foods you think your children will like, foods you want to save for the holidays, foods that can help you keep lunches healthy. Keep the sugary, fantasy foods on another board entirely so you won’t be tempted to mix them.

Whether you are the dreamer, who finds good food and shares with others, or the doer, who creates good food and uploads for others, eat well!

Frozen Pops Beyond the Basics

Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds

It’s popsicle time. Sure, make frozen pops for the kids, but don’t forget the dogs and the parents. We could all use a cool treat.

Popsicles For Kids

Kinderville Popsicle Molds

My kids will eat almost anything if I freeze it. My son freezes green tea. My daughter likes frozen fruit because it isn’t as overwhelmingly icy as most pops. Anything that we will put in a smoothie, we will put in a popsicle mold. Start with the basics like yogurt, fruit, and pudding then move on to advanced popsicles as you find fun new ways to freeze your treats.

  • Juice with chunks of fruit
  • Lemonade with edible flowers
  • Almond milk with pumpkin pie spices (my son’s favorite)
  • Pudding with layers of crumbled cookies
  • Watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe frozen in layers for stripes
  • Double dip by unmolding, adding another ingredient to the mold, then pressing the frozen pop in so the new layer covers the whole pop
  • Freeze in an ice cream cone

Adults-only Popsicles

Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds

In my house, adults are more likely to like savory popsicles. Any of the cold soups I wrote about last week could be frozen. I’m a bit more willing to be adventurous with spices and unusual flavors. Don’t buy extra ingredients. Just use what you have on hand. With cocktail popsicles, the secret to getting them to freeze is: don’t add as much alcohol as you would for a mixed drink.

  • Mango puree with chili sauce (beautiful flavor, add either Indian or Mexican spices)
  • Red Bull
  • Cocktails (Cosmopolitan or a basic mimosa)
  • Freeze pureed fruit in stick-shaped ice cubes to add as stirrers to regular cocktails
  • Kahlua yogurt
  • Straight up frozen coffee
  • Apple, orange, and spices like wassail (my husband’s suggestion)

Frozen Treats for Dogs

Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray

My hairy dogs have not yet had their summer haircuts, and they have welcomed ice cubes every day. If you are going to feed your dog ice cubes or dog pops, stay with them and take the pops away once they get small enough to choke on. My dogs don’t chew the ice cubes or pick them up in their mouths. They just lick and chase the ice cubes around until they leave them to melt in a puddle on my carpet, which is (sort of) fine if they are just water. Some of these dog pops are definitely outdoor treats. Just start with what your dog loves, avoid what your dog shouldn’t love, and add enough water that the mixture will freeze.

  • Peanut butter (the dog pop basic ingredient)
  • Water from a roasting pan (after I save what I can for humans, I add water and give the pan to the dogs)
  • Any kind of meatsicle (we save organ meats, blend them up, and make frozen doggy treats from those)
  • Bananas and apples
  • Raw carrots
  • Yogurt in small amounts

When I realized I could freeze almost anything for anyone and call it a treat, this opened up a whole new world of summer snacks for my family. Try it! And, stay cool.

Chilled Summer Soups

Ingredients for chilled cucumber soup

Chilled summer soups are a great surprise for children asking for cool lunches as the days get warmer. “Anything that isn’t hot,” my children tell me, but enough salads already. Flavorful, cold soups from a variety of fresh vegetables are my answer.

You may already be familiar with traditional cold soups like gazpacho (tomato, onion, sweet peppers), borscht (beet), and vichyssoise (potato and leek). Don’t stick with traditional recipes, though. Beyond the traditional chilled soups, there is infinite variety. Use what you have. Clear out the vegetable drawer. Pull a few carrots from the garden.

Cold Soup Tips

  • Add fats and proteins. To make your soup a hearty, filling meal, add beans or dairy for protein and nuts or avocado for fat.
  • Get out the blender. A lot of cold soups are quite similar to smoothies. Cold soups don’t have to be smooth. I actually like smooth or slightly textured cold soups, but you can also leave the ingredients very chunky.
  • Vegan or raw. Though a lot of traditional cold soups start with broth, you can easily make that vegetable broth or avoid the cooking altogether and create 100% raw cold soups by blending savory flavors as a base.
  • Spice it up! I don’t particularly like sweet soup. I make sure that my cold soups are savory and flavorful. Even if you like fruit soups, spiking the flavors with hot spices can take the edge off too much sweet. Even radish or horseradish garnish can add a little kick to your soup.
  • Make the soup in advance. I like to let the soup sit in the refrigerator overnight so the flavors develop.
  • Chill the serving bowl. Keep the soup cool until the last spoonful.
  • Don’t serve too much at once. This goes for most foods, but I find it especially so with chilled soups. A little bit is a tasty treat, but too much can get cloying very fast. Serve a cup of soup with half a sandwich, and you have a meal with variety.
  • Freeze the extra. Rather than serving a cup of the same soup meal after meal, freeze it.
  • Add garnishes. One of my secrets to avoiding separate meals to meet varying tastes is to create a fairly plain base meal and let everyone add their own garnishes. Create your own garlic croutons. Snip herbs from the garden. Add sour cream or yogurt and swirl it into a nice design before serving.

Cold Cucumber Soup

My favorite cool summer soup is cucumber. The way we make it is a bit like liquified tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip).

2 cups vegetable broth
3 medium cucumbers – peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbs fresh mint
1 Tbs fresh dill
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups plain yogurt
Salt and white pepper to taste

Sometimes we saute the onions before blending, but you can also just put all ingredients in a blender and buzz until smooth.

Garnish with ground nuts, lemon zest, or fresh mint or dill.

Half serves a small bowl each for a family of four. Freeze the other half.

Image © Olya Smith | Dreamstime.com

Old-fashioned Tooth Powder

Homemade Tooth Powder

Since we’ve been experimenting with our own cleaning recipes and since both of my children came whining to me, “Mama, we’re out of toothpaste,” I decided that it was time to work more kitchen magic and create our own tooth powder.

Because of questions about skin irritation or diarrhea-causing effects of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)—which is used to create bubbles and foam in shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal care products—we look for SLS-free toothpaste. When my husband couldn’t find any at our local store last week, necessity drove the mother (me) to invent a new tooth cleaning solution.

My mother used to create a very simple tooth powder for me with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and a tiny bit of table salt (sodium chloride). Salt, if not dissolved first, can cause microscopic abrasions on tooth enamel, so I opted just for baking soda with a few drops of peppermint oil. My children make faces when they use the tooth powder because it tastes really salty after store-bought toothpaste, but it has been doing its job this past week.

Our recipe:

3 Tbs baking soda
4 drops peppermint oil

Thiis was enough for the whole family for about two weeks. The photo above is half left after a week.

Flavoring Oils. If you use oils, be sure that they are safe for ingestion. If you use extracts intended for cooking, you may need a bit more to get a strong flavor.

Herbs. Grind up culinary or medicinal herbs IF SAFE FOR CHILDREN and add those to your tooth powder.

Alcohol. Extracts would already add alcohol, but many homemade tooth powder recipes have a small amount of brandy, vodka, or other alcohol.

What you use depends on the result you are looking for. If you just want clean teeth, your children will be using the tooth powder, and you aren’t addressing any particular health issues, just use baking soda with a little flavoring. Make a couple of tablespoons at a time.

When you are ready to brush your teeth, wet the brush, sprinkle enough on the head of the brush to cover it (you can also touch the wet brush to the powder), and brush.

The instructions are often so simple with homemade cleaning products and homemade personal care products. What complications have been added to mass manufactured products!

Baking soda. Brush. Clean Teeth. That’s it!