Tag Archives: tomato

Recipe: Lissa’s Ceviche

Over the July 4th weekend, I got to spend some time with my future sister-in-law Lissa! She was born in Guatemala, raised in NYC, and lives in L.A. now! She’s a great girl, who loves the Lord, and enjoys everything from fashion to cooking to photography. Oh, yes, and she loves my brother. 🙂 She showed me how to make Ceviche while she was at our house that weekend! I think I could eat it every day!

My future sis-in-law Lissa and my brother Jordan

If you’re not familiar with Ceviche, it’s amazing! In my experience, it’s kind of like salsa, but with more coarsely chopped, raw vegetables in a lime and cilantro dressing. Here’s Lissa recipe:

Ceviche de Camaron (Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail):

“The dish basically consists of combining seafood cooked or not fully cooked with fresh vegetables and lime juice. The lime juice works as a cooking agent and helps finish cooking the shrimp.

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • 1.5 pound of tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


“Additional ingredients one could add:

  • 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped sweet bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons of Worchester sauce – gives it a nice kick. Or hot sauce for more of a kick 🙂
  • Adding fish, scallops, crab — results in a richer taste.

“**Ceviche, tastes well on its own or can be paired with various dishes. It tastes very good when paired with a well marinated steak or chicken, beans, rice and or guacamole — as the juices from the steak and from the other side dishes secrete and blend with the ceviche, a nice rich and unique flavor result from the mix. Yum yum yum.” ~Lissa

Here’s a recent sample I made with avocado but without shrimp, served with Quesadillas and Greek Yogurt:

Recipe: Organic Veggie Omelet

Organic Veggie Omelet with Homemade Hearty Sourdough Toast

Serves 2.


  • organic olive oil (mist or about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 medium organic carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. organic red onion, diced
  • 2 large organic silver mushrooms, chopped
  • 8-10 organic grape tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 1/4 c. organic whole milk
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. of your favorite cheese (we used gouda with mustard seed)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh organic parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh organic cilantro leaves, chopped


  1. Spray omelet pan with organic olive oil. Heat to medium heat.
  2. Add chopped veggies and sautee for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk together with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and pour eggs over veggies.
  5. Add cheese and let cook through for 5-7 minutes. (Tip: Run your spatula along the outside edge of the pan to release eggs from edges of pan; tilt pan towards released edge so the liquid egg on top runs under the portion your loosening.)
  6. Fold in half or scramble.
  7. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and parsley.
  8. Serve hot.

Not seen: Fresh hot coffee and my friend Shannah! So good to hang out with her! When I plated our breakfast, Shannah remarked, “Yum! That looks like something I’d see on a blog I read.” She was referring to my blog. So, of course, I had to take a picture. 🙂

After our brunch, I met my friend Jan at the gym for her first post-baby workout! She was so excited to finally be released to workout and I was so excited to have my workout buddy back! 🙂 Now for some chicken and black bean chili in a leftover sourdough bread bowl and off to run Saturday errands before Bryan wakes up for our evening meal.

Celebrating 10,000 Hits with Guest Author Catherine Hosack and Her Zucchini-Tomato Pesto Rolls Recipe

I met today’s guest author several years ago at a local Barnes & Noble while we waited for the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book. Catherine Hosack is a dear friend who is also in a journey towards better health. She writes a blog called “Going Raw: Adventures in Uncooking.” Check it out here. I wanted a guest author to help me celebrate 10,000 hits on my blog, so I asked her to share her story with my readers, and here it is:

“I love Melissa’s “journey to lean” blog for a lot of reasons; for one, it shows that everyone has their own spiritual and physical health journey to experience. The process of learning what is best for our individual bodies, minds, and spirits is, I think, an essential part of our lives. As Melissa’s blog testifies, this process can be hard, but it’s worth it. My personal journey along these lines has led me to eating a mostly raw, Vegan diet. Briefly, a Vegan raw food diet is a pure vegetarian diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. In order to qualify as raw, no food can be heated above 118º F, which is the temperature at which the whole live enzymes and nutrients in the food start to be destroyed.

“I started eating this way because in 2002 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which basically means that my immune system and my colon were not happy. After seven years of dealing with really strong medications and a very bleak outlook for my long-term health, I decided to increase my health through nutrition. I decided to try a raw food diet because it maximizes one’s intake of live enzymes, antioxidants, and alkaline-forming foods – all of which actively improve your body’s immune system and increase your natural health. The idea, in short, is to eat foods that make you stronger, instead of eating foods that make you weak and therefore more susceptible to disease.

“Transitioning to this new way of life was difficult at first, but now I am happy to say that after a year and a half of eating a diet heavy in raw foods, I have experienced NONE of the ulcerative colitis symptoms that used to disrupt my life every couple months. Additionally, I have more energy, I hardly ever get sick (not even a cold), and I’ve experienced other unexpected health benefits as well.

“I LOVE raw food. If I go a couple meals without a big raw dish, I crave it. I still eat cooked foods sometimes, of course, and it’s still fun to eat my old favorite foods like Pad Thai and pumpkin pie and things like that… but as time goes on, I feel less and less drawn to my old comfort foods, and more and more attracted to my new favorite dishes, like avocado-carob pudding, fresh sprouts, garden-fresh okra, and marinated eggplant.

“This is one of my favorite raw food recipes.”



    • 1 cup of pine nuts or walnuts, soaked in water for 8 hours or more
    • 1 cup of fresh basil
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • dash of sea salt to taste
    • Appliance needed: blender or chopper
    • A couple medium tomatoes or 3-4 small ones
    • 1 zucchini


“Blend all the pesto ingredients in some sort of small blender or chopper. Next, you need to make thin zucchini-strips. You can either do this by getting a big knife and cutting your zucchini carefully, lengthwise; but it’s far easier to use a cheese slicer if you have one. Just hold the zucchini and pull the slicer down from one end to the other, keeping the thickness of the slice as even as possible.

“Dice the tomatoes into pieces about the size of large grapes. Then take a slice of zucchini, spread pesto on the slice, and stick a tomato on one end of the zucchini slice. Carefully roll the zucchini around the tomato. I like to grind peppercorns over the finished rolls. These are so tasty…and cute too!”

Bon Appetit! I hope you enjoy this raw Vegan treat! Don’t forget to check out Catherine’s blog! ~Melissa

Tomato Caper Pasta with Turkey Feta Meatballs by Melissa McKinnon

This is a wonderful and quick meal to get the kids involved in the kitchen. They will especially love to mix the meatballs and roll them into little balls. I shared this one with a coworker and she says her kids ask for it on a weekly basis.

Tomato Caper Pasta

½ onion, chopped
1 T. butter
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. cracked pepper
¼ tsp. celery seed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz. Tomato Sauce (I use Ingles’ Happy Harvest organic brand)
1-2 T. Shiraz, or your favorite wine
1 T. dried basil
1 T. capers, drained
2 c. whole grain pasta, cooked and drained
Fresh parmesan cheese, grated


Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in skillet over medium heat, saute chopped onion and garlic in butter. Add salt, pepper, and celery seed. Cook until transluscent.

Add tomato sauce, Shiraz, basil, and capers. Simmer until reduced to desired thickness.

Stir in drained pasta. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese. Serve hot with Turkey Feta Meatballs (recipe below). Serves 4.

Turkey Feta Meatballs


1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. Texas Pete (or your favorite hot sauce)
4 oz. container of crumbled feta cheese

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Take your rings off and mix with your hands. It really is the most effective method. Let it be a stress reliever for you. Roll into 1″ balls.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over Medium to Medium High heat. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes (4-5 minutes on each side), till browned. Since turkey is poultry, you will want to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked (no pink) to avoid food borne illnesses.

Serve on top of Tomato Caper Pasta (recipe above).