Smarter Living: Recipes

Green Tomatoes and Quinoa Salad

photo: Gregory Luke Smith

In a variation on a basic recipe, polenta substitutes for bread crumbs produce a beautiful dish with a nutty crunch. Below, are the recipes for the three parts of the salad. Prep each part individually and then combine.


1 cup rinsed quinoa.
2 cups water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper

Bring water or stock to a boil and add quinoa. Bring the water to a boil again and then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 18-20 minutes. Halfway through, stir, season with salt and pepper and add a splash of olive oil. The quinoa is finished when all the moisture has been absorbed into the grain and the grain is still lightly moist.

Remove the pan from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spread the quinoa evenly, allowing it to cool slightly before combining with the remaining ingredients. If the quinoa is too warm, the moisture in the dressing and vegetables can lead to slimy grains.


1/3 cup olive oil
1-large bunch parsley, finely minced
juice from 2 lemons
1 clove pressed garlic
salt and pepper

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, parsley garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Vegetable Mix

7.5 ounces (1/2 can) organic black beans, strained and rinsed
the kernels from 2 ears of corn (5oz)
1 small cucumber
1 small red pepper

Dice the cucumber and red pepper into cubes roughly the same size as the corn kernels. If using frozen corn, rinse it in cold water first until the kernels are room temperature. Combine all ingredients. Lightly toss in the dressing and chill the mixture in the refrigerator. Toss with cooled quinoa.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green (unripe) tomatoes
¼ cup of all purpose flour
¼ cup buttermilk
3-4 large eggs
1 cup of polenta
4 cloves of garlic finely minced
salt and pepper
olive oil

Toss the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper and spread it out in a shallow dish or pan, and set aside. Mix the dry polenta with the minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and spread it out in a dish and set aside. Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch thick slices. Evenly coat each slice with a thin layer of flour mixture on both sides. Heat the canola oil in a pan over a medium high flame. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Take a floured tomato slice, dip it in the egg mixture, and then in the polenta mixture. Try to designate one hand for dipping the slice in the egg mixture and the other for the dry layers. Also, it’s easiest to lay the slice down across the polenta and scoop the grains over it with your hands. Pat slices down firmly on each side to evenly coat, and gently place them in the pan. Repeat. Arrange the slices in a single layer and cook each side until golden brown, or roughly 3-5 minutes on each side. Serve the tomatoes piping hot, or at room temperature.

Red Pepper Remoulade

1 large red pepper
¼ cup mayo or mayo substitute
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 tablespoons canola oil
juice from half of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the pepper into fourths. Heat the canola oil in a pan over medium high heat. Place peppers in the pan, skin side down, cooking until the skin starts to blacken in a few spots. Then flip over the peppers, turn off the heat, and set the pan aside to cool. After cooling, finely mince the roasted pepper and combine it with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or by whisking them together. Store in the refrigerator to chill.

last revised 8/9/2011

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