It's easy to lose track of the seasons here in Phoenix, where flowers bloom all year long and palm trees don't shed their leaves.
Even the most rebellious non-native trees don't shed their leaves until well into January. And usually, they have all their leaves back by March.
But Sunday night ushered in the first real chill of the season, with temperatures dropping all the way down into the 50's. I know that kind of weather is child's play for the rest of the country, but for The Husband and I, it was more than enough reason to grab slippers and robes and light a fire in the fireplace.
Lily, our smallest dog, was especially thankful for the fire.
But of course, there's more going on right now than just the weather. We are in the second half of winter, after all, and soon our days will be filled with more sunny heat than we can handle.
And for an aspiring chef like me, it also means that soon I'll have the perfect excuse to start making all sorts of grilled foods (as well as their complimenting starchy and filling sides) that The Husband and I can handle.
So while I've definitely got big plans for the coming weeks (chicken and ribs and steaks, oh my!) the keyword here is “soon.” After all the Valentine's Day candy and sweets from the past few weeks, I'm in desperate need of a calorie break before we start the next round.
Because while nothing is going to stop me from indulging this summer, I do still need to add a few more “sensible” meals to my diet in order to prepare for the calorie onslaught that's surely coming.
And that, my friends, is where Parmesan Baked Tomatoes come in.
I tend to go through what I call “craving crazes” where I feel as though I could live off of just one food for days or weeks or sometimes even months. It could be anything – shrimp, pasta, you name it – and lately the food I've been craving the most has been pizza.
Because of course I want doughy greasy pizza right when I start feeling the need eating a little better. But when I'm down 10 pounds? I actually have the nerve to forget to eat.
Thankfully this simple tomato dish has gone a long way in calming my pizza cravings, which was an awesome surprise for a recipe that boasts itself to be low calorie and healthy. I mean, look at these numbers:
Not too shabby, amiright? And it turned out to be an ideal lunch – not too much, not too little, and lots of flavor without needing to make it spicy (as so many low-calorie meals tend to be).
So what about you?
Do you have any foods you like to have when you're trying to cut back a little?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
This recipe was originally published on November 4th, 2014. It received a TLC update with new photos on February 16th, 2017.
Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
If you're craving pizza but not the calories, this easy baked tomato dish is like a pizza without the dough. Bakes fast and only has 4 ingredients!
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- 3 large tomato sliced
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tsp oregano fresh and chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil more or less to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
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- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a 9x13 dish, arrange sliced tomatoes as you see fit. It's okay if tomatoes overlap (as pictured above).
- Drizzle olive oil on top of tomatoes. Recipe calls for 1 tablespoon, but feel free to use more or less as desired.
- In a small bowl, mix together parmesan, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle parmesan mixture evenly across tomatoes.
- Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted. Garnish with freshly chopped oregano. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist; I am merely a quirky girl who loves food. Any nutritional information that is discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates. If nutrition is important to you, I highly encourage you to verify any data you see here with your favorite nutrition calculator.