Thursday Cooking Club ~ Tomato, Avocado and Chevre Toast

My friend Lisa has started a Thursday Cooking Club on her Facebook page.  It's an ingenious idea.  Post one recipe a week for everyone to try and then discuss what we changed it and what we thought.

The first week's recipe was Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Herbs and Creamy Tofu Spread from Whole Living. The original recipe sounded pretty good, but I never rarely stick with a recipe as its written.  When Lisa posted the recipe, she commented that she was going to use goat cheese in place of the tofu.  That immediately clicked with me as I love chevre. The soft, tangyness sounded perfect with tomatoes and herbs.

I didn't plan well this week, so I didn't have the fresh basil on hand.  What I did have, was Fine Herb Chevre from Trader Joe's.  This chevre has enough flavor that I didn't need to add any additional herbs.  I also wasn't satisfied with just tomato.  I had an avocado in my fridge that needed to be used, so I figured, "Why Not?".  I just used boring old toast, because someone ate the last slice of the yummy seed bread I was going to use.

But with all the throw-together-ness of this, it turned out really yummy.

My Recipe (not that you need one for this):

1 Slice of Toast (I just used TJ's Organic Oats & Honey ~ would have tasted much better with an artisan bread.)
Herbed Chevre (You can easily add your own herbs into a plain chevre) 
Tomato (fresh from the garden, if you have it, mine wasn't!)

Spread desired amount of chevre onto the warm toast (get a tad bit of melting going on), layer on thinly sliced tomato and avocado.  Top with a basil leaf, if you have it. *I did not add any additional oils to the chevre, as I felt it was unnecessary.  I think the reason it was added to the tofu (in the original recipe) was to give it the right consistency.  Chevre is already spreadable.

Estimated WW Points: 4 Pts
Toast - 1 pt (It's easy to find 1 pt bread that is organic/all natural.)
Chevre - 1 pt (Chevre is 2 pts per oz, I used about 1/2 oz for one slice of toast.)
Tomato - 0 pts
Avocado - 2 pts (I used 1/4 of an avocado.)

Verdict:  This was very yummy.  Although simple, it is not something I would have thought to do.  I will be trying this again, for sure!  And for only 4 points, you can add a side of fruit and have a satisfying lunch. 

1st Visit of the Year to the Farmer's Market!

Just got back from our first visit of the year to the Portland Farmers Market. We had so much fun! We spent a good 30 minutes just wandering around the stands, looking, sampling, deciding.  We could have EASILY spent twice as much than we spent.

One nice thing about PFM is they have a match program when you use your EBT card (ie food stamps, which we qualify for right now). At the Buckman FM, where we were today, they match your first $5.  I, of course, spent twice that much.  But some of that was splurging on non-produce stuff.

Here's what we finally decided on (all the produce was organic):
  • From Denison Farms, we picked up some sweet spring turnips, a bunch of green garlic, and a pint of sweet red strawberries. 
  • From Gathering Together Farm, we picked up a bunch of radishes. 
  • From Reister Farms, we picked up a couple of lamb pepperoni sticks. 
  • From Pesto Outside the Box, we picked up... (yep, you guessed it) PESTO! Roasted Asparagus and Hazelnut Pesto to be exact.  Which we will be having for dinner tonight.  We sampled it and then couldn't say no. 
The kiddo was very excited about the radishes and turnips.  I chopped some up for him to take along, with some strawberries, as a snack tonight.  That would be why I don't have any pictures to share.  Half the food is gone before I had a chance to blink!  But really, who can blame him?

As for what's rest, here's the plan.  We'll chop of the remaining turnips and radishes to go in a salad.  The turnip and radish greens will be braised along with some of the green garlic.  I've never used the greens from the radishes before, and we never buy turnips.  So we'll see how they turn out!  I wasn't even sure if the radish greens were edible until I got home, but from the look of things we can braise them just like the turnip greens.

Green garlic is a new thing for us too, so I'm excited to taste the difference between them and mature garlic!  After doing a quick Google search, it seems green garlic is milder and can end up a bit sweeter when cooked.  I'm excited about the experiment!

This is definitely my favorite time of the year.  I love the excitement that comes from getting fresh, local, healthy produce.  And it's even more fun when you can try something new!

Linked at Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.


I love to eat. I love to cook. I love to eat and cook healthily. I love to eat and cook healthily with local, natural products.

I haven't always been this way.  There was a time in the past when my diet consisted almost exclusively of food from Burger King and occasionally out of a box.  I still loved to eat. But I didn't cook.  And I didn't much care about what it was I was eating.

Over the years, I came around.  I started caring about the food I put in me.  I have a desire to be a healthy woman so I can be the wife and mom that God wants me to be.  I also have a desire to create healthy eating habits in my son.

In October of 2009, I joined Weight Watchers for the 3rd and final time.  I was determined to get my weight under control.  But in doing so, I didn't want to fall back on the frozen boxed meals and artificial sugars that plagued my last couple rounds.

I wanted to use WW as a way to stay accountable to the AMOUNT of food that I ate.  WW is also a wonderful tool for dealing with the emotional issues surrounding overeating.  The meetings are very encouraging and inspiring.

But so much of the food that is commonly eaten by people following WW is not really food.  It's a list of chemical additives and preservatives with a smidgen of real food thrown in.   I didn't want to eat that stuff!  The list of nasty ingredients are just as bad, if not worse, for me than being overweight!

So when I joined WW, I told myself I was going to not only follow the WW program - counting points, exercising, etc - but do so as naturally and as close to real food as possible. While still staying within my food budget at the grocery store!

I am learning about real food now.  I am still a baby in this real food life.  And I've been slow about embracing it.  But I'm determined.

I'm determined to continue eating right.  I'm determined to reach a healthy weight. I'm determined to be healthy. I'm determined to not blow my budget.  I'm determined to keep learning about food. I'm determined to buy local and natural foods when possible. I'm determined to be the wife and mom that God wants me to be.