Recipe Disaster Turned Delicious!

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tomato, tomatoes, healthy, vegetables

I hate to admit it, but there are times when my grand ideas for a recipe fail miserably.  And when I say fail…I mean complete and utter failure.  Case in point, this past weekend, my “great recipe idea” for healthy mac and cheese failed with flying colors.  It failed so badly, somehow the end product had a tuna noodle casserole flavor.  And no…there was no tuna in it.  Don’t even ask me… I’m still upset about it!

However, not all of my failures are totally useless.  As I was angrily cleaning up the kitchen after my “mac and cheese” episode I looked down sadly at my dish – I had added spinach, halved cherry tomatoes and even a nice parmesan/panko crumb crust!  Besides the ungodly curdled sauce, I did notice how nicely the halved tomatoes looked topped with the parmesan cheese and panko crust.  Kinda reminded me of oysters rockefeller.  Light bulb!  How fun would it be to make tomatoes rockefeller?  I mean, how hard can it be?

tomatoes, tomato rockefeller A quick few minutes of oyster rockefeller research and it was confirmed!  Basically, the oysters are topped with a delicious mixture of sautéed onions, garlic, spinach and a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 topped with a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese.  This would definitely be a simple and easy recipe to make (theoretically).  Plus, tomatoes topped with spinach?  It doesn’t get much healthier than that – high in vitamin A, fiber and some good antioxidants.  A great dish to start your new year off on a healthy foot.

This recipe is simple, super quick and tasty.  You can make this the day ahead and keep it covered in the fridge or bake it immediately.  Because the tomatoes soften and release some juices, it’s great served over some kind of grain – like couscous, brown rice or quinoa.  OK enough talk…heres the recipe!

tomatoes, tomato, tomatoes rockefeller Tomatoes Rockefeller:


  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, plus an additional 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. 
  2. In a medium saute pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil and heat over medium high.  Add diced onions and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Add frozen spinach to onion and garlic mixture.  Stir everything together and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until spinach is completely heated through.  Add lemon juice, 1/2 and 1/2 and parmesan cheese.  Stir and turn off stove.  Allow filling to sit and cool off.
  5. Halve tomatoes width wise and place the halves in a baking dish lined with foil and cooking spray.  Lightly sprinkle tomato halves with salt and pepper.
  6. Add 1 heaping tbsp of spinach mixture on top of each tomato.
  7. Sprinkle all tomatoes with the panko bread crumbs and additional 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Turn off oven and preheat broiler.  Broil tomatoes for about 1-2 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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