I am always looking for ways to make the food I prepare at home a little more healthy. A while back I posted a blog about a tomato pie that I like to make when homegrown tomatoes are plentiful in my garden. Well, it’s that time of year again, so I pulled out my recipe. But I decided I wanted to make some changes.
Recently, I have been developing some classes for a nutrition/better eating program I hope to launch in the near future. This has brought into the forefront of my mind that I need to continue reading ingredient labels. Even though I consider myself a healthier eater than most people, I am far from perfect. When things are easy, and they say “vegan” I tend to grab them without asking — is this healthy? Just because something says “vegan” does NOT mean it is healthy. Not by a long shot. I had an inkling that there were things in the vegan Caesar dressing I had been using that weren’t very healthy. I decided I wanted to try to make my own. As it turns out, the dressing contains canola oil (at least it was non-GMO), vegan natural flavors (whenever you see “natural flavors” its not a good thing), potato protein isolate (I have no idea what this is), vegan cultured dextrose (this is a sugar), and xanthum gum (not sure I want to eat that). I am pretty confident that I can live without those things in my body and be healthier for it.
I did a simple google search and found a recipe for homemade Caesar dressing. CLICK HERE to find it. It made just the right amount for the pie. The whole food ingredients used were cashews, capers, garlic, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper. Don’t those ingredients sound so much better than the ones listed above? Plus I know what each of those ingredients are — whole foods! I didn’t have to do a google search to figure out what they are. Let that be a lesson. If you see an ingredient that you have to look up because you have no idea what it is, perhaps the product that contains it it should be left on the shelf.
The other change I made to the recipe was I cooked the onions. I actually had made this pie a week prior to test out the new dressing. I liked it so much I decided to make it again do this blog. In the first pie, I stuck with the regular recipe and did not cook the onions. They were not quite as cooked as I would have liked, so I thought a quick sauté would help. I also added some liquid aminos to add even more flavor. It worked!
I also made may own crust for the same reason as the dressing. My pie crust contains only organic flour, shortening, salt and water. This is not absolutely necessary when making this pie, but highly recommended. Let’s face it, if you truly want to eat healthier, you have to learn how to cook. So learning how to make a pie crust will be a great accomplishment. It’s truly not too difficult.
- Pie crust (1 cup organic flour, 1/3 cup shortening, pinch salt, about 1/4 cup water)
- 4-5 medium tomatoes, sliced (sprinkled with black salt — optional but highly recommended)
- 1 sliced onion, sautéed with some amino acids or organic tamari/soy sauce
- Prepared Caesar dressing CLICK HERE for the recipe.
- Plant based mozzarella or parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare pie crust and bake until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with salt (optional).
- Slice onions and sauté with some liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari.
- Prepare dressing.
- Layer into the baked pie shell: cheese, tomatoes, onions until all your ingredients are in the pie. Then pour the dressing over the top and spread out to cover.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. Cover edges with foil if they get too brown.
- This pie can be reheated in a microwave, but I also recommend an air fryer because it gets the pie shell crispy again.
This recipe is a delicious way to use up too many tomatoes in your garden. Enjoy!