Fried Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomato season has arrived! Heirloom tomato season that is. So many shapes, sizes and colors and even more ways to consume them. And no, it's not in your head, they really do taste better.  

But how to marry that favorite Southern recipe based on unripe tomatoes with a variety that, by their very nature, are juicy and soft?

To start, you'll need to pick out the firmest tomatoes in the bunch. Cut into 1/4" - 1/2" slices and lay them between paper towel to dry a bit. 

Heat as much extra virgin olive oil (or your preferred substitute) as would allow the tomatoes to be halfway submerged when frying. 

Next set up your breading station with flour in the first bowl, a beaten egg in the second and your choice of coating in the third.

The crispy coating is a matter of taste. Traditionally, Fried Green Tomatoes are dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and breadcrumbs. After a few attempts, we opted for a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan. For vegans omit Parmesan and substitute egg wash with either soy milk or melted vegan butter.

To cook, salt and pepper each tomato slice and then follow along your breading station submerging first in the flour and then in the egg followed by your coating. Gently lay each tomato into the hot oil and fry until crispy and golden - a couple of minutes on each side. Serve hot and enjoy!

An Amazing “Better-For-You” Holiday Cookie

Flourless, gluten-free, low(ish) sugar, vegan*

It’s that time of year when we’re faced with holiday goodies every time we turn around. Most holiday treats lack nutrients and are amped up with scary amounts sugar. For example, according to MyFitnessPal, two homemade frosted sugar cookies contain about 108 grams of sugar (see nutrition facts below). Since chronic servings of high amounts of sugar wreak havoc on our systems, I set out to create a holiday cookie that would be less stressful to our bodies.

I set out to create a cookie that met four criteria:

  1. Contains a moderate amount sugar.

  2. Tastes good.

  3. Offers some form of nutritional value.

  4. Looks appealing.

I came up with the following recipe. Two cookies have just 13 grams of sugar (which compared to 108 seems pretty great). They are also flourless, gluten-free, vegan (if you use vegan chocolate chips), and best of all, teenager-approved. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Sidenote: Both organic peanut butter and ground flaxseed are on sale this month (December 2016) at Tiller & Rye, so it's a great time to stock up on these ingredients when you're in the store!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Holiday Cookies

Makes 2 dozen


Cookie dough:

  • 1 tbls. ground flaxseed

  • 3 tbls. hot water

  • 1 cup peanut butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ½ cup coconut sugar (you can use regular sugar too)

  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • ¼ cup chocolate chips

  • 1 candy cane or a few hard peppermint candies


Make and bake the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with the hot water and set it aside.
    After a few minutes, the mixture will become gelatinous. It will serve as the “binder” in the recipe in place of a typical egg.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine all the cookie ingredients (including the flaxseed mixture).
    The dough will be very thick.

  4. Form the dough into small balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (If you don’t use parchment paper, you may need to apply a light coating of cooking spray to prevent the cookies from sticking.)

  5. Press the balls flat using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass.

  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes.

After the cookies are cool:

  1. Melt the coconut oil and remaining chocolate chips in a small saucepan.
    The coconut oil prevents the chocolate chips from seizing up and helps create a smooth, spreadable mixture.

  2. Crush the peppermint candy into small crumbs.
    I placed the candy cane in a small plastic bag and pounded it with a rubber mallet. You could also use a rolling pin.

  3. Place a small amount of the melted chocolate on each cookie with a spoon. Using the back of the spoon, spread the mixture evenly over each cookie.

  4. Sprinkle each cookie with a dusting of the crushed peppermint candy.

  5. Voila - eat and enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by

* Made vegan by using vegan chocolate chips.

Nutrition Facts for 2 Chocolate Peanut Butter Holiday Cookies:

Screen Shot 2016-12-10 at 7.55.20 AM.png

Nutrition Facts for 2 Frosted Sugar Cookies:

Frosted Sugar Cookies Nutrition Facts.png
Jennifer Hooper is a contributor, friend, customer and an amazing part of the Tiller & Rye family.   Check out her website  .

Jennifer Hooper is a contributor, friend, customer and an amazing part of the Tiller & Rye family. Check out her website.

Secret Weapons to Combat Holiday Stress

For many of us, our stress levels exponentially climb during the holiday, whether we’re bracing ourselves for Uncle Fred to storm out of the house again or we just feel blue this time of the year. Chances are, most of us get stressed out during the holiday season at one point or another. The bad news is that left unattended, stress can wreak havoc on our bodies. The good news is that we can do something about it.

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