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Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta

Shopping at Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I picked up a container of beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I admired the array of colors these tomatoes covered- red, yellow, purple and green- and wondered what I could make with them.

After grabbing some fresh avocados and a pound of brown rice pasta, I headed home to try out this simple recipe.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta


  • colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes- 1 pint, sliced in half lengthwise
  • avocados- 2 ripe, diced into chunks
  • brown rice pasta- 1 pound
  • garlic- 2 cloves, minced
  • olive oil- 1/2 cup
  • lemon juice- 1 tablespoon (or juice squeezed from 1/4 lemon)
  • salt


  1. heat oven to Broil
  2. bring salted water to boil in large pasta pan
  3. place tomato slices on baking sheet
  4. drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and dust with salt
  5. roast tomatoes in oven until they begin to char, approximately 7 minutes
  6. once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until tender
  7. once pasta is tender, drain and rinse under cool water (I only rinse pasta when making a cold salad or if it's brown rice)
  8. heat olive oil in large heated saute pan
  9. add pasta, tomatoes (with drippings), garlic and avocado to saute until pasta is just warm, only about 2 minutes
  10. transfer to serving bowl

heirloom1 heirloom12 heirloom11 heirloom10 heirloom9 heirloom8 heirloom7 heirloom6 heirloom4 heirloom3 heirloom2 heirloom tomato recipe

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We’re Composting!

That’s right, the Spilsbury family has taken the not-so-giant leap to composting.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to trade in my BCBG pumps for a pair of Birkenstocks just yet. The fact of the matter is that I just couldn’t not compost anymore.

For an entire year I’ve felt guilty each time I tossed out wilted lettuce, eggs shells, banana peels or tomato tops. I would look out onto my struggling garden that seemed to be begging for nutrients. It was like throwing food out in front of starving children.

Las Vegas isn’t exactly the ideal place for growing fruits and vegetables, with nutrient-deficient soil being one of the main problems. I started to feel like I was throwing out gold.

It didn’t require a lot of work to begin composting. I simply purchased a compost container for the backyard from Amazon.com and assembled it (okay, I had someone else assemble it), but you get the picture. Most of the work in composting comes from training your family to not throw away compost material.

Home Composting

egg shells are awesome for compost

I keep a small bucket on the kitchen counter while we accumulate scraps throughout the day. While I’m cleaning the kitchen that evening I have the kids run the bucket out and toss the contents into the compost container. Once a week I have the gardener throw in a bag of grass clippings and then I toss in any brown paper bags (like the ones from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) that I acquired from forgetting my reusable shopping bags.

It’s actually pretty simple. Of course, I never use any animal fats, pet waste or other non-organic materials in our compost. For a great beginners guide to composting, visit Whole Foods Home Composting: The Basics.

I’m thinking that by this time next year my garden will be as fertile as a Montana prairie.

Banana Split French Toast by The Organized Cook

don’t toss these babies in the trash!


Why Do I Garden?

Recently I wrote about 7 Reasons To Grow A Home Garden here:

Home Gardening

read “7 Reasons To Grow A Home Garden” here


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Homemade Skinny Margaritas

The “Skinnymom” Margarita

Do you want a Skinnygirl Margarita or a Skinny Mom Margarita? I’m a mom and I like my margaritas like my food- simple and all-natural.

The average margarita can pack up to 550 calories per drink.  No wonder margaritas from Skinnygirl Cocktails are so popular- with only 220 calories in an 8oz. margarita.

I personally love Skinnygirl, especially the White Peach Margarita.  But, nothing beats homemade for me; and $24.99 a bottle makes me love homemade even more.  I like to know exactly what’s in my drink- fresh lemon, lime and a bit of agave nectar mixed with a fine tequila is the best-tasting and most refreshing margarita.  Here’s my homemade low-calorie margarita, or “Skinnymom” I like to call it at only 132 calories for an 8oz. margarita (insert big smile here).



Skinnymom margarita

Skinnymom Margarita

Skinnymom Margarita

Skinnymom Margarita


  • 5 cups ice
  • Juice squeezed from 2 lemons
  • Juice squeezed from 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons of Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 cup tequila (4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup water (4 oz.)


  1. Place ice in blender
  2. Add all remaining ingredients
  3. Blend until smooth

(No) Sugar Baby

Drinks made with prepared margarita mix contain a ton of sugar, and I can feel the effects on my endocrine system when I drink them- which is why I don’t anymore.  Agave nectar, especially pure raw organic agave nectar is a type of sugar that is much easier broken down by the body.  I use agave nectar in my homemade lemonade, coffee and sometimes tea.

Low Cal Margarita


White Tequila

Tequila calories are typically high; so using the appropriate amount in any drink is advised.  There’s no real difference in the amount of calories between white tequila and yellow tequila- both pack about 69 calories per ounce, but I prefer the blanco (white).


Low Calorie Margarita

Patron Silver Tequila- 69 calories per ounce


Salt or No Salt?

The answer for me used to be “no salt”.  Who needs the extra sodium, I thought. That’s before I realized the benefits of iodine for our thyroid. Rather than using the trendy sea salt, I opt for the good old-fashioned iodized salt as a great supplement for my endocrine system.







Skinnymom Margarita- via Toni Spilsbury

Skinnymom Margarita- via Toni Spilsbury

Also, try my Homemade Summer Sangria:

Homemade Summer Sangria

Homemade Summer Sangria

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BlogHer’11 The Organized Cook “Makes A Move”


Read More About BlogHer Here:

Iconix Party Blogher'12

“Love Hangover” Blogher’12 New York City


BlogHer Food 2012

“What A Food Blogging Conference Looks Like” -BlogHer Food Seattle 2012


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