Nothing screams the end of summer (in our home *and I’m sure I’m not alone) like this scenario:  My husband knocking on the back door, followed by the words “Here hun, do something with these” as he hands me a basket full of tomatoes from our garden – all 6548765 of them?!


Having a bit too much fun with Anwar Knight on Canada A.M. talking tomatoes, Click here to watch the kitchen shenanigans.

 If you find yourself with an abundance of tomatoes, and the: what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-all-these-tomatoes panic, I have come to the rescue.  I personally like to use up tomatoes in as many “fresh” dishes as possible (before I start stewing down and freezing them) it’s how I like to celebrate the end of summer – on my dinner plate.


Summer Beauty. Red and Yellow Vine Tomatoes, and Plum.

There are literally hundreds of varieties of tomatoes that grow in Canada.  I developed the following recipes using a few of the most common varieties: Plum (*Roma), Beefsteak, Cherry & Grape Tomatoes.  Truthfully, any variety would make a fine substitution for backyard or cottage gatherings.  Summer eating and meal prep should be easy, with little fuss and/or stress.  The real beauty of these recipes is they require very little “cooking”.  Soon enough we Canadians will be hiding indoors – these recipes will have you enjoying what’s left of summertime outdoors, and not working up a sweat in the kitchen.  Enjoy!

Rustic Tomato & Peach Salad 

peach mizuno 016

Fresh tomatoes and peaches have plenty of natural flavour on their own, this recipe is naked = no dressing required. Healthy & delicious!

Add this refreshing (and no dressing required) recipe to your August salad repertoire.  Serve with grilled beef, chicken, or fish off the grill.  For a tasty appetizer, finely chop all ingredients and serve on thin slices of sourdough baguette and garnish with crumbled goat cheese or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and serve as bruschetta.  Or, finely chop and use as a flavourful topper for hummus or white bean dip (hummus recipe below) for a tapas style backyard, or dockside nibble.

4 plum tomatoes, quartered

2 ripe peaches, chopped (*seed removed and skin on)

1/3 cup (75 mL) EACH; pitted and roughly chopped black olives and crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup (60 mL) torn fresh basil leaves

2 tbsp (30 mL) roughly chopped fresh mint


Place all ingredients in a serving bowl and gently toss.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)


Peanut Butter Hummus

For a protein kick, try a simple and delicious after-school snack of hummus and colourful veggies. Prepare the hummus and cut the veggies the night before for a quick and healthy afternoon snack that won’t spoil dinner appetites.


1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup (60 mL) hot water

1/4 cup (60 mL) peanut butter *I prefer all natural

1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Whirl until smooth.  Place on platter and garnish with approx. 1/2 cup (125 mL) very finely chopped Tomato and Peach Salad.  Serve with veggies – carrots, celery, cucumber, red pepper – and crackers.  Makes 2 cups (500 mL).  For more delicious recipes made with Peanuts and Peanut Butter click here, or visit:

Tip: If a thinner hummus is preferred, add additional water or lemon juice to taste.


Beefsteak Tomato and Garden Salad Sandwich 

A cottage loaf is commonly used to make “party spinach dip”.  This loaded garden sandwich is a perfect way to use up all those vegetables taking over your backyard garden (*or any leftover veggies you may have left in your crisper). This sandwich takes about 5 minutes to assemble, and because there is no “cooking” it is a great recipe to have children prepare on their own.

1 large (500 g – approx.) sourdough, pumpernickel or whole grain cottage loaf

1/3 (75 mL) mayonnaise + 3 tbsp (45 mL) Dijon mustard

½ cup (125 mL) chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as: basil, dill, chives

2 cups (500 mL) lightly packed baby arugula or baby spinach leaves

2 large Beefsteak tomatoes, sliced in ¼ inch slices

½ cup (125 mL) thinly sliced cucumber

1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled goat cheese

1/2 cup (125 mL) grated carrot

1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced

Cut a round cap off the top of the cottage loaf.  Reserve top.  Hollow out the inside and top of the loaf to make a bread bowl, leaving about ¾ -inch of bread inside the crust. Stir together mayonnaise, mustard and mixed fresh herbs and spread all over inside of bread bowl and inside the cap.  Place arugula at the bottom of bread bowl and layer with tomatoes, cucumber, goat cheese, grated carrot, and avocado.  Place cap back on sandwich and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  To serve, remove plastic wrap and cut into 8 wedges.


Grilled Rib Eye with a Roasted Tomato, Peanut and Jalapeno Relish


Fire up the grill and enjoy a tasty Rib Eye with Tomato, Peanut & Jalapeno Relish. *Picture courtesy of the Peanut Bureau*

Grilled steak is a classic – dress it up with this tomato jalapeno relish with a pleasing crunch from chopped peanuts. Serve with a tossed green salad and grilled vegetables.  Visit for more recipes.

1 small red onion

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 large jalapeno, cut in half

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar

1/4 cup (60 mL) basil leaves, shredded

1/3 cup (75 mL) peanuts, coarsley chopped

1 1/2 lb. (750 g) rib eye steak (*at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Slice onion into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedges. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil. Roast, stirring occasionally 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, if tomatoes are large, slice in half. Discard seeds from jalapeno if you don’t want the relish to be super hot. Add both to roasting pan along with remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) oil and salt. Toss. Continue to roast just until tomatoes begin to wilt, about 5 to 6 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, chop onion into pieces about the same size as tomatoes and finely chop jalapeno. Place all ingredients in a bowl along with garlic and vinegar. Just before serving stir in basil and peanuts. Add more salt if desired.

Grease grill and preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. Remove steak from fridge while barbecue is preheating. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on barbecue and grill about 12 minutes, turning once for medium-rare. Serve sliced with relish on the side.


Tomato, Corn and Herb Garden Salad (*pictured below)

This salad is a go-to family favourite in our home during the summer months.  For added protein, add ½ cup (125 mL) chick peas or black beans.   Click here for the recipe.



Charmaine is a chef and recipe developer.  She is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime York Region, and food writer for

DSC_1081 Running Room Magazine sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food and cooking.

Charmaine is a proud ambassador of Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon a celebration of Women & Fitness, come join in the FUN June 6th, 2016.  Register before June 30th, 2015 for ONLY $68.  Hope to see many of you at the start line in 2016!  Click here to register.

Pick up the Sept/Oct issue of STRONG Fitness Magazine for my: Healthy Take-Out Recipes.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan.  Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind.

For more tasty recipes visit 

Or Follow Charmaine on twitter @runnercharb