Enjoying the Fruits of Late Summer: Tomatoes


Quinoa SoupTomatoes have been enjoying a seasonal high, as evidenced by overflowing amounts of virtually every variety (from Roma to Heirloom) at local markets and numerous bloggers displaying photos of the red-ripe (and green) fruits of their gardens.  Of course, we can always count on Jackie at The Vegan Diet to capture the essence and history of a single food in writing, plus we love the dairy-free recipes she always shares.  Whether you harvested them yourself, or couldn’t resist purchasing a cart-full, Jackie will make you feel more virtuous for consuming tomatoes, and give you numerous mediums (aka dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and raw recipes) to do so….

Photo Recipe: Creamy Quinoa Tomato Soup from Northern Quinoa Corporation

Jackie, The Vegan Diet – Tomatoes are native to South America and Mexico and were originally cultivated by the Incas and Aztecs. In the 16th Century they were brought to Southern Europe where they become a major addition to their cuisine, especially in Italy.

Today they are found in most kitchens worldwide. Tomatoes can be purchased in many forms; fresh, frozen, sundried and tinned. Whether it is a wonderful, tasty, organic tomato to pop into your Salad or tomato paste to add to your pasta sauce, they are always a great addition.

Always try and purchase the organic variety or grow your own as they have now become a GMO product and if you are not aware of the problems I suggest you read the July newsletter online at Seeds of Deception about results of tests on the GMO FlavrSavr tomato. Sadly another fruit/veggie we now need to read all labels before purchasing.

Nutritionally tomatoes contain an excellent supply of vitamins C, A and K, a very good supply of thiamin (B1), dietary fiber, potasium, manganese, and chromium. They also contain a good supply of other B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus and tryptophan.

Healthwise tomatoes are extremely important due to their lycopene content. Lycopene is an open-chain, unsaturated carotenoid that imparts red colour to tomatoes and it is a powerful anti-oxident. Ongoing studies are showing that a regular daily intake of lycopene decreases the risks of developing most forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies also show that with the addition of broccoli and green tea the results are even better.

Tomatoes are sensitive to cold, so if possible store fresh tomatoes at room temperature and use immediately they are ripe. Only put your excess ripe tomatoes in the fridge, in the vegetable drawer, to prevent them becoming over ripe. When cooking do not use aluminium cookware as their high acidic content could result in the migration of the aluminum into the food both affecting the taste and health benefits.

With so many varieties, in so many colors, there is no reason not to add them to all your dishes both for color, flavor and your health. I know they are going to be a major part of my salads now Spring is here in South Africa and I am trying to get as Raw as possible. Enjoy !

Tomato Recipes

Creamy Sea Salad (RAW)
Successfully Raw Newsletter Issue 54
Finding delicious recipes that include sea vegetables can sometimes be tricky. Dulse seems to be one the few sea vegetables that most people like and is extremely high in much needed minerals. This salad is one of those where you can feel the goodness pumping through your veins.

3/4 head of lettuce (any type, though you’ll need 2-3 heads if using Little Gem lettuce)
1 ripe avocado
2-3 large organic tomatoes
Large chunk of organic cucumber
Handful of pre-soaked dulse seaweed (soak for about 15 minutes)

1 tbsp raw almond butter
the juice of ¼ lemon
¼ cup water
handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)

Finely shred the lettuce into thin strips using a sharp knife or mandoline and place in a large bowl. Dice the avocado, tomatoes and cucumber into medium sized pieces (approximately 1½ cm square) and add to bowl. Tear the dulse into small prices and add to bowl. make the dressing by blending the above ingredients and pouring over the ingredients inside the bowl. Mix everything together thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!

Raw Coach Tip
If you don’t like dulse in strips, try dulse flakes or “Atlantic Sea Salad” a sea veg mixture.

Karen’s Super-Sexy Olive Cream (Raw)
Successfully Raw Newsletter Issue 53
This delicious dip is so-called because when a friend first tried this recipe she gasped and went, “Ohhh, that’s SO sexy!” – and it kind of stuck. Well, there is a certain something about it…

1 organic avocado
1 fresh organic tomato
5-6 pitted black olives
garlic to taste

Simply process all ingredients together until a thick creamy consistency is achieved. Taste-test. Adapt as desired. Serve with crudités, as a dip or spread on sprouted bread or crackers. Sex-y!

Raw Coach Tip:
Feel free to try adding a little juice to this such as lemon, orange or pineapple – you never know what you might create!

Tomatoes with Courgetti (Raw)
From DetoxYourWorld
This is a very simple main meal. We find that the simpler the food, the better the digestion. Skillfully combining just a few ingredients to achieve maximum flavour and satisfaction is easy with these recipes. Serves 4.

12 ripe juicy tomatoes
1 cup of fresh basil
4 cloves of garlic
4 large courgettes
4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

I like to use large courgettes for this, as they tend to be drier. Chop the tomatoes into bite sized pieces, and place in a strainer. Finely chop the garlic and basil, and set aside. If your courgettes aren’t organic, peel the skin, but if they are organic, leave the skin on. With a spiral slicer, spiralise the courgettes, using the spaghetti setting. Place the spiralised courgettes on a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Place the courgetti into a bowl and mix with the olive oil and a little of the chopped garlic. Put equal amounts of the strained tomatoes in the centre of each plate. Top with equal amounts of basil, then top with equal amounts of garlic. Spread equal amounts of the courgetti around the plate.

Vegetable Smoothie (Raw)
From SmoothieWeb
Cucumber, red pepper and scallions blend in our vegetable Smoothie to help get the morning off to a vigorous start.

2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
3 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps chopped scallions
2 tsps vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh-ground pepper
1/4 tsp hot-pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Fill 4 glasses with ice and divide the smoothie mixture among the glasses. Serves 4

Thai Potato Curry (Cooked)
From Vegetarian Times

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 tsp Thai Green Curry Paste prepared or homemade
1 lb/ 1/2Kg red-skin potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup canned whole tomatoes, plus juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

3 cups hot cooked rice
Commercially prepared sambal oelek (optional)

In large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir-fry until golden, 5 minutes. Add curry paste and stir-fry 1 minute. Add potatoes and toss well to coat. Stir in coconut milk and broth. Using your hands, lightly crush tomatoes; add tomatoes and juice to wok. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice and basil. Serve over rice with sambal oelek if desired. 4 Servings.

The above post was reprinted with the permission of Jackie at The Vegan Diet.  Visit her blog for loads of recipes and vegan / raw foodie informaiton!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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