Today, I am featuring my family’s favorite recipes using Tomatoes, a Power Food. Each summer, I look forward to the bounty of farm fresh tomatoes of different varieties that arrive in my CSA Box and at the local farmer’s market. A few summers ago, I bought an entire box of tomatoes from the farmer’s market just to roast them. As summer draws to a close, I try to enjoy as many fresh tomatoes as I can in salads and salsas.
Here are some of my family’s favorite recipes using tomatoes.
Crockpot Turkey Bolognese is one of my go-to dinners during the school year. Not only is it an inexpensive meal, but it’s hearty and satisfying, and a no-fuss meal since the crockpot keeps the sauce warm until dinnertime. All you need to do is cook the pasta and toss a salad for a complete meal.
Pasta Puttanesca is another of my boys’ favorites. This is a really easy recipe and the sauce freezes well.
Tomato Paste Pasta continues to be a family favorite, especially for my oldest son who’s in college. In fact, when we dropped him off at school this year, I left him with a case of tomato paste so he could make this pasta dish whenever he craves it.
Cream of Tomato Soup with Pasta is a childhood favorite of mine and my boys, especially on a rainy or cold day. There’s actually no cream in this recipe at all, so check it out for a healthier version of cream of tomato soup.
My son, Kyle, Guacamole Salsa first made this for our family over the summer and it is now a much requested dip.
Although summer is coming to a close, this Farmer’s Market Sandwich has been a family tradition since our local farmer’s market opened in town years ago.
My kids also love this Bruschetta made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil during the summer. Sometimes I slather a layer of pesto on the bread before topping it with tomatoes.
I’m going to miss my fresh tomatoes now that the season is coming to an end, but I know we’ve had our full this summer.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Tomatoes as a Power Food. This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.
So, what makes Tomatoes a Power Food? Tomatoes are best known for the phytochemical lycopene, which is associated with lower risk of certain cancers (prostate, cervical, skin, breast and lung), and a lower risk of macular degeneration. Cooked tomatoes contain 2-8 times more lycopene than raw tomatoes, e.g., marinara sauce, salsas, tomato paste, tomato soup. Apparently, heat breaks down the cell walls in tomatoes, releasing more lycopene for absorption by the body. Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K, and are a very good source of folate, potassium, manganese, fiber, B vitamins and quercetin, a phytochemical that may help protect against cancer, heart disease and degenerative eye diseases. Interestingly, although green tomatoes do not contain lycopene, they have twice the amount of vitamin C and iron, and more vitamin K than red tomatoes. I was curious about this as I recently picked up a stash of green tomatoes at church (yes, someone was nice enough to leave them out for whomever wanted them!), which sparked a lot of conversation on Facebook.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up for this week: (If you’re interested in joining our group, contact Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits.
Alyce - More Time at the Table
Ansh - Spice Roots,
Casey – My Sweet and Savory
Jill - Saucy Cooks
Martha - Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Bambi – Adobo Down Under
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Tomatoes
Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients
University of Connecticut: Do Green Tomatoes Contain Lycopene