My Life of What Ifs

Monday, April 25, 2011

Potatoes? No, Tomatoes. Learning to love them.

I love tomatoes.  Enough said.  Blog post over.

One of the favorite joys in my life is walking to my garden in the summer, picking a tomato, slicing it up and eating the whole thing.  My lips and cheeks are puckering just thinking about the taste.

Four people live here and we are a house divided.  My husband is not a fan of the tomato and that is putting it nicely.  My youngest daughter has not yet discovered the joy of a tomato, in fact she actually says it's "potatoes" that she doesn't like.  But if I put a tomato anywhere near her she cringes.  But my oldest daughter has discovered that she likes tomatoes, she- is on my team.

I love to cook with tomatoes.  Sauce, diced, stewed, whole, and canned tomatoes are a great way to add juice and flavor to many things including one of our favorite recipes.  This recipe doesn't have an official name.  It's just a crock pot meal that a friend posted on a message board years ago.

You will need:
  • One pound stewing beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce (we use Hunt's)
  • 1 small bag of frozen peas
  • 2T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.
  • Add a can of stewed tomatoes for more sustenance, and more health benefits.
Place all ingredients in crock pot, stir, cover and cook on high for three hours or on low for 10.  Serve over linguine, other pasta, or mashed potatoes.  Top with Parmesan.

This recipe makes me happy because our garden hasn't even been planted yet this year, heck it snowed last week, and making this crock pot tomato stew is one way I can expose my family to the benefits of tomatoes in the off season.  I recently read the article Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits and was very interested in a few of the basic tomato facts, such as:  
  • Tomatoes are the most consumed non-starchy vegetable.
  • Tomatoes are the most significant source of dietary lycopene.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gets more powerful after cooking.  Which, this time of year, most of the tomatoes I use are cooked!
  • Tomatoes are one of the top contributors of potassium to the American diet.
  • Tomatoes are good for your heart. (It’s easy to remember because they’re red.)  They are low in calories, but rich in fiber.
  • Emerging research underscores the relationship between consuming tomatoes and tomato products with reduced risk of certain cancers, heart disease, ultraviolet light-induced damage, osteoporosis and other conditions.
A favorite of mine is Hunt's tomato products. All of Hunt's products are grown in California, 100% Natural, and they come in a lot of varieties including No Salt Added.  Only Hunt's uses the natural FlashSteam process to lock in the natural tomato goodness of every tomato in their diced, whole and stewed varieties.  And each Hunt's tomato goes from vine to can in just hours so home cooks can enjoy the summer-fresh taste of tomatoes all year round.

If you think I'm just tomato happy then check out the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and see how tomatoes and other healthy foods can benefit your life.  These guidelines recommend one or more servings of tomatoes a day, as part of the new red-orange vegetable sub-group.  Now if someone could just convince my husband that they really taste great too!

I received a stipend from Hunt's and The Motherhood in exchange for this blog post.  All opinions, ideas and statements are mine and mine alone.

No comments: