3 Sep 2007

An Award, Tomatoes and A Meme.

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 !

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes.
John Denver, 'Home Grown Tomatoes'
(from a song written by Guy Clark)


For tomato based Gazpacho recipes see my other posts Summer Soups and Cilantro .

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.

Thank you to Naomi at Diary From England for awarding me the Creative Blogger Award. What a lovely surprise. I would like to pass this award on. Not an easy task with so many great bloggers out there who I visit regularly.

Rather early so was surprised to receive Santa’s first Meme. It was sent on to me by zephyr1 of Climate of our Future, a blog I regularly read.

My reply to Santa's questions:
* What is your favorite Christmas gift? Books, always books.
* What is your best memory of Christmas? Every Christmas, when I was little, we used to have a huge party at alternating homes where both adults and children had treasure hunts, charades and basically a wonderful time.
* Depending on where you live do you have a hot or cold Christmas? A very hot Christmas.
*Would you prefer to try the opposite weather at least just once? I prefer a hot Christmas but enjoyed London at Christmas when we visited there.
* What do you prefer in a tree? Fake or real? It must be real and in a pot with it's roots so it can be planted afterwards.
* What is your favorite Carol? Deck the halls with boughs of holly.
* What is your favorite Christmas Dinner? Just what I feel like on the long as it's Vegan of course.
* Do you wear a Santa Hat at Christmas? Too hot.
* Have you ever seen me delivering your gifts? Tried to stay awake but never managed :)

Now according to Santa I get to choose 5 to participate in the Meme. I have chosen 5 Vegan blogs which are therefore very "Green" by rejecting animal products and therefore factory farming. Great places to get ideas for a meat-free Christmas (and Thanksgiving).
Vegan Teen Cuisine
Vivacious Vegan
Scottish Vegan
Vive le Vegan!
Urban Vegan

Technorati Tags:


Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a good vegetable smoothie recipe. I've tried winging it a few times and it doesn't taste the way I want it to. So then I add more veggies/seasonings and it just keeps getting bigger so by the end I've got a monstrous smoothie that tastes gross. I refuse to pour it down the drain though and waste all those precious veggies so I tried making it into soup which was only moderately better. I can't wait to try this. I just wish red bell peppers weren't so expensive here.

Thanks for selecting me for the meme. I don't really celebrate Christmas so it's going to take me a while to complete it; I need to think about my answers for a bit.

Peggy said...

Great recipes! The creamy sea salad looks DIVINE.

Wow, what a surprise it was to be looking at your blog and see that I've been tagged. I'll get to that meme right away! :) Thanks, it looks like fun.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to find your blog. I just started the vegan "diet" a couple days ago. You have some great recipes!


Kristen's Raw said...

Best of luck on your path to adding more Raw into your life. I like your piece about tomatoes. For a couple of easy Raw food recipes, feel free to check out my blog. Have a terrific day :)

Kristen Suzanne

Anonymous said...

cool post as always, thanks for the recipes!

Sheila said...

Tomatoes, my favorite, are still plentiful but soon the really good ripe ones will become harder to find as fall lengths here in the Midwest (US). When I lived in Alabama, our season was much longer. My favorite tomato "recipe" is to slice a ripe tomato and slather it with mayonnaise, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and place between two slices of bread. Simple, yet great.

Cherry said...

I love cream of tomato soup, it doesn't taste 'too creamy' but it tastes a little sour and fresh. Gazpacho is of course my favorite 'mini meal' which I can set up with the help of blender.

urban vegan said...

Aw, thanks for the award. Adn thanks for all these luscious tomato recipes. Gotta try the Olive Cream. Any vegan recipe that's sexy works for me.

Anonymous said...

Greetings. Very good site. By the way, my mum too reads it.

Kumudha said...

I always have tomatoes in the fridge as most of the Indian recipes always has tomato as an ingredient.

In winter, it is sometimes so hard to find tomatoes around Detroit!

Great recipes!

Anonymous said...

Love the potato curry recipe, look forward to trying it out.

The Christmas Days of your childhood sound like they were fun, although sorry you never caught Santa.

Thanks for your kind words.

Marion said...

Thank you for the great links once again, Jackie.

We're heading into the autumn here; I love reading your anticipation of Spring and your new diet!

david santos said...

Hello, Jackie!
Thanks for posting.

Jackie, the mother of Madaleine was considered suspicion for the Portuguese Policy.

I continue to think to be lie.

bazu said...

Thank you so much for the award! I will get to it shortly.
And oh, I could sing the praises of tomatoes for a long time.

Susan Voisin said...

Thanks so much for the award! I will have to give it some thought and post my recipients soon. Thanks for the recipes--the Thai curry has really caught my interest.

Anonymous said...

You have been tagged for The Personal Development List. See here for details. I would love for you to participate.

Marshamlow said...

I have just found you through blog village. What a wonderful blog you have. I am very interested in learning more about food and nutrition. I will definitely be back. Have a good week.

Cherry said...

I just bought some tomatoes for a weekend roasting.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic recipes! I have recently become totally addicted to tomato juice but it is so hard to find juices without salt, preservatives etc added to them. Do you know where I could look?

The Health for Life Deli in Gardens Centre Cape Town is having a competition for vegan/vegetarian recipes for their new restaurant. You can win a weekend away..if you're interested let me know and I'll scan the flyer for you. With recipes like this it should be a piece of wheat-free cake!

Jackie said...

brut , I either juice my own tomatoes or get the All Gold box which has salt but no preservatives.

Mansi said...

Veg Smoothie!! sounds very healthy!