Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

A week ago I began a series on fruits and vegetables in order to inspire everyone, myself included, to eat more servings each day.  Today, lets talk about tomatoes.  I love good, homegrown tomatoes.  I especially love heirloom tomatoes.  But good tomatoes are hard to find.  I have vowed to never buy grocery store tomatoes again, except for the cherry or grape variety.  Those are the only ones with any flavor.  I can’t blame children or adults for not eating tomatoes from a store.  They have been bred for shelf life, are picked before they are ripe and serve no purpose in this world.  Really, they should be outlawed.  Who eats these things?  If you eat store bought tomatoes and like them, please let me know in the comment section.

 

Supposedly, tomatoes aren’t that difficult to grow.  But I have a very black thumb and too much shade.  The last time I tried to grow tomatoes, I harvested a whopping 6 or 7 tomatoes for the whole season.  I encourage everyone to try if you have a sunny space.  You can grow them in containers and I think those upside down hanging containers would work if you have sun.  But why should we eat tomatoes?  One cup of tomatoes has about 27 calories, 2 grams of fiber and lots of vitamin A and C.  Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants and various minerals.  Their yummy contents support your eyes and are rich in potassium which controls your heart rate and blood pressure.  Best of all, tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from cancer and heart disease.  So why aren’t you eating tomatoes?

 

It is super easy to toss a few tomatoes on your salad.  If you buy good tomatoes from a local grower, slice a few for dinner.  How’s that for an easy side dish?  If you want to get fancy, make a Caprese salad by layering fresh mozzarella slices with tomato slices (Don’t use grated mozzarella or packaged slices for sandwiches, but fresh.  Look for it in your deli.).  Tuck fresh basil leaves in between the cheese and ‘maters, drizzle the whole thing with just olive oil or both olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar.  Salt and pepper lightly.  Another fast and ridiculously easy side dish.  If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, try the following salad.  I made it just this week and my family loved it.  Tomatoes and watermelon go well with a tangy dressing and the peaches added another dimension of flavor.  This was easy to do and the leftovers were good the next night.  This is also the kind of recipe that you don’t have to be too exact in the ingredients.

 

 

Peach, Watermelon and Tomato Salad

1/2 cup pepper jelly

1 Tbsp. lime zest

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)

2 cups seeded watermelon chunks

1 cup peeled peach chunks

3 cups tomatoes, cut in chunks

1/3 cup basil leaves, cut in strips

1/3 cup chives, snipped

salt and pepper to taste

Place the fruits in a large salad bowl.  Add basil and chives, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Whisk together the first three ingredients and pour over the fruits.  Toss gently.  You can serve this immediately or make ahead and refrigerate until well chilled.  It is very refreshing on a hot day.

 

This recipe is a great example that cooking doesn’t have to mean slaving over a hot stove or spending hours preparing food.  Getting your servings of fruits and vegetables should be tasty as well.  Head to the farmers’ market this weekend for these ingredients before summer is over.  This salad would go well with some grilled chicken or hamburgers.

Upadated on August 23, 2012


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