Besides the holiday season, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fall fruit is arriving by the barrelful, and it’s time to enjoy the bounty. Apples and pears both boast fiber, flavor and phytochemicals in addition to being delicious. A previous study also found that eating an apple or pear a day was associated with a 52% risk reduction in stroke. 1 With so many varieties to choose from, you can enjoy these seasonal fruits for months. Here are 12 ways to start.

  1. Start with breakfast. Add chopped apples and cinnamon to rolled oats. This adds flavor and texture without extra sugar.
  2. Another breakfast treat includes sliced pears with ginger and honey in plain Greek yogurt. A sprinkle of chopped cashews or almonds adds a bit of crunch.
  3. At snack time, enjoy apple slices with peanut or almond butter. Dust them with ground nutmeg or cinnamon before eating.
  4. If you’ve got more time, cut pears into fours and brush with 1 tsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Broil for 10 minutes. Cool before eating.
  5. In your salads, add 2 thinly sliced Granny Smith apples to 6 cups fresh spinach or arugula. Drizzle with dressing made with 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and a tsp. of Dijon mustard. Add 2 Tbsp. feta cheese and ¼ cup chopped pecans.
  6. Try an apple and cheddar quesadilla. Place ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese and ½ of a sliced Gala or honey crisp apple in a whole wheat tortilla. Fold over and grill in a medium skillet using non-stick spray.
  7. Make a roast beef and pear roll up. Add 2-3 slices of thinly sliced pears to a whole wheat tortilla, with 2-3 slices of lean roast beef, 1 slice Swiss cheese, and 1 tsp. honey mustard. Roll up and eat. This sweet, salty combination is delicious!
  8. In your side dishes, add peeled, chopped apples to sweet potatoes and boil for 30 minutes. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, ¾ cup orange juice and 1 tsp. cinnamon and mash. Serve warm. Who needs marshmallows?
  9. For a fun snack, try an apple sandwich. Slice the bottom and to off of a crisp Gala or Granny Smith apple, then slice into ¼” slices. Layer an apple slice with almond butter, flaked coconut, and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with another apple slice and enjoy.
  10. Make a pear compote to serve with chicken, pork or fish. Combine 2 ripe, firm pears that have been cored and chopped. Add ¼ cup raisins, 1/3 cup apple or grape juice, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. apple cider or red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp. sea salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place pears, raisins, apple juice and cinnamon in a small pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or until the liquid starts to thicken and the pears begin to fall apart.
  11. For a more delicious dinner, top a seasoned pork tenderloin with chopped apples before you cook it in a slow cooker. Add a dash of cumin and cinnamon for flavor.
  12. At a party, serve sliced pears with blue cheese in a leaf of endive as an appetizer. Top with chopped pecans and drizzle with honey or pure maple syrup before serving.

Reference:

  1. Linda M. Oude Griep, W. M. Monique Verschuren, Daan Kromhout, Marga C. Ocké, Johanna M. Geleijnse. Colors of Fruit and Vegetables and 10-Year Incidence of StrokeStroke, 2011
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There are several beautiful varieties of winter squash, but don’t let the name fool you. “Winter” squash is available year-round and is a seriously versatile vegetable. Squash provides a hefty dose of cancer-fighting beta-carotene as well as potassium, fiber and vitamin C. It’s also low in calories. A 1-cup serving of butternut squash has just 63 calories. This week, I’ll give you 12 ways to enjoy this “every season” vegetable. Check out the handout below for the top 5 plus a bonus!

  1. Maple roasted butternut squash- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cube one butternut squash. Toss the squash in 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, ½ tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. minced ginger. Place squash in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Apple sausage stuffed acorn squash- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the ends of 3 acorn squash, then cut in half and remove seeds. Brush olive oil on the top and inside of the squash, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes until squash is tender. While squash bakes, cook 1 lb. ground turkey sausage and drain fat. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 2 diced apples. Add ½ tsp. sage, 1 cup bread crumbs, and ¾ cup Parmesan cheese. Once squash is cooked, add a few spoonfuls of apple mixture and bake another 15-20 minutes.
  3. Curried squash soup: Sautee ½ onion in 1 Tbsp. corn oil. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 6 cups peeled & chopped butternut squash, 1 ½ Tbsp. curry powder, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk and 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 tsp. chili garlic paste. Simmer for 15 minutes then place the mixture in a blender and puree until creamy. Serve with chopped cilantro.
  4. Delicata squash with butter and sage over pasta. Place 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a pan and melt over medium heat. Add 14 sage leaves and fry until crispy, 10–15 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer sage to paper towels to drain. Pour most of the remaining brown butter in a bowl, but save 2 Tbsp. butter to cook ½ cup coarse breadcrumbs and 4 sage leaves. Cook until crispy, then move to a plate. Add 2 delicata squash that have been halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into ¼” thick half-moons. Cook squash in butter for 5 minutes and add ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper and ¾ cup of water. Cover squash and cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and let the water evaporate. While squash cooks, boil 12 oz. linguini or other thick noodles. Once noodles are done, combine with cooked squash and additional sage and serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.
  5. Spaghetti squash with feta and olives. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and bake for 30 minutes, cut sides down. While squash is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and saute 1 chopped onion with 2 cloves minced garlic for 3 minutes. Add 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes. Once squash is done, use a spoon to scoop out the squash. Combine with cooked tomatoes, 3 Tbsp. chopped kalamata olives and ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles.
  6. Butter roasted acorn squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 acorn squash in half. Whisk together 4 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. Brush squash haves with half of the butter mixture and bake on a parchment paper-lined pan for 30 minutes. Flip squash and brush with remaining butter mixture and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until soft. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Roasted butternut squash soup. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take 1 butternut squash and cut in half vertically and remove the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with 1 tsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes face down. Cool for 10 minutes then scoop out the squash and set aside. While the squash cooks, cook ½ cup chopped shallots and 4 cloves minced garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large soup pot. Place the squash, shallots, and garlic in a food processor with 1 tsp. maple syrup and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Puree until smooth, then return mixture to the soup pot with 4 cups chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.
  8. Grilled acorn squash with rosemary. Marinate 2 lbs. thinly sliced acorn squash in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 tsp. dried rosemary, 4 cloves minced garlic, ½ tsp. salt. Remove squash from marinade (save marinade) and grill squash over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side. Baste squash while it cooks with reserved marinade.
  9. Spaghetti squash with Parmesan cheese. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 spaghetti squash in a baking dish and prick with a sharp fork all over. Bake for 1 hour or until softened. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Scrape the flesh in strings with a fork into a bowl. Toss with ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  10. Acorn squash with chili lime dressing. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out. Cut squash into ¾” wedges. Coat squash with ½ tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 6 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes. While squash roasts, whisk together 1 clove minced garlic, 1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice, 1-2 tsp. fresh hot chili pepper and 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro. Transfer roasted squash to a serving bowl and drizzle with lime dressing.
  11. Roasted delicata squash with turmeric. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice 2 delicata squash in half lengthwise, then cut in half circles and place in a large bowl. Whisk 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil, ¾ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground turmeric, ½ tsp. garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper together, then drizzle over delicata squash. Spread squash out on a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes per side.
  12. Roasted butternut squash with pecan topping. Preheat your oven to 425. Slice butternut squash lengthwise and remove seeds Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ Tbsp. sage, ½ tsp. cinnamon and ¼ tsp. nutmeg in a small bowl. Brush the squash with the mixture, then roast the squash (cut side up) for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from pan and cut into 4 wedges. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 Tbsp. sage, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 ½ Tbsp. molasses, 1 Tbsp. and apple cider vinegar. Mix in 1/3 cup chopped pecans and spoon mixture over squash wedges.

Here is a PDF handout for 5 of these ideas plus a bonus idea!

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD

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People use the terms yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably, but they are different vegetables. While they are both starchy “tubers”, yams are not as sweet as sweet potatoes and have rougher skin and flesh. The orange sweet potatoes make a delicious side dish and are good sources of fiber, vitamin A, and potassium. Yams contain fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, and antioxidants and they can often be made the same way as sweet potatoes. Here are ideas for both yams and sweet potatoes.

  1. Roasted sweet potatoes. Roasted sweet potatoes will yield a crispier texture than sweet potatoes, making them a perfect side dish to grilled fish, chicken or burgers. Clean the skins and slice a few sweet potatoes into wedges. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle seasoned salt, cinnamon, and cumin over them. Roast them for 30 minutes on 375 degrees. Japanese yams are also delicious for roasting. You can interchange them with this recipe.
  2. Mashed sweet potatoes with ginger. This is an excellent side dish for holidays or fall dinner. Peel 4 large sweet potatoes and cut into 2” chunks. Boil sweet potatoes for 25 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and add ¾ cup orange juice, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp. grated ginger or ginger paste. Mash the sweet potatoes mixing the ingredients in. More juice, cinnamon or ginger can be added if desired.
  3. Black bean and sweet potato salad. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel and cut 1 lb. of sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over the sweet potatoes. Season with ½ tsp. ground cumin, cayenne (optional) and salt. Roast sweet potatoes for 25-30 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add 1 (15 oz) can black beans (drained and rinsed), ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro and ½ chopped red onion. Add roasted sweet potatoes to beans and toss to coat.
  4. Garlic roasted sweet potatoes with Parmesan. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dice 1 lbs. of cleaned sweet potatoes into 1” cubes. In a small bowl, mix 1 Tbsp. canola oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp. dried thyme, and 1 tsp. oregano. Add the diced sweet potatoes and toss to coat. On a large baking sheet, place the sweet potatoes and bake for 15 minutes, then toss and bake another 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, sprinkle 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese over the sweet potatoes and serve.
  5. Sweet potatoes pancakes. This is a great way to use mashed sweet potatoes or you can start from scratch. Peel, clean and cut 1 lb. of sweet potatoes. Boil for 15-20 minutes until soft. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, add 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup whole wheat flour, 3 ½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix sweet potatoes, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup milk together. Blend the flour and sweet potato mixture together. Using a griddle or non-stick skillet, drop a ¼ cup of sweet potato batter to cook the pancakes. Serve hot with maple syrup or honey.
  6. Maple rosemary sweet potatoes. You’ll love the savory/sweet combination. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Peel and cut 3 large sweet potatoes into 1” chunks and place in a mixing bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. canola oil, ¼ cup real maple syrup, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary. Toss the sweet potatoes to coat them, then spread out on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
  7. Sweet potato hash browns. Clean and grate 1 lb. sweet potatoes and place in a mixing bowl with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Mix the ingredients together. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet with 4 Tbsp. corn oil. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop the sweet potato mixture and fry it in hot oil, flipping to brown both sides.
  8. Roasted sweet potato and kale salad. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Clean and cut 2 large sweet potatoes into 1” cubes and place in a bowl with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Toss sweet potatoes to coat, then roast on baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft. Set aside to cool. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and cook 1 sliced yellow onion, 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 bunch cleaned, ripped kale for about 10 minutes until onions are caramelized and kale is wilted. Place kale mixture in a bowl and place in frig to cool for about 30 minutes. Combine sweet potatoes and kale mixture and add 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 Tbsp. dried thyme. Toss to coat and serve.
  9. Turkey chili with sweet potatoes. Using a large soup pot, cook 1 lb. ground turkey and drain fat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1 large diced yellow pepper. Add 1 Tbsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. cumin, and 1 Tbsp. salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced, 2 cans dark red kidney beans (drained/rinsed), 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes and 3 cups water. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are fully cooked. Season with cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
  10. Green eggs n yams. Heat 2 Tbsp. canola oil in a large skillet. Add 4 cups grated yams, 1 clove minced garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. oregano. Cove and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves and cook 2 minutes until greens are wilted. Using a spoon, make 4 wells in the yam mixture. Add 1 egg to each well and cover the skillet. Cook eggs for ~5 to 7 minutes until eggs set. Eggs can be cooked longer if harder yolks desired.
  11. Slow cooker yam and black bean chili. In a crockpot, combine 1 medium chopped red onion, 1 chopped red bell pepper, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 2 tsp. cocoa powder, 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 large yam, peeled and diced and 1 cup water. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Candied yams. Last but not least, dessert! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel and chop 5 yams and set aside. Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a large pan and add 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. allspice, 1 ¼ cups brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp vanilla extract. Add the seasoned buttered mixture to the yams then place them in a 9 x 13” pan. Cover the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is bubbly. Enjoy!

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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Despite the popular keto craze, don’t be a tater hater. There are a million reasons why potatoes can be part of a healthy diet. In addition to being a good source of potassium and vitamin C, potatoes also provide fiber to help curb your appetite. It’s fine to eat the skin as long as it’s cleaned thoroughly and not green. Green potato skin contains a toxic substance called solanine. Best to peel the green potatoes and skip the skin. Below are a dozen ways to enjoy your spuds.

  1. Oven-roasted. If you’re trying to get away from French fries, try oven-roasted potatoes. Potatoes can be cleaned, quartered and cut into wedges or fries. Brush with olive or corn oil, dust with seasoned salt and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Or use a hot air fryer set on "potato chip" for 20 minutes.
  2. Potato salad. Cooked and chilled potatoes are a good source of resistant starch- the type that helps for good bacteria in the large intestine and helps manage blood sugar. Substitute plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and add your favorite ingredients like dill, chopped onion, and celery. Or make a new fangled flavor like "wasabi" by adding wasabi mayonnaise, lettuce, and shelled cooked edamame beans!
  3. Indian dishes. Nothing beats big chunks of cooked potatoes in curry sauce paired with cauliflower or peas and your favorite meat or legume.
  4. Baked potatoes- A baked potato can be the great base of a simple vegetarian meal. Try it topped with black beans, salsa, and guacamole or broccoli and melted cheddar.
  5. Red potatoes with rosemary- boiled and buttered with a dash of dried rosemary, red potatoes make a delicious side dish. Use whipped butter or olive oil to reduce saturated fat content.
  6. Potato soup- cubed potatoes and leeks or other onions make a great fall soup. Vegetable broth can be used to make the soup vegan or chicken broth works well, too. Top with shredded cheddar cheese or cilantro if desired.
  7. Mashed potatoes- mashed potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving. You can get creative with the flavor and add minced garlic, thyme or dill in addition to Greek yogurt to give them a tangy taste.
  8. Home fries- cubed, seasoned potatoes are common in breakfast houses, but can also be served at brunch or as a side at dinner. Add bell peppers and onions for more color, flavor, and nutrition.
  9. Sheet pan dinners- add cubed or sliced potatoes as part of your sheet pan meal. They can be seasoned with garlic and paired with chicken, fish or lean steak.
  10. Potatoes au gratin- this French dish tends to be a bit decadent but can be made lighter using 2% milk, light shredded cheese, and 25% less butter than the recipe calls for.
  11. Potato salad niçoise. A Niçoise salad can be made of any seasonal vegetables, but usually includes tomatoes and green beans combined with tuna, black olives, capers, and hard-boiled eggs. Cubed red potatoes make a colorful addition to this beautiful salad.
  12. Cacio e pepe potatoes – this Italian dish may become a new favorite. Boil 3 lbs of cleaned, cut Yukon gold or red potatoes in a pot for 15-20 minutes. In the same pot, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 oz. Pecorino or shredded Asiago cheese and 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper. Toss until potatoes are coated and cheese is melted. Transfer potatoes to a platter and add additional cheese or pepper as desired.

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

Download the Potato 101 Handout. 

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Cabbage is one of the least expensive, most versatile vegetables around. With so many varieties to choose from, you’ll have multiple ways to enjoy this cancer-fighting hero. Since cabbage is often harvested in late summer/fall, it’s a great time of year to try a few new dishes. Here are 12 ways to love cabbage.

  1. Cabbage and apple slaw. Cabbage and apples pair nicely together given their savory, sweet characteristics. Using a head of purple or green cabbage, clean and shred the cabbage and set aside. Take 3 Gala, Honey Crisp or Pink Lady apples and clean, core and cut into 1” chunks. Place apples and cabbage in a bowl. Whisk together 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp. honey, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1 tsp. ground black pepper. Dress the cabbage and apples with the dressing and cool before serving.
  2. Cabbage wraps. Why should lettuce get all the action? Clean and dry cabbage leaves and set aside. Sautee 1 lb. ground turkey (93/7) and drain fat. Add 2 tsp. each low sodium soy sauce, ginger paste and 1 clove minced garlic. Place 3 Tbsp. seasoned turkey mixture in cabbage leaf, roll up and serve warm.
  3. Polish haluski. Cabbage, onions and noodles join to make a popular Polish dish called Haluski. Clean and chop 1 head of cabbage. Slice 1 small white or onion into rings. Sautee cabbage and onions in 1 Tbsp. corn oil and 1 Tbsp. butter. Add to cooked egg noodles.
  4. Cabbage soup. Once popular as a weight loss diet, cabbage soup is simple, filling and delicious on its own. You’ll need 3 Tbsp. olive oil, t tsp. dried thyme, ½ tsp. salt, 1 minced onion, 2 cloves garlic- minced. 4 chopped celery stalks, 4 chopped carrots, ½ head of cabbage- cut into chunks, 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock, 1 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes. Sautee the spices and vegetables together for ~5-10 minutes until veggies are soft. Add chicken stock and tomatoes and simmer for ~30 minutes.
  5. Roasted cabbage “steaks” Slice red/purple cabbage into 1” “steaks”. Brush with olive oil and roast on 400 for 15-20 minutes until outside leaves are crispy and inside is soft.
  6. Stir fried cabbage. This simple side dish combines ½ head chopped green or red cabbage, 1 Tbsp. corn oil, 1 tsp. ginger paste, 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce, 1 clove garlic and 2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce.
  7. Add shredded purple cabbage to green salads for a pop of color!
  8. Colcannon- use cabbage in this Iris dish instead of kale. Light/whipped butter and 2% milk can be used in place of full fat butter and cream to reduce fat in the recipe.
  9. Shred cabbage with carrots and make your own cole slaw..
  10. Brush green or red cabbage with olive oil and grill with peppers and onions to add to tacos or fajitas.
  11. Use chopped cabbage in place of kale or spinach in soup made with 2 cans drained/rinsed white beans, 2 cups mirepoix, 6 cups chicken broth, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning.
  12. Try braised Napa cabbage as your base for broiled salmon or pork tenderloin.

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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Are you one of the lucky gardeners whose cherry tomato plants magically reappear each season without you doing a darned thing? Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow and harvest this time of year, as long as you snag them before the squirrels do. This next series on Food and Health Communications will highlight a dozen ‘things’ to do with 12 commonly grown and purchased produce. Lettuce begin with cherry tomatoes!

  1. Cherry avocado toast. Cut 4 cherry tomatoes in half and set aside. Toast 1 slice of rye or whole wheat bread. Mash 1/3 of an avocado and spread over toast. Top with cherry tomato halves, a dash of salt and eat!
  2. Cherry tomato Caprese skewers. Don’t worry that you need big wooden skewers for these. Decent toothpicks will do just fine. Take a cherry tomato and place it on a skewer with a small ball of mozzarella cheese and a fresh basil leaf. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve. A mozzarella cheese stick can be cut into 1” chunks and used as well.
  3. Tomato and cucumber salad. Cut 15 cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a medium bowl. Slice a cucumber into 1/4” slices, then cut in fours. Add cucumbers to tomatoes. Whisk 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard together then drizzle over tomato salad. Makes 4 servings.
  4. Cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes. This is a fast, high protein trick that’s great for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. Top ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese with 4 cherry tomatoes cut in half. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Tuna salad with cherry tomatoes. Brighten up that tan tuna with cherry tomatoes! Stuff half a whole wheat pita with a few Tbsp. of tuna salad and tuck in 5 cherry tomato halves and lettuce leaves.
  6. Margarita muffin. Toast a whole-grain English muffin. Cut 5 cherry tomatoes in half and toss in ¼ tsp. garlic salt and ¼ tsp. oregano. Add 5 tomato halves to each muffin. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on the tomatoes and broil for 3-4 minutes or toast in a toaster oven until cheese melts.
  7. Mediterranean hummus dip. In a 9” pie pan, spread the contents of 1 (10 oz) container regular or garlic hummus. Top with 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half, 1 Tbsp. chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped/pitted kalamata olives, ¼ cup feta cheese and ¼ of chopped cucumber. Shake ½ tsp. dried oregano over the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita chips or pepper strips.
  8. Simple summer pasta. Cook 1 lb. whole wheat pasta and set aside. In ¼ cup olive oil, sautee 10 cherry tomato halves, 1 green or yellow pepper (cut into strips), 1 chopped zucchini and 2 cloves minced garlic. Add ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper. Add cooked pasta to vegetables and serve.
  9. Tuscan white bean & tomato salad. Combine 2 pints cherry tomatoes (cut in half) with ½ tsp sugar and ¼ tsp. salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, and ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Drain and rinse 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans. Add beans and tomatoes together in a medium bowl then drizzle dressing, toss and serve.
  10. Cherry tomato salsa. Dice 1-pint cherry tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Add ¼ cup diced red onion, 1 clove minced garlic, ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. salt and ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro. Blend ingredients together. Serve with tortilla chips.
  11. Tomato watermelon salad. Place 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups watermelon (cut into chunks), ¼ of a red onion (cut into thin rings). Whisk together 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add ¼ cup feta cheese and toss.
  12. Cherry tomato & peach salad. Place 1 pint of halved cherry tomatoes on a platter. Slice 1 ripe, pitted peach and place over tomatoes. Cover tomatoes and peaches with ¼ cup goat cheese. Whisk together 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. canola oil, 1 Tbsp. peeled and diced shallots and 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh basil and thyme. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes and peaches and serve.

Download handout: Cherry Tomatoes Taste Great

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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