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Thinking in the Color Red..for Tomatoes

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, La Dolce Vita, and Uncategorized

copyright 2012, Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Editor:  Elizabeth Wieck


Tomatoes are a nutritious and delectable food that can be eaten a number of different ways as a snack, side, or main meal. With only 18 calories per 100 grams, tomatoes are an excellent source to consume when watching weight or counting calories. Luckily, there are several different and delicious ways to better incorporate this fruit disguised as a vegetable in your food routine. Here are a few simple ideas.

For the Traditionalist

It’s no secret that mozzarella cheese paired with tomatoes is a match made in heaven. Consequently, this first dish is a rather popular antipasto option at many Italian restaurants. It requires tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and balsamic. It’s important that the mozzarella is fresh from a local deli. Simply cut up the tomatoes and mozzarella, slightly shred the basil, and drizzle your desired amount of balsamic on for a fresh snack or appetizer. If balsamic is not your style, try a balsamic vinaigrette for a lighter dressing.


For the Mediterranean Lover

Skirting around Europe to Greece, we can find inspiration for a Mediterranean-style vegetable salad that perfectly incorporates tomatoes. Cut up tomatoes, green bell peppers, and cucumbers, and toss in Kalamata olives and feta with some balsamic vinaigrette for a filling salad without the nonsense of lettuce.

For a Quick Snack

Dips are notoriously unhealthy, especially when paired with potato or tortilla chips. Hummus, however, is a great alternative that is as equally satisfying as it is nutritious. Pair your favorite variety of hummus with either cherry tomatoes or cut up slices for a quick snack. If you’re looking for something a little more filling, try spreading the hummus on a whole-wheat English muffin and putting a slice of tomato on the top.

For a Light Lunch

If you’re looking for a flavorful lunch that covers nearly all the nutritional basics (besides protein) that won’t weigh you down too much for afternoon activities, try having a French bread sandwich with sliced tomatoes, goat cheese spread, fresh basil, a splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.


For a Side

For a delicious and easy side dish with lunch or dinner, try slicing up tomatoes, adding shredded cheese (mixture of parmesan and mozzarella), and a bit of shredded fresh basil and oregano. Throw it in the oven at 450° for about fifteen minutes and you have a quick and nutritious side that can complement a number of dishes.

**Have a favorite tomato snack or recipe? Share it with us here…

Thanks to everyone who came to my events at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Va.

You can get your copy of the book that was featured at the event here..The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style

davinci Front Cover final 2

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