Stop by any local farmers market this time of year and you will notice that almost every tent is stocked with ripe, delicious, (and because they are very much in season) affordable tomatoes! Cherry, Heirloom, Campari, Roma and more! It is exciting to see so many different types of tomatoes on display, but it can be intimidating to know what to do with them. I am here to help! Here are 3 delicious ways to enjoy these antioxidant packed ubiquitous fruits! Or... vegetables?? Technically they are both! Enjoy :)
(1) Cherry Tomatoes make for excellent Bruschetta!
Cherry tomatoes come in different colors which lends to their varying sweetness as well as makes them visually stunning for this simple but delicious recipe. This one is a crowd pleaser and has ended up being the only thing we have had for dinner in my house at times on a summer evening. There are only a few simple ingredients in Bruschetta, but each lends to the deliciousness of this timeless treat. Basil and garlic can be found in abundant fresh supply this time of year as well. Whenever you load up on tomatoes go ahead and grab them too! Almost every recipe that calls for tomatoes will call for basil and garlic as well.
(2) DIY Homemade Marinara Sauce or Tomato Soup!
Homemade Marinara Sauce or Tomato Soup is intimidating, I know that first hand. Often times I read, "Peel and seed the tomatoes" in a recipe and I think that's it, I’m out! Who has time for that? (Especially in the summer when we don’t really want to be cooking anyway!) Well I have to be honest, I finally tried it and you know what? It wasn’t difficult or time consuming, really! Also it was oddly satisfying to actually peel the tomatoes and the kids will think it is fun as well. Everyone in my house wanted to know what I was doing while peeling tomatoes! Added bonus... random family activity baked in to this one. Simply drop two tomatoes at at time into boiling water for 15 seconds and scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Once they cool down the skins will pop and slide off with as much ease and satisfaction as popping a sheet of bubble wrap! The kids will want to do this! It is important for kids to learn where their food comes from. Spaghetti Sauce started as tomatoes that needed peeling before they went into that jar, kids! There is nothing wrong with spaghetti sauce from a jar and it is a staple at my house. However, when late summer tomatoes beckon, go ahead and make sauce from scratch! It is fun and beyond delicious. Ask the farmer which of his tomatoes he recommends for sauce.
(3) Wash and eat 'em fresh!
Farm fresh tomatoes in season, especially cherry tomatoes, are SO delicious!! They are like nature's candy! If you are feeling fancy, you can dip them in hummus or balsamic vinegar, but this time of year it isn't necessary. Go ahead and wash up a pint or two, let them dry really well and then pour them into a bowl and leave them on your kitchen counter. Watch in amazement as everyone who walks by notices them and then pops one in their mouth! Just the other day at my house a neighbor kid stuck a handful of cherry tomatoes in his pocket when he thought no one was looking! He couldn’t have just one!
Do you have any other favorites ways to enjoy farm-fresh summer tomatoes? Tell us in the comments below!
Jacqualine Dotson is a Dietetic Intern with the Wellness Workdays Dietetic Internship program based out of Hingham, Massachusetts. She graduated magna cum laude in May of 2017, from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition. Jacqualine is passionate about using a holistic approach to nutrition and health coaching and is currently pursuing her certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She believes that the foundation for good nutrition starts at home and is passionate about bringing families back to the dinner table as the integral first step in building good health. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family and experiencing new places and new foods often. Connect with Jacqualine at foodsfirstnutrition.com.
If you do anything in the kitchen - even if it's just using the microwave - you know how easy it is to dirty up this space. And at The Meal Planning Method, we firmly believe keeping your kitchen space so fresh and so clean is important. Yes, important because of germs (#duh), but also because you want your kitchen to a be a place that feels inviting and comfortable so you'll actually want to utilize it. (Remember that "junk room" in your old childhood home? Yeah, no one ever wanted to go in there!)
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Here in TN, July marks #BeefMonth - the perfect excuse to enjoy ALL THE BURGERS! But seriously, here at The Meal Planning Method we love celebrating food holidays and national health observances. Why? Because they keep our meal planning exciting and add much needed variety to our weekly routine.
Need something new to try in your meal plan this month? Check out one of these low-fat beef recipes that you don't have to feel guilty about!
(1) 20-MINUTE GARLIC BEEF & BROCCOLI LO MEIN
There are no words... just LOOK at this lo mein from The Recipe Critic! And it's definitely a plus that it only take 20 minutes.
(2) SHEET PAN FLANK STEAK WITH GARLIC ROASTED POTATOES
Who doesn't like to only dirty up ONE pan? This dinner from My Latina Table is easy clean up and well-balanced!
(3) STEAK BURRITO BOWL
Mexican is a definite must in my household! Try going for this Six Sisters Stuff "Steak Burrito Bowl" and cook enough for leftovers.
(4) BURGER BOWL
Who says a burger HAS to be between two buns? We love this idea of a Burger Bowl from Feasting at Home as a way to get that burger flavor you crave and add extra nutrition too!
(5) BEST EVER (EASY) BAKED MEATBALLS
Meatballs can actually be a very versatile food. Try these Easy Baked Meatballs from Yummy Healthy Easy in pasta, on sandwiches, or to top pizzas and salads.
(6) SIMPLE STEAK BITE GYROS
This might be my favorite lean beef recipe, but I'm partial ;) It's amazing just how quick this delicious dish comes together when you want to do Greek differently at home.