August 24, 2006 at 7:49 a.m.

Red is for tomatoes...and more

Red is for tomatoes...and more
Red is for tomatoes...and more

R is for red. Many of your family’s favorite red fruits and veggies are more than just yummy. They also have phytochemicals, natural substances that help protect your body against disease. For fun, see how many red foods you and your kids can think of to put into one meal. For example, try a pizza with tomato or pizza sauce and thinly sliced or diced red peppers on top. Perhaps a lettuce salad with radishes and halved cherry or sliced tomatoes among the ingredients. And for dessert, a dish of fresh fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, red grapes or slices of red plums. You might also make bacon, tomato and lettuce sandwiches (our very favorite summertime sandwich), with red colored fruit for dessert.

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Let’s help protect our bodies by using tomatoes in today’s recipes, starting with . . .

TOMATO MOZZARELLA SALAD

1/4 c. red wine vinegar (can use cider vinegar

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/2 t. salt

pepper to taste

2/3 c. olive or canola oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 large meaty tomatoes cut in 3/4-inch cubes

1-1/2 c. mozzarella cheese cubes

scant 1/4 c. diced onion (can use green onions using part of green)

2-3 T. minced fresh basil or 2 t. dried basil leaves

In a small bowl, combine first four ingredients. Whisk in oil until well-blended. Combine rest of ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss gently. Cover and chill at least one hour. Remove with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. Makes six servings.

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And, another salad using tomatoes.

TOMATO BROCCOLI SALAD

2 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges

1 medium bunch of broccoli, separated and cut into small florets

3/4 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

2 green onions, sliced

Dressing:

3/4 c. olive, canola or vegetable oil

1/3 c. tarragon or cider vinegar

2 T. water

1 t. lemon juice

1 t. sugar (I use a granular sugar substitute)

1/2 t. salt, optional

3/4 t. dried thyme leaves

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/2 t. celery seed

1/4 t. Italian seasoning

1/4 t. lemon-pepper seasoning

1/4 t. paprika

1/4 t. ground mustard

In a saucepan, cook broccoli until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well; put in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake well. Pour over salad; stir gently. Cover and chill for one hour. Serve using a slotted spoon. Makes 6-8 servings.

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Tomatoes and zucchini make a good combination in this stew.

TOMATO, SAUSAGE AND ZUCCHINI STEW

1-1/4 lb. bulk Italian sausage

1-1/2 c. sliced celery (cut into 3/4-inch pieces)

8 medium fresh tomatoes (about 4 lbs.) peeled and each cut into 6 wedges

1-1/2 c. tomato juice

1-1/2 t. Italian seasoning

1 t. salt

1 t. sugar

1/2 t. garlic salt

1/2 t. pepper

3 c. frozen or canned corn

4 small zucs, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces

2 medium green peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/4 c. water

1/4 c. cornstarch

shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 c.)

In a Dutch oven, brown and crumble sausage. Add celery and cook 15 minutes; drain off fat. Add next nine ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

Add zucs, corn and peppers; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch in small bowl; stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until mixture thickens a bit, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese or serve up the stew and pass the cheese and let each person do the sprinkling. Makes 6-8 servings.

NOTE: Three 28 oz. cans of cut-up tomatoes with liquid may be substituted for the fresh tomatoes and juice.

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Tomatoes cooked in a skillet with the good taste of stuffed tomatoes.

BUTTERY CRUNCH TOPPED TOMATOES

2 T. butter or margarine, melted

1/3 c. coarsely crushed buttery crackers (Club or Ritz crackers)

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 T. snipped fresh parsley

2 T. butter or margarine

1/2 t. caraway seed, optional

1/4 t. salt

pinch of salt

1 T. diced onion

2 large tomatoes, each cut into 10 wedges

In a small bowl, combine first four ingredients; mix well; set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the 2 T. butter; stir in rest of ingredients, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tomatoes are heated through, 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Cover; let stand one minute. Serve immediately. Makes 4-5 servings.

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This is a colorful side-dish veggie, ready in just 20 minutes.

TOMATO VEGGIE STIR FRY

4 c. shredded cabbage (shredded not too fine and not too coarse)

2 c. diced fresh tomatoes

2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4-inch

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

2 T. stick margarine or butter

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. dill weed (not seed)

In a non-stick skillet, saute veggies in margarin until tender, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and dill. Makes six servings.

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Thought for today: For some people, the closest they get to living in the fast lane is using the express lane at the supermarket.


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