Category Archives: Tomatoes

Simple Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad

IMG_0582

You’ve probably had cucumber, tomato and onion salad at picnics and family dinners. It’s a simple salad that everyone seems to like.

I like making this salad by tossing peeled half rounds of cucumber, sliced white onion, and chunks of fresh tomato with red wine vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar, to taste.

I use Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar, which contains salt and sugar in a pleasing combination, but any seasoned rice wine vinegar will do.

 

Cream of Tomato Soup with Spicy Rosemary Walnuts

Cream of Tomato Soup garnished with Spicy Rosemary Walnuts
Cream of Tomato Soup garnished with Spicy Rosemary Walnuts

Feel like curling up with a good book and a cup of soup? Then here’s a great recipe you can make in your blender — just as easily as you can make a smoothie!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 of a 32-ounce jar Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce
2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup organic grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup half and half (grass-fed)

Garnish: Chopped Spicy Rosemary Walnuts (optional)

STEPS

Into a blender, add the Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, low-sodium chicken broth, Italian herbs, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Blend to mix well. Add the grape tomatoes and blend until tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

If making soup for one or two people and storing the rest for another day:
Pour some of the tomato mixture into individual bowls or cups and then heat in microwave. When the soup is hot, add half and half; stir to mix. Heat to serving temperature. Stir to mix. Garnish with chopped Spicy Rosemary Walnuts, if using. Serve and enjoy!

If making soup for more than two people:
Pour the tomato mixture into a tall pot and heat over medium heat. When the mixture is hot, add the half and half; stir to mix. Heat to serving temperature. Stir to mix. Garnish with chopped Spicy Rosemary Walnuts, if using. Serve and enjoy!

FOOD SHOPPING TIP

Marinara sauce: Roa’s Homemade Marinara sauce tastes great and is made with great ingredients and no sugar. Also it has just 4 grams of carbohydrate per 1/2 cup. But, Rao’s is not cheap. So I try to catch a sale and also sometimes buy a case (12 jars) for an additional 10% discount.

FOOD PREP TIP 

Garlic: Wait 15 minutes after chopping garlic before you cook with it. This is how long it take the copped garlic to create an anti-cancer compound! If you cook with garlic too soon after chopping it, you won’t get the anti-cancer benefits!

Enjoy and be healthy!

~Leni

Chopped Salad and Sardines

My lunch often consists of a large chopped salad and some canned sardines that have been rinsed with water and splashed with lemon juice (so no one at work can smell the sardines)! I love chopped fresh veggies, and I often prepare enough for a few days and store it in the refrigerator at work. Especially in the summer – but anytime of the year as well – I enjoy this healthy and low-carbohydrate lunch!

For more information on what I put into one of my favorite chopped salads and why I chose these veggies, see the short video/podcast that I did with my sister – who was kind enough to agree to participate without any notice at all. In fact, as soon as I called her on her cell phone to ask if she would work with me on this, she pulled over in her car and we did this video/podcast with her on her cell phone and me on my regular speakerphone.  So this video/podcast is totally unrehearsed, and yet I think it came out really well! I’m still amazed!

Since we did this podcast, I have come up with another idea I want to share with you. If you do not like sardines that much, you can get used to eating this very healthy fish, gradually. For example, you could bake a mild fish like Dover sole; let it cool; and then mix it in with the sardines. Over time, you can add more sardines and less sole. I made this half-half mixture and added LOTS of chopped fresh dill, and it was great!

Kitchen tips on how to do some of the things mentioned in the video:

Zest lemons or limes (and freeze the fresh juice in small quantities for use later)

One way to cut a ripe avocado into chunks and another way to cut a ripe avocado into chunks

Note: Wash the avocado before you cut into it!

Enjoy and be healthy!

~Leni