REFLECTING ON TOMATOES & HEALTH
What a phenomenal year for my kitchen garden tomato crop! I’ve been eating a whole lot of sweet juicy tomatoes right off the vine. But there are so many other ways to prepare and serve tomatoes—slice, dice, chop, chunk and wedge. Garnish a dish with tomato wedges or cherry tomatoes. Serve on sandwiches, in soups, sauces and salads or serve a salad in a scooped out tomato shell.
This is the perfect season to make tomato-based GAZPACHO (salad soup). I found a great recipe for this refreshing meal-in-a-bowl in one of my favorite books on the health benefits of plant-based eating, PREVENT AMD REVERSE HEART DISEASE by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D. The first part of the book presents the medical, scientific and nutritional basis for dietary change resulting in reversal of heart disease and other chronic diseases. The second part includes 150 recipes created and edited by Ann Crile Esselstyn, wife of Dr. Esselstyn. I owe my restored health to the Esselstyns for teaching me that I could eat well and be well by feasting on a great variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes prepared and served without meat (beef, pork, poultry or seafood, etc.), dairy and added oil. I include the GAZPACHO recipe here along with photos of my visit with the Esselstyns at one of their Prevent and Reverse seminars at the Cleveland Clinic in 2012.
PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE has been a life-changing book for those seeking optimum health and hope in the face of healthcare crises around the globe. It will continue to be a game-changer for personal, societal and planetary health. In a few days this extraordinary book will be joined by a new Esselstyn cookbook—THE PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE COOKBOOK by Ann Esselstyn and daughter Jane Esselstyn. Mine is already on order. You’ll be hearing more about it from me very soon.
3 medium tomatoes
½ bell pepper any color
1 large rib celery
½ large jalapeno pepper seeded
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes (I used 3 more chopped tomatoes)
½ cup chopped parsley
2 tbls. Balsamic vinear
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Salt & pepper to taste
(I used 2 tbls. Braggs Aminos)
Chop vegetables in blender, chill and serve