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Posts Tagged ‘eating vegetables’

In the vein of talking about tomatoes a LOT, I offer you a new and innovative way to enjoy tomatoes!

After a few weeks of making soup out of tomatoes, eating tomatoes on bagels, making pie out of tomatoes, putting tomatoes on pasta, drying tomatoes (more later), I’m still not over them. Although I’m investing a lot of energy in preserving the Early Girls for the off season, I want to savor some of them as unadulterated as possible. I’m not yet part of the camp that eats tomatoes like apples, probably because I’m still recovering from eating many a mediocre tomato in my day. That having been said, these tomatoes are GOOD, and I want to really taste them.

So! A simple recipe for using up some tomatoes. Y’all should know that I feel more masterful in the kitchen when working without a recipe — responding to the ingredients that I have rather than blindly throwing “three tomatoes” into a bowl. The recipes that I put out there end up being a reflection of that. Check out what you have, inspect your feelings on correct tomato-to-lettuce ratio, and go from there.

And, of course, the better ingredients you can obtain — organic, locally farmed — the better this will taste.

For a generous one-person salad, you will need:
One slice of bread, toasted — I used Russian Rye, which yielded great results.
Two-ish tomatoes
Lettuce — I used baby greens because I don’t like ribs. Choose something green, not iceberg.
Onion
Mayo (can use Vegenaise to make vegan, or plain yogurt if you don’t like mayo)
Balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar if you prefer)
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

1. While toasting the bread, cut tomatoes into quarters or eighths. Leave seeds and squishy stuff in.
2. Tomatoes, lettuce, onion (cut into thin rounds, amount per your onion preference) all go into a bowl.
3. Take toasty bread and cut into pieces roughly 1″ square. Add to salad mixture.
4. Add dollop or two of mayo — maybe 2 tbsp, depending on how much you like or are grossed out by mayo.
5. Add splash of balsamic and drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

And the most important step:

6. Toss and let sit for a few minutes. The bread will get a little squishy and really really tasty.

Basil would go well in this salad, also. I’d recommend against adding other veggies, in the interest of highlighting the simple tomato + tangy flavors.

This recipe inspired by a recipe in my UCSC CSA cookbook.

Enjoy! A fabulous way to savor the last fruits of summer…

P.S. Yes that IS Animal Vegetable Miracle that I’m reading, and I’m on the tomato chapter! Talk about good timing. I highly recommend the book to, well, anyone, and will talk more about it when I’m finished.

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I’m of the opinion that it’s important to give you, my reader, some kind of history (or genealogy, if you will) of why I’m vegetarian.

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 13 years old. It started from a pretty typical adolescent headspace, centering around coming into an awareness that eating meat meant actually eating another critter. So, at 13, I decided to become vegetarian, largely out of a desire not to eat animals, but with a vague idea that it was “good for the environment.” I stayed vegetarian through my adolescence, which really meant just not eating anything that has meat in it. You know, potato chips, sometimes a veggie burrito or a quesadilla, everything but the meat at dinner, and lots of fake bacon (yum).

Sometime around my junior year of high school, I became aware of the complexities of the meat industrial system, and how simply cutting out meat didn’t necessarily mean I was saving the animals I hoped to spare with my diet. Turns out that purchasing and consuming dairy and eggs frequently contributes to the problematic relationship humans have with the food they eat — from the mistreatment of animals to the money still going towards the meat industry. I decided at that point that going vegan would do more to resist the eating structures I found problematic. At this point, my diet became a political stance.

As a vegan, sometimes I’d do really well and cook incredible food for myself. I learned to eat a lot of foods that varied from the standard fare I was raised on (rice, chicken, broccoli) and really broadened my dietary horizons. Somewhere in college I found myself with not enough hours in the day, and had a difficult time staying well-nourished. I was tired a lot and found I had issues keeping my blood sugar stable — I would be super irritable and feel faint not long after eating a meal. I decided to supplement my diet with some dairy and eggs and see how that felt. At some point, this became the healthiest way for me to eat and I “came out” as a lapsed vegan.

Post-college, I took it upon myself to heal my relationship with food. College left me in a state where I was eating mostly pre-packaged, frozen, or processed foods. My partner pointed out that I ate a lot of fake meat, but not much else. It was totally true! I started really focusing on what I ate. It took a whole year and a lot of taste adjustment to get to a healthy eating place — moving towards a more organic, whole foods, local diet, and being really conscientious not just of what I eat but where my food comes from.

At this point in my life, I feel really good about what I eat and calling myself a vegetarian. I think I finally enjoy eating food that is good for me, and I’m at a place where I can be conscientious about where that food comes from. I’ve come to the belief that food is such a huge part of our lives and deserves more credit and time that it gets. Plus, I’ve discovered that nectarines are really, really tasty…

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