Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomatoes. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Guest Post: The Power of Choline

Bitarte de Choline, Chlorure de Choline, or Choline Bitartrate, doesn’t matter what you call it, Choline is an essential nutrient that can help with just about anything.  
Choline chemically acts similarly to a B vitamin, meaning that it is used in many chemical reactions in the body.  Produced in the liver, Choline is exceptional in assisting the nervous system and decreasing inflammation in the respiratory system on a daily basis.

Increase your choline intake by eating foods such as muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, wheat germ, eggs, and even liver if you are feeling brave.  

Why increase choline intake you ask?  On top of the basic bodily functions it assists in above, choline also is used as treatment for liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis, depression, memory loss, dementia, cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, and even treating schizophrenia.  Furthermore, bodybuilders use choline to delay fatigue, and pregnant women use choline to prevent neural tube defects.  

Doses of choline when taken orally range between 500-100mg three times daily for adults.  The consumer should respect dosages because over-consumption can causes excessive sweating, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and vomiting.  

Check out this delicious choline-rich  recipe below! Serve with a side of peas or spinach for an added dose of choline.

Sun Dried Tomato Salmon

  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs. salmon steak with skin
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  1. Preheat a grill to high.
  2. In a small food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Rub the salmon on both sides with the oil. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and lay on a grill rack. Place the salmon on the foil, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque. Top with the sun-dried-tomato mixture and serve.

Recipe adapted

Guest Post by Madison!
"Nutrition and health have always been a passion of mine and I am lucky enough to apply this interest by majoring in Nutrition with a focus in Dietetics and minoring in General Business at Miami University." - Madison, Grass Roots Nutrition Intern

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Squirreling for Winter: M.M.M. spaghetti sauce

How do you eat locally and seasonally in the winter? You store the produce when it is fresh! Making something that you don't need a canner for is a great place to start learning these skills. 

I love homemade marinara sauce - stuff in a jar just can't touch fresh with a ten foot pole. Unless you're carefully reading labels, store bought sauce is loaded with added sugars and salt and lacking in flavor.

I recently spent a Thursday night making sauce (and drinking a bit of sauce too, which made it even more fun!). There isn't an exact recipe, I just used a bunch of tomatoes and peppers from the farmers market. Some farmers will sell "seconds" - these are the fruits and vegetables that aren't as pretty, might have a nick or split in the skin or have a weird shape that makes them harder to slice or cube. This benefits the farmer because they get to sell produce that might not be purchased and it helps your wallet because the farmer is going to give you a bargain. Win!

I wasn't too precise with the ingredients because I didn't plan to can the sauce. If you can tomato products in a water bath canner, you have to ensure that there is sufficient acid to prevent bacterial growth. I wanted to be easy and just stuck the sauce in the freezer.

Nutritional note: don't skip the olive oil. Some of the nutrients in the vegetables, such as the lycopene in the tomatoes and tomato paste, are fat soluble. If there isn't any fat in the meal, we miss the nutritional boat!

M.M.M. Sauce
(aka Mushroom and Merlot Marinara)
Makes one huge pot of sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2-5 cloves of garlic, minced, per your love of garlic and fear of vampires
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
2-3 bell peppers, any color
10 pounds of tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup of merlot, or so (and some for you too!)
4 ounce can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Basil, oregano, hot sauce, salt and pepper per your taste buds
  1. Bring a big pot of water to boil. Gently drop whole tomatoes into water and simmer for 30-90 seconds or until skin starts to split. Remove them from boiling water and plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Once cool enough to handle, the skins should slip right off. If not, redunk in boiling water and try again.
  2. In your biggest pot, saute onions and garlic until onions become translucent 
  3. Add bell peppers and mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, merlot, tomato paste and seasonings. Go lightly with the seasonings here, because the flavors get concentrated as the sauce simmers. You can always add more later.
  5. Bring sauce to a boil and then drop temperature down to low and stir sauce occasionally.
  6. Put on a movie, pour yourself a glass of wine and remember to stir sauce once in a while. 
  7. By the time the sauce has simmered for a few hours, it should smell fantastic and have developed a rich red color. Taste it: does it need anything else? 
  8. Let the sauce cool. If you keep stirring, it will cool off faster. 
  9. Once cooled, ladle into plastic quart freezer zip-top bags (these are more heavy duty), plastic containers from take out or glass jars with a screw on lid. Either way, leave a bit of space for the sauce to expand as it freezes. Label with the M.M.M. sauce and date and pop into your freezer.
Ready to use the sauce? You could try my Mile-High Vegetable Lasagna in the slow cooker. Yummy!

See the skin peeling off? That's what you're looking for
Lots of onion and garlic...vampires beware!

Add tomatoes, wine and tomato paste
Ready to go!
Reader Poll: Have you put anything up for the winter (aka canned something, frozen surplus fruits or veggies or dried apples)?

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