Tuscany Flashback and Tomato Tips

The other day I shared my recipe for stuffed peppers using Pomi Strained Tomatoes, and also wanted to share with you the Pomi chopped tomatoes. I am loving these tomatoes and the fact that their containers are BPA-free! If you’re a local Eat Well with Janel reader, you can find Pomi all over Massachusetts. Pomi is carried in select Whole Foods, Stop & Shops, Price Choppers, Hannaford Markets, Shaw’s, Roche Bros. and Market Baskets, as well as some specialty stores.

After having a crummy day, I wanted to make a comforting meal, and the one idea that kept popping back into my head was to recreate the delish dish we had while on a wine tour in Tuscany a few weeks ago. That simple bean and tomato appetizer was so fresh and flavorful, it was just what I needed to bring me back to that beautiful day in Italy.

I strained the Pomi tomatoes and seasoned them with some fresh basil ribbons and salt. Then I rinsed off this can of white kidney beans and heated them in the microwave with two cloves of crushed garlic, salt, dried oregano and sage. I scooped both on my plate with a hunk of bread and some olive oil to dip. And then I imagined an Italian vineyard outside my kitchen window.

Look familiar? The Tuscany version:

My version. A close second:

Tomatoes have been popping up on my blog a bit, and that’s because not only do I LOVE fresh tomatoes in the summer, but I also love how darn healthy they are for you. I was reading an article about tomatoes recently (nerd alert) and want to share some healthy facts:

Reserachers have found a number of health benefits linked with eating more tomato products, from helping to protect against the sun’s damaging rays to promoting healthy bones. But the strongest proof for eating more tomato products is linked to their ability to fend off heart disease and certain types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer. The nutrients in tomatoes help put the brakes on free radical damage and inflammation, which is at the root of many disease killers of our age such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Tomato products are packed with important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and the powerful antioxidant, lycopene- all in a low-calorie, low-fat bundle. In fact, the lycopene found in processed tomato products (like canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato soup) is even more available to your body compared with fresh tomatoes. These products are always available, shelf-stable, and inexpensive to use.

(Source: ADA’S SCAN dpg newsletter, Fall 2009)

Bottom line: Eat more tomatoes.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to review Pomi products.

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