Tomatoes

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

80,000 years ago, there was a wild plant in Ecuador, Solanum pimpinellifolium, which produced red fruits the size of a cherry. Seeds spread by animals/people traveled south and north, to Peru and Mesoamerica. By 7,000 years BP [Before Present as geologists say], there was a larger tomato being cultivated in Mexico, where they entered the local cuisine. Post Conquest, the Spanish took tomatoes and other local food plants back to Spain. Not so fast! European botanists recognized them to be members of the Nightshade Family, which they equated with poison. Not only were people leery of tomatoes, there was even the legend that tomatoes were the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ of the Garden of Eden, and you sure don’t want to eat that! By the mid 1500s, tomatoes were being grown as a curiosity in Italy and in 1694, the tomato had arrived as a recipe in a cookbook. In September of 1820, a local promoter of good agriculture, Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson, let it be known that he would eat tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum, from his garden in Salem County, New Jersey, USA. A throng of locals showed up to watch him sicken and keel over in agony. He didn’t die, of course, and people accepted the tomato as a new addition to their cooking. Is there a cuisine between Latitude 45N and 45S that does not use tomatoes? I think not. Although some people associate nightshades with arthritis, the tomato is GOOD for you — high in Vitamin C, Potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene. The United States is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world and ‘Better Boy’ is one of the most popular in home gardens, while other gardeners opt for heirloom varieties.

It was not difficult to choose today’s meals. These tomato dishes are so good to eat that I do hope you will try them. Whenever tomatoes are ripe in your area, eat some fresh.

Tomato-Curry ScrOmelette: 148 calories 8 g fat 3 g fiber 11 g protein 9.5 g carbs [8 g Complex] 78 mg Calcium  NB: Food values shown are for the ScrOmelette and fruit only, and do not include the optional beveragesPB GF  This delicious recipe was loosely inspired by Fifty Breakfasts, a book by Col. A. R. Kenney-Herbert, detailing “dishes men like” and containing many flavors redolent of his years serving the Queen in India.

1½ two-oz eggs  HINT: If you are serving one person, crack three 2-oz eggs into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whip up those eggs and pour half of their volume into a jar with a lid and put it in the ‘fridge for next week. ½ Tbsp curry powder 2 oz fresh tomatoes, diced and drained 1½ oz strawberries dollop of plain, fat-free yogurt  Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water Optional: 5 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie  [88 calories]

Drain the tomatoes so that they are not too juicy. Combine with the curry powder and whisk with the eggs. Spritz a fry pan with olive oil or non-stick spray and pour in the egg mixture. Cook to your liking. Top with a dollop of yogurt for the full effect. Prepare the beverages and plate the fruit. A rousing good start to your day.

Tomato Soup w/ Sandwich 289 calories 5 g fat 5.6 g fiber 16 g protein 30 g carbs 210 mg Calcium  PB GF  Comfort food can also be low in calories. The soup recipe is from Fresh Ways with Soups and Stews, published by Time-Life Books. HINT: the soup is enough for 3 servings, so it is worth the time to make enough to freeze for later, rather than making a single serving.

Cook Soup: 1 tsp olive oil 2½ cups onions, chopped 1 cup carrot, thinly sliced 1 tsp fresh thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme 3 cloves garlic, chopped black pepper 28-oz can whole tomatoes, coarsly chopped with juices 1¼ cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock ¼ tsp salt

Heat the oil and 2 Tbsp water in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook the onion, carrot, thyme, garlic, and pepper for 7-10 minutes or until onions are translucent, adding more water if needed. Add the tomatoes their juice, stock, and salt. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. [more directions later]

Prep Sandwich: 1 slice 70-calorie bread [such as Nature’s Own] ½-oz slice Swiss cheese from the deli ½ oz ham, 97% fat free

Cut the bread in half. Cut the cheese in pieces the size of the bread halves. Construct a sandwich of bread, ham, cheese, bread. Save out one bread-sized piece of cheese. Wrap the sandwich in foil and put in the toaster oven at 350F until cheese is beginning to melt on the inside. Unwrap the sandwich and put the cheese on top. Toast the sandwich so that the top cheese becomes melted and might start to brown.

Finish Soup: 1 tsp ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese 1 tsp plain non-fat yogurt Puree the cooked soup in food processor or blender. TIP: Pour 2 cups [2/3 of the amount] into freezer containers to cool before storing. Put the remaining soup in the serving bowl. Stir the cheese and yogurt together and dollop it in the middle of the hot soup. Use the tip of a knife to pull the mixture out from the middle in several radiating arms. A few grapes add a dash of color.

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday …………………………… single portion for Thursday:

1 two-oz egg1 two-oz egg + mushrooms 
chives + thyme
1 buckwheat galette [savory crepe]
strawberry OR apple
Optional smoothieoptional smoothie
optional hot beverageoptional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday:………………………….. single portion for Thursday:

4 oz tuna steak + Moroccan spice blend2 buckwheat galettes/savory crepes
white beans, canned leeks + bacon + garlic
preserved lemon OR fresh lemonGruyere cheese + mayonnaise
peas OR broccoli OR green beanscarrot + broccoli + cauliflower OR tomatoes
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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