Tomatoes and Cucumbers: New Ways to Dish Up These Summer Super Foods

Indy Style

Get tired of slicing and eating your tomatoes and cucumbers the same ole’ traditional way?

Well, why not try something new?!

Tara Rochford, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Healthy Living Blogger, Tara Rochford Nutrition, shares some yummy Summer Super Foods recipes!

Cucumbers:
● Very high in water, so they are a hydrating food. Made of about 96% water
● They contain antioxidants including flavonols and tannins, which help our bodies fight against free radicals
● Because of the high water and fiber content, cucumbers may be helpful for digestion

Tomatoes
● Also very high in water
● Great source of vitamin C (skin, antioxidant, immune system), Potassium (helps maintain blood pressure, and heart health), Vitamin K1 (blood clotting and bone health), Folate (B vitamin important for tissue growth and cell function)
● Lycopene – the red pigment and antioxidant in tomatoes, found in highest concentrations in the skin. Tomato products such as canned tomato, tomato paste, Ketchup, etc contain the highest amounts of lycopene in the Western diet – this is where about 80% of people get their lycopene, and there is a higher concentration of it in tomato products rather than fresh tomatoes.

Tomato Basil Breakfast Bowl (link to recipe)

Ingredients:
2 large handfuls of kale, washed, dried and removed from stems
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp salt
Juice half lemon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2-4 hard boiled eggs
¼ avocado, diced
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons pesto, I typically use my homemade walnut basil pesto
Extra basil leaves for garnish

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the kale with the extra virgin olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Gently massage the oil, salt and lemon juice into the kale to soften the leaves. Divide between two bowls.

Assemble each bowl: use kale as the base, then add to each bowl: ½ cup cherry tomatoes, 1 or 2 eggs (depending on your hunger level and preference), ⅛ avocado, 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon pesto, and garnish with a few basil leaves. Serve and enjoy!

30-Minute Thai Peanut Noodles

Ingredients
For the Thai Peanut Everything Sauce:
¼ cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp tamari, low sodium
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chives, freeze-dried or fresh
Crushed red pepper to taste, optional

For the noodle bowls
8 oz soba noodles
2 cups diced cucumber
2 cups broccoli slaw or kale slaw mix (whatever your store has on hand will work!)
1 block of firm or super firm tofu, drained and diced

Directions:

  1. Make the Thai Peanut Everything Sauce. Whisk together peanut butter, tamari, vinegar, lime juice, water, sesame oil, chives, and crushed red pepper until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Make the Tofu. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the drained and diced tofu on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and spritz with olive oil or avocado oil (I put olive oil in a misto so it is easy to spray). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir/flip the tofu then bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  3. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Return back to pan they were cooked in.
  4. Add the tofu to the noodles in the pan and toss with half the peanut sauce.
  5. Divide noodles and tofu between four bowls, then top with cucumber, slaw mix and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve right away or store in a sealable container and serve later, cold.
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