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Archive for the 'tomato' Category

Feast your eyes!

November
20

Thanksgiving is just a week away, and I’m looking for inspiration to carve out a menu.

Loyal readers of my posts (yeah, the two of you) know that I run a vegetarian household, and will not be stuffing a turkey.

We’ve invited a couple over (who are also vegetarian and therefore will not be bummed by the missing traditional centerpiece) for Thanksgiving dinner.

Every year, I find myself cooking up new plans for a tasty centerpiece dish. We’ve tried Tofurkey (Tofu Turkey) before and found it not to be very appetizing. So this year, I’ve settled on Basil Pesto Lasagna.

Here’s what I’m planning (both appetizers and desserts will be store bought):

(And because this is a blog about kid nutrition, let me quickly add that my kids love every item on this menu!)

HORS D’OUEVRES / APPETIZERS
•Spincah puffs
•Samosas

DINNER
•A thick harvest soup (made with onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, pumpkin and V-8 juice).
•Basil pesto lasagna.
•Spicy roasted red potatoes with garlic.
•Roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese.
•Mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives.
•Basmati rice pulav with carrots, beans and corn, topped with cashews and raisins.
•A spicy coconut milk stew with potatoes, carrots and tomatoes.
•Raita–a bowl of yogurt into which I add diced cucumber and freshly chopped cilantro.

DESSERT
• Pumpkin pie
•Cranberry tart

Suggestions for future centerpiece dishes, anyone?

Photo Credit: Seth Harrison, The Journal News

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
| | 5 Comments »

Food shopping with kids

August
22

Yesterday when I picked my 2-year-old from day care, I decided to swing by my local ShopRite. It’s not that it’s the first time that mom and son have gone food shopping, but it was certainly was one of my best shopping experiences.

In the past when Aristu would ride on the shopping cart my focus would be on stopping him from sucking on the handlebar. Yesterday he seemed so excited by all the colorful offering in the produce section that the handlebar got neither his attention nor his drool.

Instead he stretched longingly toward the tomatoes and plaintively cried, “mom, apple.” Later when we passed through the fruit section he asked for the golden “anana.” The brie and the goat cheese really got him really excited — cheese, yummy — and he even acknowleged the broccoli by saying “boccoli” when we passed my (almost) favorite vegetable. The dairy section perked him up after the dull meat and chicken aisle, and he rocked himself in the seat intoning “mulk, egg.”

I ended up buying many of the items he called out, so impressed I was by his ability to identify the foods. Now all I need is for him to eat them and I’ll be a happy mom.

Posted by Hema Easley on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 8:00 am |
| | Comments Off on Food shopping with kids

Farm-to-table

August
14

A few months ago, we embarked on our most ambitious summer project yet.

An organic vegetable garden in our backyard! We planted tomatoes, zucchini, green chilies, basil, cilantro, peppermint, cucumbers and bell peppers.

To our delight, most (R.I.P cucumbers) of the vegetables survived our less-than-perfect tending. And we had our first harvest last week!bell-pepper.JPG

The kids enjoyed getting their hands dirty and watching the veggies “being born.” But the best part, they say, was popping the cherry tomatoes into their mouths, soon after harvesting them.

The project allowed the kids to make the farm-to-table connection, and they’ve grown a special fondness for yellow bell peppers. Bonus!vegbasket1.JPG

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 12:32 pm |
| | 9 Comments »

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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

June
16

C’mon, someone other than the New York Post had to use that title.

Here’s the latest from the salmonella outbreak in tomatoes.

Basically, don’t eat red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes. Doesn’t matter where they’re from or anything like that. If you want to avoid any problem whatsoever, don’t eat ’em.

But if you simply must eat them raw, the FDA says if the tomtatoes were grown and harvested in these areas, you’re OK:
Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Delaware
Florida (Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Gadsden, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson,  Leon, Madison, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, Suwannee, Sarasota and Sumter counties, IF the shipments have “a certificate issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.”)
Georgia
Hawaii
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Nebraska
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Belgium
Canada
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Israel
Netherlands
Puerto Rico

And there’s a reminder that raw tomatoes are used in fresh salsa, guacamole and pico de gallo.

But most restaurants of all types have already eliminated all tomatoes, raw or otherwise, from their menus. Even so, cherry and grape tomatoes appear to be OK and any tomatoes with the vine still attached seem to be OK. Why that is, I’m not sure.

There have been 228 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide since mid-April. And it’s an “uncommon form” of salmonella.

I’m pretty big on tomatoes, but at this point, I’d much rather just avoid the fruit (yeah, it’s a fruit) entirely.

How have we reached this point that fresh fruit/vegetables seem to constantly be the source of salmonella or other deathly poisons? Aren’t fresh fruits and veggies supposed to be good for us?

Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, June 16th, 2008 at 7:30 am |
| | 2 Comments »

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