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MomTalk.com November 24, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Fresh Salad Recipes with a Mediterranean Spin

salad3.jpgIt's time to spring into salad season, and a good way to go is with Mediterranean flavors. They've taken root in this country and small wonder -- ingredients like olive oil, garlic, grains, seafood and fresh tomatoes just seem to belong together. Marinating and grilling are among the techniques that deliver delightful dishes, including salads with a touch of sophistication.

salad3.jpgIt's time to spring into the salad season, and a good way to go is with Mediterranean flavors. They've taken root in this country and small wonder -- ingredients like olive oil, garlic, grains, seafood and fresh tomatoes just seem to belong together. Marinating and grilling are among the Mediterranean techniques that deliver delightful dishes, including interesting salads with a touch of sophistication.

Americans love fresh tomatoes in salads, so it's fortunate fresh tomatoes from Florida are at the peak of their season right now. Incorporating them into Mediterranean-style salads seems appropriate because, of course, tomatoes were originally from the Americas.

Following their introduction to Europeans by New World explorers, tomatoes gradually won acceptance and today, fresh tomatoes are a staple in the Italian diet. Quite often they're paired with pasta. In this case, cheese tortellini get together with tangy-sweet tomatoes, fresh greens and peas to make a salad that's great on its own, on a buffet table or as a side for grilled salmon or steak.

Tunisians are as fond of fresh tomatoes as their neighbors elsewhere in the Mediterranean basin. A refreshing tomato and bell pepper relish from this tradition tastes of cumin and garlic, and it's topped -- deliciously! -- with grilled shrimp in a spicy marinade.

The much-touted health benefits of the Mediterranean diet owe a good deal to fresh tomatoes. One medium tomato supplies 40 percent of the vitamin C and 20 percent of the vitamin A we need each day. Tomatoes deliver fiber, potassium, iron, phosphorous and some B vitamins. What's more, preliminary scientific research suggests that eating one-half to one cup of antioxidant-rich tomatoes a week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Store firm tomatoes at room temperature on a kitchen counter until they soften and turn a deeper red. Don't even think about popping them in the refrigerator -- the chill will damage their taste and texture.

The Florida Tomato Committee is offering a new recipe leaflet with 21 quick ideas for salads, sandwiches and sides with fresh tomatoes. To download the leaflet, and for more great ideas, visit floridatomatoes.org.

Tomato Recipes

Tortellini, Fresh Tomato and Pea Salad

Ingredients:
1 pound frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons prepared Italian or balsamic salad dressing, divided
1 pound fully ripened fresh Florida tomatoes, cut in chunks (about 2-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup salad greens, such as watercress, arugula or mixed greens
1/2 cup diced sweet onion

Directions: Cook tortellini according to package directions, adding peas during the last 30 seconds; drain; place in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing; toss gently, cool. Just before serving, add tomato, salad greens, onion and remaining 2 tablespoons salad dressing; toss gently.

Yield: 4 to 6 portions
Per portion: 457 calories, 19 grams protein, 13 grams fat, 68 grams carbohydrate

Shrimp and Tunisian Fresh Tomato Relish

Ingredients:
1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
2 large yellow or green sweet bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup sliced green onions (scallions)
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 pounds fully ripened fresh Florida tomatoes, diced (about 3 3/4 cups)

Directions: In a bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and ground red pepper; set aside. In a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, green onions, garlic, cumin and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper. Cook and stir until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook just until tomatoes are hot, 3 to 5 minutes longer; transfer to a platter. Add marinated shrimp to skillet; cook and stir until pink, about 2 minutes. To serve; arrange shrimp on top on Tunisian Fresh Tomato Relish. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.

YIELD: 4 portions
Per portion: 242 calories, 26 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrate


Courtesy of ARAcontent



Categories: Food & Recipes, MomShare, Newsletter,


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