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Salad Days

August 23, 2010

By Brianne Harrison

I always look forward to this time of year, when the produce is peaking and coming in by the bushelful. It’s about this time that the heirloom tomatoes make their first appearance at the CSA farm my fiancé and I belong to, sending my recipe-oriented mind into overdrive as I consider how best to serve these sweet, meaty, brightly colored fruits. This week, it was my fiancé who came up with the winning recipe, after sorting through the refrigerator and pulling out an assortment of ingredients that needed to be used up. Put together, they made for a highly satisfying, delicious salad that would be a great accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish or even on its own as a light lunch.

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Feta Salad

2 large heirloom tomatoes, seeds removed, large dice

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ large cucumber, large dice

1 green bell pepper, large dice

Several large basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt if necessary. Serve immediately or chill for future use.

Healthy Roundup:

Tomatoes have a lot of vitamin C (one cup of tomato is almost 60% of the vitamin C you need in a day!) and has a high concentration of lycopene, a carotenoid that has antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate, all of which help reduce one’s risk of heart disease by lowering high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The vitamin K found in raw tomatoes helps promote bone health by activating osteocalcin, a major non-collagen protein in bone.

Feta is a good source of riboflavin, protein, calcium, phospohorus, and vitamin B12. It also tends to be lower in fat than most other cheeses, and studies have indicated that five servings of cheese a day may aid in the loss of abdominal fat. In addition, a study involving more than 2,000 men showed that eating dairy products such as feta reduced their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 15%. Metabolic syndrome increases one’s risk of premature heart disease and diabetes.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 25, 2010 10:57 am

    Hello, I work with G2, a marketing firm, and we are in the middle of organizing a cooking contest. It’s a contest for healthy recipes!

    I noticed your blog online and I think I have something you will be interested in. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to to submit one of your healthy recipes. It kicks off on September 4th at the Rockaway Mall in New Jersey.

    Thank you for your time and good luck with the competition if you decide to enter!

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