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Summer's Nutrition Bonus!


Basil & Tomato Salad

Chunky Garden
Marinara Sauce

Cool Gazpacho

Don's Soft Molasses Cookies

Flounder With Yellow Tomato Sauce

Fresh (Tomato) Salsa

Fresh Tomato Pudding

Fried Tomatoes

Fusilli With Tomatoes
& Corn

Italian Bread Salad

Mexican Tomato

Sautéed Peppers & Tomatoes

Snappy Tomato & Spice Cake

Spicy Tomato Steak

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Tomato-Basil Torte

Tomato Cheese Melt

Tomato Pizza

Tomato Sherbet

Tomato Soup (Snack)

Tomatoes Provençal

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Tomato History

Along with corn and potatoes, the Western Hemisphere gave the world the tomato. The Aztecs cultivated and enjoyed tomatoes for at least a millennium before European explorers came. The conquistadors returned to Europe with tomato seeds. The red globes quickly become an important part of the cuisine of Spain, Portugal, and Italy. When other European peoples began to use the tomato, they gave it nicknames curiously fitting to their own culture. Th French called the tomato a "love apple." The Germans noted the apple-like shape and color and called it "the apple of paradise."

Only the British refused to eat this new vegetable. They believed it to be poisonous. A possible reason for the error may be that the tomato vine resembles and is botanically related to the deadly nightshade. Whatever the reason, the English colonists who came t America carried with them the firm belief that tomatoes were toxic. What an ironic twist of fate that although the tomato crossed the Atlantic the first time as a terrific new food, it crossed the Atlantic the second time as a poison not to be eaten!

The American fear of the tomato persisted into the 19th century.  In 1781, Thomas Jefferson grew tomatoes in the gardens of Monticello, but not as a food. The plants were merely for decoration! Although Creoles were known to use tomatoes in cooking their spicy gumbos and jambalayas, it wasn't until 1820 that the tomato was proven safe to the satisfaction of the public. On September 26, courageous Colonel Robert G. Johnson stood on the courthouse steps in Salem, New Jersey, and to the horror of onlookers, ate not just one, but a basketful of tomatoes. When he appeared the next morning, not dead and not even sick, the tomato was finally accepted as a wholesome food.

Fruit or vegetable? According to no less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court, the tomato is a vegetable.  In 1883, Congress passed a tariff act assessing fees on imported vegetables.  Fruits were allowed to enter the country duty-free. The director of customs in New York City collected a tariff on incoming tomatoes, declaring them to be vegetables. The importers claimed they were fruits and filed a lawsuit. When the case finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the unanimous decision was:

Botanically speaking,  tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans and peas. But in the common language of the people . . . all these are vegetables.

People used to believe that placing a ripe tomato on the mantel when first entering a new home guaranteed future prosperity. Since tomatoes were not available year-round until recently, families moving into new homes often substituted round balls of red fabric stuffed with sawdust or sand. These balls were also used as pincushions, which explains--if you ever wondered--why your grandmother's pincushion looked like a tomato.

Source: Vegetable Desserts, Beyond Carrot Cake & Pumpkin Pie, ©1998 by Elisabeth Schafer and Jeannette L. Miller, RD.

Other Tomato Lore
& Claims (We Won't Vouch For The Truth of Any of These)

  • To cure burning feet, place slices of tomato on your feet, wrap, and elevate for 15 minutes.

  • Treat sunburn with tomatoes soaked in buttermilk. Apply to your skin.

  • Draw infection from a boil with a warmed slice of tomato.

  • Problems with skunk odor? Soak in a bath of tomato juice.

  • Remove garlic and onion odors from your hands with a slice of fresh tomato.

  • Use tomato juice as a cure for alcohol hangover.

  • To remove a splinter, sprinkle salt on the area, cover with a small slice of tomato, and hold in place overnight with plastic wrap. In the morning, the splinter will pop out.

Source: Vegetable Desserts, Beyond Carrot Cake & Pumpkin Pie, ©1998 by Elisabeth Schafer and Jeannette L. Miller, RD.

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Tomato Tips

The tomato gardener is easily distinguished from other humans by the blur he creates while gathering his abundant crop. If you've ever been surrounded by more tomatoes than you can shake a stake at, help is at hand.

Into The Basket

If carefree harvesting appeals to you, keep these tips in mind:

  • Harvest tomatoes before they become soft, by gently twisting from the stem. Don't pull.

  • To insure a high yield, pick continuously.

  • For even ripening, use a mulch. Black plastic is excellent for maintaining soil temperature and moisture. It also helps keep tomatoes clean and off the ground.

  • If rainfall is insufficient, plants should be watered since even moisture is crucial during ripening.

  • Focus the plants' energy into fruit production and early ripening by pruning (removing shoots that grow between two leaf stalks) and staking. (This is true only for indeterminate varieties or for those that keep growing all season. They are the tomatoes generally used for slicing and in salads and sandwiches and include varieties like Better Boy, Beefmaster, Supersteak, and Marglobe).

  • Splitting, cracking, sunscald, and dark, leathery patches (blossom end rot) detract from a tomato's beauty, but it's still safe and delicious to eat if you cut out the ugly parts.

  • To inspire ripening before the first frost, pinch off blossoms mid to late August.

Indoor Ripening And Storage

There's nothing like the flavor and aroma of vine-ripened tomatoes. They also have one-third more vitamin C than tomatoes ripened inside. But if you must harvest early and store, here are some guidelines:

  • As long as tomatoes have some red color, they can be harvested and will usually continue to ripen. Tiny, dark green fruits won't ripen at all, but light green, almost-mature fruits will have a better chance.

  • Tomatoes ripen at a temperature between 50° and 85°F.

  • Do not attempt to ripen tomatoes on the windowsill. They may turn red, but they won't be ripe and flavorful within.

  • Ripen green tomatoes by placing them in a fruit ripener or in a closed brown bag with a ripe apple. Check for ripeness in a day or two.

  • At the end of the season, ripen green tomatoes by uprooting an entire plant and hanging it upside-down.

  • Wrap individual unripe tomatoes in newspaper or perforated plastic and store at about 40°F in a basement or cellar, where they will ripen slowly. Not all will ripen, and you must check frequently to remove rotten fruit. They'll last up to four months and offer a flavor that's far better than store-bought. If you don't want to wrap each tomato, simply spread them on a shelf and cover with newspaper or plastic.

  • Ripe tomatoes will keep for two or three days at room temperature.

  • Try to keep ripe tomatoes out of the refrigerator because the cold will lessen the flavor.

  • If you must refrigerate, keep the tomatoes uncut and uncovered, and they'll last about a week. If slightly underripe, they'll last two weeks. Green tomatoes can also be stored in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

Dried Tomatoes

If you live in a temperate, sunny climate with no humidity, air pollution, or bugs, you can dry your tomatoes outside on screens.

If you live elsewhere, use a commercial dryer. First, blanch the tomatoes for three minutes in boiling water. Then drain and pat them dry. If you're using paste tomatoes, like Roma, halve them vertically. Paste tomatoes have a rich, concentrated flavor, but other tomatoes can be cut into half-inch slices and dried successfully.

Set the temperature for about 150°F and let the tomatoes dry for seven to nine hours, or until they're leathery. Store them in tightly closed glass jars for up to a year.

Reconstitute dried tomatoes by cooking them in a bit of stock until they're soft. Then use them with pasta recipes, omelets, salads, and in sauces and sautés.

Source: Rodale's Garden-Fresh Cooking, ©1987 by Rodale Press, Inc.

How Many Tomatoes
To A Pound?

  • Beefsteak: 1/2 to 1

  • Better Boy: 2 to 3

  • Big Boy: 3 to 4

  • Early Girl: 3 to 4

  • Pixie: 30

  • Roma: 8

  • Sicilian Heart: 1 to 2

  • Sunray: 3

  • Taxi: 3

  • One pound of tomatoes will yield about 1 cup of pulp after peeling and seeding.

Source: Rodale's Garden-Fresh Cooking, ©1987 by Rodale Press, Inc.

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The Mighty Tomato!

Numerous studies have linked diets high in fruits and vegetables with a reduced risk of cancer. But if you're a lover of Italian food, you'll be interested to learn that one form of produce appears to be especially protective against prostate cancer. What is this might miracle food?  The tomato!!

Researchers have found that men who eat tomato-based products at least ten times a week--products such as tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, and even pizza--reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by a third compared with men who eat these products less than twice a week.  Of these foods, tomato sauce seems to offer the strongest protection against cancer.

What's in tomatoes that wards off prostate cancer? Scientists believe that lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color, is responsible. This nutrient seems to be an even more potent antioxidant than beta-carotene.

Why does tomato sauce offer more protection against cancer than fresh tomatoes? Chopping and cooking breaks down the cell walls of vegetables and fruits, which makes carotenoids like lycopene more available for absorption. In addition, tomato sauce usually contains a small amount of vegetable oil, which aids the absorption of this fat-soluble nutrient.

Does this mean you should make a conscious effort to add fat to your food?  No.  Most people already get plenty of fat. And if you eat a diet rich in whole natural foods, there is no need to add oil, butter, or other fats to foods.   However, if you want to use a little olive oil for cooking or in salads, feel free to do so, using your fat budget as a guide.

Source: Secrets of Cooking for Long Life, ©1999 by Sandra Woodruff.

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     Gardens and markets soon will be teeming with tomatoes. Starting around late July, so many fresh tomatoes ripen all at once that some people who grow them give them away by the bagful. Whether you have access to fresh, garden-grown tomatoes or must rely on the grocery store produce section for them, tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and the phytochemical lycopene. And their savory taste can accompany almost any dish.

     Tomatoes are one of the few dietary sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Some studies suggest that lycopene especially helps to protect against prostate cancer. The lycopene content in processed tomatoes is absorbed more effectively by the body than lycopene from uncooked tomatoes.

     Choose tomatoes that are vine-ripened and deeply colored. They should feel heavy for their size. Unripe tomatoes can be ripened in a paper bag at room temperature. Do not refrigerate fresh tomatoes because their texture will become mealy and their taste watery.

     Fragrant herbs like basil, oregano, dill, parsley and thyme are ideal seasonings for tomatoes, but more pungent spices like curry powder, cumin or chili powder also blend beautifully into tomato-based sauces.

     Tomatoes come in many varieties. Grocery stores usually carry cherry tomatoes, even smaller grape tomatoes, as well as oval-shaped Roma tomatoes. Yellow or green tomatoes have a slightly different taste, and people who grow tomatoes can explore dozens of exotic "heirloom" varieties grown worldwide, from Green Zebra to Cherokee Purple tomatoes.

     Most people like the round, red types that are good for slicing onto sandwiches, such as the American Beefsteak tomato.


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So refreshing on a hot summer day ~ Fill you picnic thermos with this soothing soup! Recipe from The Best-Kept Secrets
of Healthy Cooking
, by Sandra Woodruff, RD,
©2000 by Sandra Woodruff.

3 cup diced tomatoes (about 4 medium)
1 cup diced, peeled, and seeded cucumber (about 1 medium)
1 cup diced green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp chopped onion
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1 cup canned vegetable juice, like V-8 vegetable juice
3 to 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp dried oregano (use the milder, Greek oregano)
1/4 tsp salt


1/2 cup nonfat or light sour cream (optional)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp ready-made fat-free or low-fat croutons

     Place all of the vegetables and the olives in a large bowl. Stir to mix, and set aside.

     Place all of the remaining soup ingredients in a medium-sized bowl; stir to mix well. Pour the vegetable juice mixture over the vegetables and toss to mix.

     Transfer the vegetable mixture to a blender or food processor, and, working in batches as necessary, process for a few seconds or just until the vegetables are finely chopped. Transfer the soup to a covered container, and chill for 2 to 6 hours.

     When ready to serve, place 1 cup of the gazpacho in each of 5 serving bowls. Top each serving with a rounded tablespoon of the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of the croutons, if desired, and serve immediately. Makes 5 Servings.

Per (1-Cup) Serving w/o Topping: 62 Cal; 1 g Total Fat; 12 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 321 mg Sodium; 3 g Fiber; 2 g Protein. Exchanges: 2 Veg.

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This recipe uses a lot of fresh tomatoes and keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. Recipe creator Myra Innes of Auburn, KS says, "Around our house, we like salsa as a topping for our favorite Mexican dishes and as a snack."
Recipe from Taste of Home's Down-Home Diabetic Cookbook, ©1995 by Reiman Publications, L.P.

4 cups chopped peeled fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped (you can
   also use canned, chopped jalapeños to taste)
1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced

     In a bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.   let stand for about 1 hour before serving at room temperature. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Yield: 3-1/2 Cups.

Per (1/4-Cup) Serving: 22 Cal; 1 g Total Fat; 3 g Carb;
00 mg Cholesterol; 2 mg Sodium; 1 g Protein.  Exchanges: 1 Veg.

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This quick & easy recipe is especially good with grilled meats and may be served hot or at room temperature. Yum! Recipe from the Cinnamon Hearts newsletter, ©July~August, 1998.

1 medium-large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 bell peppers (1 red, 1 gold & 2 green), chopped
1 tsp Nature’s Seasons Blend seasoned salt
3 large tomatoes, cored & cut in chunks
1-1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

     Sauté onion in oil for 5 minutes. Add peppers & seasoning blend and sauté about 8 minutes more. Add tomatoes and basil; cover & simmer until peppers are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Makes 4 Servings.

Per Serving: 121 Cal; 7 g Total Fat;  14 g Carb; 00mg Cholesterol; 354 mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Veg; 1 Fat.

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Paste tomatoes, like Roma, work best here, but Better Boy are fine if very well drained. This is a great recipe to pack in your picnic hamper. Recipe from Rodale's Garden-Fresh Cooking,
©1987 by Rodale Press, Inc.

1/2 cup minced onions
1/2 cup minced celery
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups seeded tomatoes, kept in a strainer until ready to use
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2/3 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, OR 1 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tsp Dijon mustard

*Note: We used egg substitute instead of whole eggs and reduced the cholesterol from 223 mg/Serving to 11 mg/Serving.

     Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch quiche pan with vegetable spray and set aside.

     In a medium-size saucepan, sauté onions, celery, and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tomatoes.

     In a small bowl, combine basil, parsley, and mozzarella.

     Add half the tomato mixture to prepared quiche pan. Next, add half the basil mixture, then remaining tomato mixture, followed by remaining basil mixture.

     Beat eggs or egg substitute with mustard and pour evenly over tort.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until eggs are set.  Makes 4 Entrée or 8 Appetizer Servings.

Per (1/4 quiche) Entrée Serving using egg substitute: 149 Cal; 7 g Total Fat (2.5 g Sat Fat); 9 g Carb; 11 mg Cholesterol; 230 mg Sodium; 568 mg Potassium; 14 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar.  Exchanges: 2 Medium Fat Meat; 2 Veg; 1-1/2 Fat.

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A delicious and colorful side dish, this one is great for a party. Make it in the summer when fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes are plentiful. Recipe from Lean and Luscious, Revised & Updated, ©1995 by Bobbie Hinman and Millie Snyder.

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp imitation bacon bits
2 pounds(about 6 medium) fresh, ripe tomatoes, sliced
   crosswise into /2-inch slices, divided
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

     Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9-inch round or square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

     Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in garlic powder, seasoned salt, pepper, and bacon bits.

     Place half of the tomato slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread onion mixture evenly over tomatoes. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese, then top with remaining tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover tightly and bake 34 to 40 minutes.  Makes 6 Servings.

Per Serving. 65 Cal; 2 g Total Fat; 10 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 98 mg Sodium; 3 g Protein; 3 g Fiber. Exchanges: 2-3/4 Veg.

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Either green or red tomatoes can be used in this recipe--do try both! Recipe from
1,001 Delicious Recipes for People with Diabetes, Edited by Sue Spitler and Linda Eugene, RD, CDE
with Linda R. Yoakam, RD, MS, ©2001 by Surrey Books, Inc.

Butter-flavored vegetable cooking spray
4 medium green, OR red, tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt & pepper, to taste

     Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Coat tomato slices lightly with flour; cook over medium heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Makes 4 Servings.

Per Serving: 58 Cal; Trace of Fat; 12 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 16 mg Sodium; 2 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Veg; 1/2 Bread/Starch.


Sugar-Glazed Fried Tomatoes: Cook tomatoes as above but do not coat with flour. After tomatoes are browned, sprinkle lightly with sugar and cook until caramelized, about 1 minutes on each side. Do not season with salt and pepper.

Cornmeal Fried Tomatoes: Cook tomatoes as above, substituting yellow cornmeal for the flour.

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Sunray and Taxi are fruity, fragrant yellow tomatoes that work well here. Serve over poached fish or chicken and garnish with fresh minced parsley and minced sweet red peppers. Recipe from Rodale's Garden-Fresh Cooking, ©1987 by Rodale Press, Inc.

1 Tbsp fruity olive oil
1/3 cup minced Spanish (sweet) onions
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp white wine
7 yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded and puréed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 pound flounder or other white fish, poached or grilled

     In a medium-size saucepan, warm oil until fragrant. Add onions, bay leaf, and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

     Add ground fennel and simmer for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf and serve sauce over fish.  Makes 4 Servings.

Per Serving: 250 Cal; 11 g Total Fat (2 g Sat Fat); 13 g Carb; 62 mg Cholesterol; 144 mg Sodium; 1,350 mg Potassium; 25 g Protein; 3 g Fiber. Exchanges: 4 Very Lean Meat; 2 Veg; 2 Fat.

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"My family loves this spicy tomato dish," says Anne Landers of Louisville, KY. "I came up with the recipe about 25 years ago, after eating a similar dish on vacation in New Mexico."
Recipe from Taste of Home's Down-Home Diabetic Cooking,
©1995 by Reiman Publications, L.P.

2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp pepper
1 pound round steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cut into wedges and seeded
2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cans (4-ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried basil

     In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar and pepper; toss with beef. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes; drain.  Place flour in a bowl; add beef and toss to coat. 

     In a skillet, cook beef in oil over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Makes 6 Servings.

Per Serving: 195 Cal; 8 g Total Fat; 16 g Carb; 24 mg Cholesterol; 364 mg Sodium; 16 g Protein.  Exchanges: 1 Starch;  2 Lean Meat; 1-1/2 Fat.

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Tomato slices add color and flavor to this upside-down omelet. Garnish it with fresh basil, serve it with salsa, and it really reflects the Mexican cuisine's use of color. Recipe
from Lean And Luscious, Revised & Updated,
©1995 by Bobbie Hinman and Millie Snyder.

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp skim milk
1 medium ripe tomato, sliced

     Heat oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.

     In a medium bowl, combine egg substitute with remaining ingredients, except tomato slices. Beat with a fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into hot skillet.

     Reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet, and cook 5 minutes. Arrange tomato slices over eggs and continue to cook, covered, 5 minutes more, or until eggs are set enough to invert without breaking.

     Slide omelet out of pan onto a plate. Then, invert back into pan so that tomatoes are now on the bottom. Cook, uncovered, 1 minute, or until eggs are set.  Invert onto serving plates, tomato-side up. Makes 2 Servings.

Per Serving: 137 Cal; 6 g Total Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 mg Cholesterol; 259 mg Sodium; 14 g Protein; 1 g Fiber.  Exchanges: 2 Very Lean Meat; 1 Veg; 1 Fat.

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Here's a salad you can look forward to eating time after time when your garden or farmer's market is full of vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil.  Don't use plastic-wrapped, over-processed white bread, as the flavor relies heavily on using the right variety of bread. Instead, look for a rustic whole-grain loaf that is coarsely textured and deeply flavored, like the type found in an Italian bakery.  Also, be sure your bread is stale, ideally 3 days old. Recipe from The Joslin Diabetes Healthy Carbohydrate Cookbook, by Bonnie Sanders Polin, PhD, and Francs Towner Giedt and the Nutrition Services Staff at the Joslin Diabetes Center, ©2001 by Bonnie Polin, PhD, Frances Towner Giedt and Joslin Diabetes Center.


1 pound Italian country-style bread, about 3 days old, cut
   into 1-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup cold water
4 large tomatoes (about 1-3/4 pounds total), seeded and cut
   into chunks
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt

     Sprinkle the bread slices with water and let stand about 2 minutes. Gently squeeze the bread dry as you tear it into 1-inch cubes. Spread the bread pieces on paper towels and let air-dry for 20 minutes.

     Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and basil in a large salad bowl.  Add the dried bread cubes.

     To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and yogurt. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Let stand until the bread has absorbed some of the dressing, about 20 minutes, and serve. Makes 8 Servings.

Per Serving: 235 Cal; 8 g Total Fat (1 g Sat Fat); 36 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 345 mg Sodium; 387 mg Potassium; 7 g Protein; 3 g Fiber. Joslin Choices: 2 Carb (Bread/Starch); 1-1/2 Fat.

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Try this simple recipe for a crowd-pleasing appetizer. They may be small, but these tasty tomatoes have big garden-fresh flavor enhanced by the cool, zesty filling. Recipe created by Rita Reifenstein, Evans City, PA, for Taste of Home's Low-Fat Country Cooking,
©1997 by Reiman Publications, L.P.

11 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
1 package (0.4-ounce) ranch salad dressing mix
3 dozen (36) cherry tomatoes
Alfalfa sprouts (optional)

     In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressing mix until smooth.  Cut a thin slice off tops of tomatoes and carefully remove insides; invert on paper towel to drain.  Fill with cream cheese mixture. Serve on a bed of alfalfa sprouts, if desired. Yield: 36 Appetizers.

Per (3 tomato) Serving:  40 Cal; Trace Total Fat; 5 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 285 mg Sodium; 4 g Protein.  Exchanges: 1 Veg; 1/2 Very Lean Meat.

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A great accompaniment to any fresh pasta dish and so easy to make! Recipe from The UCSD Healthy Diet for Diabetes, A
Comprehensive Nutritional Guide and Cookbook,

©1990 by Regents of the University of California.

3 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup diced part-skim mozzarella cheese

     Mix tomatoes and basil in a large salad bowl. Toss in oil, vinegar, and cheese; blend thoroughly.

     Let the salad stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 Servings.

Per (1/2-Cup) Serving: 94 Cal; 6 g Total Fat; 6 g Carb; 10 mg Cholesterol; 100 mg Sodium; 306 mg Potassium; 6 g Protein; 2 g Fiber. Exchanges: 1 Medium-Fat Meat; 1 Veg.

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Recipe creator Suzanne Winters of Middletown, DE says, "I love this as a late-night snack, but it also goes great with a bowl of soup at lunch. The cayenne pepper gives it
just a bit of zip; it tastes and looks great."
Recipe from Taste of Home's Low-Fat Country Cooking,
©1997, Reiman Publications, L.P

1 English muffin, split
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tomato slices
1 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

     On each muffin half, sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese and cayenne. Top with a tomato slice and parmesan cheese. Broil 6 inches from the heat source for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Yield: 2 Open-Face Sandwiches.

Per (1 Sandwich) Serving: 132 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (3 g Sat Fat); 14 g Carb; 12 mg Cholesterol; 192 mg Sodium; 9 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Lean Meat; 1 Fat.

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A great vegetable side dish, this pudding goes well with poultry or pork as well as turkey, and it freezes extremely well.  Recipe from The Big Book of Preserving The Harvest, by Carol Costenbader, Storey Communications. This version is adapted from The Joy of Cooking.

14 very ripe medium tomatoes
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh chives
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

     Blanch tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove skins and seeds, and purée using a blender or food processor.

     Make bread crumbs in a blender or food processor and pour the crumbs into a foil-lined 9-inch baking dish, prepared with vegetable cooking spray.

     In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan, heat the tomato purée until it boils. Add salt, sugar and herbs and mix well. Boil gently for 3 minutes. Pour melted butter or margarine over crumbs in foil-lined baking dish.

     Pour tomato mixture over all and mix well. Cool. Cover. Chill and freeze.

     When pudding is frozen, remove it from the dish; wrap, label and return to freezer. When ready to thaw, return the casserole to its dish, removing foil.

     Place the dish on a cookie sheet on the bottom oven rack; cover loosely with foil and bake 2-1/2 to 3 hours in a 325ºF oven until it cooks down to pudding consistency. Uncover during the last hour of cooking. Yield: 5 cups; 10 (1/2 cup) Servings.

Per Serving: 150 Cal; 6g Fat; 24g Carb; 3g Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 213mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Bread/Starch; 2 Veg; 1 Fat.

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A perfect salad, especially when homegrown tomatoes, corn and basil are available! Recipe from 1,001 Delicious Recipes for People with Diabetes, Edited by Sue Spitler and Linda Eugene, RD, CDE, with Linda R. Yoakam, RD, MS,
©2001 by Surrey Books, Inc.

2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen, whole kernel corn, cooked
1/2 cup sliced green onions and tops
2-2/3 cups (6 ounces) fusilli (spirals), OR corkscrews,
   cooked, room temperature

Fresh Basil Dressing:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil OR vegetable oil
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

     To Prepare Salad:

     Combine tomatoes, corn, green onions, and pasta in salad bowl; pour Fresh Basil Dressing over all and toss. Makes 8 Side-Dish Servings.

     To Prepare Dressing:

     Mix all ingredients; refrigerate until serving time. Stir before using. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Per Serving: 135 Cal; 4 g Total Fat (less than 1 g Sat Fat); 22 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 141 mg Sodium; 4 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Veg; 1 Bread/Starch; 1 Fat.

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An easy-to-make--and easy-to-love--sauce that can be used on the pasta of your choice!   You don't need fresh tomatoes  so you can make this delicious sauce year 'round.  Recipe from Secrets of Cooking for Long Life, by Sandra Woodruff, RD,
©1999 by Sandra Woodruff.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp instant vegetable or beef bouillon granules
1-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1-1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

     Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray or with the olive oil, and preheat over medium heat.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for bout 5 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften and release their juices.

     Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan, and stir to mix.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.   Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the flavors are well blended.  Serve hot over your choice of pasta.  Yield: 3-1/2 Cups.

Kitchen Tip: Prepare the sauce whenever you have the time, and freeze in serving-size containers for later use. When ready to use, heat it up and toss with linguine, use as a pizza sauce or spoon over baked chicken and top with mozzarella for a fast entrée.

Per (1/2-Cup) Serving: 48 Cal; Trace Fat; 10 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 228 mg Sodium;  3 g Protein; 3 g Fiber.  Exchanges: 2 Veg.

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"My children liked to eat pizza with a lot f toppings, so I developed this recipe. Even though the kids are grown, we still make it often ~ It's a delightful change from usual meat-topped pizza, says recipe creator, Lois McAtee of Oceanside, CA. Recipe from Taste of Home's Down-Home Diabetic Cooking, ©1995 by Reiman Publications, L.P.

6 medium firm tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 large (13-to 16-inch) baked pizza crust
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

     Place tomato slices in a circle on crust, overlapping slightly until crust is completely covered.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

     Cover with green pepper and onion. Sprinkle basil over all.  Cover with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.  Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Makes 8 Servings.

Sodium Alert! This recipe is not suitable for those on sodium restricted meal plans.

Per Serving: 223 Cal; 12 g Total Fat; 21 g Carb; 22 mg  Cholesterol; 599 mg Sodium; 12 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Lean Meat; 1 Veg; 2 Fat.

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An old favorite that's been updated for today's light cooking and eating. Recipe from Vegetable Desserts, Beyond Carrot Cake & Pumpkin Pie, ©1998 by Elisabeth Schafer
and Jeannette L. Miller, RD.


Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp allspice*
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup water

*Tip: If you prefer a milder spice flavor, omit the allspice and replace it with 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

Light Cream Cheese Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 of 1 (8-ounce) tub light cream cheese
1 Tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

     To Prepare Cake:

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9- x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

     Measure dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add soup and applesauce. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Add eggs and water; beat another 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently.

     Pour batter into pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake and frost with Light Cream Cheese Icing.  Makes 24 Servings.

     To Prepare Light Cream Cheese Icing.

     Cream together all ingredients until smooth.

Per Serving: 140 Cal; 2 g Total Fat (1 g Sat Fat); 30 g Carb; 25 mg Cholesterol; 190 mg Sodium; 2 g Protein; 1 g Fiber. Exchanges: 2 Starch.

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This recipe looks very pretty served in stemmed wine or champagne glasses. Delightful and refreshing.
Recipe from Rodale's Garden-Fresh Cooking,
©1987 by Rodale Press, Inc.

3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (5 to 6 medium size)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg

     In a food processor or blender, purée tomatoes. Pour through a fine sieve to remove peels and seeds. Measure 3 cups of the juice.

     Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish and freeze.  Stir occasionally to reduce ice crystals. For a smooth texture, process in blender or food processor until smooth but still frozen; pour back into dish and freeze. You can also process again before serving. Makes 8 Servings.

Per Serving: 63 Cal; Trace of Fat; 16 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 9 mg Sodium; 215 mg Potassium; 1 g Protein; 1 g Dietary Fiber; 14 g Sugar. Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 2 Veg.

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"This was a family favorite at our house," says author Judy Gilliard. "It still is, but now it is more healthful." Recipe from The Flavor Secret, by Judy Gilliard with Joy Kirkpatrick, RD
©1994 by Judy Gilliard.

2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 ounces (1/2 cup) egg substitute
1 (10.75-ounce) can tomato soup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

     Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together and set aside.

     Combine egg substitute, sugar, and tomato soup. Gradually add flour mixture into liquid mixture. Stir in walnuts.

     Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (check for doneness with a wooden toothpick). Makes 8 Servings.

Per Serving: 258 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (00 g Sat Fat); 47 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 391 mg Sodium; 7 g Protein; 1 g Fiber. Exchanges: 3 Starch; 1 Fat.

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One of the cookbook author's recipe testers was raised on these cookies. He continues the tradition of creating them with love and adds a little more nutrition. Recipe from Vegetable Desserts, Beyond Carrot Cake & Pumpkin Pie,
©1998 by Elisabeth Schafer and Jeannette L. Miller, RD.

Nonstick vegetable spray
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato purée
4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

Granulated sugar for tops (optional)

     Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray (if not using nonstick baking sheets) and set aside.

     In large mixing bowl, blend sugar and shortening. Add molasses, water, and tomato purée and thoroughly mix.

     Sift together dry ingredients; fold into molasses mixture and stir until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 6 Dozen (72) 2-inch Cookies.

Per (2-Cookie) Serving: 115 Cal; 3 g Total Fat (1 g Sat Fat); 21 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 120 mg Sodium; 2 g Protein; 1 g Fiber. Exchanges: 1-1/2 Starch; 1/2 Fat.

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