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Relax and Enjoy Your Food

 

Lots of good news for food lovers everywhere today. Several foods that we have been warned about as being bad for us turn out not to be so bad after all!!!

Let’s start with POPCORN.

According to a study reported on at Science Daily:

Popcorn’s reputation as a snack food that’s actually good for health popped up a few notches as scientists recently reported that it contains more of the healthful antioxidant substances called “polyphenols” than fruits and vegetables. [Emphasis mine.]

And here is a surprise. The popcorn hulls have the most nutrients.

Here’s the rub. The way the popcorn is prepared could put a dent in all this. Air popped popcorn is best. Oil popped popcorn and movie theater popcorn is not as good according to the study designers.

You can get the skinny on the entire study here: Popcorn.

On to CHOCOLATE.

A new study out of Southern California has found that people who consume more chocolate tend to be slimmer.

The participants who ate chocolate more often didn’t consume fewer calories overall, or exercise more, than their non-chocoholic counterparts. In fact, the more frequent chocolate eaters consumed more total calories.

However………

……the researchers caution that the study doesn’t prove a link between frequent chocolate munching and weight loss. 

[snip….] 

Rather, the findings suggest that the health benefits of chocolate may be linked to how many times in a given week chocolate is eaten rather than the total amount consumed in that week, says the study’s lead researcher,….. [Emphasis mine.]

You can get the full scoop here: Chocolate.

Time to look at the EGG again:

As More Thyme has reported here before in The Incredible Egg, despite their bad rap, eggs are really VERY healthy for us. And now, according to an article at Bon Appetite, it is the calorie and cholesterol laden yolk……. the part of the egg  people have feared for years…. …it is the yolk that helps us digest the nutrient and protein rich egg white. You need both parts of the egg to reap it’s nutritional benefits.

 

So there you have it. Eaten in moderation popcorn, chocolate, and eggs are good for us.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! Stop worrying so much and enjoy the food you eat.

Featured Recipe        Tomatoes Provençale

I think every chef and cook and every cookbook out there has a recipe for Tomatoes Provençale. And I think I have tried most of them. Today’s recipe is the best of several of the many I have tried with a twist or two of my own.

I think that too many of them add too many ingredients to this simple Italian dish.

Basically it is just a simple roasted tomato recipe with some parsley, bread crumbs, olive oil and some cheese. It is a great way to use up too many tomatoes at summer’s end, or use up leftovers in general.

It is going to be a little difficult to get today’s recipe down on paper. I have always just kind of thrown it together with no real list of amounts for the ingredients. I just kind of do a Rachael Ray and eyeball it.

But here goes.

This is what you will need for 3-6 people:

3 medium tomatoes

3 slices of stale bread

3 stems of parsley

2 cloves garlic

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of about ½ lemon

6 + tablespoons olive oil

6+ tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

NOTE: I had two sorry looking green onions in the fridge that I decided to use up so added to the recipe this time.

Here is what you do:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Lightly grease a baking pan. Set aside.

Using your hands or a processor crumble the bread. If using your hands just tear one slice of bread at a time in half and rub them together till you get crumbs.

Then using your hands rub the larger crumbs into smaller one. Just pick up some crumbs with your hands and massage the crumbs until they get smaller. For this recipe you do not need to get the crumbs too fine.  Set crumbs aside.

NOTE: If you do not have stale bread, you can make some by keeping the bread on the counter over night.  Or you can use store bought bread crumbs or if you can afford it you can use panko.

Wash and then cut the tomatoes in half. While you are at it you might as well wash the lemon and the parsley and green onions, if using, too.

Some recipes do not call for removing any of the tomato. When I have done that the topping always falls off in the roasting. Some recipes have you remove so much of the tomato, there is no tomato to eat.

So I remove just a bit of the tomato flesh: enough of depression to hold the bread crumbs, but still enough tomato to be able to actually taste tomato. I use a grapefruit knife to remove part of the tomato. Set the tomatoes aside.

Using a channel zester zest the lemon and set aside.

Dice the parsley and the green onion.

Add the parsley and green onions to the bread crumbs. Add about two-thirds of the lemon zest reserving the rest for garnish. Mix well.

Add the olive oil to a bowl and using a press add the garlic. If no press, dice the garlic into a fine dice. Add some salt and pepper and whisk together.

If the tomatoes are watery using a paper towel to sop off some water. Sprinkle a bit of juice from one-half of the lemon over the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Fill the cavity of each tomato with some of the bread crumb mixture.

Top the crumb mixture on each tomato with about 1 tablespoon of cheese.

Place each tomato into the greased baking pan. My tomatoes would not behave today. They kept slip-sliding away in the pan. They would not sit still.   The Joy of Cooking!

Drizzle some of the olive oil mixture over each tomato. You can really see the tomatoes slipping and sliding in this picture. They will not stay in straight rows. That’s OK though. They will srill cook and still be delicious.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bread crumb-cheese mixture starts to brown slightly. See, the tomatoes keep slip-sliding-away.

Remove from the oven and add the reserved lemon zest to each tomato. Top with some more cheese if so desired.

Serve. This side dish is an elegant and delicious addition to any meat entrée.

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

3 medium tomatoes               $3.06             

3 slices of stale bread            $0.15

3 stems of parsley                 $0.12

2 cloves garlic                       $0.10

Zest of 1 lemon                     $0.45 

Juice of about ½ lemon          $—-

6 + tablespoons olive oil        $0.69

6+ tbspns Parmesan             $1.53

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $6.10

Cost per person 3 = $2.03

Cost per person 6 = $1.02

Quote of the Day

Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak … sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go

Anonymous

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2 comments to Relax and Enjoy Your Food

  • Virginia Urbach

    I always love the quote of the day. Hope you don’t mind me sharing them from time to time.

    • Roberta

      Thank you. Glad you like them, Virginia. I try to find something that goes with the post or recipe somehow. Or just something I like.

      Go ahead. Use any and all. They are all pubic domain.