We Tomato You, Dad!
Nothing says "I love you" on Father's Day like prostate protecting tomatoes!
Tomatoes are easier to find that a good Father's Day card, and you don't even have to write any warm fuzzies on them before giving 'em to your Dad.
Plus, tomatoes really score when it comes to preventing a particular disease common to men: prostate cancer. Almost 30,000 men die from prostate cancer every year – with a full 230,000 men getting such a diagnosis, affecting one in every six American men. Let's a see a Father's Day card that can help that!
The Facts: The good news is that tomatoes and tomato products (pasta sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and even catsup), consumed at least twice a week, reduce the incidence of prostate cancer by 34 percent.
Several studies also suggest an even stronger direct relationship: the more tomatoes you eat, the lower your prostate cancer risk. Lycopene, an antioxidant richly present in tomatoes (as well as apricots, pink grapefruit and watermelon) is believed to be the key here, and in fact that antioxidant becomes more bio-available after cooking – a rare example where human intervention improves nutritional benefit of a food.
The Food: Given the fact that Fathers Day is often celebrated with an backyard cookout, we are offering two ways to incorporate tomatoes – at the party, and later so that every dad and son can improve their prostate health (long after Dad’s new tie gets a catsup stain on it).
Cookout: Grilled spicy tomatoes with peanut butter
A simple mix of vegetables and olive oil, placed on skewers or a foil grill surface, will do. But why be ordinary? Here’s a mix of that can grow more hair on dear old Dad.
Chop tomatoes (and other vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini and onions) into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix the following:
• Equal parts olive oil, lemon juice and mustard (your favorite variety)
• Add in quantities to taste: hot sauce (or crushed chilies) and salt
• Plus: One heaping Tablespoon of peanut butter, melted in the microwave, and one teaspoon of sugar
Toss vegetables in with the mix, then place on a foil-lined grill top with holes poked to allow in heat and smoke (space about 4-6 inches apart). Cook covered, turning the vegetables with tongs at least once in the process. Heat on barbecue grills vary, so cook until a little blackening is visible on the vegetables.
Why the peanut butter? It tends to stick to the mouth, holding the flavors longer and creating a greater sense of satiety.
Weeknight meal: Tomato Clucker Tuesday
A mix of tomato (in sauce, stewed or paste form) and citrus juice add a savory zing to any meal, a taste not often found in drive-by cuisine. And because processed tomatoes actually have more bioavailable lycopene than their raw versions, you’re actually getting better nutrients when they are cooked. Here is a simple, tasty 12-minute meal that should whisk you home without giving a thought to that chop suey stand.
Note: all ingredients have a long shelf life, so you can stock up on these things and use them when you need them. For more information on the beauty of long shelf-life foods, click here.
• Chicken breast – boneless, skinless (sold frozen in ziplock bags of 6-8 pieces)
• One can of stewed tomatoes (approximately 15 ounces) – substitutes are pasta sauce or tomato paste, in roughly equivalent quantity
• One onion, chopped
• Another green vegetable, such as frozen and chopped green peppers, broccoli or spinach. The more the better – men should eat nine portions of fruits and vegetables every day (fresh is ok too if you have some on hand).
• Olive oil
• Lemon juice
• Salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
1. Place frozen chicken breast in skillet, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Adjust heat to medium high. Cover.
2. Chop onion and add to skillet. Also, add salt, pepper and seasonings.
3. After 4-6 minutes, turn breast and salt, pepper and season more (if desired).
4. Add tomatoes and green vegetables to skillet; stir occasionally to evenly cook.
5. After another 4-6 minutes, use spatula to check for doneness by slicing breast in half.
6. If dish is soupy, serve in a bowl. If desired, raise heat to high for 2 minutes to reduce moisture and serve on a plate.
7. Option: Top with low-fat mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.
For more fun with tomatoes and a whole lot more healthy, easy cooking ideas for guys, get
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Questions for Russ?: Russ Klettke