October 22, 2014

WOKE UP IN THE KITCHEN | Tomatoes Are Confused, Too

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By HILLARY LANDSMAN

It’s the middle of the semester, which means most students have just entered into the “what am I going to do with my life” stage. We’re questioning our majors and our aspirations in life. People are starting to think, “Well, I could just drop out and own a food truck or travel the world!”

Don’t give up just yet…

I’m going to draw a parallel between my current mentality and tomatoes. We usually categorize fruits and vegetables by the way we eat them. We  call sugary produce, which can be eaten as dessert, fruits, and produce eaten as a main meal or side dish, vegetables. Botanically, the parts of the plant that develop from the flower are all fruits. Squash, pumpkin, zucchini and peppers are all technically fruits. So why is it that tomatoes are the only vegetables/fruits called into question, while all of these other “fruits” are left alone?

Just like us indecisive college students, tomatoes shouldn’t have to choose what they want to be, even during uncomfortable family gatherings!  We may not be the most decisive people, but we are ambitious and passionate. Sometime we just don’t know what to do with all of our passion. We don’t know how to turn our ambition into something meaningful.  Again, let’s look to the tomato:

At just 32 calories a cup, with mostly water-weight, the tomato is toned! Not only does it keep itself in shape, but it is also very humble and giving. It doesn’t show off with its vitamins and minerals. You have to look deeper in order to find that it’s what’s underneath that counts: phytochemicals! Phytochemicals do wonders to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, support bone health, prevent prostate cancer and may possibly even reduce the risk of neurological diseases. And thus, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s our intrinsic value that counts. Whether we’re fruits or vegetables, we all have our metaphorical phytochemicals.

Unfortunately, after all of this praise, I have to admit, I don’t actually like eating tomatoes, which means that I have to eat salsa in order to get my fix of phytochemicals.

RECIPE | Simple Salsa

Directions:

Blend together two 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, 1 jalapeño chili, ½ yellow onion, ½ bunch of cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and salt to taste. Adjust blending based on chunkiness preference. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Enjoy!

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