Tag Archives: tomatoes

Naan Crust Pizza with Homemade Cabernet Basil Pizza Sauce

naan crust pizza cabernet basil sauce

There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.

In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.

naan-pizza-ingredients

I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza! (more…)

6 Juicy Recipe Reasons to Pick Tomatoes This Summer

tomatoes

By Team Best Life

Tomatoes are in season and we can’t think of a more versatile fruit (that’s right—this produce poser is not a vegetable). You can toss them into green or pasta salads, add them to sandwiches or wraps, or simply snack on them raw. And there are so many tasty tomato varieties—whether you choose cherry, go for grape, or prefer plum. They complement just about any other healthy food, including basil, cucumber, summer squash, beans, grains and more!

Need more reason to pick tomatoes? They’re a nutritional powerhouse—they’re a super source of vitamin C and they also contain antioxidants like lycopene, which can help protect against a variety of diseases.

Just keep in mind that tossing tomatoes in the fridge can cause them to lose flavor and texture; instead, store them at room temperature.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy this tasty summer fruit. (more…)

Your New Summer Favorite: Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad

WatermelonSalad at Fountain

By Janis Jibrin, RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

Visiting Washington, D.C.? If so, you’ll inevitably wind up in the quaint neighborhood of Georgetown, which is also a bustling shopping mecca. My favorite place to have a bite is Kafe Leopold, a hidden oasis removed from the noise and crowds. The cuisine is loosely Austrian, and it happens to have some of the best salads in D.C. (Although, if you’re in a more decadent mood, the sausage, sauerkraut and spicy mustard is wonderful, as are the pastries).

I’d always loved Leopold’s Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta salad, but it just got even better—and more striking—after brand new executive chef Marcellus Coleman got ahold of it. He let me into the restaurant’s kitchen so I could watch him prepare the salad.

Chef Marcellus Finishing Touches

What to do with the rest of your watermelon? Turn in into yet another salad!

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The Freshest Produce Picks for Early Summer: Here’s What’s Ripe in June

By Team Best Life 

Nothing says summer like a garden full of fresh vegetables or a farmers market bursting with juicy, in-season fruit. It’s hard to beat the taste of a just-picked sweet tomato or a fragrant strawberry. Whether you eat them plain or toss them into a favorite dish, they’re sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.

Ready to kick off the summer? Try one of our four favorite June produce picks:

broccoli

Broccoli.  If you grow your own in a garden, you’ll likely start to see small heads soon. For a more tender and mild taste, try to harvest the heads and leaves before they grow too large. Don’t have a green thumb? Look for small heads of broccoli at your local farmers’ market early in the season. Use them to whip up this Fresh Broccoli Salad, which makes for a healthy barbecue side dish.

 

raspberries

Raspberries.  You can get most berries year-round, but early season raspberries are especially delicious. Look for black raspberries, which are available in many parts of the country in June. In this Raspberry Pistachio Chickenthey make a tasty topping. (more…)

Make This Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad with Blackberries and Grilled Baguette Croutons

Don’t you love those moments in the kitchen when inspiration strikes and the result is a meal or dish so outstanding that you have to shout it from the rooftops…or at least from your blog?

This salad is my most recent moment of a) we have nothing to eat, b) those tomatoes are going to go bad soon so I should use them, c) and I guess I have some greens, too, d) and what about blackberries…

roasted tomato salad

You know the drill. This time, a Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad was the result of desperate brainstorm. And if this is the result, let desperation be your muse always!

I had these baby heirloom tomatoes just begging to be eaten and every time I looked at them – so tiny, so juicy, so pretty – all I could think was how incredible they’d be roasted. Drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic, my hypothesis was on the nose. The entire house was filled with their tantalizing aroma, their tender skins burst just right, and they became the shining star in an otherwise ordinary salad.

balsamic tomatoes

On a bed of fresh spring greens, I chopped bites of baby mozzarella. I like to buy as close to fresh as possible, which is the containers of mozzarella balls soaking in water. (more…)

Veggie Variety a Must for Good Health (AKA: Why We’re Glad Dr. Oz’s Kale-Only Diet is a Prank)

Dr. Oz recently asked his fans to play a prank. The hoax: Tell a loved one they’d be joining you on a one-year kale-only diet. Kale, kale, and more kale. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 8.31.08 AM

 

Funny, but some people sort of do become singularly focused on certain veggies, eating a lot of kale, or broccoli, or spinach, and not much of anything else. We were curious: What type of variety should we be aiming for when it comes to produce?

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Work it Off: Burn Away a 446-Calorie Bowl of Soup

During winter I make a lot of soup. But it’s hard to find a recipe that has enough protein, fiber, fat and so forth to keep me satisfied for hours after mealtime. Recently I tried a new take on tomato soup—one with lots of chickpeas in it. It’s actually pretty similar to the Best Life Diet’s Chickpea and Tomato Soup, only I add a scoop of pesto and leave out the ginger, cilantro, curry, and lemon.

tomato pesto soup

This is no overindulgence—all of the ingredients are healthy and eaten together they really do provide a filling, tasty meal. But I was pretty surprised to see that the aforementioned recipe packs a 446-calorie punch. This isn’t a crazy amount of calories—as I mentioned, it feels filling enough that I tend to skip my afternoon snack when I eat it for lunch—but it still seems high for vegetable soup. Add on the fact that I sit at a desk for most of the day and you’ll see how a even a healthy soup could potentially lead to unwanted pounds.

So, how can I make sure that this delicious soup fuels more than just my fingers, typing away on the keyboard? Here are 3 ways to burn off the 446 calories in from this bowl of soup:

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Finish Summer with a Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad Using Garden-Picked Ingredients

It’s very encouraging that we all continue to demand fresher, simpler, healthier recipes, and that they actually exist! Summer tends to inspire this more than other seasons, with the bounty of fruits and vegetables in season this time of year. As we stand to enjoy a few more sweltering weeks of summer sun before the first day of fall on September 22, we present a recipe that meets all of the aforementioned criteria.

freekeh taboulleh

This Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad, crafted by guest chef Adriene Rathbun, is a fantastic way to use up the last of your summer garden harvest, as most of these ingredients could be plucked right out of your backyard (or even the farmers market).

We start with all-natural freekeh, pronounced free-kah, a roasted green wheat with a heartier, nuttier taste than bulgur with a texture and appearance similar to other whole grains like rice. It’s as easy to prepare as a pot of rice – you’ll just need a half-cup for this recipe boiled with water (or broth for more flavor) for about 20 minutes. We like ours on the chewier, al dente side, so we reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

freekeh

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Crazy for Caprese! 17 New Ways to Make a Classic Caprese Salad

Basil.

Mozzarella.

Tomatoes.

Are any three foods more perfect on their own? But then when combined can take the food center of your brain to a new euphoria? No. The answer is definitively no.

caprese sal

The caprese is so simple, effortless, satisfying, and a must-eat during the summer. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you skip this quintessential summer food. On those nights when you don’t want to cook, or it’s too hot to cook, but you don’t want to go out, and you want something healthy, and blah, blah blah, this is the answer. Appetizer, lunch, entree no matter how you slice that sweet mozz and those juicy fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes it’s perfection.

The ingredient colors reflect those in the Italian flag, the origin of this recipe. As with any classic, the variations are plentiful and all equally delicious or capable of taking your familiarity with this food to a new level. We’ll introduce you to a mere 20 that we were able to say we absolutely have to eat!

the peach caprese

For starters, our all new Peach Caprese Salad by Adriene Rathbun. (more…)

The Best Club Sandwich Ever is Made with Cleaner, Fresher Ingredients You Can Feel Good About

If I see a club sandwich on a menu, I’m ordering it. End of story. No matter how you stack it, I rarely find a sandwich that has a better combination of ingredients that meld so perfectly together. That first bite through the crisp lettuce, juicy tomato, sweet ham, and salty bacon sends the endorphin center of my brain to the realm of utter satisfaction.

best club sandwich

Eating these sandwiches at a restaurant is anyone’s gamble. It’s all pretty processed, and I know that. The salt is higher than it should be, the meat came from God knows where, and all in all it’s never quite as good as anything I make at home. So I try to take my own sandwich makings to the office to build my own for lunch. It’s always a far better option than what the corner deli is dishing up.

club sandwich cut

That better option, for me, is Applegate. I’ve been a long-time consumer and fan of their cleaner approach to meat products. How could anyone not be? They source humanely-raised animals to craft quality meat products that are organic and hormone free. The sandwich meats are tender,  juicy, and never overwhelmingly salty. For pre-cut sandwich meat, it’s truly as good as it gets. (more…)