Tomatoes – I love the flavour of cooked tomatoes, in stir-fries, bean casseroles or curry based dishes. Homemade pizza smothered in tomato passata, tomato pasta sauce. But it was on a holiday last year to Northern Spain that it really brought home to me how many tomato based products there are. You can see from the photo above that a whole aisle (and the corner sections of the aisles) was dedicated to tomato products, cans and jars of chopped and whole tomatoes, passata, puree, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes. The photo doesn’t even do it justice. I debated perusing the items more closely for the purposes of research but well, I was on holiday and eager to get back out into the balmy September evening air.
Tomatoes are full of antioxidants and fantastic phytonutrients. One of the most often quoted antioxidants and found in abundance in tomatoes -especially cooked tomatoes – is lycopene. Lycopene has health benefits associated with reducing the risk of chronic disease such as certain cancers and heart disease and may even have a role to play in bone health.
Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C and vitamin A (as beta-carotene).
This recipe from the BBC food website is a warming, comforting, dish. I made it with hake which tastily substituted for the cod and included a clove (or two) of crushed garlic when frying the onions as every tomato based recipe has to have garlic in my opinion. I used aromatic basil to decorate the finished dish (every tomato based recipe has to have basil too 🙂 ).
Serve it with basmati brown rice and some wilted spinach to up the green health content.
Spinach is rich in phytonutrients such as carotenoids (responsible for giving the food it’s colour) and include health benefiting compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, the last two are good for eye health.
It has amazing levels of vitamin K and A so a bit of a double whammy there for eye health ‘eye’ would say …