Living Lite

Sweet Melon Chunks with Fresh Mint & Crumbled Feta

July 30, 2017

The New (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) The New "Flavorburst" Melons from Spring Valley Farm and Orchard
It's melon season and a vast number of varieties are now available, and will be for quite a while. These days melons come in an amazing array of colors, shapes, textures, and flavors. Use a combination of any melons for this very simple, yet elegant recipe.
 
Sweet Summertime Melon Chunks with Fresh Mint and Crumbled Feta

By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
Excerpted from "Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!"

This is an unusual combination of flavors and textures, and a delight on the palate. Use any kind of melon that happens to be in season.

Serves 8

2 pounds melon chunks (about 1 small cantaloupe or seedless watermelon)
½ pound Feta Cheese or other similar cheese
8 small mint leaves, Chiffonade (Basil will also work)

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and serve!


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Tomato-Lover Recipe: Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

July 23, 2017

I'm in tomato heaven! Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable (maybe because they're actually a fruit!). It all started with my Grandmother. She would plant dozens - or it seemed like dozens to a child - of tomato plants every year in her huge vegetable garden. We'd pick them ripe from the vine, and eat them while still warm from the summer sun. I'll never forget how soft, juicy, and red throughout they were. I feel so lucky that today, we have our Farmers Markets in Georgetown, Rose Park, and Dupont Circle growing these kinds of spectacular specimens... of all shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and flavors! 
 
Heirloom tomatoes have been passed down through generations, have natural resistance to pests, disease and are better able to tolerate local conditions without too much exra energy, pesticides or water. Locally, organically produced food saves water, energy and encourages a region’s unique varieties of fruits and vegetables. 
 
Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes
 
Serves 8
 
Ingredients:
 
Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons Freshly Harvested Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (1 Lemon)
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Oregano or Basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Clove Garlic, Minced (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste (Salt is not necessary with the cheese and olives)
 
Vegetables:
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into a half-moon shape
1 onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 medium yellow, purple or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped into large bite-size pieces
1 cup pitted Kalamata or other Greek Olives
4 Heirloom Tomatoes, quartered, and cut into large, bite-size pieces (or any vine-ripe tomatoes)
 
4 ounces Feta or Goat Cheese, broken into small bits
 
Instructions:
 
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk until blended. Add the cucumbers, onion, pepper, and olives and toss into vinaigrette. Let sit for twenty minutes to marinate. Add the heirloom tomatoes and cheese when ready to serve.
 
Tomatoes are one of the "superfoods." Men who consumed 10 or more servings of tomato products a week had a 35% decrease in risk of prostate cancer relative to those who consumed 1.5 servings or fewer per week.  This is largely attributed to “lycopene” in the tomatoes, which is also in other red fruits such as watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.  Men with lycopene levels in the top 20% had a 46% decrease in risk of heart attack compared to those in the bottom 20%.  Lycopene is a potent scavenger of gene-damaging free radicals. But don't expect to get it from a supplement. You must eat the tomato as you need the whole food to receive the benefits! But because lycopene is fat-soluble, you must eat the tomato with an oil of some kind for it to be available to your body.
 
Lycopene (Red fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, guava): Many studies have shown that lycopene-rich foods reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but the mechanism behind that reduction was not well understood until now. A recent study found that lycopene has a substantial protective effect against prostate cancer by interfering with the genes that would allow the prostate cancer cells to grow and survive. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that men take advantage of lycopene’s cancer-preventing effects and fill their diets with foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and guava.
 


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Salad With Summer Peaches, Fresh Kale, Toasted Almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette

July 16, 2017

One reason I look forward to peach season is being able to make this recipe. This year, the peaches are abundant, sweet, juicy, and dense. Take advantage and find ways to include them in your recipes and meals, even if it's just biting into a whole one and letting the juice roll down your arms. This salad is always a hit, perhaps because we're naturally drawn to its variety of flavors, textures, colors, and shapes. Variety is the most significant reason we choose something to eat!

Salad With Summer Peaches, Fresh Kale, Toasted Almonds and a Balsamic Vinaigrette

6 Servings

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
 
6 Handfuls of fresh Kale (or other greens), washed, tough stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 Cups Fresh Sliced Summer Peaches and/or any seasonal Berries
2 Ounces toasted slivered Almonds
½ Sweet Onion, peeled and sliced
 
In a large bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add the kale, onion, almonds, and peaches and toss together. Serve immediately.


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