About This Recipe:
A comfort meal with functional health benefits is what this meal is all about. It’s both hearty and filling because the spice combination and addition of fiber-rich spinach and fish add substance to the dish. It’s also really easy to make (novice cook friendly) and keeps for a few days so you always have a quick meal on hand.
With all the rage about eating fresh you would think that munching on your veggies straight out of the ground is the best way to go. Not always true! Cooking unlocks the nutrients of many vegetables because it makes the cell wall less rigid. In today’s recipe, such is the case for tomatoes. While studies show that some vitamin C is lost as it is oxidized during the cooking process, heating the vegetable (really a fruit) raises the levels of phytochemicals like lycopene by up to ~60 percent.
Why does this matter? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant showing promise for decreasing cancer and heart-disease risk. For cancer, NIH studies suggest that lycopene interferes with the cell growth cycle of cancer and inhibits an enzyme involved in making cholesterol which is the road to heart disease that you want to avoid. It’s also important to note that studies where these elevated levels of lycopene were found had an average cook time between 15-30 minutes. Hint! Hint! Make sure you heat your tomatoes for this time frame to take advantage of these benefits.
Obviously, there’s more upside to cooking tomatoes than eating them raw, even though it’s technically processing the veg. Can you take the loss? Yes! Besides, studies have shown that no more than 30 percent of the vitamin C is lost during cooking and you will likely make up this nutrient intake by snacking on fresh fruits during the day (wink)!
Healing Kitchen Tips:
Eating seasonal means that you enjoy your vegs at their peak of nutrition and flavor. For tomatoes, this will be May – October.
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 20 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- Warm 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet pan over a medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl whisk 2 tbsp. of olive oil, tomato paste, pink sea salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, and crushed red pepper into a paste consistency.