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Meatless Monday: Take advantage of tomato season

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Bring on the tasty tomatoes!

From farmers markets to backyard gardens this is the time of year to take advantage of the bounty of fresh tomatoes! Participating in Meatless Monday can open you up to a variety of ways to incorporate the season’s best pickings into mealtime.

Gazpacho soup

Eliminating meat from your diet even one day a week can help keep your weight down, fight diseases, reduce pollution and even help you avoid risk to food-borne illnesses. Cutting back on meat is good for the environment, too. For example, anywhere from 1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into producing a pound of beef vs. 220 gallons of water for a pound of tofu.

Along with tasting great, tomatoes are good for you! They contain all three high-powered antioxidants: beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report, noted that a third of us get too little vitamin C and almost half get too little vitamin A. So eat up!

These five recipes using the season's fresh tomatoes are perfect for a Meatless Monday or to help you get through dinner decisions during the week.

1Fresh tomato sandwich

Nothing beats the simplicity and satisfaction of the perfect sandwich! A hearty sandwich doesn't need to be piled high with meats or many other ingredients when you have large, fresh tomatoes on hand. To create a towering tomato sandwich, slice the tomatoes at least half an inch-thick and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Add your favorite mayo (try this recipe for homemade mayo) to your favorite bread, and add one ingredient like cucumber slices or thinly sliced onions, if you must. Be sure to have a plate and napkin handy – along with being delicious, fresh tomatoes are very juicy!

2Tomato and egg tart

A great summertime meal, this tart recipe is filling and perfect served with a green salad.

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1, 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound fresh, ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the bottom of the pie shell with the Dijon mustard. Place the tomatoes in the shell, overlapping.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, cream, and salt and pepper and blend thoroughly.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the Swiss cheese and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until set.

3Farmers' market panzanella salad

A rustic Italian salad made with day-old bread perfect for soaking up the salad juices, panzanella makes a great meal. Fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese make this dish one of the season's stars.

4Tomatoes with orecchiette pasta

This recipe for tomatoes with orecchiette pasta is from Whole Living. It serves four and is simple and delicious when made with the freshest of tomatoes. The pasta is shaped perfectly to hold all the juices of the tomatoes.

5Gazpacho soup

Soup on a summer's day? Gazpacho is soup, but soup that's served chilled! This soup isn't cooked, so it's best to use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on, like farm-fresh tomatoes. Classic gazpacho is made with tomatoes as its base, but SheKnows also provides you with a few varieties to switch things up!

Garden fresh tomatoes will soon be a thing of this season's past. Take advantage of "tomato time" and go for it while the garden is still growing!

More tomato recipes

Heirloom tomato recipes
Smooth and creamy tomato soup
Homemade tomato jams
Pasta-stuffed baked tomatoes
Garden tomato salsa

More Meatless Monday articles

Meatless Monday Mediterranean style
Meatless Monday: Summer fruits and veggies
Meatless Monday: Breakfast for dinner
Meatless Monday: What's the news?

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