Meet Ellie Krieger, RD! Ellie is our Tomato Wellness Registered Dietitian for #Movember 2021, and she is excited to share some of her favorite delicious recipes starring tomato products.
Ellie says: “As a culinary dietitian I am all about helping people find what I call “the sweet spot” where flavor and nutrition meet, and there is no ingredient that hits the spot better than tomatoes and tomato products. They dish up big flavor—rich in umami, with a mouthwatering balance of sweetness and acidity—and big health benefits–packed with lycopene, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and more. My kitchen is stocked with an array of canned tomato products at all times to use as a base for sauces, stews, soups, sheet pan dinners, side dishes, and more. Tomatoes are one of the ingredients I love most of all!”
Host and executive producer of the cooking series “Ellie’s Real Good Food” on Public Television and well known from her hit Food Network show “Healthy Appetite,” Ellie Krieger is the leading go-to nutritionist in the media today, helping people find the sweet spot where “delicious” and “healthy” meet. Her success can be attributed to her accessible way of offering tools for nurturing a richly satisfying, sumptuous lifestyle while cutting through the gimmicks, hype and extreme eating that permeate our world. Ellie is a New York Times bestselling, IACP and two-time James Beard Foundation award winning author of 7 cookbooks. She is also a weekly columnist for The Washington Post and has been a columnist for Fine Cooking, Food Network magazine and USA Today. Ellie is a registered dietitian nutritionist who earned her bachelors in clinical nutrition from Cornell University and her masters in nutrition education from Teacher’s College Columbia University. Her latest book Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Skillet or Sheet Pan was released in October 2019. She finds happiness living with her daughter and husband in New York City.
Need some recipe inspiration? Check out some of Ellie’s favorite recipes featuring tomato products, which are perfect for Movember!
Here, lamb and lentils provide a one-two protein punch that’s also a knockout flavor-wise with warm spices that ring of the Middle East. Fresh spinach leaves bring ribbons of color and vegetable nutrition to the meal, and a finishing dollop of yogurt adds cool creaminess that contrasts the warm earthy flavors in the bowl.
These personal pizzas have all the mouthwatering flavors of Shashuka– the popular Middle Eastern dish of eggs simmered in an aromatic tomato sauce—but here the sauce is spread onto pitas, topped with fresh spinach, eggs and feta cheese, and baked until the eggs are set and the cheese is melty.
This soup is fresher-tasting, more nuanced in flavor, less aggressively sweet, and lower in sodium than the typical kind, and it only requires a bit more effort to get it on the table. Tossing a handful of popcorn on top right before digging in makes for a bowl of soup that is as fun and smile-inducing as it is comforting.
It’s Movember, which means it’s time to get serious about men’s health. One of the most pressing health issues for men is prostate cancer, with more than 1.3 million men diagnosed each year. Use this month as motivation to take preventative steps to reduce your risk of getting prostate cancer, including getting screened at age 50, and following a healthy and balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies contain fiber and antioxidants that have been shown to help fight cancer and keep you healthy. One of the most potent antioxidants out there is called lycopene, which is the powerful pigment responsible for giving tomatoes their bright red color. According to several scientific studies, people who consume more tomato products have a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, likely due to the powerful combination of lycopene, vitamin A, and vitamin C that occurs naturally in tomatoes.
While fresh tomatoes are relatively high in lycopene, the compound becomes more bioavailable as tomatoes are cooked, meaning your body can absorb more and take advantage of its anti-cancer properties. Why is this? Heat changes the structure of the lycopene molecule, making it easier for the body to take in, and helps break down cell walls, which frees lycopene and allows it to be absorbed. A recent study found that men who ate cooked tomatoes five to six times per week had a 28% decreased risk of developing prostate cancer versus those who didn’t. Eating tomato products such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato soup, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and salsa is a great way to ensure you are getting in plenty of cancer-fighting lycopene.
How exactly does lycopene exert its cancer-fighting powers? Scientists have proposed several possible methods, including stopping the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate, controlling proteins that suppress tumors, and preventing damage to DNA that can have lasting impacts on the body. While lycopene is powerful on its own, tomatoes contain other anti-carcinogenic compounds, like vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. That’s why you’re better off getting lycopene from dietary sources like tomatoes, rather than from a supplement.
In addition to cooking, adding a little bit of oil to your tomatoes can boost your ability to absorb lycopene even more. This is because lycopene is a fat-soluble compound, and the fat in oil helps lycopene get broken down to a form usable by the body. A serving of whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and a side salad with olive oil and vinegar is the perfect prostate-cancer-preventing meal!
It’s so important for men to be aware of the most common conditions that can threaten health, both in Movember and beyond. Prostate cancer is a frightening possibility, but early detection and prevention is key in reducing your risk. Along with screenings and a healthy diet and exercise plan, incorporating cooked tomato products into your meals several times a week is an excellent way to make sure you are maximizing your dose of cancer-fighting lycopene.
In addition to the giveaway, we are also doing specialized merchandise this month to raise awareness. From shirts to tote bags, you’re sure to love our new Legalize Marinara merch. Get your SWAG today and help us rep Movember!
Meatless Monday just got a whole lot tastier! If you are looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, this Vegetarian BBQ Walnut Meatloaf recipe is sure to impress any meatloaf lover.
Including more plant-based meals and foods in your diet is a great way to incorporate more vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients. For example, the lentils and walnuts present in this recipe provide protein and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied. Plus, you won’t even miss the meat! One of the other key ingredients in this nutrient-packed meatloaf is canned diced tomatoes—another fan favorite food found in various dishes around the globe. The incorporation of canned tomatoes enhance the flavor and juiciness of the meal itself, making it something the whole family will enjoy. Since this dish contains canned tomatoes (which are a wonderful source of the antioxidant lycopene) and other vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, you have a great source of nutrients and protein for your next meal!
Not only is this meatloaf healthy and delicious, but it can be easily prepared in no time at all. The best part about this dish is that those who aren’t huge fans of mushrooms will be able to genuinely enjoy it because they are hidden. This goes to show that adding more plants to your diet is not as difficult as you may think it is!
Do you love Shakshuka? Then you’re sure to fall head over heels for these Shakshuka Pita Pizzas. These personal pizzas are topped with fresh spinach, eggs, feta cheese, and–of course–the classic melty egg. With flavors like this, what’s not to love? Plus, this vegetarian dish is a complete meal thanks to the protein, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats—making it a well-balanced dinner that your whole family will love. It also includes a bounty of lycopene from the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
There are many delicious components to this dish, but the canned tomato products are some of the main stand-out ingredients, as they are easy-to-use and contribute to the classic Shakshuka flavors. Plus they are also great for your health! Canned tomatoes have a plethora of antioxidants that play an integral role in the reduction of certain types of diseases and cancers. They are also great if you’re looking to increase your intake of vegetables that have the potential to boost your overall health.
Get the full recipe for Shakshuka Pita Pizzas from Ellie Krieger, RDN.
Antioxidants are powerful protective nutrients that can be found in certain foods, such as canned tomatoes. Disease prevention and improved health are only some of the many benefits, so keep reading to learn more about how you can prevent chronic disease with antioxidants.
Over the past 30 years, there has been an increasing amount of research with the correlation between nutrition and chronic disease prevention. Some of the most prominent health problems are cardiovascular disease and stomach, colon, breast, prostate, ovary, and endometrium cancer, but studies have shown certain foods (such as fruits, vegetables, and tea) have the capability to halt the development of these diseases .
Even though we all know that fruits and vegetables can boost your health, how can they prevent chronic disease? The answer lays in their antioxidant content. When cardiovascular disease and cancer take form in the body, abnormal oxidative processes take place, which lead to the formation of hydroxy radicals and peroxy compounds . Antioxidants are important to prevent these diseases because they can work against oxidative processes and delay the onset of disease . Some produce items that are rich in antioxidants include: broccoli, spinach, carrots, potatoes, artichokes, cabbage, asparagus, avocados, beetroot, radish, lettuce, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, collard greens and kale.
Lycopene is another antioxidant that is found abundantly in canned tomatoes. Heating tomatoes during the cooking process increases the body’s ability to absorb lycopene, which in turn makes them even more powerful at protecting against disease. Lycopene also plays an integral role in the improvement of heart health, protection from the sun, and reduction in certain types of cancer .
If you want to better your health and prevent chronic disease, give canned tomato products a try. So, the next time you are in the grocery store, pick up a few cans of tomatoes and try out some new recipes! Your body will thank you for it.
Check out some delicious recipes featuring canned tomatoes: