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Foodist Approved: Shrimp Skewers with Grilled Tomatoes, Avocado, and Peaches

by | Jun 16, 2015
shrimp skewers

shrimp skewers

I did a little dance this week out of excitement as my husband and I got to eat our first cherry tomatoes of the season from our garden. Doing so inspired me to come up with a fun summer recipe for tomatoes besides my usual Caprese salad.

These vibrant, Mexican-themed skewers threaded with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and peaches highlight the season’s best flavors. The shrimp pairs perfectly with the grilled, juicy fruit for a light summer dinner (yes, tomatoes and avocados are fruit).

Whip together a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce for drizzling over the skewers by reserving some of the marinade and stirring it into whole milk yogurt. I like to serve seafood kebabs on top of rice with a side of salad greens.

Because the shrimp cook up in a matter of minutes, I grill them on separate skewers from the fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to soak your wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to getting started to prevent them from burning.

No grill? No problemo. You can simply stir-fry the avocado, peaches, and tomatoes in a little olive oil, add in the shrimp and cook until no longer opaque, and then stir in enough marinade to coat.

Happy summer, Summer Tomato readers! Eat lots of tomatoes and enjoy the sunshine!

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For the Love of Food

by | Jun 12, 2015
For the Love of Food

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the importance of self-experimentation, the downside of treadmill desks, and how America can become locavore.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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BIG NEWS: Summer Tomato is Leaving San Francisco

by | Jun 11, 2015
New home

New home

After 18 years (say what?!) in the Bay Area and 12 in SF proper (don’t call it San Fran), I’m packing up and moving shop.

In a couple of weeks Kevin, Toaster and I are relocating to New York City to start the next exciting chapter of our lives.

As you can imagine we’re super excited, and also a little sad.

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Why It’s Worth It to Keep Trying Foods You Don’t Like

by | Jun 9, 2015

Sardine on a stick in Kyoto

When I was kid (you know, before my relationship with food was completely warped by my mother’s dieting habit), I was actually pretty normal.

I loved ice cream, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the strawberries I picked with my grandma.

I shamelessly copied the food preferences of my fellow classmates, and rejected things like onions and tuna fish for fear of looking uncool.

And of course, there were many foods I absolutely hated. At the top of the list were cilantro, lima beans, spinach and brussels sprouts. But I was also not a fan of eggplant, cucumber, beets, egg yolks, most fish and rye bread. The list goes on.

Of course, with time I grew out of my childhood tastes. Little by little I learned that spinach can be delicious in a fresh salad as opposed to the frozen gray-green slop my parents served, and that cilantro tastes completely different when used in Vietnamese cooking compared to the Mexican food I was raised on.

That’s normal, and you probably have similar stories of foods you’ve come to love as your palate has matured.

But I’ve noticed something funny about people over the age of 25. From what I can tell many––if not most––of the adults I speak to about their food preferences have reverted to the stubbornness of childhood when it comes to certain foods.

The argument goes something like, “I’ve tried olives a zillion times. I just don’t like them, so what’s the point of trying again?”

This line of reasoning makes intuitive sense. Life is short, so you shouldn’t waste your time on things that don’t make you happy. YOLO.

But you can probably guess that I don’t feel this way. Ant rants aside, my opinion is based on a somewhat unique set of experiences that, if you haven’t been through them yourself, you might not fully appreciate.

I’ve witnessed firsthand how much more enjoyable life is when you choose to like more things, and for this reason I feel compelled to share my story and hope to convince you to try again.

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For the Love of Food

by | Jun 5, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the FDA finally gets tough on antibiotics, how to stop exercise from sucking, and why diet pills can cause weight gain.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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How to Discover and Reach Your Ideal Weight

by | Jun 2, 2015
Photo by foshydog

Photo by foshydog

When I was a dieter I always had a goal weight that I thought would change my life. I’d get on the scale (if I was brave enough) and would hold my breath as I watched the needle move, calculating in my mind how many pounds away I was from happiness.

In retrospect I don’t know what I expected to happen at that magic number. If I had been less delusional I might have acknowledged that the few times I did manage to reach my goal I instantly adjusted it a few pounds downward, the flicker of joy suppressed by the sudden realization that an even smaller pair of jeans may be in my future.

Ugh. Dieting is the worst.

Okay, so what if you’re done with the dieting neurosis but still want to lose weight for health reasons? Is there a target or ideal weight you should shoot for?

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For the Love of Food

by | May 29, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week junk science tricks lazy journalists, the real secret(s) of longevity, and nose-to-tail cooking for vegetarians.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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Foodist Approved: Kamut Salad with Strawberries, Arugula, and Blue Cheese

by | May 26, 2015
Kamut salad with strawberries

Kamut salad with strawberries

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Maria Speck while she was on tour for her new book, Simply Ancient Grains. Maria’s passion for inspiring Americans to broaden their grain-repertoire is contagious. Despite being in the thick of recipe testing for my book, I was inspired to try a few of her recipes. I was thrilled when Maria happily agreed to let me share one of her favorite whole grain salad recipes on Summer Tomato.

In the recipe below, I’ve made a few adaptations to Maria’s original. Her Kamut salad is made with oranges, orange peel, leeks, and raisins, but to put to good use the produce available at the farmers market right now, I decided to give the salad a spring makeover. I swapped out the oranges for strawberries and used fresh arugula instead of the cooked leeks. I also decided to skip the raisins since my strawberries were super sweet. Lastly, I swapped lemon zest for the orange zest in the original recipe.

When I asked Maria if she was okay with my spring interpretation of her recipe she wrote, “I love it! Why not? That’s what cooking is all about.” Adore that. Feel free to experiment with your own adaptations—and if you do, share them here.

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For the Love of Food

by | May 22, 2015
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the science of Dad Bod, omega-3s impact kids’ behavior, and the dangers of drinking before you know you’re preggers.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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The Exercise Rule That Will Keep You Fit Forever

by | May 19, 2015
Photo by lintmachine

Photo by lintmachine

Have you ever started a new habit with a lot of enthusiasm and built up some great momentum? Maybe you were able to workout three times a week for an entire month. It feels great, and every day you stick with it you’re strengthened to continue tomorrow.

But then something happens. You have to go away to a wedding a long weekend, or your kids both get sick at the same time and force you to drop everything to care for them.

Your momentum is broken, and when things settle down you find yourself ordering takeout and skipping your workout to watch the latest episode of The Voice (it’s cool, I won’t tell anyone).

Momentum can be both a blessing and a curse. When it’s on your side you feel amazing and it becomes a catalyst for even more positive behaviors. When it’s against you it somehow saps the motivation out of almost everything you do. I call this lazy couch momentum.

To avoid succumbing to the lazy couch momentum I follow one simple rule:

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