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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Food poisoning is the new normal, try LISS instead of HIIT, and the devastation of sunscreen

by | May 4, 2018

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

This week food poisoning is the new normal, try LISS instead of HIIT, and the devastation of sunscreen.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

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

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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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: A major magazine vows to stop fat shaming, mental badassery, and the horrors of the pork industry

by | Aug 5, 2016
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 a major magazine vows to stop fat shaming, mental badassery, and the horrors of the pork industry.

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

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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Foodist Approved: Summer Quinoa Salad Recipe

by | Jun 14, 2016
farmers market quinoa salad

farmers market quinoa salad

The ingredients in this hearty grain salad celebrate the start of summer and the opening of farmers markets across the country. This quinoa salad is packed with a power combo of kale, sugar snap peas, and radishes and is tossed with a bright lemony vinaigrette.

The secret that takes this salad from good to great is adding finely grated lemon zest to the vinaigrette. The zest brightens the other flavors and creates a beautiful flavor profile.

A microplane zester is an inexpensive tool worthy of adding to your kitchen gadget collection. Otherwise a paring knife can be used to carefully remove the zest from the pith. This will give you large pieces of zest that then need to be minced finely. Lemon zest adds exceptional flavor to everything from dressings to marinades to baked goods.

I’ll admit it. I made this salad three times this week! The first night for recipe testing, the next night for dinner at grandma’s house, and a couple nights later for a dinner party with friends. It was an acclaimed winner at every event.

Top this salad with a soft-boiled egg for a quick, nourishing meal or serve as a side with grilled steak for a no-stress dinner party.

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Foodist Approved: Roasted Butternut Squash, Farro and Kale Salad Recipe

by | Dec 22, 2015
Butternut, farro and kale salad

Butternut, farro and kale salad

This delicious salad with roasted butternut squash, farro and kale has become my family’s go-to nourishing winter salad to fight the onslaught of cold viruses.

One bowlful has it all going on: crisp kale, sweet butternut, hearty farro, salty Parmesan, and an addicting homemade dressing. It’s chockfull of vitamins and minerals including C, K, A, calcium, magnesium, and potassium—all enhanced by the enzyme-rich apple cider vinaigrette. But of course the best reason to eat it is that it’s delicious.

Prepping a butternut squash requires a good quality chef’s knife and a little muscle power (learn the best technique here), or many grocery stores sell it freshly cubed to save you time. You’ll just want to chop the cubes into smaller 1/2-inch pieces for guaranteed roasting perfection.

Make this colorful salad as an impressive side dish on a Sunday night then stowaway the leftovers for a work lunch that will be the envy of the office.

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18 Nutrition Habits You Are Probably Neglecting

by | Sep 29, 2015

Purple Artichokes


Going to a restaurant with me is not a normal phenomenon. I’m not impressed by comfort foods that most people love like mashed potatoes and mac’n cheese, and I almost always order the “weirdest” thing on the menu––think crudo (aka raw) platters, seaweed tastings and organ meats.

Just last week, for instance, I took my brother Shay to lunch at Mozza in Southern California, and without even asking him ordered the bone marrow appetizer. He looked at me incredulously. “Bone marrow?”

Me: “Yep, don’t worry about it. I always get it. You don’t have to have any if you don’t want.”

To Shay’s credit he tried it and––like 75% of the “weird” stuff I’ve encouraged him to try––he loved it.

So why am I such a freakshow?

Beyond my general disdain for social norms and conformity, my desire to eat at the fringes of the menu and grocery store stems from my desire to get as broad a spectrum of nutrients from my food as possible.

Healthy eating is about more than avoiding flour, sugar and trans fats. It also requires optimizing your nutrient intake of basic vitamins and minerals, as well as essential fats, amino acids, and trace micronutrients science may still be unaware of.

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Foodist Approved: Radicchio Salad with Roasted Figs and Walnuts

by | Sep 22, 2015

roasted fig salad kopecky 2 edit sm

Since figs are in season just once a year, for a short period when summer fades into fall, this is the salad I’m devouring right now. The bitter radicchio paired with the sweet, caramelized, roasted figs and the salty crumbles of goat cheese satisfies every craving in one forkful.

Figs are one of those rare fruits that producers haven’t yet figured out how to grow out of season, ship from halfway around the world, or pick under-ripe and store for months on end. Therefore the figs you’re seeing right now at your grocery store or farmers market are at peak perfection.

Transform this salad into a nourishing meal, perfect for lunch or dinner, by tossing in a cup of cooked farro, wheat berries, or brown rice.

When figs are not in season, pears or grapes make impressive stand-ins.

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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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Foodist Approved: Grilled Spring Veggie Salad with Farro

by | Apr 23, 2015
Grilled Spring Veggie Salad with Farro

Grilled Spring Veggie Salad with Farro

Now that the nights are staying warmer, we’ve finally rolled out our trusty grill. Over the years, it’s become tradition in our household that when it comes to grilling, my husband, Andy, takes over.

I’m not sure why I’ve never intercepted. He likes his meat charred until it resembles an inedible hockey puck, while I prefer my meat to come off the grill retaining some amount of life.

Recently, Andy was on the road, and I decided to fire up the grill all by my lonesome. To my delight, I discovered there’s something deeply satisfying about manning a grill. Sorry honey—from now on I’m the grill master.

I filled the grill grate with an assortment of seasonal veggies that I had simply drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. The asparagus, zucchini, and squash all turned out sweet and juicy with just the perfect amount of flavorful charring.

The best part was there were no pans to scrub after I devoured dinner.

Next time you’re grilling, cook up an extra large batch of your favorite seasonal vegetables—get creative with the assortment. Serve them the first night hot, right off the grill and the next day toss the leftovers into this satisfying salad and call it lunch or dinner.

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Foodist Approved: Grain-Free Tabouleh Salad

by | Jan 14, 2015
grain-free tabouleh

grain-free tabouleh

This grainless variation of a Lebanese classic was specially requested by Darya’s husband, Kevin. Kevin came across a tabouleh salad made with cauliflower instead of bulgur while on a work trip and has been craving it ever since.

Because just about everyone can benefit from more veggies and many of us are sensitive to grains, it seemed like a genius substitution.

I love how much the roasted cauliflower resembles couscous once pulsed a couple times in the food processor, only sweeter and fluffier. A definite keeper!

Tomatoes in the wintertime remind me of soggy cardboard—flavorless and mealy—so I used reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes. Of course come summertime, feel free to swap back in fresh cherry tomatoes.

Thanks for the inspiration, Kevin!

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Foodist Approved: DIY Quinoa Salad

by | Aug 20, 2014

Quinoa Salad Kopecky Summer Tomato sm

So you want to eat healthier but you’re not sure where to begin? A good place to start is revamping your lunch.

Lunch is easy to overlook, inconveniently located smack-dab in the middle of the day. This means you might be tempted by anything you can grab on the go, often a processed-deli-meat sandwich or a deceptively-labeled energy bar.

Since a long lunch and an afternoon siesta are not likely to become a part of our culture anytime soon, the best routine you can get into is to make a big batch of a veggie-loaded whole-grain salad on Sunday evenings. My go-to is a seasonal quinoa salad that I pack with whatever veggies I have left over from our weekly farm share and toss with my favorite lemon miso dressing.

Below is a recipe guide for creating your own quinoa salad. Keep the basics in mind (grain + veggies + dressing) and you really can’t go wrong with mixing and matching. Once you’ve made this recipe a couple of times, you’ll be able to accomplish it in 30 minutes or less.

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