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Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

February 15, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

It’s always helpful to have prepared foods on hand that help you deal with the specific challenges of your particular lifestyle. In our household, we sometimes find that we can’t have dinner until rather late at night because of business or social obligations. This can be a problematic for anyone hoping to adhere to a healthy diet. That is, unless you prepare ahead. Today’s recipe was borne out the desire to have something nutritious, delicious and light on hand that could be used as late night snack or supper.

When eating a late night meal or snack it’s important to factor in how easy it is to digest. A succulent filet of salmon with a side of grilled asparagus is an excellent choice, but may not sit well with your digestive system if eaten an hour or two prior to bedtime. That’s why I find that late night dining is an ideal time to focus on vegetable selections. One of our favorite veggie dishes is herb-roasted Roma tomatoes.

Tomatoes truly shined in the medical literature toward end of 2010. Several publications based on research conducted in Australia, Iran and Italy, pointed out that tomatoes and tomato components such as lycopene are valuable agents in the fight against heart disease. Evidence derived from an intervention study and two reviews report that tomato consumption impacts several cardiovascular risk markers including: apoA-I, LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol, diastolic and systolic blood pressure and inflammatory response (AP-1, MAPK and NF-kB). (1,2,3)

The cardiovascular system isn’t the only one that benefits from tomato intake. Antioxidants and phytochemicals contained in tomatoes are currently being investigated as natural chemoprotective agents. Preliminary data indicates that lycopene, the predominate carotenoid in tomato, demonstrates antimutagenic properties against a variety of cancers including colon, lung, prostate and stomach malignancies. The research with respect to prostate cancer is especially compelling. A recent “multicenter case-control study” published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer discovered that high tomato consumption may lower the likelihood of prostate cancer by as much as 67%. Intervention trials examining animal and human models of prostate cancer are also beginning to reveal promising results as well. (4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

Healthy Fellow Herb Roasted Tomatoes
6 Organic Roma Tomatoes
2 Tbs. Org. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Org. Cloves of Garlic
1 Tbs. of Org. Rosemary
1 Tbs. of Org. Sage
1 Tbs. of Org. Thyme
Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, leaving only the “shell” of the tomato. Drain any excess liquid from the cored tomatoes by placing them face down on non-chlorinated paper towels. Finely chop the fresh herbs and garlic. Place the dried tomato halves, cut-side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle or spray tomatoes with a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle the herbs and spices onto each tomato half. Salt and pepper to taste. Place into the oven for about 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the tomatoes to sit in the warm oven for an additional 45 minutes.

Sage Tea Consumption May Improve LDL/HDL Cholesterol Ratio

Source: Int J Mol Sci. 2009 September; 10(9): 3937–3950. (link)

If you eat this dish on a regular basis and you happen to notice that your memory seems sharper and/or your mood is a bit brighter, there could be a scientific basis for your observation. Extracts of sage are known to support cognitive functioning in a way (cholinesterase inhibition) that’s similar to medications used to treat dementia. It’s fascinating to note that some of the benefits of sage, including improved alertness, mood enhancement and “quality of memory”, become apparent even if you just smell it! Naturally occurring chemicals in rosemary, carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, are also documented as “novel neuroprotective agents”. And then there’s thyme. Carvacrol, a component of thyme, is showing potential in reducing anxiety and depression in animal models. (11,12,13,14,15)

We tend to prepare a large quantity, a dozen or so, of these roasted tomatoes so that we can enjoy them on multiple occasions. They keep well in the refrigerator for about week and tend to “disappear” long before that. If you’re wondering how we serve them, here are few of our favorite ways: we top them with goat cheese or a dollop of olive tapenade. They also work well as a main or side dish alongside eggs or a salad. Just know that including more traditional foods like this in your menu plan will not only keep your diet on track, but may very well improve your defenses against some of the most alarming health threats that we face in the 21st century. (16,17,18)

Be well!

JP

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6 Comments & Updates to “Roasted Tomatoes Recipe”

  1. anne h Says:

    Love that – can’t wait to try it!

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, Anne! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

    Be well!

    JP

  3. Michael Mackin Says:

    wonderful information,I cant wait to try it

  4. Pradip Gharpure Says:

    What a supurb dish. Well thought out- a great choice to use. However i am worried about the time limit specified. I feel it can happen even earlier to the time mentioned in the post. Thanks for spreading such a marvelous dish. Looking forward to many more.

  5. JP Says:

    Thank you, Michael and Pradip!

    Be well!

    JP

  6. JP Says:

    Update 04/20/15:

    http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/s12937-015-0021-4.pdf

    Nutrition Journal (2015) 14:34

    Tomato juice intake increases resting energy expenditure and improves hypertriglyceridemia in middle-aged women

    Background: Tomato-based food products have health-promoting and disease-preventing effects. Some tomato juice ingredients may have health benefits for middle-aged women, including women with menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular diseases. We investigated the net effect of tomato juice intake on several health parameters in women in this age group.

    Methods: An open-label, single-arm study was conducted, involving 95 women (40-60-years-old) who had at least one menopausal symptom. The participants refrained from foods and drinks rich in tomato and tomato-based products for 2 weeks prior to the study and during the 8 weeks of tomato juice consumption. After the run-in period, the women were asked to consume 200 mL of unsalted tomato juice, twice daily for 8 weeks. Their menopausal symptoms were evaluated using the Menopausal Symptom Scale (MSS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) before the study, and at 4 and 8 weeks after study commencement. At the same times, body composition; blood pressure; heart rate; resting energy expenditures (REEs); and serum levels of triglyceride (TG), cholesterol, glucose, and hemoglobin A1c were measured.

    Results: Ninety-three women (98%) completed the study. The following parameters showed significant changes, compared with baseline, at study weeks 4 and 8 (mean ± standard deviation at baseline, week 4, and week 8): (1) the MSS score improved (32.8 ± 17.0, 28.1 ± 16.3, 27.6 ± 16.3; P < 0.0001, repeated measures analysis of variance(ANOVA)), (2) the HADS-anxiety subscale score improved (5.3 ± 2.7, 4.8 ± 2.4, 4.9 ± 2.9; P = 0.041, Friedman test), (3) heart rate increased (62.6 ± 9.4 bpm, 64.4 ± 8.6 bpm, 63.8 ± 8.2 bpm; P = 0.028, Friedman test), (4) REE increased (1980 ± 368 kcal/day, 2108 ± 440 kcal/day, 2149 ± 470 kcal/day; P = 0.0030, repeated measures ANOVA), (5) serum TG level decreased in the subgroup of women (n = 22) who had high TG (150 mg/dL or higher) at baseline (237.8 ± 88.9 mg/dL, 166.7 ± 86.1 mg/dL, 170.9 ± 109.7 mg/dL; P = 0.0002, Friedman test).

    Conclusions: Tomato juice intake alleviated menopausal symptoms, including anxiety, increased REEs and heart rate, and lowered high baseline serum TG levels in middle-aged women.

    Be well!

    JP

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