Grape tomatoes are coming into full season soon here in Northeast Ohio and in many other places as well, making them a perfect addition to any recipe. Grape tomatoes are a smaller, sweeter version of the fruit that is popular for multiple uses in American culture.
The recipe below includes grape tomatoes as a main ingredient along with other veggies that are nutritionally loaded for a well rounded side dish or full-on meal idea. It contains fiber, tons of vitamins, healthy fatty acids and protein.
Lycopene and vitamin c
Grape tomatoes pack the same nutrition as their larger counterparts in that they have a ton of lycopene, which is an antioxidant that helps protect against cancer and may also protect your skin against sunburn. They also are high in vitamin C and have a high water content as well as a large amount of fiber which means they help keep you full and replenish your cells with water, keeping your body more easily hydrated (when eaten raw as in this salad).
Avocado and olive oil for healthy fats and protein
The recipe also contains avocado and olive oil which provides healthy omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are excellent for heart health, preventive against different types of cancers and other serious degenerative diseases, and they help control weight since they trick the brain into thinking it’s full earlier than other types of fats. Avocado also provides additional fiber and protein which contributes to the feeling of satiation.
Red onions and cucumbers round out this recipe
A good portion of this recipe is also red onion and cucumber. Red onions are packed with antioxidants and rich in natural sulfur compounds which provide cancer protection as well as enhanced skin health and brain function.
Cucumbers are one of the highest water content vegetables out there. They provide a lot of fiber and natural water without almost no calories which makes them an ideal “diet food” for those watching their calories.
Without further ado, here is the recipe for Grape Tomato Salad. I’ll warn you, it’s addictive.
2 cups grape tomatoes (this equals one pint), halved
1 medium sized avocado, chopped into bit sized pieces. Preferably a fairly firm avocado so it will hold its shape nicely as this salad sits in the fridge for a day or two.
1 large cucumber, sliced into half moon slices.
1 small red onion, chopped either julienne style or into smaller bit sized pieces depending on preference.
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ red bell pepper or other sweet red pepper, chopped small
Optional: 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa if you want to make this into more of a hearty meal instead of just a side dish.
Italian dressing – add to your preference. Preferably use a home made dressing with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar with a small amount of water as the base. You can purchase a packet to make the dressing but watch for additives in the ingredients. You can also make it from scratch using a combination of dried oregano, basil, thyme (optional) and black pepper (optional), garlic salt, onion salt, and celery salt.
Blend all ingredients together in a large storable container. You can store this in the refrigerator for about two-three days before it starts to get soupy from all of the water in the veggies.
Danna Norek is the founder of AuraSensory.com, which offers natural & effective body, skin and hair care products without parabens and other toxic preservatives and hormone-altering toxins, and no artificial fragrances or colors.