Giving the Tomato/Tomahto a Go

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One of the biggest surprises for me after my Celiac diagnosis (Jan. 2013) was that once my body was finally healing and responding to nutritious food properly, I was actually enjoying many naturally gluten free foods that I previously really disliked and avoided. Specifically, tomatoes!  

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Maybe due to the fact that pizza made me feel awful or that tomato sauce was usually a part of a pasta dinner (same issue), I strongly disliked tomatoes so much that I avoided them entirely for as long as possible, even picking them out of salads or wherever they turned up on my plate. 

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However, that's not the case anymore and I'm thrilled. Feeling like my happy, healthy self again, I've come to discover how great tomatoes actually are and how versatile they can be in our cooking. I've done a little research and learned that tomatoes are part of the nightshade group, which includes foods that can cause problems for those with autoimmune diseases. Now, I'm not a scientist and I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty of it, but I'm pretty sure that my Celiac being well managed (and totally under control) is a possible reason why my aversion to tomatoes has basically disappeared. Hooray!

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A summer favorite in our house is my husband's super simple, and extremely delicious, tomato sauce using fresh, local plum tomatoes at their peak. It makes any meal instantly more vibrant, flavorful, and enjoyable because it's just that good. Maybe I'm partial because we're married, but oh well. It really is terrific! :)

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I haven't watched him extremely closely while he makes it, but I do know it includes the following: chopped plum tomatoes, fresh chopped garlic, a little sea salt, oregano, and now that we've set up our apartment garden (it's tiny!), the sauce has fresh basil mixed in as well. Proportions are dependent on how much you're planning to make (we love leftovers since it reheats so well) and how much you love garlic. I love it. 

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For someone who used to run the other way when presented with a dish that featured tomatoes in any form, I feel very happy, and fortunate, to finally be able to enjoy them in such a delicious form. Tomatoes also have a host of health benefits which is a win-win all around: my body is healthier because I'm eating this nutritious food and my mind is calmer knowing that I don't have to fear how my body will react upon consumption. 

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No matter how you say it, tomato-tomahto-whatever, we can all agree that this summer staple  is here to stay. 

 A personal favorite: chicken Parmesan with fresh tomato sauce over zucchini. Yum! 

A personal favorite: chicken Parmesan with fresh tomato sauce over zucchini. Yum! 

Dinner notes: we make this homemade tomato sauce for dishes such as chicken Parmesan, pasta bolognese, and even on homemade pizza. Tons of fresh flavor and reheats like a dream. Enjoy! 

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