Food for Life – Tomato Kale Dish

We endeavor to use good judgment in determining what combinations of food best agree with us. It is our duty to act wisely in regard to our habits of eating, to be temperate, and to learn to reason from cause to effect. If we will do our part, then the Lord will do His part in preserving our brain-nerve power.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 492.

“The other members of my family do not eat the same things that I [Ellen White] do. I do not hold myself up as a criterion for them. I leave each one to follow his own ideas as to what is best for him. I bind no one else’s conscience by my own. One person cannot be a criterion for another in the matter of eating. It is impossible to make one rule for all to follow. There are those in my family who are very fond of beans, while to me beans are poison. Butter is never placed on my table, but if the members of my family choose to use a little butter away from the table, they are at liberty to do so. Our table is set twice a day, but if there are those who desire something to eat in the evening, there is no rule that forbids them from getting it. No one complains or goes from our table dissatisfied. A variety of food that is simple, wholesome, and palatable, is always provided.” Ibid., 491.

Tomato Kale Dish

1 1/2 bunches of kale (about 12 cups)

1 cup chopped tomatoes or 1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

1 Tablespoon olive oil or water

1/2 cup cleaned raw cashews

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt to taste

Remove stems from kale, rinse well and chop; then steam until tender. While kale is steaming, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil or water. When onion is soft, add cumin and heat until fragrant; then add tomatoes and peas. When heated through, add kale and cashews. Serve over brown rice.

Submitted by Wally Lacey

Office administrator for an ophthalmology practice in Oceanside, California, Wally enjoys encouraging patients to eat a healthy, vegan diet to improve their health.

Nature Nugget – The Lowly Tomato

The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a fruit that is most often used and eaten as a vegetable. The ancestors of the modern tomatoes were first domesticated in Central America and were small cherry types. Tomatoes first reached Europe shortly after the Spanish explorer Cortez conquered the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, later to be renamed Mexico City, in 1521. The earliest mention of the tomato in European literature was found in an herbal written in 1544 about a yellow variety that was being eaten in Italy. The first tomatoes undoubtedly were first received in Spain where they were known as pome dei Moro (Moor’s Apple). Over the next few decades, several varieties were developed in the Mediterranean countries under the name of pomme d’amour (Love Apple), a probable corruption of the original Spanish name.

The tomato was not accepted well in northern Europe, especially England, where it was considered poisonous because it was a member of the nightshade family. In 1578, English authors referred to the tomato as a horticultural ornamental, and, by 1623, four color types were known. In 1692, the first cookbook to mention tomatoes was published in Naples. By 1700, seven types of tomatoes were mentioned in one article, including a large red type. In the 1700s, English cooks used tomatoes sparingly in the flavoring of soups, and a tomato recipe showed up in a popular British cookbook.

Colonists from Britain brought the tomato to North America as an ornamental that was most valued for its pustule removing properties. Early efforts by American merchants to peddle tomatoes were not very successful. Lingering doubts about the safety of the tomato were supposedly put to rest in 1820 when Colonel Robert Johnson announced that he would eat a bushel of tomatoes at noon on September 26 in front of the Boston Courthouse. Thousands of people showed up to watch him eat the tomatoes, expecting him to die, and they were shocked when he lived. Thereafter, tomatoes began to grow steadily in popularity in the Western World. By 1835, tomatoes were being sold by the dozen in Boston’s Quincy market. Tomatoes were first offered in a seed catalogue in 1847 by Thomas Bridgeman, who listed four varieties. By the late 1880s, several hundred cultivars had been named, and it was clear that the tomato had firmly implanted itself in western culture. Today, there are thousands of varieties in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

Recent news concerning tomatoes deals with the presence of lycopene, the major carotenoid found in red tomatoes. Similar to beta-carotene, lycopene is a potent antioxidant, which is a molecule that snuffs out cancer-causing free radicals. Studies show that people who eat a lot of tomato products show a marked reduction in cancer risk. The tiny current tomato (L. pimpinellifolium), a wild relative of the domestic tomato, contains over 40 times more lycopene than the domestic tomato and is being crossed with it to produce high lycopene cultivars. Tomatoes also rank sixteenth as a source of vitamin A and thirteenth as a source of vitamin C, among all fruits and vegetables, and are considered the most important provider of these two vitamins in the western diet. Tomatoes also contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, magnesium, niacin, iron, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, sodium and thiamine. A recent university survey ranked the tomato as the single most important fruit or vegetable of western diets in terms of overall source of vitamins and minerals.

The Lord has truly blessed us with giving us the tomato, not only for our nourishment, but also for health maintenance. “If people only knew the value of the products of the ground, which the earth brings forth in their season, more diligent efforts would be made to cultivate the soil. All should be acquainted with the special value of fruits and vegetables fresh from the orchard and garden.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 312.

Recipe – Tomato Salad


Olive Oil

Bell Pepper



Choose nice ripe tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion, then add salt to taste and a small amount of olive oil. This should be eaten right after preparing. Other spices can be added to suit your taste such as fresh parsley, dill, or basil, or you can use your favorite salad dressing instead of the olive oil and salt. Experiment and enjoy. Basic recipe was submitted by S. Andrei who lives in Romania.

Recipe – Tomato Basil Bread

2 ½ cups warm water

2 Tbsp Honey or sweetener

2 Tbsp yeast

2 Tbsp tomato paste

¼ cup oil

1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning

1/8 cup basil leaves, fresh

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup shredded onion

1 Tbsp salt

6-7 cups flour (part whole wheat)

Combine warmed water, sweetener and yeast. Let set until bubbly. Add the rest of the ingredients except the flour and mix well. Add flour one cup at a time. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rise until double in size. Punch down and separate into three parts. Roll each out to an 8 x 12 rectangle; roll up lightly, pinch to seal edges. Place on jelly roll pan. Let rise about 20 minutes. Place in warmed 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Recipe – Tomato Pie

1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie shell, baked

4 medium plum tomatoes

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 cup chopped white onion

½ tsp. salt

½ cup Veganaise

1 cup Rice Shreds cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Halve tomatoes, remove seeds, and cut each half into about 6 wedges in bottom of baked pie shell. Sprinkle with ½ cup onion, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon basil. Stir Veganaise and cheese together in a small bowl, and then spread half of mixture over onion layer. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, topping with the remaining Veganaise mixture. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. If piecrust starts over-browning, cover edges with aluminum foil. Allow pie to cool 20 minutes before serving.


Food – Tomato, Fruit or Vegetable?

To really figure out if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, you need to know what makes a fruit a fruit and a vegetable a vegetable. The big question to ask is, does it have seeds? If the answer is yes, then technically (botanically) you have a fruit. This, of course, makes the tomato a fruit. Now don’t go looking for tomatoes next to the oranges in your grocery stores! Fruits like tomatoes are usually (alas, incorrectly) referred to as vegetables in most grocery stores and cookbooks. Most of us use the tomato as we do vegetables, primarily in savory dishes.

What health benefits do tomatoes give? In November 1998, a press release from the Heinz Institute of Nutritional Sciences touted the benefits of lycopene, a dietary carotenoid found in high concentrations in processed tomato products. Lycopene is an antioxidant, which purportedly fights the free radicals that can interfere with normal cell growth and activity. These free radicals can potentially lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging. Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C (concentrated the most in the juice sacs surrounding the seeds) and contain goodly amounts of potassium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin B.

Unfortunately, the tomato is included in the list of the top ten foods to which most people are allergic. In the United States today, tomatoes are second in consumption only to potatoes.

There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. The most common shapes are round (Beefsteak and Globe), pear-shaped (Roma) and the tiny cherry-sized (Cherry and Grape). Yellow varieties tend to be less acidic and thus less flavorful than their red counterparts.

When selecting tomatoes at the market, use your nose. Smell the blossom (not stem) end. The most flavorful ones will have a rich tomato aroma. Select tomatoes that are round, full and feel heavy for their size, with no bruises or blemishes. The skin should be taut and not shriveled. Store fresh ripe tomatoes in a cool, dark place, stem-side down, and use within a few days.

Refrigeration is the enemy of the tomato as it nullifies flavor and turns the flesh mealy.

When wintering your garden, you can salvage some of those tomatoes that haven’t yet ripened by wrapping them in newspaper and storing in a cool area between 55 and 70 degrees F for two to four weeks. Store them no more than two deep and check them often to use the ones that have begun to ripen. Don’t expect them to be as good as ones you’ve ripened on the vine, but they will probably still be better than store-bought.