With increased time at home since March, we have been preparing more food and meals at home out of necessity. Looking back now, I realize that even though this was originally a necessity, our kitchen skills naturally improved. Our level of comfort with meal prep naturally improved, too.
One of my new favorite items to prepare is roasted tomatoes. Believe it or not, they are quick and easy to prepare… especially if you have a toaster oven. (They are also easily prepared in the oven, but a toaster oven saves the time of not waiting on your oven to preheat). Another reason why I love roasted tomatoes so much is because they are so versatile. They are an easy way to serve for any meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Roasting also not only enhances the natural flavor of the seasonings you use but brings out the natural flavors of the tomato itself.
Some fun facts about tomatoes include they are 95% water, so they are a naturally hydrating food source. Agriculturally they are classified as a fruit, but our bodies metabolize and use the nutrition and energy similarly to that of other non-starchy vegetables like cucumbers and other leafy greens. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and folate. Furthermore, cooking further increases the nutrient lycopene content in tomatoes. Tomatoes are naturally rich in lycopene, but the heat of cooking (or canning) actually increases lycopene content even more. There is no right way or wrong way to eat your vegetables, but take some time and find ways to season, flavor and serve them so that you look forward to including them into your everyday food choices.
Prep Time: <5 minutes; Cook Time: <5 minutes
- Preheat toaster oven (or oven ~350°F)
- Slice tomatoes. I like using cherry, grape or other snack sized tomatoes because they are quick and easy. However, any tomato will work. Just slice as many as you want to eat or serve in that moment.
- Coat with oil. Any oil is fine, but I prefer Olive Oil because it adds some flavor to it. Canola oil will not contribute much flavor. You can either stir together in a bowl with a drizzle of oil, or spray.
- Season tomatoes. You can use any combination of seasoning and herbs – fresh or dried. I used dried because that is what I currently had on hand since I was low on groceries. Today I used garlic powder, a little bit of salt & pepper, thyme, and basil.
- Place in oven and roast for 3-5 minutes. If it is a toaster oven, you really do not need to preheat, you can just place in when ready. If you are using a regular oven, wait for preheating to be completed.
- When done, serve and enjoy!!! If there are leftovers, refrigerate and serve cold for another meal or snack.
Serving suggestions include: a vegetable side dish or dinner topping, a pasta topping, served with eggs in the morning at breakfast, or as a bruschetta topping for an afternoon snack. My personal favorite is to serve it on toast with ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and topped with the roasted tomatoes! This is a complete snack or breakfast that includes the great fuel sources of carbs, proteins, and fats that is not only filled with nutrition, but is packed with flavor. I have fallen in love with this quick and easy way to eat tomatoes because it satisfies in so many ways. I hope you enjoy!
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