While I continue on my health improvement journey, I am constantly reminded of one thing – most vegetables have zero Weight Watchers points. I even tested this claim by entering 10 pounds each of cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots in my online Weight Watchers tracking calculator. It’s true – nada, zilch, nothing, not a single point. While this does encourage me to eat my veggies, I also know that vegetables are healthy beyond measure and don’t pack on the pounds like 10 pounds of fried chicken will.
Keeping the health benefits and incredible taste of fresh veggies in mind, I continue to water my garden daily. About a month ago, I was shopping at our local, natural food co-op and found that not only are almost all the plants organic, they are affordable and locally nurtured. That’s when a group of mature tomatoes plants caught my eye. They were in large pots along with a U-shaped bamboo stake in each one holding up the 18″ plant. I immediate thought to myself, “Here is a plant beyond infancy…I shouldn’t be able to kill this one.” Beyond the size, I also noticed the type. It was labeled as “Grafted Tomato” with the grower called “Mighty ‘Mato.” My first thought was that it was a Frankenstein, GMO laden green monster that could grow up and eventually ask me to feed it humans. I’ve seen the movies! I then remembered my grandfather showing me grafted fruit trees in his orchard when I was a child – safe, non-GMO, very hearty fruit trees. I was sold. I brought my Mighty Mato home and planted it.
After researching the variety for this post, the Mighty ‘Mato website describes my Stupice variety as such:
Extra early and reliable; cool-season heirloom produces 2″ red fruits with wonderful, balanced, sweet-acid tomato flavor. Perfect for gardeners in northern climes or first of season production in warmer areas.
Flash forward four weeks later – it has grown to a height of four feet with golf ball size (green) tomatoes on it and more blooms than I can count. I’m even more excited now. Tomatoes taste awesome and are good for you. Oh and did I mention, they have a zero Weight Watcher’s point value?
Here is one of my favorite summer tomato recipes:
Italian Bread Salad
Makes 3-4 servings
3 Weight Watchers points per serving
1 Tbl sp. Extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbl sp. White or red wine vinegar
1 Tbl sp. Balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced to a paste with a dash of salt
Salt and white pepper to taste
3 cups stale, crusty sourdough bread (French or Italian if you don’t have sourdough), cut into ½” cubes
¼ lb. fresh, ripe red tomatoes, cut into large chunks
¼ lb. fresh, ripe yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into slices
1 c. thinly sliced red onions
½ c. packed basil leaves, stems removed, finely shredded
1. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss
3. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
4. Let set for 15 minutes before serving to allow the bread to
soak up the flavors of the dressing and ripe tomatoes.