Tomatoes are one of those super versatile foods that can be used in many recipes in many ways, from a salad topping to an ingredient in soups and sauces. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and shown to be protective against cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic tumors. Given tomatoes’ nutritional value, they are often recommended by dietitians and nutritionists for cholesterol-controlling and weight-loss diet programs.
Combine tomatoes with black beans and orzo (a type of pasta similar in shape to rice) to create a delicious and healthy lunch dish or side for dinner with the family.
Bean, Tomato and Orzo Salad
Yield: 16 4-ounce servings
½ pound fresh green beans, snapped
2 cups grape tomatoes, any variety
1½ cups orzo pasta, dry
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup red onions, sliced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt plus a couple pinches salt for boiling water
½ teaspoon black pepper
12-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Bring a large sauce pan of salted water to a boil on high heat. Add green beans and cook 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer green beans to an ice bath (a large bowl of ice water). Drain the green beans and set aside. Return the sauce pan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onions soften slightly. Remove pan from the heat. Add cooked orzo, black beans, feta cheese, pine nuts, remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, oregano, sea salt and pepper; toss to mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Per serving: 169 calories, 6.4 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 3.5 g fiber, 242 mg sodium