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Sun Dried Tomatoes?
Sun dried tomatoes are a somewhat new addition to my diet. I can be a picky eater, and sometimes it is hard for people to convince me to try new foods. I am sure you can relate on some level. Whether you are the picky eater in your household, it is one of your kids, or your spouse. Putting new ingredients in dishes is always sure to alarm someone at the table.
But hearing the health benefits of food is usually enough to convince me to at least try them. If it’s good for me, it is worth a shot. So whether you have been eating sun dried tomatoes for decades, or are considering cooking with them for the first time, I thought it would be nice to share with you some of their health benefits.
According to Livestrong, each serving of these tomatoes includes ” 6.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is 26 and 17 percent of the recommended daily fiber intakes for women and men, respectively. This fiber boosts digestive health… and helps you feel full. A cup of sun-dried tomatoes also provides 7.6 grams of protein and 1.6 grams of fat.” In addition to being high in both fiber and protein, they are also a great source of antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain omega fats, making them heart healthy. These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals mentioned above have been shown to help with many aspects of our health, from keeping our skin looking young, to preventing types of cancers and heart problems. That’s a lot of help from such a little tomato.
Purchasing Sun Dried Tomatoes
The first time we made this recipe was our first experience purchasing sun dried tomatoes as an ingredient. We didn’t really know what to look for and grabbed the first thing we saw.
What we came home with ended up being sun dried tomatoes in a glass jar submerged in oil. We used them, and they were definitely delicious, but while making the dish I already knew in my mind I’d be looking for different ones before the next time we made this.
So the next time we went to purchase ingredients for this meal, we got smarter. We looked around for sun dried tomatoes that were not in a jar full of oil. What we found was perfect. The tomatoes also come dry in resealable bags – with no oil included. These tasted fresher, decreased the fat content exponentially, and still last a really long time once you put them in the fridge.
However, the tomatoes packaged in oil are softer if you prefer that texture, and easier to blend if you are using them to make a sauce or dip. Feel free to use whichever type works best for you.
Making the Meal
Once you have all of your ingredients and are ready to cook, this recipe is pretty simple, but can take a little bit of prep time depending how you want it.
We start with the chicken because it takes the longest – I love cooking the chicken breasts on our cast iron skillet and then shredding it. The flavor the skillet creates is unbeatable, and it is always perfectly juicy. However, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet or want to be able to cook the chicken ahead of time, feel free to cook in on a normal frying pan, in the oven, or even in the crock-pot following the instructions found in my recipe here.
Next is the broccoli – we cook our broccoli in a separate pan on the oven before adding it to the zucchini noodles. We do this because broccoli is a lot tougher than the noodles. If you only put the broccoli on the stove once you are cooking the noodles, it will be crunchy in your dish. If that is how you like your veggies then that is fine! We just like ours softer, so we cook it separately.
Spiralize time! – While the chicken and broccoli are cooking, make your zucchini noodles with your spiralizer. If you are new to spiralzing and don’t have one, I suggest getting one now. They are awesome. If you want some more information, tips, and tricks first, read my post on Spiralizing Vegetables. You will combine the zucchini noodles with all the spices and cook until tender, adding in the veggies and protein periodically.
So although this recipe does have a few steps to it, there are simple ways to make it easier and less time consuming for nights after work. Try it now and be amazed how fresh and delicious it is, and then cook it for a group and see just how impressed your friends will be.
Me too! Spiralized dishes are the best way to create a pasta-like, satisfying, and indulgent tasting meal that is actually extremely healthy and nutritious. I use my spiralizer at least several times a week, and would probably cook with it everyday if I could.
Check out more of my spiralizing recipes, try them all, and let me know which ones are your favorites!
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