Giving Thanks – for Love of the Tomato

By:  Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD

With November being the month for giving thanks, we thought it was only appropriate to ask why people were thankful for tomatoes and/or tomato products. We posed the question to the social media world and were flabbergasted by the huge response folks showed for love of the tomato. Below, are some of the reasons fans, many Registered Dietitians, shared with us.  We’re giving thanks for the tomato too!

Top Reasons We Give Thanks for the Tomato & Tomato Products

  • Personally, I’m thankful there are many tomato products to choose from because I’m not a fan of raw tomatoes, but I love, love, love pasta with marinara sauce and tomato paste!
  • Caprese salad is the reason I’m thrilled tomatoes exist!
  • I love the oh-so-many varieties of soups you can do with tomatoes, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Just this past two weeks, I made tomato tortilla soup, sweet and spicy soup, Tuscan vegetable soup, and lamb stew—all with tomatoes!
  • My grandfather would make us a glass of fresh tomato juice for breakfast! He still drinks this every morning. I’ve loved and enjoyed fresh tomatoes since I was a little girl, simply with some salt or Spanish-style on toast!
  • I’m happy to have canned tomatoes in my pantry. They make for an easy pasta dish. Chop garlic and parsley, add to warm olive oil, and then add chili flakes and TOMATOES! OR, add them to any soup or stew. Fresh tomatoes make a quick and easy appetizer for a party. Make crostini, slice cheese and tomatoes, add a little basil and that’s it. Long story short, they are quick and bright with flavor.
  • I’m so thankful for baby tomatoes because it’s the one vegetable (fruit, I know, but seems more vegetable-ish) my toddler will always eat, and she has fun popping them in her mouth!
  • I love all tomato products, namely marinara sauce. I just had pizza with extra sauce for dipping (hey vegetable serving…!) I also always use tomatoes, lycopene increasing when heated!
  • I love hot and spicy foods, so I use salsa with everything! Helps liven up any bland dish and the boost of antioxidants is a huge plus!
  • I am thankful for vine-ripened tomatoes in the summer to enjoy with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. This is by far my favorite flavor combination. The rest of the year, I love canned tomatoes and tomato sauce to add a flavorful richness to soups, stews and sauces! I am thankful because they are part of the delicious base to many Puerto Rican dishes I make!
  • One word: PIZZA!!! I’m crazy about pizza and could live on it, if it weren’t so carb-loaded. Regardless, every time I take a bite, I think “this is amazing”. And pizza wouldn’t be pizza without tomato sauce.
  • Yellow pear tomatoes right off the vine= sunshine in a bite!
  • Of course I love fresh summer tomatoes, but I also really enjoy oil-packed sundried tomatoes. They are full of flavor and can be used in endless ways when tomatoes are out of season. They are great in pasta and chicken dishes and I love adding them to sandwiches.
  •  I’m thankful for tomatoes because my favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon is put on old blues tunes and spend some time in the kitchen making tomato sauce from scratch.
  •  Rarely does a day go by that a tomato doesn’t fall into my food plan in some form. I love V8 (guilty pleasure, not the low sodium version that I should be drinking) in the morning, I snack often on fresh cherry tomatoes, and plum tomatoes somehow always find their way into a sauce. I eat tomatoes mostly because they go with everything and come in every form: pasta sauce, burger supplements, salsa, soup and Mom’s comfort food: goulash or bow-tie pasta (great recipes with all low-fat, low-sugar replacements, but you’d never know it!).
  • I rely on canned whole tomatoes – usually with salt and basil (from Italy) for homemade pasta sauce at least once a week. So delicious and a quick meal to have on hand. Keeps great for next day lunch too.
  • I recommend to my clients who say they “hate cooked veggies” to try topping them with marinara sauce (and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese) — 9 times out of 10 … they love it!
  • Oh my gosh, the reasons are endless! I love tomatoes and tomato products in my chili, stuffed in guac, etc. All tomatoes truly rock!
  • I love to make fresh salsa from tomatoes, and I like to marinate them with vinegar and a bit of sugar with cucumbers.
  • Without tomatoes there would be no salsa! I can’t eat a meal without salsa!
  • Without tomatoes there would be no spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce, no goat cheese with marinara, no chili, no vegetable soup, no Caprese salad, no fragrance of summer. Tomatoes are the reward for the burden of hot humid months. They balance sweet and acid. Beautiful ripe, soft and firm, heirloom, beefsteak, cherry, green – FRIED GREEN TOMATOES! I could fill a page with their wonder. Tomatoes!

Why are you thankful for tomatoes and tomato products?

Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a San Francisco-based registered dietitian, specializing in nutrition, health communications, and social media. She develops news segments for television stations, writes articles for various health and wellness sites, speaks at conferences, frequently guests for wellness groups in the online social media realm, counsels, and serves as a nutrition and social media consultant. Passionate about empowering people to reach and maintain a state of optimal wellness, Corinne strives to help people cultivate the best, healthiest, and happiest “you” there is. To learn more about Corinne, visit