Tomato Products Spell Winter Comfort

By Sharon Palmer, RD, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

Potatoes Sharon

Winter is upon us, which means it’s the perfect time to enjoy all of those hearty foods that bring comfort to the mind, body and soul. And it’s a great time to stock your pantry with tomato products, including canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, pasta sauce, tomato soup, and salsa. Each can is packed with delicious, nutritious tomatoes, harvested and processed at their summer peak. So, you can feel good about skipping out-of-season produce and turning to your pantry during the colder months—just like your grandmother did!

Tomato products are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and lycopene—the antioxidant compound linked with health protection. And with each serving of tomato products, you squeeze another all-important vegetable serving into your family’s diet. Research shows that the habit of eating vegetables regularly is linked with a host of benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, stroke, and more. Since most people fall short on their vegetable servings, every serving really counts!

Here’s my winter comfort food guide for turning tomato products into delicious meals every night of the week.

Comfort Food Tomato Products Guide  – feature tomato products with these delicious comfort foods

Canned diced tomatoes in juice – Southwestern black bean chili, dal with Basmati rice, stew, macaroni with tomatoes, vegetable soup, pasta puttanesca, risotto, minestrone.

Fire-roasted canned tomatoes in juice – Smoky chili, sloppy joes, tortilla soup, vegetable chickpea tagine, jambalaya, creole.

Canned tomato sauce – Thai vegetable tofu curry with rice, stuffed cabbage leaves, Mediterranean polenta, bouillabaisse, moussaka, veggie pizza, Hungarian goulash.

Marinara or pasta sauce – Stuffed green peppers, lasagna, manicotti, spaghetti, ratatouille, baked beans. sweet & sour, eggplant parmesan.

Tomato soup – Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich, tomato basil soup, tomato rice soup.

Salsa – Huevos rancheros, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, 7 layer bean dip, quesadillas.

Try this delicious comfort food side dish for dinner this week!

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Tomatoes

Potatoes Sharon

Here’s a simple, flavorful 5 ingredient side dish you can whip up in minutes! Calling upon three favorites—tomatoes, rosemary and potatoes—this vegetable and potato dish is the perfect accompaniment for meat and poultry dishes. Plus it’s an easy way to fit in a serving of healthful vegetables into your day!

 6 medium red and/or gold potatoes, scrubbed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Black pepper and salt, as desired

1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Slice unpeeled potatoes into thin wedges and place in a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with garlic, canned diced tomatoes, and olive oil. Toss to distribute ingredients. Season with black pepper and salt, as desired.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, until tender and golden brown. Stir ingredients every 15 minutes.

Make 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving: 203 calories, 5 g protein, 42 g carbohydrate, 4 g, sugar, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 164 mg sodium


Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ is a writer and author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Over 850 of her articles have been published in national publications, including Prevention,Better Homes and Gardens and Today’s Dietitian. She is also the editor of the award-winning publication Environmental Nutrition and writes for her blog, The Plant-Powered Blog. Her specific expertise is in plant-based nutrition, including Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets. Her second book, Plant-Powered For Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes is available for purchase now.