Diced Tomatoes

Since I am having a lot of great tomatoes this year I decided to put up some diced tomatoes.

Did you know that canned tomato products contain a lot of sodium? Two cups of canned diced tomatoes have around 840 mg sodium. Two cups of my diced tomatoes that I froze  have around 8 mgs of sodium.

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

By CCH Dietitian Mona Van Wart – I loved making this tomato ketchup. I thought it was really fun to do and the end product was fantastic . As I was making the ketchup,it took me back to my childhood when I was a little girl helping my Mom process vegetables from our gardens.

I do not use ketchup as a condiment, but I do have a couple of favorite recipes of my mother’s that uses ketchup as the main ingredient for the sauce. I decided instead of freezing the ketchup as I originally had planned I would make those recipes and then portion and freeze the end products for my lunches.

A pdf version of the recipe can be found on the Health Eating page or by clicking here.

Ingredients

6 pounds tomatoes (about 12 large tomatoes)

½ cup brown sugar

¾ cup onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup balsamic vinegar (I chose the kind that had 0 mgs. Sodium)

Cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash tomatoes.
  3. Halve the tomatoes, drizzle some olive oil over them, and place on 1-2 baking pans.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until they are soft and wrinkled looking, but not burnt.
  5. Let the tomatoes cool, and then transfer them to a blender or food processor and puree until they are smooth.  Process in small batches.
  6. In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the sugar, keeping it moving with a spoon, for about a minute.
  7. Add the onion, garlic and the pureed roasted tomatoes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the three kinds of vinegar and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds.  The ketchup should be thick.
  9. Remove from heat and season to taste with the cayenne pepper, if desired.
  10. Strain the ketchup through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl. 
  11. To cool the ketchup, fill a large stockpot about halfway with a mixture of half ice, half water, and submerge the container in the ice bath to chill.  The ice-water level should come most of the way up the outside of the container, but don’t let any water into the ketchup. 
  12. Stir the ketchup occasionally until the temperature reaches 70°F on a thermometer.
  13. Then remove the container from the ice bath, cover and transfer to the refrigerator where it will keep for 3-5 days.
  14. Ketchup can be frozen in small freezer bags or containers, or I read that it can be put in ice cube trays and then put them in a freezer container.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)

1 serving = 1 Tbsp       Calories: 8      Fat: 0 g      Carbs: 2 g      Protein: <1 g      Sodium: <1 g

(Comparison – Store bought ketchup)

1 serving = 1 Tbsp       Calories: 19      Fat: 0 g     Carbs: 4.5 g     Protein: <1 g     Sodium: 154 mgs

Plant Relocation & Some Harvesting

I thought my plants might do better outside. So with the help of Kris Mesman, we transferred the plants outside in front of the Health Services Building.

These are my potatoes that I planted in a container. I like small potatoes so I planted 8-10 slices with eye of the potato in a container that was around 18” in diameter.If I had wanted less but larger potatoes I would have planted 4-6 slices of eye of the potato in the container.

The Plants Are Growing!

My Amish paste tomatoes are looking good. When they ripen , besides making my own tomato sauce this year I think I will try something new- homemade ketchup.
My container herbs that I have on my front porch. Rosemary, Basil, and Parsley.
More Basil. I think I will be able to make lots of Pesto this year.

Chicken and Grapefruit Stir-fry

I tried a new recipe last night. I thought it was very good. These are the ingredients ready  for Chicken and Grapefruit Stir Fry. A pdf version of the recipe can be found on the Health Eating page or by clicking here.

Ingredients

1 grapefruit, peeled

1# pineapple chunks in unsweetened pineapple juice

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tsp. sodium reduced, soy sauce

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1# boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut across the grain into slices

1 cup snow peas, trimmed

4 scallions, sliced diagonally

Directions

Peel the grapefruit and cut into sections, holding the fruit over a small bowl to catch the juice.  Drain the pineapple well, reserving the juice.  Put the pineapple juice and grapefruit juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to equal 2 cups.  Add the cornstarch and soy sauce and stir until smooth.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and chicken. Cook until internal temperature of 165°F. (around 8-10 minutes). Add the snow peas and cornstarch mixture; stir-fry until the sauce thickens and boils.  Add the grapefruit, pineapple, and scallions; stir-fry until heated through.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories: 165   Carbohydrates: 20 grams    Protein: 14 grams

Fat:  3 grams      Cholesterol: 31 mgs.          Dietary Fiber:  3 grams

Sodium:  82 mgs.

Where did all the plants go?

With the second attempt, I had an abundance of plants. More than I could use so I have shared them with some staff and asked them to update on how they are doing. I’m also going to try some as container plants in the office.

First Cataract Surgery Patient

If he hadn’t of come here (Calais) I don’t know when I would have gotten this done,” says Dennis Jones of Pembroke when speaking about his recent cataract procedures.   Mr. Jones was the first patient treated by Vision Care of Maine’s Dr. Curt Young when he began providing cataract surgical services at CCH last month.    Mr. Jones was so pleased with the results he came back last week for Dr. Young’s second CCH surgical day to have his other eye completed. 

Dennis Jones of Pembroke was the first cataract surgery patient at CCH.  He is pictured above with Dr. Curt Young of Vision Care of Maine.   Cataract Surgeries are now available monthly at CCH.
 

Mr. Jones described a positive experience with the CCH surgical staff and Dr. Young – and a great outcome of tremendously better eyesight.  

Other patients treated last week described very similar experiences:

“Before I even got out of the chair I could see.  It was unbelievable.  This has opened up a new world for me.”  —  John Baxter, Eastport.

“I had no vision before and can’t believe how well I can see now.  They are an amazing bunch of staff and doctor.”  —  Richard Petty, Waite.

Along with Dr. Young, community members can expect to see the familiar faces of CCH Surgical nurses caring for them as well.   The CCH Surgery Department staff worked diligently over several months preparing for this service and is excited to add cataract surgery to the list of offerings available locally.    

“We have found our model of bringing this state-of-the-art surgery closer to home for our patients invaluable in restoring vision and profoundly convenient,” stated Cristy Hewitt, RN, Director of Clinical and Surgical Services for Vision Care of Maine. “Dr. Young and the rest of our physicians proudly look forward to offering surgical consultations and surgery now in Calais.”

If you have questions about the services available in the CCH Surgery Department call 454-9230 or, for information and appointments for cataract services call Vision Care of Maine directly at 945-6200. 

Grow Your Own

Mona’s plants are progressing nicely and she has prepared her garden for planting time!

Four days after planting life can be seen! When first seeds sprout, prop dome open. When all seeds have sprouted removed dome and place in sunny location.
Mona’s getting her garden ready for planting.
Mona’s plants continue to show progress at Day 14.