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Fast and flavorful.

Healthy and hearty.

Economical and easy.

Happy and healthy.

However you want to say it, Tomato Spinach Sauté is all that and more!

We all know vegetables are good for us. But emerging research suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables improves happiness, satisfaction, and emotional well-being. People who ate fruits and vegetables 6 to 7 times in a week reported greater life satisfaction than those who ate fewer. They reported feeling better about themselves, feeling confident that are maintaining their health, and having more energy. No chance of 6 servings for you? Try for one more serving than you currently eat. It may be that your key to happiness is in reaching for an orange or a tomato.

It’s true that tomatoes shine in late summer, but the red cherry and grape tomatoes available now are worth buying. As a rule, the smaller the tomato, the more flavor and lycopene it has. Cooked with a little oil, the nutrients become more available for your body to use them.

Spinach is a leafy green to love. Packed with lutein, folate, potassium, iron and vitamins A, C, E and K, spinach is a leafy green to choose often. Going with this green strengthens our cells against cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and bone loss plus enhances vision.

So, let’s get to cooking! Slice the tomatoes to reduce cooking time and release juices. Red chile flakes and a smashed garlic clove add seasoning. Stir in fresh spinach and you’re serving, from one pan, in less than 15 minutes.

How to smash garlic?

Place the clove on the cutting board. Lay the flat part of a knife blade (sharp edge away from you) on top on the clove, then hit the knife with the heel of your hand. This releases the compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor and healthful benefits. Let the clove rest for 10 minutes before cooking, to allow those compounds to work and you maximize the healthy benefits.

With a few more fruits and vegetables you will feel better now and in the future. Satisfaction guaranteed when you feed your body what it needs. As our thoughts turn toward Valentine’s Day, a serving of healthy food is a good way to say “I love you.” This recipe is a winner at that.

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Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author of “Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being.” Visit her website for every day food solutions.


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