Welcome to Eat Well With Ming!

Welcome to the Eat Well With Ming blog series on Ming.com! 

Through this blog series, my goal is to show you how easy it is to bring delicious and healthy food into your home on a daily basis. I often talk about my experiences growing up in the kitchen of my mom’s restaurant Mandarin Kitchen in Dayton, Ohio. The experiences of showing people joy through food is one of the reasons why I love being a chef. I always am, always will be and have been hungry. I love the ability to transform simple ingredients into a beautiful, tasty and nutritious dish. Food is always the center of bringing people together and through Eat Well With Ming, I hope to continue bringing food from my plate to your home. 

So without further ado, here is the first Eat Well With Ming blog post: 

It’s finally Tomato Season!

As we near the end of summer, one of my favorite farmers market finds, tomatoes, is in peak season. Do you ever find that they are so sweet they almost taste like candy? I love using them in all types of dishes- cold in salads, pureed in gazpacho, hot in a stew or tomato sauce- the list goes on forever. Tomatoes are one of my favorites because they are so incredibly versatile. Their tangy juicy flavor is unmatched with any other fruit or vegetable. 

Though simple, I’ve picked a cold use of tomatoes to really showcase their simple flavor. Paired with mozzarella and basil, it’s a simple combination, but allows the tomato to shine through. The balance between the cool creamy mozzarella, astringent balsamic, and tangy tomatoes creates an unmatched trifecta. Toss in fresh basil from your garden and I truly believe there is no better summer side dish. 

Did you know tomatoes are packed with nutrition? My PR/Marketing guru who happens to also be a Registered Dietitian, Becca Noren, is here to provide some insight into why tomatoes are so good for you. Plus, look out for her #EatWellWithMing tips before each recipe sprinkled throughout the blog and on Simply Ming. They are full of fun nutrition tips and tricks that will keep you up to date!

Notes from Becca-

Thank you Chef! So excited to add in a few nutrition tips! 

You are 100% right that tomatoes are packed with nutrition. Tomatoes are high in an antioxidant called lycopene, which is important because when activated provides the body with nutrients to help prevent the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, tomatoes are high in vitamin C, a vitamin used for many important body functions including collagen production, wound healing and protein metabolism. Talk about a super power, tomatoes give you the most bang for your buck particularly when you buy them in season!

Eat Well With Ming Cooking Tip-heating tomatoes increases lycopene bioavailability therefore increasing the amount of lycopene you’ll absorb when you eat it! Plus, when you cook the tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil (such as Koroneiki variety) you can further increase your lycopene absorption by up to 40%. 

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella and Thai Basil Summer Salad
Serves 4
4 large or 6 small heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 8-ounce balls of fresh mozzarella
1 bunch fresh Thai basil
1 ½ tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil (Koroneiki type preferred)
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.    Carefully slice tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them in alternating order, first tomato, next mozzarella and then basil. Continue layering on a long rectangular plate. 
2.    In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. 
3.    Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve.
 *Note- If you are dairy free or prefer tofu instead of mozzarella you can swap the two. Instead of mozzarella, use one block of silken tofu, soak it in soy sauce or gluten free tamari for one hour. Simply remove and thinly slice and replace with the mozzarella in the recipe below!

Peace and Good Eating, 
Chef Ming Tsai

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