Summer is the perfect time for fresh vegetables. Take advantage of ripe, red tomatoes and cool, crisp cucumbers in this delightfully refreshing side dish or snack.
It is important for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band patients to consume enough protein within their lower calorie limits, so eating protein with snacks as well as with meals is an easy way meeting their protein needs. These stuffed tomatoes include feta cheese, which contains about 11 grams of protein in the half cup called for in the recipe, making them a good choice for an afternoon snack. Alternately, these tomatoes pair nicely with chicken or steak for a high protein dinner.
Tomatoes are good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, but their real benefit come from their treasure chest of phytonutrients (flavonols, flavonones, hydroxycinnamic acid, carotenoids, glycosides, and fatty acid derivatives). Their rich antioxidant content is what makes tomatoes well known for their cardiovascular support (including reduction in cholesterol levels, LDL levels, and triglyceride levels), anticancer benefits, and support of bone health.
These tomatoes are are quick to prepare, so they make a quick and easy side dish for a leftover protein, like grilled or baked chicken. Or, you could use cherry tomatoes and toss them with the cucumber, feta, basil and balsamic vinegar for a simple variation. Whichever way you choose, remember to concentrate on eating your protein first, then fresh vegetables and fruits, then whole grains.
Cucumber and Feta Stuffed Tomatoes
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper, to taste
- Peel and dice the cucumber. Set aside on a paper towel to allow the water to drain while you prepare the tomatoes.
- With a sharp knife, cut the top off the tomatoes. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop our the seeds and make a well for the cucumber/feta mixture.
- Mix together the diced cucumbers, crumbled feta cheese, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper. Stuff the tomatoes with the cucumber mixture and serve.
This recipe is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and obesity surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band patients come from all over Florida as well as other states for his services. Patients often come from Boca Raton, Wellington, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Tampa, and Orlando, as well as Houston, Atlanta, New York. Dr. Shillingford encourages his patients to prioritize their protein intake in order to maximize their weight loss success.