Tomatoes: the verdict

My two week Introduction to Tomatoes (FOOD 108, Nina's kitchen, Mondays and Thursdays, see syllabus for required readings...?) ends with a cheeseless pizza with fresh tomato pieces on top. [See recipe at the end for details, I don't want to spoil the surprise...]

Overall, the tomato experiment went well, I'd say. No major pain (whew!), and only mild reactions to the acidity - but that's really only if I have tomatoes on nights too close together. I've found I need about 3 days between tomato-sauce based meals. And fresh tomatoes are a no go. The more they're cooked, the better (which is generally a good rule of thumb with acidic foods, by the way - cooking them over heat tends to take away some of the acidity ). Exciting to know, however, that I don't have to completely avoid tomatoes for the rest of my life!

As for the tomato pieces atop my pizza of the evening - though I don't have all of the info back from my reaction log, I think that this won't end up getting added back into my diet (unless I've taken some serious antacid pills beforehand). Unfortunate, but hey, the digestive system has spoken pretty clearly.

Thus ends my inaugural food reintroduction. Tomorrow, we start with apple peels! [You may think this is rather anti-climactic, but I need to give my stomach a break from as big a thing as tomatoes!]

But for now, back to that pizza. Did I mention how fantastic pizza tastes? I haven't had it in almost a year. And it tasted soooo good! The very distinct tastes of the different ingredients, all melding inside my mouth with each bite. The texture is fantastic, too - the crisp of a good crust, the different textures of different ingredients, the smoothness of the pizza base. Oh mans - YUM! Here's the recipe... Enjoy!

Cheeseless Pizza with Ham & Tomatoes

1 pizza crust (I cheated and used premade crust - I found one that didn't have any lactose traces in it!)
1/3 cup ham chunks (smallish)
1/2 cup tomato chunks (smallish)
4 small baking potatoes
soy milk
olive oil

1. Boil potatoes and mash them, using the soy milk to make them really smooth and spreadable.
2. Brush the pizza dough lightly with some olive oil. You don't need to cake it on, just a light coating is enough.
3. Spread mashed potatoes on pizza dough, trying to make an even thickness across the dough. [I have no idea how thick to tell you to make it. I basically spread them on until I couldn't see the dough through the potatoes anymore.]
4. Sprinkle ham chunks and tomato chunks on top of the potato base; try to make them as evenly distributed as you can.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 16-20 minutes. [This is where I really estimated. I started with 10 minutes, then added a few more, then a few more. Kept checking to see if the potatoes had crisped a bit on the top. Turns out it's a little hard to tell when pizza is done when there's no melting cheese to tip you off, but I discovered "done" in this recipe's case is when you can smell the aromas of the ham and tomatoes very clearly wafting out of the closed oven. Oh, and the dough was really crispy.]

- Initial

Hmm, the reaction is a little acidy, unfortunately. Could be that I had one too many slices. (I had 3 - it was so good!) But I think what's more likely is that fresh tomatoes are not such a good idea. I'll have to revisit in a few weeks and figure that out.

- 2 hours later

- 2 days later

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