Pan con Tomate
Try pan con tomate, a traditional Spanish bread, as part of a no-fuss tapas menu, perfect for people with arthritis.
You may feel like your entertaining days are over if you have pain and soreness from arthritis, but entertaining won’t be a chore if tapas like traditional Spanish bread, pan con tomate, are on the menu. Tapas are small snacks or appetizers, that don’t take a lot of skill or effort to whip up. Because of this, tapas are ideal for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), says celebrity chef Seamus Mullen, who was diagnosed with RA several years ago and authored a cookbook called, “Hero Foods,” about inflammation-fighting foods.
To make this recipe you will need a toaster oven or oven for toasting the baguette, a sharp knife and a platter for serving.
Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (10g); Carbohydrates (21g); Sodium (230mg); Sugar (3g); Fiber (1g); Cholesterol (0mg); Protein (4g)
1 large traditional baguette, halved lengthwise and cut into 4-inch pieces
2 beefsteak tomatoes, halved through the center
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved
Course sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Toast bread and add garlic
Toast the bread and rub with the cut side of the garlic clove.
2. Rub with tomato
Then rub each piece of bread with 1/2 of a cut tomato to cover.
3. Finish with oil and salt
Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.
Ingredient Tips & Benefits
Pan con tomate is meant to be a rustic, humble dish, originally concocted to use up a day-old baguette and tomatoes in the summer. Don’t overthink it, however, if you would like to get more tomato on the bread you can grate the tomato instead of rubbing it on.
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family of vegetables (even though they’re technically a fruit). While they’re packed with nutrients like vitamins C and K, plus potassium and folate and the antioxidant lycopene, some people claim they cause pain and inflammation. There are no scientific studies confirming this, so just monitor how you feel when you eat tomatoes or other nightshade vegetables.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best oils for people with arthritis. It is the least refined type of olive oil because it’s pressed mechanically rather than processed with heat or chemicals that change its properties. Extra virgin olive oil contains biologically active compounds such as the polyphenols oleocanthal, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and lignans, which have been linked to reduced joint damage in RA.
*Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided is approximate and based on USDA measurements. Actual amounts may vary based on exact ingredients used, how they are prepared and serving size.
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