Falling in Love with Tomatoes

Kuvona/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
Kuvona/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

I grew up hating tomatoes. While I liked ketchup, I would gag at even the thought of biting into even the tiniest piece of tomato. Looking back, I think it was a combination of taste and texture because even the juice would make me shudder. My parents tried to persuade me to give tomatoes a go into my teenage years but they remained firmly at the top of my “Food I Hate” list. I’m thankful that growing up my “Foods I Hate” list was very short and that’s probably why my parents didn’t worry as my diet was otherwise well-rounded.

In February this year, my husband and I embarked on an unconventional journey: a 60 day green juice and smoothie fast. I would not recommend this path for everyone, but it was life-changing for us. In 60 days we experienced the expected weight loss, but there were other intangible results as well. The greatest change for me was my heightened sense of taste. Once we reintroduced solid food to our diets, I was ready for a taste adventure!

The first food I tried? Tomatoes! And it was a success. Six months later, I am still in love with them whether they are raw, cooked or otherwise.

Now that we are in the fall season, I’ve been finding different ways to enjoy tomatoes, especially the heirloom varieties. I grew up on the East Coast where the start of autumn was accompanied by crisp temperatures, leaves changing color and warm soup. I live in Southern California now, where the warm temperatures continue well into fall and can make me forget how much I enjoy the warmth of soup around this time of year.

The recipe I am sharing is a quick go-to that features the harvest of the season with heirloom tomatoes and corn.


Autumn Gazpacho

Falling in Love with Tomatoes

Recipe by Kareen Turner, MPH, RD


2 cups corn, cooked
2 cups heirloom tomatoes, chopped (you can use other varieties of tomatoes)
1 bunch green onions
3 limes, juice only
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. chipotle chili peppers (you can substitute crushed red pepper)
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Place all ingredients into a blender except the chopped green onions and sundried tomatoes. Blend until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately and garnish with green onions and sundried tomatoes.
  3. Top with fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.
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Kareen Turner
Kareen Turner, MPH, RD, is the director of food and nutrition services at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta and founder of IAmEatingRight.com. Watch her YouTube video series, "12 Days to Abundant & Vibrant Living in 2013," and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.