Looking for a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious side dish that pairs beautifully with any meal—and helps you prevent prostate cancer? Look no further. Summer is full of delicious and bright produce, and we can’t wait to take advantage of all the fresh tomatoes. Today, we’ll share our flavor-packed garlic and herb roasted tomato, zucchini, and onion recipe. Roasting the garlic and herbs with juicy, vibrant tomatoes, along with tender, crisp zucchini, and creamy, sweet onions creates a symphony of flavors that meld seamlessly to tantalize your taste buds.
This recipe utilizes some of the tastiest seasonal produce to create a colorful dish—one that not only captures the freshness of summer, but also supplies our body with health supporting, anticancer properties. The tomatoes are in the spotlight, getting their vibrant red color from a potent antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene brings out the beautiful red and orange hues of fruits and vegetables. But more importantly, it has been found to effectively stop the progression and spread of prostate cancer cells by initiating apoptosis (natural cell death), as well as decreasing inflammation and reducing DNA damage. Additionally, lycopene has the ability to modulate signaling pathways that assist in preventing or treating prostate cancer. So how do you get the maximum amount of lycopene out of a tomato?
While eating raw tomatoes will still provide lycopene, the bioavailability is maximized when tomatoes have been heated or cooked—especially with a little fat. When heating tomatoes, it transforms the lycopene into an easily absorbable and usable form. Studies have shown that after two minutes of cooking tomatoes there is over 50% more available lycopene, and after 30 minutes, there is an increase to 164%. The addition of a healthy fat allows the lycopene, which is a fat-soluble nutrient, to be readily absorbed by the body.
Combining roasted tomatoes with garlic, herbs, onions, and zucchini not only boosts the fiber, anti-inflammatory and gut health properties of the dish, but these ingredients have been shown to increase the efficacy of the lycopene’s anticancer effects. Every component of this recipe works together to provide a tasty combination of brilliant flavors to help maximize your dose of cancer- fighting lycopene.
- 3 medium zucchinis, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, whole or halved
- 1 yellow or red onion, cut in half and sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, whole
- 1-2 tablespoons high heat oil (avocado, sunflower, coconut)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 springs fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Fresh parsley, chopped to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
- Toss the zucchini, tomatoes, onion and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper and spread on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
- Sprinkle with dried herbs or lay sprigs of fresh herbs over vegetables.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway though. Roast until vegetables have evenly browned and become tender.
- Remove from oven. Remove herbs from sprigs and garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serve as a side dish, or toss with whole wheat or gluten free pasta, or mix with beans to make a complete meal.
Ingredient Nutrition Highlights
Tomatoes: A great source of lycopene that helps reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and protects skin integrity. Cooking tomatoes in a healthy fat (such as olive or avocado oil) increases the amount of available lycopene that the body will absorb.
Zucchini: Nutrient-dense vegetable packed full of fiber and water that aids in digestive health. The insoluble fiber helps us stay regular and the soluble fiber is a “prebiotic” food for the good bacteria to promote a healthy gut. This vegetable’s high amount of zeaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant) also plays a role in preventing oxidative stress to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Avocado Oil: Heart-healthy fat that has the ability to increase the good cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels in the body. Packed full of antioxidants to support eye health and anti-inflammatory properties shown to help reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Garlic and Onions: Considered a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the “good” bacteria in our gut and promotes a healthy digestive system. Research supports that compounds in onions, such as allicin, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardioprotective properties.
Rosemary, Parsley and Thyme: Contain a range of protective vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, and K, and packed full of antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Such antioxidants are lutein, beta carotene, and zeaxanthin which are known to reduce the risk of cancer, prevent age-related macular degeneration, detoxify the body, improve digestion, reduce stress and support liver health.